Get Rich Quick Schemes Don’t Work

Get Rich Quick Schemes Don't Work

When it comes to building wealth, most rich people build it slowly. You will never see me promote ways to get rich quick, because there aren’t any. Sure, there are a few people who have done it, but its not practical for most of us.

Has someone won the lottery? Sure, but you have a statistically better chance of being struck by lightning while being eaten by a shark. Has someone bet big on a stock and won? Sure. Has someone done well gambling? Sure. However, these are fleeting and not lasting wealth. Additionally, the time, money, and effort spent on these activities far exceed any chance you have of making any money.

Here is my list of 5 ways to get rich quick that are not worth the time, money, and risk:


Need I say more? If you’re going to Atlantic City or Vegas to have a good time and spend a few bucks playing poker, that’s fine. Just don’t think you’re going to retire with your winnings. Ain’t gonna happen.

House Flipping

This is different from real estate investing, i.e. rental property. Sure people were making money hand over fist 7-8 years ago flipping homes, but its a different market now and will likely never get to a point where you can buy and sell at huge profit margins.

Sure, people still do it and make good money, but the transaction fees are too high, the risk is high, the capital investment is high, and the returns are mediocre in this environment.

Stock Speculation

I tried this in 1999 with no level of success. There is no reason why anyone who is not working on wall street should think they’re better than someone whose full-time job is to buy and sell stocks. This is why I buy mutual funds and ETFs. I let the mutual fund managers do the work.

Multi-level marketing (pyramid schemes)

Many years back, a co-worker told me he had a business selling goods online and was looking for help to marketing the website. I went over his house and joined many other people in his living room while he pitched his “business” called Quixtar (an Amway company). I quickly excused myself, hopped in my car and went home.

No one I’ve ever known has made any reasonable amount of money through Quixtar, Amway, or the Motor Vehicle Club. All of these clubs are predicated on you signing up friends and family and collecting a fee for each referral. Sooner or later, you will run out of friends to bug.


Often referred as the poor man’s tax because most people who buy lottery tickets are low-income Americans. Do yourself a favor and save your dollar. The chances of you winning are next to zero. “But someone has to win and someone does win every time” you say! Yes, that’s true…but it ain’t gonna be you.

Rather than spend your time on get rich quick schemes, put your energy into a legitimate way to earn money. Work hard at what you do. Find ways to improve your career situation. Find ways to make money on the side. Spend less than you earn, save and invest the rest. This is how most people become rich.

About The Author

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at I Am 1 Percent. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.


  1. [email protected]&More

    Spending less than you earn and investing are the keys in my book. Get rich quick sounds nice but often the only way that happens is an insane amount of work with some opportunity or luck.

    1. Jonny

      Lance, I appreciate your comment.

      I believe in luck only..

  2. PK

    Get Rich Quick Schemes Don’t Work for you. Fixed that for you – I’m of a mind that Get Rich Quick schemes work great for their creators, haha.

    1. iam1percent

      LOL! Absolutely right! Casino owners, government, and creators of MLM schemes make out well!

    2. BeatingTheIndex

      Allow me to add that taking a shot at illegal methods might work for those that are willing to gamble a few years of their lives.

  3. Vanessa

    I once was thinking about my future and how long it would take to retire etc and suddenly it hit me! I would just win the lottery! That epiphany lasted about a fraction of a second before I realised that it was the most foolish “plan” I’d ever had 🙂

  4. Wayne @ Young Family Finance

    Preach it! I am sending one of my friends your way. He has literally tried all of the venues on your list for making “easy money.” Making money takes time. And, 99% of the time, it takes effort as well. I especially like the inclusion of house flipping – I know more people who have been financially ruined flipping houses than I do people who got rich doing it (which is no one).

  5. American Debt Project

    I would also add that getting rich one tiny side job at a time where you make $20/hr also doesn’t work. It was helpful for me to earn extra cash while I paid down my first chunk of debt but now that I am getting closer to the finish line, I’m focusing on bigger ideas that will generate long term returns. I’ve been wasting my time trying to get gigs on craigslist. I’m done with that! I’m focused on building and creating real businesses, and not to mention writing better posts on my blog (not just self-absorbed ones, which I was doing a lot). It’s a little less money now, for big returns in the future. Get rich quick doesn’t work, especially the ones you mentioned.

  6. SZQ

    I can never figure the reasoning of those who continually play the lottery – and we are talking dropping $20-$50 at a time – and they are the least able to afford it (on public assistance, etc.). I want to take them and shake them silly!!! There are so many things people waste money on that if they really want to save money, they can easily cut them out. The other ones are the Smart Phones – HUH?! Those things are DANG EXPENSIVE and are NOT a necessity! My plan is $9.99 a month for 15 free minutes – and I usually have most of them left at the end of the month! I guess I don’t have that “need” to be connected 24/7 to everyone! Lucky me!

  7. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies

    I know I’m late to the party here, but loved that this post is up the same day my library notified me that a book I’ve been waiting for “Get Rich Cheating” (it’s a satire!) is ready for pickup.

  8. Lottery

    I loved all of these posts.

  9. MakintheBacon$

    My dad and his brothers and sisters constantly play the lottery. With all that money they spent on the lottery, they could have put it towards retirement. I have to admit though, at work we have a lottery, where we put in $20 and that contribution lasts for a few months. I know I could easily opt out, but I always think of that very slim chance that they could win and I would be left out in the cold.

    Ever since I began investing in mutual funds, I have seen my savings rise significantly. My bf makes about $15K more than me and has all of his savings in just one account. He has been working full time ever since he graduated university. There was a two year period when I was unemployed, then only working part time and yet now to date we have almost the same amount saved.

  10. Amy @ JobCred CV Builder

    Pyramid scheme is the most rampant get rich quick practice nowadays and it comes in different forms or names. Your list gave me a broader idea about the other schemes. Thanks.

  11. Christine

    I think the only “get rich quick” scheme that I successfully pulled off, because I understood that specific market, was flipping certain items on eBay. I would buy X for $120, then sell for $800 in less than 24 hours. It was nice passive money while I went to my actual job.

  12. Melissa

    I agree with you that anything that promises ‘get rich quick’ is not worthwhile. But I have to disagree with you that network marketing companies are not worth while. I personally know many six figure earners (I can actually call them up in my phone- I don’t just follow them on Facebook), and I made 13K my first year starting out. But it is anything but get rich quick! It is actually WORK! but worth it over time! (like most anything worthwhile). Direct selling is a great business model when done right. (A lot of people do it wrong), and when you are partnered with a good company (some are, some aren’t). No one should ever promise fast results overnight.
    Also, pyramid schemes are illegal. Those happened when you bought into something that you never received a legit product. It was only based on the idea you ‘sold’ someone else into the idea and made money off of them.
    I spend $160 on food each month that I EAT (so I eat my overhead), and I can have a business online that is going to make me 25K this year, and keep growing after that! 🙂


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