Happy Birthday to I Will Teach You To Be Rich

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7 years ago today, I launched I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

I really just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for being along for the ride.

I was a cocky college kid back then. I’d taken half my first college scholarship check, invested it in the stock market, and lost it immediately. After spending the next few years learning about money and human behavior, I launched an informal class, “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.”

When friends would be complaining about their 5th overdraft fee, I’d say, “That sucks, man. You should take my class…it’s 1 hour and it’s free, and I’ll cover everything you need to know about money.”

“AWESOME!” they said. Then they never showed up.

Years later, I understood why. People hate admitting they don’t know about money. People hate going to events about money, because it makes them feel bad about themselves. And, of course, most people who teach these courses are terrible and offer terribly conflicted advice, too.

So I launched this blog. And I wrote it for a long time with virtually no traffic because I knew I had a message that needed to be heard.

In fact, I started this blog with this post in 2004.

Check it out. You’ll see the inklings of what would later come, but you also see rough, unsophisticated thinking. For example, I used the word “budgets” (which never work). I also suggested that the first step is “knowing where your money is going” (no, it’s not).

My point is that one of the biggest psychological barriers to starting something is thinking we already have to be experts. Yet when I started this site, I felt like I had something to say that the world needed to hear, even if my message wasn’t 100% perfect.

Since then, I’ve used this blog as my personal laboratory for the last 7 years. Along the way, millions of people have gotten results like this and this and even this.

On a personal note, having readers like you has allowed me to write a best-selling book, appear on TV, and turn IWT into my full-time job…something I never thought I’d do.

I have IWT readers to thank. I know I make fun of you and call some of your questions stupid, which they often are, but you have shaped this site into something that drives actual behavioral change for money, careers, entrepreneurship, negotiation, and psychology…not simply more talk about budgets and credit-card offers.

I want to thank you again. And to celebrate, I’m holding a 1-hour live webcast next Wednesday, 8/24 at 9PM EST. I’ll talk about whatever you want — bring it on and I’ll tackle them all.

Just leave your comments here with any questions, and I’ll post a note letting you know more details about where to attend.

Until then, thanks for sticking around, reading, and taking action to live rich lives.

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19 Comments

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  1. Congrats, Ramit! You’ve enjoyed amazing success. Best of luck / hard work for the next seven!

  2. Haha – that first post is like reading advice from a completely different person!

    Congratulations. It’s amazing what one can do when they listen to that nagging voice in their head and just get started.

  3. “I wrote it for a long time with virtually no traffic because I knew I had a message that needed to be heard.”

    And you were absolutely right.

    I sent this to you in an e-mail yesterday, but far more than just financial advice, you’ve shown me how to hustle, how to succeed, how to write, and perhaps most importantly, how to really get inside people’s heads and understand them.

    It’s not an overstatement when I say that aside from anyone I know closely and personally, you have had the biggest positive influence on my life.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there, Ramit. Congrats on 7 years.

  4. Stephen Dunscombe Link to this comment

    Ramit, your advice transformed my finances. You’ve changed the way I think about money and about wealth, and you’ve turned my finances from a struggle and a stressor to something that’s fun to think about when I need to think about it at all.

    Here’s to a great seven years, and to many years more.

  5. Happy birthday IWTYTBR! Love the blog and the book. Keep up the good work.

  6. Will this webcast be recorded? I can’t make it due to work commitments.

    A question I’d like to ask: Will there be another program in the near future geared towards people who are already full-time freelancers? I know B1K didn’t work out, but I was wondering if you have something coming out that’s tweaked a little different.

    Looking forward to hearing your answers!

  7. Has IWT helped you get chicks?

  8. Ramith,
    Rather than telling you how much your site and work changed my life and finances, I’d like to share with you and the rest of the community how it IS changing million of lives in Brazil.

    Inspired by your blog, I co-founded Instituto de Educação Financeira Meus Tostões (My Bucks Institute for Personal Finance) – http://www.meustostoes.org.br/ – a Brazilian NGO aimed at bringing free personal education to public schools. (Explanation: in Brazil, the rich study on private schools, so we are catering to impoverished teenagers).

    In partnership with school heads, and with math professors, we are developing a curriculum for kids between 12 and 18 years old, that starts with the basics of money and explain finances from the perspective of real world issues. We start from topics like how daddy makes money, what retirement means, how to use the Internet to search for lower costs, different types of savings and being frugal, tools to pursue long time dreams.

    By teaching these kids before they become indebted adults, we are empowering them to make their personal decisions for themselves, not based on the hot tip on TV or following their (sometimes biased) bank manager’s advice. We don’t have any affiliations and do not accept donations from any companies other than the Brazilian government, through its education grants.

    Last year, after spearheading the institute (and also as a result of that), I was granted a merit scholarship to enhance my studies at UC Berkeley Haas, and am now studying and living in Berkeley, while still collaborating with the group of directors I put together before coming.

    I myself, and a legion of Brazilian teenagers, who are being taught how to be rich, would like to congratulate and thank you for your inspiring work.

    I look forward to meeting you in person in the near future.
    Best,
    Fábio Póvoa
    Co-founder / Meus Tostões (fabio.povoa@meustostoes.org)
    MBA student / UC Berkeley Haas (fabio_povoa@mba.berkeley.edu)

  9. Hey Ramit – Happy Birthday!

    I’ve loved following your ongoing escapades via the IWTYTBR website as well as the emails and book!

    Inspirational on two fronts – 1. Sorted our my finances 2. Started my own blog from scratch with the confidence of starting with nothing and building to some that might provide that extra income.

    If you’re a football fan and like Arsenal then come follow.

    Thanks Ramit!

  10. “People hate admitting they don’t know about money. People hate going to events about money, because it makes them feel bad about themselves.”

    That does explain a lot! I offered free workshops for over a year on managing money and people rarely showed up. The ones who did were mostly very responsible already and needed less help than they thought, which I found sadly ironic.

    I think it’s funny that I am doing exactly what you started doing and it didn’t work for you. But I’ve got a different agenda so we’ll see what happens! I’ll check back with you in seven years and let you know how my crusade evolves :)

  11. Congratulation Ramit.

    I’ve been reading the blog for several years now and I’m always excited when I see that there is a new post for me to read.

  12. Happy birthday and congratulations on your journey!

    To your success.

  13. Oh man I was still trying to lose my virginity 7 years ago. I finished high school just five years ago. Time flies! I’ve got your book, taken your course, I wonder what’s next?

  14. Respect Ramit.

    I first read your book while traveling in New Zealand. My mom, though white and not Indian, had instilled all of the money values you teach in the book into me already. I was traveling with my cousin and suggested he read the book as well.

    When we got back, I helped him set up his Roth IRA, automate everything and set him up with an ING Account – he’s put over 25k into his retirement accounts by now that I’m not sure he would have had your book not intervened.

    P.S. – Still working through Earn1k, late but not forgotten!

  15. happy virtual birthday man…hope there are many more to come

    just read the initial post – what a difference….

  16. Wow. I started reading your blog about a month after you started it, when I was a newly-minted college freshman. You’re right, it is a message that needs to be heard. Congratulations on sticking with it all these years and keep up the hard work!

  17. Happy Birthday IWTYTBR!
    You definitely have some thick skin to put up with all the haters!
    My personal thanks for enduring!

  18. Way to go Ramit, and I’m so thankful you’ve stuck it out… despite all the stupid questions and changes over the years. ;)

    Here’s to 7 more great years ahead!

  19. Couldn’t let this pass without a word of congratulations. For years you’ve shaped my financial outlook and I am grateful. Happy Birthday IWTYTBR.