A friend of mine gave me The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. And it made me realize:

Timothy Ferriss is an idiot.

Actually, he’s not so bad.  His book recycles a few basic good ideas, such as how to lead a life that is more fulfilling, how to travel more, and how to get things done when you work independently. None are original to him; as he admits, he’s just good at repackaging and marketing the ideas of others.

But then when it comes to his business ideas for achieving wealth with minimal work, well, then we’re back in the realm of the get-rick-quick-scheme. It basically comes down to finding a cheap product and selling it for 5 to 10 times more on the internet. Which is great idea, as long as NOBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD has the same product.

Sadly, Tim’s readers are not the only ones who know about the Internet. There’s always somebody out there trying to sell everything. Heck, even the people who make the stuff you plan to sell, surprisingly, know about the Internet. They are definitely NOT sitting in the dark saying, “Why oh why did we make all this stuff we can’t sell for a profit? Why were we so stupid?”

And for Tim, selling on the Internet in a wildcat fashion basically means one thing: buying Google Adwords. Which means that you’re competing with all those other people selling the same stuff with the same keywords.  The magic of Google’s bidding process means that, in short order, all the profit gets driven out of the equation, since you and all your competitors bid up keywords to the maximum acceptable cost.  So you might make a few sales, and Google gets to keep a lot of profit. That’s not the road to sitting in a hammock, rich and worry-free in a tropical land.

Anyway, despite seeing the flaws in the argument, the book inspired me to do something I had wanted to do for a while: create a website that generates leads for the online brokerage industry, taking advantage of all the knowledge I gained for 2 years managing acquisition marketing for Zecco.  I’m also hoping the site will provide useful, practical, and unconventional tips on investing. The site is called Broker Insider, and it’s live today! Take a look and send me ideas for future articles, if you like.

Nevertheless, I have a feeling that any coconuts I will be sipping will continue to be financed by money earned the old-fashioned way.

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