Library of ideas
Library of Ideas

crucible of experience
Crucible of Experience

stairway to a fortune
Stairway to a Fortune

Treasury of Tales
Treasury of Tales

Vault of Old Videos
Vault of Old Videos

Portfolio of Motivation
Portfolio of Motivation

Table of Negotiation
Table of Negotiation

Additional articles:

Get Rich After Retirement

Never Break the Copper Rule!

Barter Page

Step Nine to a Fortune:

picture of a gambler betting money

Painting of Betting the Rent by D.Bell

Experiment Title

Finding Another Bag of Aluminum Cans


I want to make money, but even more important is helping others learn to make money.  There are so many scams available, and so many victims of those scams as working class people keep trying to find a way to success that just never happens for them. 

My brother was having some problems and I shared my ideas on penny capitalism with him.  He was excited for a while but after he had gathered several bags of  aluminum cans, he just grew tired of it all. 

It is hard to make the connection between picking up aluminum cans and two million dollars, but it is even harder keeping that vision once you've acted on it.

My brother lost faith in the whole idea. He left his bag of aluminum cans  with me and said, “You can keep the cans!  It's your dream, not mine.

The picture I used to illustrate this step is an oil painting my wife, D. Bell painted many years ago called, "Bettin' the Rent!"  My brother was the model for this painting, and since I didn't have any photos of the cans, I thought this would serve the purpose.



From $12.21 in reserve capital, I plan to risk up to $1.77 for a target return goal of $1.95 or greater.



If my brother doesn't want the cans he has collected,I should be able to sell them for a profit.


Finding things to buy at the lower levels is easy, but not as easy as finding a bag of aluminum cans.  While I search for things to buy cheap, I can see picking up another bag of aluminum cans.
Capital and Equipment:  What tools, equipment, or financial investment  will I need to conduct this business experiment?  I used a brother, a sack, and a truck to drive a few blocks to sell my cans.  What expenses do I expect to incur?  I probably had about 80 cents in expense for the sacks and maybe a dollar for the gas to sell the cans.



I sold my brother's cans for $17.26.  Deducting a dollar for gas and another $.80 for four garbage sacks the gross net before taxes would be $15.46.


Ending gross receipt before deductions                       $15.46




What is my expected gain?  The 10% gain that I expect to make on this step investment is scheduled to be $.18 and the experience to handle more deals at this and higher levels.   

What can I learn from this experience? Some people are blessed with more and better opportunity than others, but there is no shortage of opportunity for anyone.  Most of the opportunities we stumble upon in life have been passed over by others.  Never pass up a perfectly good opportunity just because others have rejected it.


Conclusion or Final Result

There is an ever present opportunity in Aluminum cans. In this periord of unemployment, I see the lines of people discouraged  trying to find work.  They were laid off in jobs that didn't fit the modern economy and they just do not get the message.  They keep waiting for someone to bring their old job back.

Why don't they just start picking up cans and make their own job?

Step 9 was risk up to $1.77 and sell it for more than $1.95 

  Starting capital                                     $12.21

Investment return goal                          >$1.95 with a net profit of > $.18

Initial investment                                   $.80

Total expenses                                            gas  $1.00


                                                                 Sale price $17.26



                                                                 Net gain = $15.46                                      



Ending gross capital before deductions          $27.67


I started with $13.89 in capital. I was looking to risk $1.77. When it was all over I had $27,67 before tax

35% tax of 15.46 profit= 5.41  deduct that from $27. 67 we have $22.26

after contributions of $1.55 we have $20.71 capital for investment and surplus in case something goes wrong.


Discussion:  While walking from can to can one can't help but notice there is always more opportunity (cans) than one can take advantage of.  As I pick up one can I usually can see two sometimes three cans (opportunities) in as many opposite directions.  When I choose which of those opportunities to take, by the time I reach that location yet more opportunities have presented themselves.  On and on it goes.  Some must be left for the next guy as there are just too many opportunities out there.  Only greed for "better" opportunities prevents the realization of those that are at our fingertips.

The two real life characters of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" killed a whole Kansas farm family during a robbery they planned for months before they got out of prison.  They later made more money picking up pop bottles off the side of the road that they got for killing the family.  As they awaited execution, they lamented that had they known money was that easy to get, they wouldn't have had to kill.

We are not going to pick up aluminum cans for the rest of our career, but while we do this basis act of harvesting our minds are filled with new opportunities and investment ideas.  Jot them down for future use.  The money is nice but small; there are other ways to make a little money.  The most important part of these exercises is to learn the structure of a deal from the start to the finish and to build faith in the vast variety of ways there will be for us to invest these dollars of capital we are raising.



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