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#023 - The Wealthy Polymath
A husband, father, entrepreneur, creator, & investor on the 5 types of wealth you must understand.
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Welcome to the 23rd edition of The Wealth Letters, a collection of letters written by people from all walks of life (the Titans of success to ordinary folks) that provide universal keys to finding a wealthy life.
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The following is an open letter written by Sahil Bloom on June 26, 2022 to his 1M+ readers on the 5 types of wealth you must understand.
Sahil graduated from Stanford University with an M.A. in Public Policy (2014) and a B.A. in Economics & Sociology (2013). While at Stanford, he was a four-year member on the Stanford Baseball Team (2009-2013), twice helping to guide the team to NCAA Super Regional appearances (top-16 finishes).
Additionally, Sahil earned two PAC-12 All-Academic Team awards and twice received the Bruce R. Cameron Memorial Award, given annually to a student-athlete exhibiting excellence in athletics, academics, and leadership. Academically, Sahil was advised in his pursuits by former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
Today, Sahil is a husband, father, entrepreneur, creator, and investor. He is the owner of 10 cash-flowing businesses, including an investment firm that invests in the most compelling early-stage start-ups in the world, and a bi-weekly newsletter read by over 500,000 people.
Sahil is a true polymath (an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems).
The 5 Types of Wealth You Must Understand
By: Sahil Bloom
You’ve been told that money is the only type of wealth. This is a lie. The 5 types of wealth you MUST understand:
Wealth is about more than money. There are 5 types of wealth:
But if you're not careful, the blind pursuit of financial wealth can rob you of the others. Let’s walk through each to form a more comprehensive view of wealth.
This is the most commonly understood type of wealth. It's generally what people mean when they say someone is wealthy. Financial wealth is all about money—the money or financial assets that an individual has accumulated.
Financial wealth is an alluring measuring stick for success. Why? You can boil down someone's existence into a single number—their net worth. Net Worth = Value of All Assets - Value of All Liabilities. For those with a competitive streak, net worth offers a simple scoreboard.
Most people assume that financial wealth creates happiness. I used to see people with money and assume everything in their life must be amazing. I was wrong. Money is scientifically correlated with happiness—but only up to a baseline level of life that's lower than you think.
Once above this baseline, incremental financial wealth does not create incremental happiness. So if your goal is happiness:
(1) Focus on getting above this baseline
(2) Focus on other drivers of happiness
Which brings us to our other types of wealth.
Social wealth is about our connection to others in our respective worlds—our relationships. The combined BREADTH and DEPTH of our connectivity to those around us governs our social wealth. True social wealth requires depth—a few unbreakable social bonds.
Some people seek to accumulate social wealth via their financial wealth—through acquiring social status. They buy status via memberships to exclusive clubs or organizations, hosting events, etc. This is a road to nowhere—because money can buy breadth, but not depth.
Social wealth is built through the cultivation of meaningful relationships. Spend time building a T-shaped web of connectivity—broad and deep. Build an army of mentors, friends, and evangelists. Cultivate deep relationships, but also embrace the power of weak ties.
Physical wealth is about your health, fitness, and vitality. It is perhaps the most critical—and under-appreciated—type of wealth. Without physical wealth, it is effectively impossible to experience and enjoy the benefits of any of the other types of wealth.
Physical health is built through the long-term compounding of daily actions. There are 3 broad buckets:
• Exercise—daily movement
• Nutrition—mostly real foods
• Sleep—good sleep habits
It's never too late to start building—or restoring—physical wealth. Health is wealth.
Mental wealth is about mental health, mental fitness, and an ability to wrestle with the tangible and intangible questions in life. It may include (but isn't limited to):
• Mental Health
• Knowledge / Wisdom
• Spirituality / Faith
Mental health is often overlooked—particularly by those in the pursuit of world-changing endeavors—but it is SO important. Talk to someone, ask others for help, and take actions to improve your mental health on a daily basis. Never sacrifice mental health for any reason.
Mental wealth also includes the long-term accumulation of knowledge and wisdom. I think of this as "mental fitness”—the flexing of your brain as a muscle and the continued growth of that muscle over time. It's the most important muscle to flex daily! Read, write, talk, learn.
Mental wealth also covers an ability to wrestle with the intangible or unanswerable questions in life. Generally achieved through: Mindfulness—an awareness of ones self built through meditation, breathing, or other practice. Spirituality and faith—formal or informal.
Time wealth is about the freedom to choose:
• How to spend your time
• Who to spend it with
• Where to spend it
• When to trade it for other types of wealth
Time wealth is also about an appreciation for the precious nature of time—of its value and importance. When you're young, you are a "time billionaire”—rich with time. Too many people fail to realize the value of this precious asset until it is gone. Treat time as your ultimate currency—it’s all you have and you can never get it back.
Time is cruel. You’ll love it with all of your being, but the reality is that time doesn’t care about you. It is the ultimate unrequited love. By accepting our time as finite, we are able to live.
NEVER let the pursuit of financial wealth rob you of your time wealth. This is a dangerous trap that far too many people fall into. Learn to use financial wealth as a tool—to increase your freedom to choose.
To summarize, there are 5 types of wealth:
• Financial (money)
• Social (relationships)
• Physical (health)
• Mental (health, spirituality)
• Time (freedom)
The pursuit of financial wealth can rob you of the others. Don't let that happen.
- Sahil Bloom
The Wealthy South-Georgia Native (Jack Raines) talks in depth about the 6 types of wealth
Jason Vitug wrote the National Bestselling book, Happy Money Happy Life, which covers the overlapping and interconnected nature of your well-being and how to improve every aspect of your 8 wellness dimensions.
More from Sahil
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