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Being A Professor Is The Ideal Occupation For Riches And Status

There are very few occupations that provide the ideal combination of riches and status. Being a professor is one of them.

Tenured professors are able to make six-figure incomes. Getting a PhD or a post-doctorate is the pinnacle of academic achievement. Meanwhile, most people respect professors for their positive contributions to society.

After I retired from finance in 2012, I considered getting a PhD. Given I had enough passive income, I could afford to return to school for several years. With a PhD, I would then have the option of becoming a university professor.

Teaching is something I thoroughly enjoy doing, as hopefully evidenced by my writing on Financial Samurai. I’m always curious about new concepts and theories because the world is always changing.

My Quest To Become An Academic Professor

Stanford University had a Communications Department that offered a PhD program so I drove down to meet with some professors. I showed them what I was up to on Financial Samurai and they were not impressed.

But I did meet with the head of the Master’s program for Journalism who was really nice. She encouraged me to apply. But I decided not to after auditing one of their courses on starting your own WordPress site. At the time, I had been operating Financial Samurai on WordPress for almost four years. I also already have a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Within a month time period, I realized getting a PhD and becoming a professor was not possible for me. First, you have to have taken the prerequisite courses. Second, you have to have great grades and test scores. Third, you need to have a clear idea of what problem you want to solve or research.

Even if I got my PhD in communications, it is extremely difficult to get a professor job at a major university. Only the best of the best get tenure at a top 25 university. Most remain associate or assistant professors for their entire careers.

Not one to give up on my dreams, I looked into becoming a public school teacher instead. Then I found the ultimate job of being a high school tennis coach. The job would fulfill my desire to teach a subject I was passionate about.

Three Reasons Why Being A Professor Is The Best Occupation

Recently, three things happened that made me want to consider becoming a professor again. These reasons show why being a professor has the ideal blend of riches and status.

1) Professors are able to buy multi-million dollar properties

Reuters reported official property records show that Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, his parents, and senior executives of the failed cryptocurrency exchange bought at least 19 properties worth nearly $121 million in the Bahamas over the past two years.

Given real estate is my favorite asset class to build wealth, my eyes lit up once I saw the news. An eight-figure real estate portfolio is a great way to set up my family for life.

The average Stanford professor makes about $250,000. Given Sam’s parents are tenured professors in their late-60s, let’s say Joseph Bankman makes $300,000 and Barbara Fried also makes $300,000.

A combined income of $600,000 is a top 1% income. With a 20% down payment, Bankman and Fried could comfortably buy up to a $3,000,000 vacation property in the Bahamas.

But from the sound of the Reuters article, it looks like Bankman and Fried bought a vacation property worth $16.4 million in the Bahamas!

Here are some pics of a $16 million property in the Bahamas called the Hibiscus Estate Residence in Crescent Bay. I love the infinity pool on one side and the beach on the other side.

Being A Professor Is The Ideal Occupation For Riches And Status - You can buy luxury properties
Developed by Montage Hotel & Resorts

Here’s a great view from one of the main bedrooms overlooking the ocean and sunset. You can grade papers in the outdoor hot tub while having a yummy beverage!

Being A Professor Is The Ideal Occupation For Riches And Status - Being able to buy a $16 million home in the Bahamas
Developed by Montage Hotel & Resorts

Professors make more than we realize

We can conclude being a professor is a very lucrative profession. Using my income formula for buying property, Bankman and Fried would have to have made over $3.28 million to afford a $16.4 million vacation property.

Or, Sam Bankman-Fried misappropriated client funds to buy properties for his company, himself, his executives, and his parents. It is hard to say because private companies have the right to buy properties for business use.

Or maybe Sam Bankman-Fried and his executives are simply following my guide on turning funny money into real assets to remain rich. Creating a conglomerate is a popular way to hold onto a fortune and build an empire. If FTX disappeared, at least they would have luxury properties to enjoy.

Call me naive, but it doesn’t make sense for tenured law professors at a prestigious university to be a part of misappropriating funds. It would ruin their reputations and their remaining years of life. Who would want to spend over a decade in jail during your twilight years?

When I’m 67 years old, I’d rather just enjoy what I have and lead a simple life. Upholding the family name for my children would be important. But maybe I’ll change my mind in 22 years.

2) Professors have great benefits for their kids who attend college

One of my son’s friends has a mom who works at Stanford. She’s not a professor, but a scientist with a PhD. When her son graduates high school, her son will have a leg up in admissions if he applies to Stanford. And if he gets in, he only has to pay half the cost of tuition.

My tennis buddy, who also works at Stanford corroborated this benefit. In fact, he joked he’d be willing to adopt my kids when they are in high school to help get them in, for a fee of course. Even if they didn’t get into Stanford, they would still get half the Stanford tuition a year toward any school my kids attend.

In other words, let’s say Stanford’s tuition is $60,000 a year. If my kids attend The College of William & Mary, we would get $30,000 a year to pay for their attendance at William & Mary. Not bad! Other universities pay 100% of tuition for faculty and staff children who attend their parent’s university.

The Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard University lawsuit provided an unprecedented look at how Harvard makes admissions decisions. Using publicly released reports, here are the preferences Harvard gives for recruited athletes, legacies, those on the dean’s interest list, and children of faculty and staff (ALDCs).

A 46.7% admit rate for ALDCs versus a 6.6% admit rate for non-ALDCs is a huge difference! If you’re an Asian applicant, then it becomes even more tempting to become a university professor to help equalize the admissions process for your kids.

3) Professors can make lots of side income

From point one, we learn some professors can afford extremely expensive properties on their salaries. But how exactly? Let’s look at legitimate ways in which professors can earn more money.

I spent two-and-a-half years writing, editing, and marketing my book, Buy This, Not That. During this time, I realized there are many bestselling nonfiction authors who are professors.

Here are just a few from Portfolio Penguin, the imprint that represents me.

  • Cal Newport (Georgetown)
  • Scott Galloway (NYU)
  • Arthur C. Brooks (Harvard)
  • Jeremy Utley (Stanford)

These professors have smartly leveraged their status as professors at leading universities to become authorities in their respective fields. With such authority and status, they are then able to sign lucrative book deals every couple of years.

Given one of a professor’s responsibilities is to publish, publishing a book on their expertise is right down their alley. With so many connections, a professor can easily draw on many other experts to provide great value and referrals to promote their book.

Let’s say you make $250,000 as a professor. Due to your status and platform, you sign a $100,000 – $1 million book deal. Just from salary and book deals alone, you could make $300,000 to $750,000 each year as a professor. Books usually take two years to produce and advances are paid out in three or four installments.

See: Making Money Traditionally Publishing A Book

More Ways A Professor Can Make More Money

After publishing a Wall Street Journal bestseller, professors can then make extra money speaking. A one-hour speaking gig can pay anywhere from $1,000 – $50,000.

I’m sure when we invited Malcolm Gladwell to speak at the Credit Suisse Asia Investment Conference in Hong Kong, my firm paid him somewhere in the six-figures. Flights, hotel, and meals were all paid for.

Then there are the consulting fees a professor can earn in their respective fields. Corporations or wealthy benefactors will pay professors to do research on a project to advance their product or ideology.

In 2022, Stanford professor Jo Boaler charged $40,000 for eight hours of consulting work to the Oxnard School District. $5,000/hour to help public school teachers teach mathematics better is pretty good!

In other words, there are endless ways in which professors can make a lot of money beyond their day jobs. Intellectuals with expertise in their field are always in high demand.

It is simply not true the saying, “Those who can’t, teach.” Instead, some professors are not only teaching but are also making bank.

Being A Professor Is The Ideal Blend Of Riches And Status

The income potential and status combination of being a professor may be unbeatable. The only other profession that combines both riches and status is being a doctor. Lawyers, bankers, strategy consultants, and techies get paid well, but don’t command as much respect.

Being an author is not bad on the status front. However, it is brutally difficult to make a living as a writer alone. Most authors need day jobs to survive. Even if you are one of the ~0.3% of authors who make a national bestseller list, the money from one book advance may only be enough to support you.

As a professor, you could make a top 0.1% income and nobody would know. In true stealth wealth fashion, you could easily blend in with the middle class and actually be embraced by the majority. To feel included and respected is wonderful.

Being Adjunct Professor Is Another Option

The only problem with becoming a professor is the amount of education one needs to become one. Therefore, maybe the second-best solution is to become an adjunct professor.

An adjunct instructor is a part-time faculty member who is hired on a contractual basis. They may teach for only a few semesters before they return to their industry full-time.

Although you won’t make a lot of money as an adjunct professor, you will gain some status. Hopefully, as an adjunct professor, you’re already making plenty of money elsewhere.

If there is anybody from Berkeley or Stanford out there looking for an adjunct professor to teach personal finance, investing, real estate, branding, book publishing, and online entrepreneurship, shoot me an e-mail! Once my daughter attends preschool three days a week in 2023, I’ll have more time.

All I request is a private parking spot near campus and a lunch voucher! Thanks for your consideration.

Reader Questions

Readers, do you think being a professor is the ideal occupation for income and status? If not, what occupation do you think provides a better combination?

For more nuanced personal finance content, join 55,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter and posts via e-mail. Financial Samurai, started in 2009, is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites.

Being A Professor Is The Ideal Occupation For Riches And Status is written by Financial Samurai for

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IRS Out For Blood More Than Doubling Penalty Interest

IRS taxes increase

In a blatant act of financial tyranny, the IRS is intensifying its assault on hardworking Americans by shamelessly jacking up the interest penalty on underpaid taxes from a pitiful 3% to an exorbitant 8%. This calculated move, recalibrated quarterly, serves as a stark reminder of the insatiable appetite of the IRS, an oppressive behemoth relentlessly extracting every last penny from citizens already shackled by burdensome taxation.

Specifically targeting non-corporate taxpayers, the IRS demands the federal short-term rate plus an additional three percentage points, a blatant money grab that directly targets struggling self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and gig economy workers. These individuals, already grappling to make ends meet, find themselves in the crosshairs of a government voraciously hungry for more of their hard-earned wages.

For those daring to resist this blatant financial coercion and falling short on their payments, brace for the punitive underpayment penalty. There’s a meager concession – if the amount due is under $1,000 after begrudgingly considering credits and other tax factors, citizens might receive a temporary reprieve from the claws of the taxman.

This audacious maneuver puts the self-employed and independent contractors in the IRS’s oppressive grip, coercing them to make quarterly estimated tax payments under the looming threat of severe financial retribution. The January 16, 2024 deadline for the fourth quarter of 2023 is fast approaching – a date that casts a dark shadow over those grappling with the suffocating weight of government overreach.

While the regular W-2 employees might momentarily sigh with relief as taxes are conveniently siphoned from each paycheck, tax experts issue a stern warning against such complacency. Joseph Doerrer, a CPA and financial planner from New Jersey, challenges individuals to scrutinize their tax situation, posing the provocative question, “Are you where you should be?” A question that echoes as a stark reminder of the government’s overreach into the pockets of hardworking Americans.

One taxpayer, Sameet Durg, found himself blindsided by an underpayment penalty reaching into the thousands – an unwelcome surprise that serves as a chilling testament to the relentless demands of the IRS. Durg, a marketing executive, now watches his finances with unwavering vigilance, refusing to endure a hefty hit come April.

As the IRS unabashedly cranks up the interest penalty, taxpayers are left grappling with the heavy-handed tactics of an agency that seems insatiable in its quest to confiscate more of their hard-earned money. This move underscores the urgent need for citizens to vehemently resist the oppressive tax regime, actively defy the IRS’s overreach, and reclaim sovereignty over their wages.

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GUILTY! Sam Bankman-Fried Faces Over 100 Years in Prison

GUILTY! Sam Bankman-Fried Faces Over 100 Years in Prison

( – Sam Bankman-Fried has been found guilty of all charges related to the collapse of his Bitcoin exchange, FTX.

“A New York jury in Manhattan federal court agreed with prosecutors that Bankman-Fried defrauded investors, customers and lenders in connection with the collapse of his crypto empire,” reported Fox Business.

“Prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried, who founded and controlled both FTX and sister hedge fund Alameda research, of misappropriating and embezzling billions of dollars in FTX customer deposits, scheming to mislead investors, and instructing other executives at his businesses to do the same,” it added.

Bankman-Fried was charged with five charges of conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud in the first two criminal trials.

The maximum sentence for each crime was 110 years in prison.

The hearing for Bankman-Fried’s sentence has been scheduled for March 28.

The Southern District of New York’s U.S. attorney, Damian Williams, commended the decision and said that Bankman-Fried “perpetrated one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.”

“The cryptocurrency industry might be new, the players like Bankman-Fried might be new,” Williams said. “But this kind of fraud, this kind of corruption, is as old as time.”

NBC News gave some background information and historical context before the decision:

“FTX and Alameda quickly collapsed in November 2022 after some of their financial liabilities were exposed.

The fact that Alameda had taken billions of dollars from FTX’s customers and that much of Alameda’s balance sheet was comprised of digital currency assets it had created was central to the case against Bankman-Fried.

Unnerved by disclosures about the firm’s financial position, many of FTX’s customers tried to get their money back. That set off the equivalent of a bank run.

The value of Alameda’s investments crashed, and FTX couldn’t return much of that money because it had been given to Alameda. Some went to the fund’s lenders, and billions were spent on sponsorships, commercials, and loans to top executives. That, too, was a major part of the case against Bankman-Fried.”

Following the collapse, more FTX and Alameda executives were prosecuted, including former CEO of Alameda Caroline Ellison, co-founder of FTX Gary Wang, and chief technology officer of FTX Nishad Singh.

All three pleaded guilty, agreed to cooperate, and testified against Bankman-Fried.

In exchange for their cooperation, they will receive less severe punishments.

In his defense, Bankman-Fried stated that he never intended to deceive anyone and that, following the failure of FTX and Alameda, the government had been searching for someone to blame.

“Mr. Bankman Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him,” Mark S. Cohen, counsel to Bankman-Fried, said in response to the verdict.

Williams stated that he hoped the conviction would be an example for others.

“It’s a warning, this case, to every single fraudster out there who thinks that they’re untouchable, or that their crimes are too complex for us to catch, or that they’re too powerful for us to prosecute, or that they could try to talk their way out of it when they get caught,” Williams said. “Those folks should think again.”

Copyright 2023.

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Brutal ‘Bidenflation’ Has 1 in 6 Retirees UNRETIRING

Brutal 'Bidenflation' Has 1 in 6 Retirees UNRETIRING

( – According to an analyst, “Bidenflation” may be a long-term issue, leading one out of every six pensioners to contemplate retiring early.

It will undoubtedly persist if Biden wins re-election.

In the far-left USA Today, Patrice Onawunka laments the possibility that the “financial insecurity” brought on by inflation—which was brought on by “reckless federal spending”—will last forever.


“People have connected the dots between ill-advised government policies and harsh economic outcomes. Spending nearly $2 trillion on government transfers to almost every household during supply-chain disruptions and exacerbated labor shortages caused inflation to accelerate. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and other production disruptions worsened it.

The Biden administration and congressional Democrats passed a climate change bill that they falsely labeled the Inflation Reduction Act in hopes of fooling Americans, especially seniors.

The bill never addressed rising food, housing, or energy prices — households’ most basic and critical needs. Any climate savings would take years to come to fruition and could be offset by new costs for families — tens of thousands of dollars — on new electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, the green subsidies cost more than three times what the law’s supporters claimed.”

What could be crueler than adopting a law that does the exact opposite and is titled the Inflation Reduction Act?

55 percent of those who have already had to un-retire claim it was because they needed more money.

The White House and corporate media continue to lie to us by promising that the inflation issue will pass quickly, yet nothing ever appears to change.

Everything’s cost is skyrocketing especially housing. Meanwhile, Joe Biden is exerting every effort to keep inflation high. The federal government spends like a drunken sailor, which cheapens money.

Even worse, Biden has permitted countless millions of illegal immigrants to enter our nation, which raises the price of housing by increasing demand for limited items like housing.

Housing is a necessity, Onwuka tells us, unlike other discretionary expenses. Rent costs in America are rising, disproportionately affecting older folks and those with low incomes, especially those on fixed budgets.

In addition, she states that “10 million households headed by people aged 65 or older spend more than a third of their income on housing, and half of these pay more than 50%.”

See what happens when you factor millions of illegal immigrants into the housing problem.

Biden punishes Americans who have lived by the book, paid their taxes, saved money, and worked hard. He is putting the interests of millions of illegal aliens—who raise demand for everything and drive up prices for everything—above the interests of those Americans.

“In a little over four years, I intend to retire. I’ll never be wealthy, but since I started my first 401K in 1994, I’ve been setting money aside for that moment. I enjoy both my job and my coworkers.”

That isn’t the problem. The dream is the problem… the desire to live out your third act with the freedom and resources to do whatever you want.

Similar actions are taken by many working Americans who save money and forgo immediate enjoyment to prepare for their elderly years. As a result, I find it difficult to understand what it must be like to enter a dream before having it destroyed.

The anguish of coming out of retirement, returning to the grind, and facing Monday mornings all over again escapes me.

The only idiots, child abusers, and masochists vote Democrat.

Copyright 2023,

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