Here are three questions you should ask yourself before deciding what you'll do if you get a stimulus check.
On February 27th, the House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden's $1.9 billion stimulus package. This will entail unemployment relief and a $1,400 stimulus check for anyone making $75,000 per year or less. Of course, this third round aimed at stimulating the economy is pending Senate approval.
Many Americans will use their checks to pay bills. Some will tuck the windfall into a savings account. Still others will go on a shopping spree or take a much-needed staycation. But some are looking for a smart strategy they can follow to make this stimulus check change their future.
For now, let's look at how Americans spent their first stimulus checks.
In what really isn't news, those with income under $50,000 used at least 80% of the funds to pay for expenses. It's also not surprising that those with incomes over $200,000 saved the most.
But as you can see below, two things stand out. The middle class also overwhelmingly used their money to keep paying their mortgages, unlike in 2008-2009. 15-18% went to pay off debt across the board.
Credit to PGPF.org
But whatever the income bracket, only 5-8% of the funds went to savings or an investment account.
You may have heard the saying that conglomerates are born during depressions (or recessions). There are loads of examples. GE, GM, IBM, and even Disney launched during tough times.
But what we see with GameStop, AMC, and Bitcoin is not an investment. It's wild speculation—Haymakers thrown in the hope of knocking out a seemingly invincible opponent: economic oblivion.
Wrong time. Wrong place.
Sure, many people are starting to see the utility and upside to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But here is the thing that most people are not talking about in the context of the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin has gone up about 10x in the last year. That's impressive. Really. But do you know what else has gone up 10x in the previous year?
Square, Wayfair, and Tesla.
There are myriad different investments that have gone up just as much as Bitcoin in the last two or three years. But they're not getting the attention that Bitcoin is getting.
Yes, some of those companies now have holdings in Bitcoin. So they're all going up together. That's a fair argument, but there is always an opportunity, no matter what the market is doing.
But it's a mistake to pick an investment just because you are afraid that it's going to go up even further. What that is, is the desire not to feel stupid.
Let's get this out into the open. Everyone feels stupid for not buying Bitcoin much earlier.
But enough of the regret. Here are a couple of helpful questions that will lead you to spend your stimulus check wisely.
Question 1: Do you have a business that creates cash flow?
The way to wealth involves two steps.
Build a business and invest the profits.
It's fun to talk about the speculative investments you make with your side cash. But your real wealth happens in the build-a-business piece. It's the thing that makes everything else possible.
So if you're not putting your attention and your money into the business you're building, then it's tough to become a good investor. That's because you don't have the extra cash to put into the investments that make you.
Where do you have a strategic advantage, or do you have a head start compared to the rest of the marketplace?
For example, Ryan had his biggest financial win when he built an e-commerce brand that took about 60% of its sales on Amazon.com. That business was profiting about $3 million a year.
He sold that for an eight-figure payday. That's the foundation of what he teaches in his book, 12 Months to $1 Million.
Ryan was an early player to the e-comm game. He also had ten years of marketing and business experience that made him really good at seeing types of opportunities.
In what field do you have that kind of advantage? If you don't have one right now, what would be the easiest route for you to take?
Question #2: Do you have a base of passive income that can start to support your lifestyle?
Do you have a nice base of dividend-paying stocks or other assets that are paying you monthly, quarterly, or at least yearly to be able to support your lifestyle?
Because if you are only betting on something going further up in value, then you're going to be really tense with that money.
This is why it's great to have both business and passive income. So you've got the cash flow to relax. That cushion helps you make up for any mistakes you might make as a speculator.
Stock trading can be stressful if you don't own a business and other sources of passive income. In a stressed-out state, it's easy to make bad decisions rather than good, dispassionate trading decisions. After all, it's high stakes when you're betting from your only pot.
So, if you're looking to buy Bitcoin or any other speculative asset or investment, go into it clear-headed. Can you withstand the fluctuations in the price? Or are you just betting blindly or desperately because you're hoping it'll go up in value?
That may be a bad reason to buy Bitcoin.
Many people swear Bitcoin will continue to go up in value. Who knows, maybe those who said it would go to a million dollars are right. It may actually happen over the next few years.
But you know what else could? Tesla, Wayfair, or Square stock. Any of them could take over the world. Nio, the Chinese electric car company, could become the next trillion-dollar player.
Question #3: If you have a reliable, cash-generating business and passive income streams, would you like to speculate a bit?
Are you well-educated about cryptocurrencies? Do you have a business that is producing profits? How about a base of passive income? Suppose you feel like you have a strategic advantage, knowing what is going on with these different coins. In that case, you might make an educated decision to invest in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
But most people don't have that same strategic advantage.
So if you miss your opportunity with Bitcoin, relax. There are always opportunities in every market. As an entrepreneur and capitalist, your job is to look for opportunities. Not the opportunities you wish you'd bought, not the opportunities that you feel stupid for not buying, but the opportunities that are coming next. The best way to be ready is to do your studying now.
Of course, Capitalism.com's business is investing in entrepreneurs and helping them build seven-figure companies they can sell. If that plan sounds like the move you want to make, get plugged into what we do here. Download our best free resources and let us help you get started.