5-minute video interview: How do you get rich?

Ramit Sethi · July 28th, 2008

Here’s an interview I did with Piers Fawkes of PSFK last week and I thought you guys might want to check it out. (RSS readers, click here to see the video.)

0:00 — Why I started I Will Teach You To Be Rich (skip this if you’ve already heard it)

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0:35 — Do young people really care about money?

1:10 — We feel guilty about our money

1:33 — What people do when they read iwillteachyoutoberich

2:00 — My favorite result when people read this blog

2:15 — What is rich?

2:20 — Can’t people just find this information by going to a bank? (This is where I crack up.)

2:45 — People who just read my site vs. people who take action

3:00 — How I scale iwillteachyoutoberich, monetization, and a little about PBwiki

3:55 — “The voice of 10,000” to scale beyond just one person

4:50 — Why it’s more important to spread the word about personal finance than to make money right now

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  1. Perhaps add an entry for 0:54?:

    0:35 — Do young people really care about money?
    0:54 — Assuptions of racial prejudices of those young people.

  2. Mark Nelson

    Nice video. Young people tend to only care about what is happening in their lives today. You do seem start changing when they have to pay their own bills and then they realize at there is more month then there is money.

  3. Jonathan B.

    Nice short interview.

    @Mark, I agree that many people have a whole new world opened to them when mommy and daddy cut them off. It’s a guilty pleasure but I can think of a few people I’d like to see it happen to. 🙂

  4. Debt Free Hispanic

    I love the idea, one voice for 10,000, we think alike in so many ways. Liked the interview, looking forward to the future. -Debt Free Hispanic

  5. Interesting comments in the interview. You guys would all love John Assaraf’s new business book “The Answer” … talks about how to change your mentality to become successful… … Thanks for the great interview!

  6. Never bring up race unless you’re making fun of your own race.

  7. Hehe, new readers..
    Jeff, and anyone else, HE IS INDIAN!
    Another thing that makes me question your intelligence, is that he’s not even making fun of them.. He’s complimenting them, and even suggesting that they have a stronger sense of value, in multiple forms..
    Ok, I feel superior now. My job here is done.

  8. Jeff is Indian and looks cute in the interview *hehehehe*. Anyway, I love the idea of what he’s said about a common voice for 10,000.

    Ramit: You’re doing a great job! Just found this site from alltop


  9. Brian,
    As you question my intelligence, I feel the need to reply…
    The stuff later in the interview about Indians having famous negotiation skills rests just fine with me, even though I’ve not heard of that stereotype before but it seems a harmless one.

    This quote is from 0:54 : “we’re not necessarily interested in learning from some old white dude”.
    It’s that single word ‘ white’ in that sentence which makes me believe when he is deciding to listen to people he pays attention to their race (and age) in preference to their experience.

    – K

  10. Pamela Slim

    Love the interview!

    Short and sweet, but packed with lots of great perspective.

    Keith, am I perplexed by your comment. Do you mean that Ramit makes an assumption that young people are prejudiced against old white males? Last time I checked, the overwhelming, vast majority of experts on the topic of finance fall into this category. I don’t see this as prejudiced at all, just fact.

    Ramit, I am totally with you on wide reach vs. exclusivity. To me personally, that feels so much better.

    Keep up the good work!

    Oh, and the IWTYTBR book comes out in Jan? Why didn’t you tell me? I need to work on the Oprah connection. 🙂

  11. Ryan @ Smarter Wealth

    Great interview. Really helpful, inspiring and entertaining. Makes me want to continue my pursuit to earning more money online

  12. Jennifer Lynn

    “Negotiate like an Indian”, haha! Nice interview, Ramit. It felt very genuine and personal.

  13. Jonathan B.

    I am white and was not offended by Ramit. When he says an “old white dude,” he could be referring to the fact that old white dudes like Warren Buffet are the most well-known investors.

  14. Sean Mahoney

    Hey guys,

    I’m white too, and, while I may not have been offended by his “white dude”‘s comment, I certainly feel like he lost some credibility making a statement like that. Especially in the idea of PBWiki and being part of a successful start up, it seems like race should have nothing to do with it.

    Further, I know people always blow up when someone discusses race, but rather than being upset that he did it, i’m more like “wow, was that necessary?” and it subtracted from the valuable information he has posted on the website.

    Great site, lots of information, little mistake making a comment like that, but i’ll keep reading.


  15. I like how the interviewer can’t seem to grasp that Ramit may actually want to make a benevolent contribution to society instead of just making money. As Ramit says, rich isn’t just making money, it’s about being able to do what you want.

  16. Bianca Dalmau

    I love you Ramit! Thank you for making my financial world a better place, and thank you for trying to better the world. We all need more people like you in the world. Oh and I love the “stuffy white guy” comment. I’m definitely getting your book in January. I can’t wait!

  17. William

    I can see talking and giving advice on money subjects, but when you use derogatory remarks telling you not to listen to old White guys its ridiculous. Lets stick to the basics on helping people go in the right direction with there money so they can have a path to wealth.
    Thank You.

  18. Charlie

    Just watched the interview. Nicely done, Ramit. Glad to see video on the site 🙂

    And are you guys serious? How could you honestly think there was anything racist in that interview? Just because someone says something about a race does not make it inherently racist. Stop being so paranoid.

  19. Pierre

    Keep it up, Ramit.

    I am very much looking-forward to the negotiations blog. Excellent!

    Possibly what Sean et al are sensing is that you are seeking to distinguish yourself from the competition so as to gather or else continue a level of momentum. Thus, my only advice is to focus on other features to draw attention. For instance, you might poke fun at mutual fund investors who give “free financial advice” to young employees at startups. Or a special section on the persuasions your readers are most prone to, such as advertising to spend more on “non-essentials” or truly belt-widening consumables. You might call it” Advertising That I Am A Sucker For”. This might get the contributions up, and is relatively rare. I have other ideas like this for another time.

  20. ekrabs

    Very nice interview!

    Spot on about the having a younger, fresher approach to motivate the younger audience. And most important of all, getting people to take action, and not just simply becoming more educated.

  21. Awww it’s so funny when so many white boys get so uncomfortable about people bringing up whiteness. Can’t we all just be color blind… can’t we just pretend that the misuse of power and wealth via white privilege has nothing to do with how well many people receive the white man’s messianic, gracious financial advice (when they determine its the right time to bestow it upon us of course).

    Let’s be real, Ramit said nothing derogatory about old white men. He insightfully remarked that they aren’t the best messengers for many people to receive financial info from.

    I suppose the mention of race is rather inconvenient though isn’t it. Don’t worry, I’m not blaming anyone here. Its just part of those ugly old institutions…white privilege and white supremacy.

    If you’re interested learning more about white privilege, here is the 101:

    Contemplate number 32 in relation to the comments about this interview.
    “My [dominant white] culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.”

    And if you’re ready to write an angry little rebuttal, just be glad that covertly/overtly racist comments piss me off so much that I’m too angry to type most of the time.

  22. I knew that it was going to be taken the wrong way. I told you that it was not super offensive and it didn’t “piss” me off that he said that – I’m just sayin that it may have caused some of his listeners and audience to sort of tune out of what he was saying, and it dropped the value of the overall interview.

    It is similar to someone giving a presentation saying “uh” or “um” a lot, soon, people start counting how many times he or she says “um”, and his or her presentation loses credibility and people are tuned out of the overall message.

    So, make this less about race, and more about keeping your subject matter on topic and appropriately structured. Ramit, I think that there is a lot of value in your creating this website that has brought so many different people with different ideas together, thanks for that!

  23. Carlin

    I agree. Banks are terrible places to learn anything. Ignorance on our part equals profits for them, so why would they want to teach you anything?

  24. Bobby Saini

    Great video!

    Although some may claim that Ramit’s credibility may be damaged by his comments, is it really? Maybe/maybe not? It all comes down to how the receiver perceives what is said. Next, and I am sure the other 100k+ readers agree as well.. they would rather get financial advice from someone like Ramit because of his proven accomplishments, methods and expertise in the field over someone that went to training for a few weeks and magically became an expert in the financial field.

  25. Pierre

    Hi Carlin;
    Agree. I am as likely to learn something from a bank as from an advertising executive or pharmaceutical sales agent … unlikely.
    I agree with Sean, Ramit. We’re just here trying to encourage and not see you get into some kind of Impression Management game.

  26. Ramit, ignore the critics. What distinguishes your IWTYTBR game from “the old white guys” is your say-it-as-it-is personality and your focus on the young’uns. Each year, I get further and further away from your target market range, but I still think your insight is valuable for people just starting out in the real world.

    The slapstick humor is a side benefit, and apparently from the above comments, a conversation starter.

  27. anotherguy

    race….funny isnt it….

    one thing for sure, if i ever need legal help, i will get a Jewish lawyer. They are the best.

    If I need to haggle for a used car, I will get an indian.

    If I ever need to do math, I will get a chinese.

    If I ever need my nails done, get a vietnamese

    If I ever need a good renter, get a japanese

    If I need a slurpee, get an indian…but would he then give me a good deal on the slurpee? hmmm..

    nice short interview.

  28. Kathleen

    Great interview Ramit. Hey, you might think your the voice of your generation – but you reach all age groups with your insights – I enjoyed the insights and humor. And I like being made fun of – I’m an old white dudette.

  29. Well let’s break it down …REALLY….

    What is Success…is it Financial Net Worth???

    An 800 Credit Score…

    House on the Hill??

    Try Self Worth….it Lasts………….

  30. I agree with Ramit – we are not all interested in learning from some rich old white guy.

    I relate to Ramit because he is young and we will care about similar things (paying for college, paying for weddings, things to consider when thinking about buying your first house).

    I relate to Ramit because he speaks my language. He breaks down what investing and personal finance really is in a way I understand. He’s not talking to other financial-type people who know everything about investing.

    I relate to Ramit because he brings humor and personal experience to personal finance.

    I relate to Ramit because he isn’t condescending or intimidating.

    The comment was accurate. His readers come to his site because he is different from the traditional financial guy in these respects.

  31. you just lost me as a supporter, you should keep your “old white” comments to yourself -IDIOT most of your ideas that you have tweeked have originated from “old white guys” dont kid yourself.

  32. Wow, Mike, white supremacy much? At least you are honest about who you are I guess.

  33. well well mara– i didnt even realize that you had written an entry before me. looks to me that you devote all your energy torwards race –you even spit out a website on it !!! You know if you steered all that energy torwards holding a job or not looking for hand outs ..i bet you might not even have to depend on “white boys”.——mind your business—

  34. Oh Mike, it must pain you to know that so many people think racial equality and justice is important enough to have websites available for those who care to educate themselves.

    You should know that I don’t JUST devote my energy towards race. I spend a hell of a lot of time on equality for (oh lord… this might make you have a heart attack) women, men, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, intersex folks, low and middle income people, people with disabilities, mothers, the elderly, and youth, to name a few.

    It might freak you out to know, that like almost all people of color, I have a job… more than one usually. So you can drop your Kipling act.

    To be direct, I don’t depend on white boys except for one thing. Their equal participation and dedication to the fight for racial and social justice. And I would venture to say that plenty of white men are/have been fighting for equity and justice… some of whom read this blog.

    Another world is coming Mike. All you have to do is figure out how to start contributing to society in a positive way that doesn’t oppress others. It will be a challenge, but it’s not impossible.

  35. Hi,

    I dont mean to prolong this discussion, but I want to point out that these comments on this board confirm my point. The video was filled with great points and solid marketing efforts for his very popular blog, however, the discussion seemed to revolve around 3 words.

    It isn’t that it was “offensive” to me, it is just something I would like to point out that it was an unnecessary focal point of the video.

    It is my opinion that the comment was not meant to be offensive, but it does further prove that words are very powerful. 3 words were able to take a video that was helpful in many different ways and turn it into a conversation piece about race. I’m sure I’m not the only one that found that interesting.

    Thanks Ramit for the blog. I certainly will continue reading.


  36. The Taste » Blog Archive » Ramit, How do you get Rich?

    […] iwillteachyoutoberich […]

  37. Dennis Mattes

    This whole interview was destroyed by race,which I think is silly,I’m a middle aged white guy and I was not offended when brown sammie brought race into the mix .