Four Types of Wealth: Time Wealth


Having as much of your own time as possible and being able to spend it how you want, where you want and with whom you want is freedom. Time wealth is essentially freedom.

Time Wealth (Freedom, Time for self): Awareness and "Fuck You" Money

There are important philosophical aspects to consider when considering time wealth, aspects which are often ignored.

Cesar Augustus was a wealthy man in all but time, he never ceased to pray for rest and to retire from public affairs. Seneca wrote in On the Shortness of Life about Augustus; "So he longed for leisure, and as his hopes and thoughts dwelt on that he found relief for his labours: this was the prayer of the man who could grant the prayers of mankind."

Even a man of Augustus stature didn't fully enjoy time wealth, he could only but wish for complete freedom. Adjusted for inflation and rough estimations put Cesar Augustus personal fortune at $4.5+ Trillion ($4,500,000,000,000+) at its peak. Compare that fortune to the peak net worth of Bill Gates, adjusted for inflation, $0.15 Trillion ($150,000,000,000).

Most often we are consumed by creating other types of wealth, mainly financial wealth at the expense of freedom and we, as Seneca puts it: hustle our life along, and is troubled by a longing for the future and weariness of the present.
Instead we should spend our time on our own needs, organize our day as though it is our last and thus never long for or be fearful of the future.
This might seem counter-intuitive but there are concepts and models to understand and master in order to have little longing for freedom and be able to live how you please and neither long or fear for tomorrow.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb eloquently put it in the context of wealth; you need to have "Fuck You" money which allows you to spend your time how you want, where you want and with whom you want.

You can achieve gradual increase of time wealth by:

  • Understand that time is finite > Living as if time is an infinite resource
  • Work towards not having to trade time for money > Staying in conventional job structure
  • Grow assets outside of your traditional job structure; investments, stocks, real estate, passion based side projects > Only save money made by trading time or worse spend all the money
  • Create long term goals > Short term gratifications; party, shopping, drugs and overall debauchery

As with financial wealth, time wealth is relative. It can easily be achieved to some degree and can be achieved to a high degree by refraining from being stupid and follow the fundamentals with a strong emphasis on long term goals, growing assets and staying healthy.

A person’s worth is measured by the worth of what he values. - Marcus Aurelius

Easily Achievable Signs of Time Wealth

  • You can go to bed and wake up when you want to
  • You can take naps whenever you want to
  • You have time to read 1-2+ hours every day
  • You have time to exercise
  • A short commute