Everyone gets opportunities to make more money. But most people either aren’t equipped to take them, or don’t see them. Missed opportunities keep you poor.
Money opportunities can be small and incremental, like buying a stock when it’s cheap or changing jobs. On their own they won’t make you rich, but taking your opportunities day after day will soon add up.
The problem is, to take advantage of most money opportunities you need to already have some money to fall back on – enough cash and investments to give you the balls to take a risk.
This is your Freedom Fund, which looked at through a different lens is really an Opportunity Fund.
This article should help you to capitalise on the opportunities that life throws at us, and tell you why you need an Opportunity Fund – and why having one of any size makes the difference between being too afraid to make money, versus having the confidence to get rich.
Your Opportunity Fund
At its heart, the Freedom Fund that you hopefully have stored under your metaphorical mattress is there to pay you an income and also to allow you to take advantage of life’s opportunities.
If you see an investment worth buying, or a career or business opportunity worth taking, the fear of loss will stop most people.
A Freedom Fund – or Opportunities Fund as we’re calling it today – is there to be used to pursue opportunities. Not risked recklessly, but used in a targeted way.
Opportunities to make or save money come along daily and can compound to make you much better off, but you need to be zen enough with your cash situation to risk putting some on the line to make more.
With our own Opportunity Funds, we’ve found we grow more relaxed about making money the bigger it gets.
What An Opportunity Fund Buys You
#1 – Better Jobs
At the smaller end of the scale, your Opportunity Fund gives you the confidence needed to change jobs or change careers, as you have assets and maybe even investment income to fall back on.
It’s all about being able to politely tell your boss that you no longer have need of their employment, and will be going off to pursue better options.
Finding a new job is a chore, and finding a good one that’s worth trading your life in for should be given some serious effort to find. It’s not something that’s easy to do whilst already in a job.
In our view, with jobs it’s best to first quit, then give 100% of your time and brain power over to the search for a replacement, climbing higher up the career ladder as you do so.
We’ve only been able to do this because we had Opportunity Funds to catch us, and genuinely believe our strong career paths were made possible by the comfort of having that cash buffer.
#2 – Better Investments
You want to be in a position where you never again have to turn down an investment opportunity because you’re living on the breadline.
It’s not just poor people who live like this – half the middle class families that we know are living pay check to pay check.
It can take time to learn how to start investing, and it would be disheartening to not be able to put theory into practise.
If the FTSE 100 falls to 10-year lows, like it did in 2020, you know in your bones that you should be putting some of your spare cash into buying a FTSE 100 index fund while it’s cheap.
But if you don’t have an Opportunity Fund, you can’t do what’s necessary to help yourself – in this case reallocating some resources into the FTSE 100. It’s just another chance you missed out on to get ahead.
With a decent sized Opportunity Fund you can also take advantage of riskier investments like small-cap stocks and property. Those with a small or non-existent Opportunity Fund must take safe harbour in less volatile and less rewarding investments instead.
With property, it’s more about the investment being expensive to buy in the first place, and that it may need funds to maintain.
If you go through an untenanted period, or the roof leaks, you need a pile of cash to fall back on. It’s the type of investment you’d only buy if you also had some spare cash set aside for (possibly quite literally) rainy days.
#3 – Better Side Hustles
Side hustles are becoming more popular as a way of making extra money in these troubled times, with the Independent reporting that 20% of people already do things like dog walking and selling old clothes and gadgets to top up their bank balances, and a further 25% wanting to start a side hustle.
These are the types of hustle you might do if you had no capital behind you. After all, anyone can walk a dog or sell some junk.
But side hustles are not limited to the financially challenged. If you’ve first built up a decent sized Opportunity Fund, you could start a far more profitable side hustle.
With a bit of investment into monthly web-hosting fees you could open an online shop to sell your bits and bobs – by buying a van with a nice paint job, some equipment and paying a helper or 2, you could have a dog walking business catering for hundreds of dogs.
Essentially, if you commit yourself and your finances to a side hustle, it can turn into a business that replaces your job.
“But a new business is not guaranteed to make enough money to live on”, most will say. Exactly. This is why the confidence boost of having an Opportunity Fund is essential for taking the leap.
A lot of money management is psychological. You might have the best business idea in the world, and a plan for how to implement it, but if there’s a slight risk that it won’t make money immediately you probably wouldn’t do it.
Fear of potential loss always takes priority over excitement of potential success. It’s just human nature.
#4 – Better Business
At the larger end of the Opportunity Fund spectrum, a successful small business owner might be too scared to hire their first employee.
Do they wait to hire someone later when they can more easily afford it; or do they hire someone now while they can’t, but trust that the value created by the staff member will mean they pay for themselves?
It could be the difference between a business that grows fast versus one that stagnates.
If you have some small amount of cash set aside so you can survive for say 6 months without any payback on this employee, it’s a different decision from if you were living hand to mouth without any savings.
#5 – Better Experiences
It doesn’t have to all be about making more money. A big Opportunity Fund gives you better opportunities to have fun.
Perhaps you’re given a once in a lifetime chance to sail the world, or a mate asks you to tag along on an excursion to Antarctica to see the penguins.
Or maybe you’ve got the chance to go to the World Cup final, or your favourite singer is doing one last tour.
How Big Your Opportunity Fund Needs To Be
The answer is that any size is better than nothing. A small Opportunity Fund of £10,000 might give you the confidence to change career.
A pot of £100,000 might give you the confidence to move 30-40 grand into a rental property to leverage some of your returns by using mortgage debt.
A pot of £500,000 might kick out enough passive income that you never have to work a day again and can spend your time starting or investing in businesses.
While a pot of £10,000,000 will have people coming to you to throw equity at you, Dragon’s Den style.
The hardest part can just be getting started building that initial fund. If you were able to just save aside a few extra hundred quid a month it could soon make all the difference.
You’d be able to start taking advantage of small-scale money opportunities which further compound your wealth.
One thing we’ve both been trialling is matched betting, a risk-free process of scooping up cash bonuses offered by bookmakers by placing bets on both outcomes of an event. We’ve each made around £500 per month from it, but some people put more time into it than we can and make over £1,000 monthly.
To do this we’ve been using OddsMonkey – they collect all the bookie bonuses in one place, hold your hand while you scoop them up, with specific walk-through guides and tools for all offers.
For instance at time of writing, one bookie has an offer for £100 in free bets – OddsMonkey will walk you through how to grab this free cash, plus hundreds more offers like it.
Check out our matched betting page to read more about it and get discounts for matched betting services that you won’t get by going direct.
Other Ways To Grow Capital
Other than taking advantage of easy income enhancements, you can build up your Opportunity Fund by keeping more of what you make, which can often be done by just making better spending decisions.
Even saving up a few grand will get the ball rolling, which can then grow itself by investing it, as well as using it to grab opportunities as they arise.
Most people we know waste money on frivolous crap – it’s fine if you’re happy to take that enjoyment now, but accept that it removes your ability to take advantage of lifestyle enhancing opportunities in the future.
One of the best arguments for paying down your mortgage early is so you can free up money each month to spend on opportunities without fear.
We’ve countered this argument before by saying it’s better to lower your mortgage payments by extending your term, and use the money saved on opportunities while you’re young.
But both are better financial decisions than blowing that money on a new Range Rover.
Having an Opportunity Fund is a choice. Some people have big cars – others conservatories, holidays in California, or designer handbags.
The people who get ahead can have all of these things too, and more. They just get them later… after they’ve first built up an Opportunity Fund.
Money Leads To More Money
The old saying that you need money to make money isn’t true, but it certainly makes it easier or perhaps more accurately, makes it faster.
Money leads to more money – if you allow yourself to take your opportunities as they come.
What have you been able to do with your cash that made your finances better? Let us know your stories in the comments below!
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