Today I want to share an article that will change the way you think about money: The ladders of wealth creation by Nathan Barry

We don't typically think of "growing wealth" as a skill that you can improve. I've always taken it to be an outcome of the other things you are doing. But on reflection, why not treat it like a skill?


When you want to learn piano, or volleyball, or poker, you would surely think of it like a sliding scale you can move up on. You typically start at zero with no skill, then you learn and practice, and work your way along a linear axis towards greater skill.

We can think about "building wealth" similarly – as a skill we can improve. The first step on this sliding scale is something like "exchanging your time for money", and the final step is something like "owning a marketplace / platform" (like the App Store) which gives you a regular income without having to actively create products.

Nathan frames this axis into 4 ladders of wealth creation, as a helpful way of grouping similar steps (e.g. "hourly wage" vs. "monthly salary" are both examples of exchanging time for money, but a salary is more reliable).

My 3 takeaways

  • Building wealth is a skill you can improve. As with every skill, you can pin-point specific things you need to do to get to the next stage (e.g. "learn musical scales" for learning piano, "learn to register a company" for setting up your own business)
  • You should invest your savings into yourself and in improving your wealth creation toolkit
  • There is a limit to the wealth you can build simply exchanging time for money. The key is to move to a better "ladder", e.g. selling services

Do have a read of Nathan's article and let me know what you think!