How to Secure Financial Freedom, Maximize Productivity, and Protect Your Health (#299)

In this episode, I answer the most up-voted questions from subscribers to 5-Bullet Friday, the free newsletter I send out every week.

In this Q&A, I reveal:

  • The five health markers I check and watch regularly.
  • Strategies to prevent or minimize binge eating during times of stress.
  • The most valuable skills for securing financial freedom.
  • My philospophy on having children.
  • Productivity advice
  • And much, much more.

Want to ask me your own questions? Just subscribe to 5-Bullet Friday, which — every Friday — sends five bullet points of cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, gadgets, albums, articles, new hacks or tricks, and — of course — all sorts of weird stuff I dig up around the world. It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can check it out here:


You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

How to Secure Financial Freedom, Maximize Productivity, and Protect Your Health

Want to hear another Q&A episode? — Listen to this episode where I discuss the Myer’s-Briggs personality test, diet mistakes, immortality, and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

#250: Myers-Briggs, Diet Mistakes, and Immortality

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Subscribe to 5-Bullet Friday:

5-Bullet Friday

Show Notes

  • What are the top five health markers I check and watch regularly? [04:39]
  • How do I manage all of my contacts? [08:49]
  • Do I have any strategies to prevent or minimize binge eating during times of stress? [11:57]
  • What’s next now that my book (Tribe of Mentors) has launched? [16:12]
  • What do I keep on my person as my EDC (every day carry), and how do I carry it? [19:30]
  • What are the most valuable skills for securing financial freedom and being better with money? [23:44]
  • Do I have a philosophy about having children? [40:04]
  • I always ask guests what advice they would give to their younger selves. How might such advice differ given to a 40-year-old? [43:46]
  • Should introverts become more extroverted or just embrace their introverted tendencies? [45:37]
  • How do I arrange my home’s interior to optimize my mental state and effectiveness? [48:04]
  • Productivity advice for ambitious people who eschew the daily grind of routines. [51:26]
  • How am I enjoying life in Austin? [53:26]
  • What questions should a person ask themselves to determine their “where” of happiness? [54:09]
  • If I could only record one more podcast, who — living or dead — would I interview? [57:01]
  • What are the pros and cons of a silent retreat? [57:54]
  • Why have I not illustrated or sketched in my books? [1:02:06]
  • Here’s a 21-day no complaint experiment we can all tackle together. [1:03:30]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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65 Replies to “How to Secure Financial Freedom, Maximize Productivity, and Protect Your Health (#299)”

  1. Hi Tim,

    Great episode. The question regarding financial freedom made me think of a podcast guest suggestion – Sallie Krawcheck. Former Wall Street CEO, now author and current CEO & co-founder of Ellevest. I saw her speak at a conference recently and in addition to being incredibly smart, she’s also hilarious. Would love to see her interviewed!

  2. Hi Tim – is there any plan for you to provide transcripts of your podcasts? For me (and I am guessing many others) it is just much easier and quicker to view instead of listen, and to get to the specific portions of your talks that are most relevant and of interest. Apologies if you have have answered this previously. It’s a productivity request – Thanks!

    1. “Upvote”

      As much as I prefer audio content, I would love transcripts as they are a much better reference than trying to recall which episode a statement was made in!

      I don’t work for Rev, but having seen their output I recommended them to at least one other podcaster, Jill Konrath, and she gave them a shot. They did great transcription work for very low cost ($1/min). This is the episode she had transcribed, along with the transcription:

      Rev can be found at: (not an affiliate link)

    2. Hello Sandy,

      From what it seems, this is something that Tim keeps for himself right now. There are probably a few reasons for this, but with enough comments like yours, I could see it as something that might be implemented in the future.

      In the meantime, you could check some of my blog posts that are notes I take on some of the podcast. Much of the fluff I ignore so it might not be for everyone, but it is a small read for anyone who wants some golden nuggets at a faster pace.


  3. Tim – For your point on being an entrepreneur and working fulltime, I would recommend checking out The 10% Entrepreneur (written by an HBS grad). Great read on how to keep your day job and invest in startups on the side. Always enjoy your shows!

  4. For some strange reason I highly prefer these solo episodes to interviews. Don’t really know why, but that’s how it is.

    1. Hello Andrew.

      You are not the only one. I appreciate all the episodes, but we have to keep in mind that interviews are more of a conversation that Tim wants to have with someone he looks up to, thinks he can learn something from or get valuable information that can improve his own life as well, directly or indirectly.

      These type of episodes are more for the people in the audience because obviously, this is actually a Q&A with upvoted questions from listeners. It basically takes all the knowledge and wisdom Tim has gathered from his interviews, even subtle ones we might not be able to notice at a first listen, and put them up in a more direct manner.


  5. Tim,

    I’m an earlier riser (5am on most days) for productivity reasons. How does your suggestion on the slow-carb diet of having a breakfast with 30g of protein, 30 minutes upon waking, reconcile with that type of daily schedule? Any thoughts on how to plan meals around that type of daily schedule? If it matters or helps, I usually get to bed around 9pm.

    Thanks for all you do!


    1. Hello Fred,

      I will try to answer this question for you since it might be of help. I don’t see any reason why this advice with 30g of protein wouldn’t apply to you since it should have basically the same effect that it would have for people waking up later in the morning. The only thing I can think of being different is the cortisol response your body has, since this is the hormone that is waking you up, considering it’s not an alarm.

      You can play around with tools such as intermittent fasting or a lower carb, even keto approach and see how it optimizes your body efficiency.


  6. Cheats should be expensive and inconvenient. No junk food in the house because it will be consumed, in entirety, until there is a pit of deep, guilty satisfaction in my tummy. #willworkforpriceydesserts

    1. Hello sumoknows,

      Since Tim has been saying this a few times, I would question the cheat meal idea in the following way: how would this look like if it were easy?

      I would say, why not think of the cheat meal as something tasty but low calories (protein fluff with any type of flavor that your taste buds prefer), as something healthy but just overconsumed (meat, avocado) or a variation of what you like, but made at home and in a healthy way.

      You have so many choices nowadays to have something “special” to eat that is actually tasty and even healthy that there are just a few reasons you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of such an abundance of choices. That only reason would be the mental ease of knowing you can actually have what is not good for you.


  7. I think you might be assessing marriage incorrectly. if you compare the people who have a successful marriage as a group with those that don’t, which group is more successful in other ways. My bias experience is: those that are successful in marriage are disproportionally successful in other ways too.

  8. Wondering if you’ll ever start transcribing the podcasts? I’ve bookmarked several of these, but find it difficult to focus on an audio format. I know podcasts are really convenient and widely used, but I think there is a good percentage of people who don’t dig the audio format. Would love to read them if you ever decide to convert them to written form.

    1. Hi Lindsey,

      This is something that I’ve seen mentioned so many times already that it actually made me create blog posts out of the notes I take on Evernote from each podcast Tim has released recently. It’s just a pool of wisdom that can be reread at times and help, since as it’s said: “nothing is new, only forgotten”.


  9. On children: I am a divorcing mother of one single child. I have been is committed to and interested in personal growth for the majority of my adult life AND also very recently discovered (ouch, divorce) that I was operating unconsciously/ in reactivity for several decades. I too would absolutely choose my child again, but NOT solely for the tremendous joy of parenting (because let’s face it, it’s also a painful sh*tshow).

    Rather, despite my very best efforts, there is no possible way that I could have so squarely been forced to face my own patterns and the multigenerational patterns of my family. Selfishly, without the kiddo, I would be much less able to see. Not only does the pressure of parenting squeeze out and bring to light destructive patterns, but it also reveals points of trauma that I otherwise would have forgotten (trauma as defined by Gabor Mate). The first step in healing is finding the wound, so to speak.

    In a lucky and beautiful stroke of luck, I am, through parenting my child, able to re-parent the parts of myself who need healing. So bonus #1, that inner child who is super loud and tries to take over now has a much more capable inner adult who can handle the tantrums and still maintain “control”. In addition, the process of healing my own childhood traumas is a healing experience for my parents, who, despite doing their absolute best, are human beings with their own baggage. I have found in my personal experience that by becoming a better “inner” parent, I am able to TRULY forgive my actual parents and they in turn experience the healing afforded by acceptance and love – connection – as they are in their entirety: imperfect, human.

    Marriages are not a sure bet, but if you are committed to the work, the child will learn from you and you will learn from the child in ways that are otherwise inaccessible; and while you may not be the perfect parent, it is enough to try your best, to pass the torch and to be grateful for the opportunity to learn. The bonus is, you get to teach!

  10. Thank you for the show.

    How to Secure Financial Freedom, Maximize…

    You did nice job, even though you mentioned it’s been a rough patch lately.

    Cathartic I hope.

    Feel better.

  11. I’m listening to your podcast and can hear your sniffles. When I moved to Austin the same thing happened to me, because allergies can be really bad here. It might be a mold allergy. I recommend DI Hist and Texas Allergy Relief from Mirco Nutrient Plus. Hope you feel better

  12. Hi Tim, great podcast yet again. Can you transcribe this, as when I listened I was unable to take notes and I’d love to skim and jot down what I need.

    1. Hello Karen,

      One advice I could give regarding this is to just listen at home to the specific part you are interested in and write that down. Let’s be honest, not everyone needs everything from each and every podcast. For example, the health and financial part was what I enjoyed most from this podcast, so that is the part I relistened to and took notes from.

      With an app like Evernote, it’s easy to go from smartphone to pc and have a seamless experience.


  13. Your interview with Dr. Gabor Mate was superlative. I’ve listened to it twice:) Thank you!!!! And I’m starting the no complaining challenge tomorrow. 🙂

  14. Hi Tim,

    Thank you for a great episode and for all the value that you’ve brought to people lives, especially mine!

    Question regarding diet, I’m a fan of your slow-carb diet but recently watched a documentary on food (can name it if you need/want to know) which suggests all animal products aren’t too good for us. My question is do you have an opinion on this or can you point me to an MD in the opposite camp to balance the argument?

    Thanks again,


    1. Hello Gavin,

      As a health enthusiast myself, I’d like to let you know what I’ve been able to understand regarding this subject. Animal products are not all the same, it’s just like saying all seeds are the same, or plants are the same, or all spices are the same. You cannot compare organ meats with muscle meats, many times they are triple more nutritious, hence why I rarely buy muscle meats because of their low nutritional values.

      It’s the same with lettuce and spinach. Look at how many and how much of the daily recommended intake each gives and you will see that you would have to eat 2 kg of lettuce to get the same values as 100g of spinach. As with the financial advice, nutritional advise should also be highly personalized. Most issues with meat is the quality. That’s the main reason why Kerrygold butter is so popular. It’s cheap for what it’s worth.

      Eating meat is probably the 20% of the 80% you’ll get as far as nutritional benefits. I might have exceeded the percentages a little just to show it’s importance overall, but you’d have to eat a wide array of different plant foods and supplements would be a must, to get the same nutrients for your body. Does meat have its downsides? Definitely, as far as aging, but you might want to read Peter Attia on lifespan and healthspan for more information on that and then look into more specifics like mTOR.

      Hope it helps


  15. Good morning Tim. Really loved this episode. I enjoy learning more about you and love that these episodes do just that. I particularly liked your advice for “Productivity advice for ambitious people who eschew the daily grind of routines”. I love my daily routines – I’d be a hot mess without them. But I plan on sharing this with my husband who scoffs at the mere thought of routines. I’m actually going to force him to listen to the entire episode, but really hoping this part about routines sinks at least a tiny bit (which, for him, could go hand-in-hand with a 21-day challenge). He has an incredibly stressful IT job and when he has any down time, he just becomes a zombie in front of the television (not to mention the Call of Duty he still plays), drinking at least a 30-pack a week. He’s on the brink of complete burnout. He does make it to the gym a couple of times a week, but it’s not enough (his diet is absolute garbage). I’m at my wits end seeing him like this and getting tired of his usual response of “I’m fine”.

    Thank you again – your words are truly appreciated. Wish me luck! 😀

  16. Just saw your 5 Bullets for this week and love seeing your more serious/cause side! It’s inspiring to see influencers engaged in such work.

  17. Hello. Is the research on psilocybin, MDMA and LSD for therapeutic purposes generally subject to RCT controls? If not, why not?

    1. Also, I believe you have interviewed Temple Grandinin the past. Have you thought of interviewing Michelle Dawson?

  18. Hey Tim- I’m a long time fan- thanks for sharing your life (successes and failures) with the world.

    I know that behind every great entrepreneur is also a great team, and I’m curious as to what your “team” looks like. Do you use one assistant to organize everything or do you use many? Do you employ your assistants, or do use a virtual assistant group? What do your brainstorming sessions with them look like- for example, how do you explain to them what you want to accomplish, and then have them take the actions to get so much stuff done?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      Good question. I’ll just let you know that I’ve heard it mentioned before, but while writing and researching while of his last two books, can’t remember if it was the case with both of them, but the idea is that Tim actually had one of his assistants fly to his place.

      The purpose was to actually have someone around and who else, if not someone who could actually be helpful, having the same goals.

      I also remember once when there was a free spot available for a researcher. The requirements really seemed like a definitive set of rules one should abide by if he were to join the “team”. Might have been just a higher entry barrier so not everyone is going to spam with an application, but it definitely seems like there is a good process behind it.


  19. Hey Tim! I loved this episode (well all of the episodes are amazing). But I was hoping you could elaborate more on the concept you mentioned: “the where of happiness”. In the episode you said that you’d talked about this before but I couldn’t find anything when I Googled it.

    What do you mean by the “where” of happiness?

    1. Hello, craftingcreative,

      This is actually something that is referenced many times when Tim tells his story. Going to Silicon Valley was not just a coincidence. He knew that this was a place where he could find a lot of people with the same goals and could take advantage of the concentration of talent and opportunities.

      As you can see, right now Tim is in Texas, since startups are not a priority anymore as mentioned a few times. It’s funny to mention the 4-hour workweek lifestyle, but actually, this is more of what we are seeing. Not the actual title, but more of the lifestyle where you have the freedom of going where you’d want (picture that beach from the cover of the book), hence why the move from a place where you’d want to go to find people to help YOU, to a place where you’d probably have more people come at YOU (with different opportunities).

      Probably not the best of help I could give regarding the subject, but hope it gives a little context on what might be relevant to your question.


  20. I heard a “y’all” come out of your mouth during this episode!! 🙂

    Hope you’re enjoying Austin so far!

    -Rachel, Austinite

  21. Hi Tim,

    I’ve been following your work and have to tell you that I pay attention the same way that you watch a fire–with one eye closed and leaning back. You light up the part of me that thinks I’m not quite working hard enough or smart enough, until I hear you say things like, “What would this look like if it were easy?” And the way you interviewed Catherine Hoke recently. Now I’m leaning in.

    I’ve been a very impressive person until recently when I quit a high powered job. I might have even been on a track to be interviewed by you someday, or at least I’d think that was a sign I was living right. Now I’m writing a book about our relationship to our work–we’re not good enough unless it’s hard and complicated. This will be a life long study for me. To that aim, I think it would be perfect if I could interview you in the future. Could you put me on your calendar for sometime in 2028? I turn 40 that year and it would be a milestone.

    1. Hello Frances,

      Too bad your name doesn’t link to any website. I would have been interested in looking at a website where you’d document your journey but probably you are taking another route than the one I thought of while reading your comment.


  22. Hi Tim, Sorry this isn’t a comment on this episode – although I love listening to your podcast while walking each morning – inspiration and entertainment to start the day. However, you mentioned in your latest 5 Bullet Friday about your session at SX. I’d love the chance to meet with you there – I have an invitation to come an join us in New Zealand for the WLG-X festival. Surely NZ is on your bucket list?

    Hope yo hear from you


  23. Hi Tim,

    Why wasn’t I aware of your existence up until last week? I have been in a Tim Ferris’ vortex for the last days reading/listing and trying to absorb every bit of information that resonates with me at this moment. Thanks for the value you have added to my life in such a short amount of time.


    1. Hi Juliana,

      It’s actually interesting to read your comment since in the last 2 episodes I noticed a spike in comments in comparison to what I was normally seeing. I suppose this might be a boost in advertising Tim is pushing right now to get new people who might enjoy the content, just like yourself.

      If you had this opportunity to get “vortexed” I’ll just say welcome aboard. This is definitely a good place to start or have as a base regarding good quality information.

      As much information as it’s available around here, there is a risk of information overload, so don’t be surprised if it might be a long-lasting relationship with all this content. I’d also suggest looking at videos of Tim on youtube since you can see beyond this almost perfected version of Tim he has become as a podcast host.


  24. Thank you! I listened to this podcast eating dinner at the bar in Merwin’s, it was Fishfry night and I had the Lake Erie caught battered Pollack with a Platform nitro, I think. Because I was listening at 1 & 1/2 speed, I’m ADD, and the bartender was talking to me as I pretended to be engaged, I’m going to have to look into the transcript on topics that perked my interest.

  25. Hi Tim, I loved this episode but was sorry to hear what sounded like a cold? My go-to is a constant drip of hot water with fresh ginger and lemon, apple cider vinegar and a snowflake-size drop of oregano oil. Hope you feel better soon!

  26. Love this format! Fast questions. Fast answers. Tim at his best.

    Children. A proper foundation is love and a like mnded spouce who shares your mission in life.

    Also, you may want to interview Dean Kaman who chose singleness and no children to fulfill his purpose in life.

  27. Tim, For whatever reason, this talk and the most recent Ted Talk reminded me of Poet William E. Stafford, late of Oregon. Something about his generation and the stoicism that was native to it and the emotional clarity of his poetry stuck me as something you might grok. I think a link will be messy in this so here is one of his poems:

    A Ritual to Read to Each Other


    If you don’t know the kind of person I am

    and I don’t know the kind of person you are

    a pattern that others made may prevail in the


    and following the wrong god home we may miss

    our star.

    For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,

    a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break

    sending with shouts the horrible errors of


    storming out to play through the broken dike.

    And as elephants parade holding each

    elephant’s tail,

    but if one wanders the circus won’t find the


    I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty

    to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

    And so I appeal to a voice, to something


    a remote important region in all who talk:

    though we could fool each other, we should


    lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the


    For it is important that awake people be awake,

    or a breaking line may discourage them back to


    the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —

    should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.


  28. Hi Tim,

    Although not directly related to this epidode there is a book I think you may find very interesting on the topic of resistance training it is entitled “The Matrix Principle” by Ronald Laura and Kenneth Dutton. Thanks for the fanatastic podcast.

  29. Hi Tim,

    Love the podcast. You briefly talked about meditation in this podcast and I had a question about it. I am 56 and want to start meditating. However, I sit a lot for my job and don’t need another reason to sit more. What do you think about Qigong (I’ve heard it called moving meditation) in place of sitting meditation. Is it as effective? I would really appreciate your, or any one else’s, advise on this….thank you

  30. Hello Tim’s community

    I’m from South Africa and busy travelling through South America for 5 months on the smallest budget you have ever heard of – incredible experiences so far.

    Yesterday, I changed my travel plans and now intend to spend my 6th month in California: San Francisco and surrounds. Silicon Valley is like Paris of the Renaissance era and I would like to taste a piece of that. My goal is to spend a few days at different start-ups; whether it be making coffee, doing errands, sitting in on meetings, anything – I just want to learn and experience it first hand. I’m not expecting any remuneration whatsoever. This will be in April, possibly spilling into May.

    If anybody has any suggestions on people or companies to contact, that would be highly appreciated; even advice is welcome.

    This is getting really long, but here is a brief resumé:

    Due to start at McKinsey & Company in Johannesburg on July the 4th.

    Degree in BCom Investment Management (CUM Laude) from the Unicersity of Pretoria.

    CFA level 1 test passed.

    Full marks in maths section of SAT (2014).

    I really like Tim’s podcast and Tools of Titans was an excellent read.

    I’m 22 years old.

    darrendavidspencer at gmail dot com

  31. hey Tim …. thank you, omg thank you. been looking for valuable skills for securing financial freedom to pair with some visualization videos for the law of attraction. What do you think about them ? [Moderator: link removed.]

  32. Tim,

    Fantastic episode, thank you.

    You mention seeking one or two experts in a field dd developing a bond with them so you may access anyone else in that field through them.

    So when you’re thinking of a previously unknown area, how do you go about identifying the people to begin approaching?

  33. I really enjoyed this episode. Aside from this discussion, I have heard you mention the 50% divorce rate a few times. While that is technically correct, I think it is a bit misleading. Any social scientist with any credibility would advise you against using a single univariate statistic to explain a data-driven decision. So, I don’t think it’s a good idea to say that a 50% divorce rate is a deterrent to marriage. Just looking at bivariate relationships tells a much different story. For men with college degrees, the divorce rate is only about 20%. Once you factor age, income, and race into the equation (assuming your potential wife would also have a college degree and be over the age of 25), your divorce odds would only be about 10-15%. Those statistics actually make a pretty strong case to get married and are really optimistic! Maybe things are different at the highest level of success, but most marriages between college grads are really stable and, I would personally argue, very meaningful and fulfilling.

  34. Just thought this was funny.

    What are the most valuable skills for securing financial freedom and being better with money? [23:44]

    Do I have a philosophy about having children? [40:04]

    I always ask guests what advice they would give to their younger selves. How might such advice differ given to a 40-year-old? [43:46]

    About 17 minutes breaking down some financial advice. 3.5 minutes brushing over your philosophy on having kids. This is like the set up to an adam sandler movie meant to teach us the value of family.

    Just nut in some cute chick so our kids can listen to your kid’s podcast

  35. Guys, The question where Tim talks about not having to go full in as an Entrepreneur and assessing if you are cut out for entrepreneurship (structuring yourself, being able to deal with uncertainty), reminded me of a Podcastepisode of ArtofManliness (I havent`t read the book yet) [Moderator: link to AoM Episode #251 removed.]

  36. Hi Tim,

    Only just got round to listening to this episode and totally stoked to hear my question was one you answered (the stesss binge-eating prevention one). Somehow good to know I’m not alone with this!! Thanks to everyone who upvoted and thanks Tim for the strategies – just off to eat my protein-rich breakfast right now! One clarification – roughly what amount of beans do you recommend? Say half a large tin?

  37. Hi Tim,

    I love the podcast, books, and all other things you do.

    i was wondering if you can share your view on vaccinations/ anti- vaxxers.

    You always have an interesting and unique perspective on things.


    P.S. the 4HWW changed my life.

  38. Hey Tim, will you be putting this episode on your YouTube channel?

    The reason I ask is because I can’t seem to download it or listen to it using the links provided here.


  39. Hi Tim, In regards to the question on financial freedom I would highly recommend listeners to check out Robert Kiyosaki’s board game “CASHFLOW”. It is far more educational than any book I have read on the topic and puts everything in a practical context.

    1. I like the sound of that!

      If you have any other good financial freedom or literacy ideas, please send them to the MAIAs, the money awareness and inclusion awards at We are all looking for them, but can only find them one by one by one…

  40. Hello Tim, very interesting responses (per usual), thank you! One curious point – your logic on marriage/partnerships and children seems misplaced given your affinity for start-ups. If marriages are successful more than 1/2 the time (I understand recent statistics show at least 50-60% of marriages are successful, over the long-term), though start-ups are much less so (I read recently that 50% last 3 years, 30% or less last past 10 years?), then the odds of a successful partnership/relationship well outweigh the odds of investing in a start-up. Would you rather invest in something that had a 30% (or less) chance of success past 10 years or something with a 60% chance of success past 10 years?

  41. “Easy choices, hard life

    Hard choices, easy life”

    Tim, I think you, if anyone will understand the reason of my borrowed quote.

    I keep looking for solutions; involving mind, body, spirit.

    So far, I find that the hard choices in my case aren’t a matter of choice, rather

    than an inescapable necessity.

  42. Hey Tim!

    Great one! Specially wealth creation/preservation part.

    Just wonder, would you consider owning a startup being more wealth creation or wealth preservation?