How To Get Rich, According to Mark Cuban

In 2008, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban wrote a post on how to get rich.

In 2011, this same billionaire re-posted it again as the economy continued to go south.

That same year Business Insider syndicated it, a handful of other major media ran with it, and then the highly regarded financial outlet, Budgets Are Sexy, smartly covered it too ;)

As I sit here in the wee beginnings of 2016, I’m left to ponder: does his advice still relate today? Does this billionaire still have his billions, and therefore any smart person should listen up and take notes? Has money really changed over the course of the last 8 years?

I think we know the answer to these, but just for giggles why don’t we re-share them here and see what we’ve got ;) And for those who don’t know who Mr. Cuban is, you can check out his wiki here, but in a nutshell he’s a wildly successful entrepreneur who owns a number of businesses (Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures), and is routinely featured in cult shows such as Shark Tank, Dancing With The Stars, Entourage from back in the day, and in fact my new favorite rap song out right now: $ave Dat Money.

See if you can spot him! (NSFW, but very clever!)


Now let’s see what these nuggets are…

We’ll start with my favorite clip from the whole article:

“There are no shortcuts. NONE. With all of this craziness in the stock and financial markets, there will be scams popping up left and right. The less money you have, the more likely someone will come at you with some scheme. The schemes will guarantee returns, use multi-level marketing, or be something crazy that is now “backed by the US Government.” Please ignore them. Always remember this: if a deal is a great deal, they aren’t going to share it with you.”

BOOM! Very much still accurate! Especially on the scheming and “getting in” on a great deal scenario – something I’ve never forgotten since first hearing that. If the deals were so great, why are they always talked about by those not wealthy themselves??

Another one:

“So what should you do to get rich? Save your money. Save as much money as you possibly can. Every penny you can. Instead of coffee, drink water. Instead of going to McDonalds, eat Mac and Cheese.”

True true… not the most fun way to save up money, but yes – all still valid :)

“Cut up your credit cards. If you use a credit card, you don’t want to be rich. The first step to getting rich, requires discipline. If you really want to be rich, you need to find the discipline, can you?”

Raining even more truth up in here! Haha… I’ll politely disagree on not wanting to be rich if you use a card *ahem*, but by and large – yes. It’s all about that discipline (that discipline, that discipline…).

Let’s keep going…

“If you can, you will quickly find that the greatest rate of return you will earn is on your own personal spending. Being a smart shopper is the first step to getting rich. Yeah you have to give things up and that doesn’t work for everyone, particularly if you have a family. That is reality. But whatever you can save, save it. As much as you possibly can. Then put it in 6 month CDs in the bank.”

Side 1 of the whole wealth game eh? Expenses. With the other one being “bring in more money,” of course. I don’t know about the whole CD thing, but still sound advice overall.

“The first step to getting rich is having cash available. You aren’t saving for retirement. You are saving for the moment you need cash. Buy and hold is a suckers game for you. This market is a perfect example. Right at the very moment when cash creates unbelievable opportunity, those who followed the buy and hold strategy have no cash. They can’t or won’t sell into markets this low, that kills the entire point of buy and hold. Those who have put their money in CDs sleep well at night and definitely have more money today than they did yesterday. And because they are smart, disciplined shoppers, their personal rate of inflation is within their means. Cash is king for those wanting to get rich.”

Have I mentioned he doesn’t have a fondness towards the stock market? :) I’ll let you decipher for yourself whether you find this to be accurate or not, but personally I’d have 1/3rd the amount of money as I do now had I been sitting on the sidelines with cash the whole time… Regardless, hoarding it is a lot better than spending it so whichever strategy you choose you’ll reach the finish line much sooner than later.

“The 2nd rule for getting rich is getting smart. Investing your time in yourself and becoming knowledgeable about the business of something you really love to do… Before or after work and on weekends, every single day, read everything there is to read about the business. Go to trade shows, read the trade magazines, spend a lot of time talking to the people you do business with about their business and the people they buy from.”

Yep! The more you know the better shot at succeeding! And the more hustle you’ve got inside you the better as well. (See: 50+ ways to make money on the side if you’re needing ideas)


“This is not a short term project. We aren’t talking days. We aren’t talking months. We are talking years. Lots of years and maybe decades. I didn’t say this was a get rich quick scheme. This is a get rich path.”

Daaaayum. Tell ’em Mark!

So all very much accurate even 8 years later… Even if some are a bit more questionable ;)

Highly advise checking out the whole article if you can as he goes into a lot more with the hustling mentality and what to look for when getting into businesses too. Perfect for anyone starting out in the “get my $hit together” camp ;) And his no B.S. talk is really refreshing! If only others would keep it as real! (They don’t because they get tons of haters in the process, but I guess if you’re worth billions you don’t really care, do you?)

Also came across this article when trying to dig up the original one: Mark Cuban’s advice for whoever wins the $1.4 billion Powerball lottery. Lots of what you’d expect, but there were a few lines in it that caught my attention:

  • “If you weren’t happy yesterday, you won’t be happy tomorrow. It’s money. It’s not happiness.”
  • “Tell all your friends and relatives no. They will ask. Tell them no. If you are close to them, you already know who needs help and what they need. Feel free to help SOME, but talk to your accountant before you do anything and remember this, no one needs $1 million for anything. No one needs $100,000 for anything. Anyone who asks is not your friend.”
  • “You don’t become a smart investor when you win the lottery. Don’t make investments. You can put it in the bank and live comfortably. Forever. You will sleep a lot better knowing you won’t lose money.”
  • “Be nice. No one likes a mean billionaire. :)”

Good food for thought whether you like him or not!


PS: He used to eat mustard and ketchup sandwiches back in the day before he “made it,” haha… Just proving yet again that we all start from the bottom!

[Photo of Cuban by TechCrunch // Doodles expertly applied by J$]

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  1. Thias @It Pays Dividends January 13, 2016 at 6:04 AM

    I love Cuban! Even if I don’t always agree with his ideas on things, he definitely brings the passion. Also, I’m sure he hates the stock market for the same reasons James Altucher says to not invest in your 401k – they are entrepreneurs. They want to create companies and invest in opportunities that come up quickly. You can’t always do that if your money is locked up in a 401k. Overall, it is terrible advice for 99% of the people out there which is why I hate it when people make such broad statements when the advice really only applies to a small part of the population.

    I do love his advice on winning the Powerball. I will have to follow it once we win tonight ;)

    1. J. Money January 13, 2016 at 7:40 AM

      Haha yup! They’re risky with their money too, just in a different way than most of us even have access to. I guess they just dumb it down for us normal folk ;)

  2. Alex January 13, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    Great article. I like Cuban as he true is a rags to riches type story vs the “I was born rich and made myself richer” persona.

    I think his point of the 6 months cds is that you put it away somewhere that gets you a little interest but you cant have easy access to it. Sure, you can get it in 6 months if you have a major purchase (like a car/house) or an unexpected major expense comes up. But having it in a CD vs a savings account (traditional or online) means that when you want to buy a new outfit or the latest video game, you wont be able to tap into that money to make that questionably necessary purchase (not saying clothes and video games cant be bought, just that you should buy them sparingly and as needed, as opposed to chasing the latest fashion trends or buying whatever new game came out this week).

    1. J. Money January 13, 2016 at 7:41 AM

      Yup, yup – that’s a fair statement indeed. It also works the same way when your money is in a 401(k) or IRA too. The more penalties the better so you won’t be tempted! (Only your $$ grows a lot faster over the years :))

  3. Roy Largo @ Band of Savers January 13, 2016 at 7:21 AM

    Loved it. I was glad to see that so much of his advice was focused around using saving as the lead wealth building tool. Cuban, Franklin, Largo, J.Money, … we got savers all over the place don’t we. Thanks for sharing his sound advice.

    1. Roy Largo @ Band of Savers January 13, 2016 at 7:38 AM

      I just went and read his entire article and found another quote that I thought was worth sharing as well, he says, “Getting there requires being ready when opportunity presents itself.” This reminded me of Ford’s definition of Luck being when Preparation meets Opportunity. Once in a life time opportunities come our way all the time but if we haven’t prepared for them and can’t identify them, or have the money or knowledge to capitalize of it we will never know the chance we were presented with.

      1. J. Money January 13, 2016 at 7:43 AM

        YES! Should have totally included that one in the mix – good call.

  4. Brian @DebtDiscipline January 13, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    He was just in the news again this week with advice for the powerball winner. I’d take his advice.

  5. Mrs. Mad Money Monster January 13, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    I think he makes very good points. Whether or not they’re the BEST options is questionable. But, his advice is definitely better than spending, spending, and spending. I’m excited to watch the clip later today. He’s a great motivator. Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

  6. Des @ Half Banked January 13, 2016 at 8:25 AM

    This is awesome, J! And honestly, this music video? IS GOLD. I am giggling at my computer and I’m sure my other early-bird coworkers think I’m nuts, but it’s so good (obviously, I’m rocking the requisite headphones, otherwise they’d probably be laughing too.) I’m off to check out the article about his advice for the Powerball winner – even though, as a Canadian who would have to drive 1.5 hours to score a ticket, I’m somewhat exempt from the madness and am currently ticket-less!

    1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:34 PM

      Glad you like!! I’ve been blasting it at least once a week for months now… so catchy! :)

  7. Hannah January 13, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    I think one of the things that advice givers and receivers often forget is that there are three degrees of magnitude between millionaires and billionaires.

    Do you want to be a millionaire? Live like a millionaire. Live frugally, and regularly invest the difference.

    Do you want to be a billionaire? Live like a billionaire. Work like crazy when nobody believes in you. Go all in on your ideas. Bounce back from defeat after defeat as if you’re riding a tidal wave of victory. Marry someone who is much better looking than you and believes in your crazy ideas as much as you do (or get married after you’re a billionaire, but still to someone who is better looking than you).

  8. Mike @ January 13, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    I have a dysfunctional relationship with the stock market. On one hand I get in the Warren Buffett mindset and think Buy and Hold!!! Then other days I think “This whole thing is one big scam… it’s not real!”…. I honestly don’t really know what’s the right answer. I’m sure it’s some where between Warren and Mark. Someday I may figure it out for myself.

    1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:37 PM

      The timing of when you get in and when you get out changes everything too :) If you stay for 4 days it’s probably a scam, if you stay in for 40 years it’s probably genius haha… But hopefully whether you like/agree w/ the market or not, you’re at least investing your money *somewhere*.

  9. Dividend Growth Investor January 13, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    While Cuban is a very successful entrepreneur, and I like this article by J$ ( and the article he is quoting), there are some items that Cuban states that are just… wrong.

    For example, Cuban has stated that diversification is for idiots. And he is not a big fan of buy and hold.

    The funny thing is that the timing of saying that ( in 2011) was pretty bad.

    1. Nate January 14, 2016 at 11:59 AM

      I think context matters here.

      For an entrepreneur who wants to build a highly scalable business with the goal of becoming a multi-millionaire within the next 5-10 years, then Cuban is right – diversification and buy/hold makes no sense. The way to achieve success in that context is to focus all of your energy and resources on 1 thing.

      For someone with a day job or small business who’s goal is to achieve financial independence comfortably and not to become “rich”, then diversification/buy and hold makes good sense.

      1. Dividend Growth Investor January 19, 2016 at 1:55 PM


        The comment from myself, from Bogle, and from others, relates to Mark Cuban promoting the idea of active short-term trading rather than having a diversified portfolio with minimal trading.

        The comment had nothing to do with being an entrepreneur.

        Perhaps if you had given the context of my comment at least a tiny little bit of thought, you would not have made your comment in the first place.

        1. Nate January 21, 2016 at 2:31 PM

          I have actually given it a “tiny bit of thought” given that I’ve been reading Cuban’s blog since the 00s, but fair enough – I did hit reply to your comment and didn’t directly address the click bait, cherry-picked headlines you and Jack were referring to.

          This is mass media, so take the “diversification of idiots” and “buy and hold is a crock of sh*t” quotes with a grain of salt. Marc Cuban is an opinionated guy and he has a tendency to give mass media the controversial sound-bites they LOVE, even when his actual thoughts are more nuanced.

          Let’s look at what the context of what he says in the WSJ interview:

          First of all, Cuban says “buy and hold is a crock of sh*t”, but the context is that he’s disagreeing with what everyone tells HIM he should do as an investor. He personally disagrees with the idea that you ALWAYS have to invest your cash in the market. He’d rather sleep at night and keep his money in cash most of the time, unless he feels he has an edge somewhere.

          Later in the interview he circles back to this and acknowledges that this might only work for him because he doesn’t need to live off of his investing returns. For him, “buy and hold is a crock of sh*t” because it implies you always need to have cash in the market. But for Marc Cuban, the 2% he might lose to inflation seems to be less of a concern to him than having his networth fluctuate by 200-300 million during a correction.

          It seems reasonable to me that Cuban with his resources has a different approach to investing than someone making 80k a year trying to retire in 10 years.

          Then, Marc Cuban says specifically that the average investor these days SHOULDN’T be actively trading because they’re competing against huge hedge funds and algorithms that have all the edges. He says he’s been warning people against actively trading since the mid 00s.

          Here’s another sound-bite WSJ could have used for the headline:

          “There really aren’t advantages for the individual trader”

          Funny that the WSJ didn’t pick this as a headline. Not controversial enough.

          He includes himself as an “individual trader” and says unless he knows something specific, he will keep it in cash. He acknowledges that he’s in a different position than most people, because he’s not relying on investing returns to pay the bills.

          He does go into some moves he’s made personally when he thinks he ha an edge, but even when pressed by the interviewer, he never suggests anyone else should try to copy him.

          The interviewer gets tired of hearing about what Marc Cuban does, so he pushes Marc to tell him how “john and sally doe” should invest.

          Here is Cuban’s actual, non-soundbite advice in the interview where he was quoted as saying “buy and hold is a crock of sh*t” and “diversification is for idiots”:

          1. He says it really depends on how much money you have. He uses 50k cash as an example, and says this is what he would suggest:
          2. First thing you should do is pay off all credit cards because it’s costing you 18%, but most don’t. He references the tremendous amount of credit card/student loan debt the US has.
          3. Use the transactional value of cash. Basically keep lots of cash and buy stuff when it’s on sale and stock up because it’s a guaranteed return. It’s actually hilarious to hear Marc Cuban talking about stocking up on toothpaste like a Frugal mommy blogger on the WSJ.
          4. He says you should concentrate on your budget and analyze your spending habits instead of worrying bout investing, since that’s a guaranteed return.

          Basically, all the exact same stuff he wrote in his “how to get rich” blog post from years ago.

          At this point, the interviewer is sick of all this boring, sensible personal finance stuff, and presses him on what he thinks the average investor should do with their money if they HAD to get a return.

          But Marc Cuban disagrees with his premise that you need to get a return. He says he’d rather sleep well at night, but ACKNOWLEDGES that he’s in a different position than most where he doesn’t have to live off of the 1% return on cash.

          So basically, Marc Cuban thinks the average investor should pay down debt and focus on personal finance instead of worrying about squeezing out a return in the market. He thinks the market is being abused by hedge funds and algorithmic trading.

          When forced to give investing advice, he sidesteps the question and says what HE personally would do, which is hold his money in cash so he can “sleep” at night, and only invest in something where he thinks he has an edge.

          I think that’s pretty important context to keep in mind when reading those 2 quotes you’re referencing.

          1. Nate January 21, 2016 at 2:47 PM

            Also I just went back to read his original post on asset allocation and you’re totally right that he advocates against buy and hold specifically for the average investor. I didn’t remember him taking such a strong stance against asset allocation, so I guess I didn’t give my comment as much thought as I should have. My mistake.

            In my mind, I always interpreted his comments from the pov of an entrepreneur, and I agree with the general idea that you should invest in things you know whenever possible. But I do agree with you that maybe for the average investor, asset allocation and index funds is a good thing and not a wall street trick.

            1. J. Money January 23, 2016 at 3:19 PM

              Great discussion going over here y’all, love reading about all this stuff!

              1. Dividend Growth Investor January 28, 2016 at 12:56 PM

                So now I went ahead and read more on his site. There was a lot of information I actually liked so I came here to quote directly (though I am biased)

                “Ive said it before, a stock that doesnt pay dividends is valued like a baseball card. Just whatever you can sell it for. ”

                “The stockmarket used to be about investing capital in companies that came public or did secondary offerings. That money was used to create amazing businesses and return dividends back to people who truly were investors. There once was a day where most companies paid dividends higher than the interest rates on their bonds. Why ? Because stocks are inherently more risky. If a company goes belly up, bondholders collect first, shareholders usually last. People could buy and hold stocks, and get paid real cash money for being a shareholder in the company at rates far higher than the dividend yields we see today. If the company did well, the dividends went up. Investors who held, actually got all their money back in dividends at some point and the rest was gravy. The good ole days.”


  10. Abigail January 13, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Lots of good points, though I think it’s cavalier to say that you don’t care about money if you use credit cards. I think maybe you don’t care if you use cards to buy things you can’t otherwise afford, as opposed to a short term way to cover unexpected expenses, preferably just til payday. But plenty of people use cards smartly and benefit from them. And plenty of people need the backup of a card, especially of they keep their extra money in online banks to get better rates.

  11. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor January 13, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    I really appreciate that Cuban doesn’t discount the power of frugality, especially in order to save cash and get the ball rolling. I think some of his advice is divergent from the “save and hold” approach many in the FI world take because he’s got different goals. If you want to work super hard in a business you love and get super rich, his advice applies. If you just want to quit the race early, you might take a different approach. Great food for thought, J!

    1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:39 PM

      I like the stuff that makes us think :)

  12. ESI Money January 13, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    He certainly tells it like it is!

    It’s really doing the basics — spending less than you earn (the larger the gap the better) and investing for a decent return (not a 30% proposed return as part of a scam). Do that for 30-40 years and you’ll see your wealth grow and grow.

    Not sure that’s “sexy”, but it does work. :)

  13. cecilia buyswheeler gunther January 13, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    And probably the bottom line of all that is a point you brought up the other day. If you go without (coffee, lunch in town, new pair of knickers) to save 10 dollars, SAVE the ten dollars into a different account (or wallet – or envelope or mattress) but separate it from your daily spending money or it will not have been saved. This is one idea that really resonated with me. Thank you for this. Great article – will share.. c

    1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:40 PM

      Exactly! So glad you took that away with you, Cecilia. Such a bit part that people often forget!

  14. Justin @ Root of Good January 13, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Great advice from Mark Cuban. I love listening to wealthy people who have actually achieved something, since their advice comes from experience. Though yeah, I don’t agree with everything he says. Much of it seems geared to complete financial novices instead of those already on the path to building wealth.

  15. Tiffany Alexy January 13, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Yes, I love this! I don’t necessarily agree that buy-and-hold is a fool’s game, but there is much to be said about having cash available to take advantage of certain opportunities.

  16. Crystal January 13, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    I love his advice for the Power Ball winner. It’s spot on what I would want to tell anyone receiving large sums of money…

  17. Harmony January 13, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Cuban has a lot of good, practical advice. Much of it seems to be based on the concept of self-awareness. You need a plan and to really think about where all of your money is going, in order to get rich. The other requirement is diligence. These are great things to keep in mind as we all get pumped for making the most of 2016.

  18. Fervent Finance January 13, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    I’m a huge Mark Cuban fan. He actually has a short book which is a bunch of his best blog entries edited to book format. It’s short (about 75 pages) and I read it on one flight. I thought it was great for what it was, and recommend it.

    1. Alison January 13, 2016 at 6:17 PM

      Interesting- thanks for sharing. I will try to check it out!

      1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:40 PM

        Yeah, I didn’t know that existed? Very cool

  19. Tawcan January 13, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    I’ve always loved Cuban for his no-BS type of attitude. He certainly provides a lot of good, practical advice. Great reminder.

  20. Formative Fortunes January 13, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    Mark Cuban really did a good job with connecting to the everyday citizen here. Gives me hope to continue to save and make smart investments!

  21. Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility January 14, 2016 at 1:24 AM

    I’ll have to do more reading on Mark Cuban guy, he sounds interesting. I’m not sure entirely agree with his take on stocks but really, he’s the millionaire – not I

    1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:42 PM

      People typically love him or hate him :) He’s pretty feisty and tends to say whatever’s on his mind, haha….

  22. Michelle January 14, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    I don’t really know that much about Mark Cuban other than he owns the Miami Heat (?) and is on that show…it’s clear that I need to read what he has been writing because I agreed with all of the comments that you shared (that he made)…except for the stocks. Now I need to read his whole story!

  23. Free to Pursue January 14, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    Anyone who’s a straight-talkin’-mustard-‘n-ketchup-sandwich-eatin’ saver is alright in my books. Bet you he had water with that.

    I’ll pay more attention to what he has to say from now on. Thanks for highlighting him.

  24. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar January 14, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    I love Mark Cuban. Such a down to earth billionaire.

    1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:43 PM

      He’s always talking about how he’s the luckiest mother f’er on Earth and taking advantage of it each day :)

  25. Brian Robben January 16, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    The comment Mark Cuban said about it being a get rich path, and not a get rich quick scheme was perfect! Solid dissection of his comments J. Money.

  26. NDQ January 16, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    The Cuban post was timely in 2008 and still today. Hard work and discipline create the luck that will always win. Thank you for posting.


  27. Rob @ Money Nomad January 16, 2016 at 11:04 PM

    Great advice J Money – thanks for pulling out the gems for us. I still don’t agree with the credit card and stock market views – but I get the points he is trying to make. 1) don’t borrow money for personal expenses, 2) money invested in your own businesses can return much more than money in the market.

  28. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank January 17, 2016 at 1:59 AM

    A good attitude is really a factor in getting rich. It’s like without it, you would have a hard time getting rich. Be nice to everyone even if you’re the richest person on earth.

  29. Debtman January 17, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    Sharktank is one of my “boring” tv guilty pleasures. Mark Cuban rocks. The stock market has me nervous to invest at the moment in Canada.

    1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:45 PM

      Hopefully you’re investing your money *somewhere* vs nowhere! It doesn’t have to be the markets, but holding on to cash in the long run loses money :( Though it does feel safer (and good to have a certain amount set aside for emergencies/daily living/etc)

  30. Stockbeard January 19, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    Awesome, I didn’t know the guy, but now I think I’ve found a new blog to add to my daily reads, thanks!


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