🎓 How to never be poor according to my University professor
This story might be helpful for those engaging in crypto and the metaverse
Today I’d like to tell you a short story from when I was studying for my Master’s degree in data science. I remember this encounter from time to time, and I think it is precious for all of us doing things in the metaverse. Read till the end, and you will understand why.
I studied in the Netherlands at the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), which has a solid history of engineering degrees, especially computer science. The University is well ranked in architecture and design too; the perfect mix for this new wave of generative code art. I spent a year living there, and it was a very refreshing experience.
One day, I was roaming the university garden, next to the library, with one of my friends, when someone approached us.
Are you guys studying here?
He was tall, pale, with white hair, and I guessed he was around 80 years old. We said yes, and he asked about our specializations. I said data science, and my friend was studying for a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence.
Oh, smart guys then.
Are you a professor here? — My friend, asked.
Yes, for over 40 years actually. These days I’m almost retired, sort of part-time advisor. I’ve been teaching telecommunications and electronics for very long time. — The professor answered. Then he continued…
I came to The Netherlands during World War II. I come from the Ukrain, the allies recruited me to work on the intelligence team. I was very good at deciphering encrypted communications. Designed a couple of devices and encoding, decoding models that were very useful at the time. Then, after everything ended, I continued my studies here and stayed in academics for long time, as a full time professor.
He was very chatty, and my friend and I were very excited about his story. The University had a solid history of famous professors and academics. For example, Edsger W. Dijkstra, created the “Dijkstra shortest path algorithm” (which is widely used in many applications, including crypto) was a professor at the University for a long time. The professor that approached us mentioned he worked with Dijkstra for many years.
At some point during the conversation, he asked us:
“So, do you know how to never be poor?”
We looked at each other, confused. And he continued.
“I am not talking about how to get rich. You smart students should know this. Let me show you something. I can prove, right now, in mathematical terms, how to never be poor.” — He was very excited about it. You could feel he wanted to teach us something very valuable. The whole thing had a special mysthic vibe I can’t really describe.
Since we were next to the library, we entered and found a table. The professor took a notebook and a pencil from his backpack. He then started to write an equation, while he mentioned some theorems and names I didn’t hear before. He then gave us the notebook and told us to solve the equation. I was completely blank. My friend was trying, but he didn’t make much progress either. After some time, the professor just started solving it. He explained different factors, like inflation, the economic variations of mixed fiat currencies like Euro, USD, the stock market, GDP, and more concepts. After solving the equation, he said the fact he was trying to make is you should invest in something that grows over time, but the pace doesn’t matter. The important thing is you take a portion of it out constantly. Sometimes it will go up, sometimes it will go down, but as long as you constantly take out, you will be fine.
It is really that simple! That’s my whole point. It doesn’t matter if it is the stock market, or maybe you invest in a small business. Take a portion out on a constant basis and I can guarantee you will never be poor.
But how much, in %, should I take out? — I remember asking him.
Oh, well, depends. How often and how much add many variables and make the whole equation more complicated. That’s something you guys need to think of according to your specific scenario.
It sounded like it made sense to my friend and me, but we didn’t think much about the technicalities. We were very excited about the whole experience; randomly being approached by an accomplished professor and spending one hour or two discussing this topic felt like a remarkable tale to tell friends one day. Frankly, my goal with this article isn’t to show you his specific equation or theorem or thesis or whoever you want to call it—just the high-level concept.
So know you know, how to never be poor. You just gotta figure out those two open things. Good luck! Tell your friends. Now I have to go! — He said, while we thanked him and wish him the best. Maybe we see each other again one day, I thought.
This story lived in my head for years until early this year, his advice clicked.
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The professor's advice fits perfectly into NFTs and crypto. It doesn’t matter what kind of role you play, investor, collector, artist, or newcomer. If you never want to be poor (remember, way different from becoming wealthy), you must cash out your profits. It sounds simple, but it is not. There are two questions I am constantly asking myself:
How much should I take out?
How often should I take it out? (Cashing out and depositing it into my bank account)
The correct answers depend on each person's particular scenario. It is different if you are purely an artist, living on your sales, then an art collector or investor. In my case, I am a hybrid between investor, collector but I also earn from time to time from other projects. I usually cash out every month, but the amount depends on my portfolio size.
Just some food for thought, something to ask yourself and refine over time.
It would be great to hear your thoughts, how you handle your portfolio (as an investor, collector, or artist). Just leave a comment below ✌️
Until next time,
Some exciting NFTs caught my interest during the past few days.