“Scared Money Don’t Make Money” Time to Start Investing

Steve Cummings

Scared Money Don't Make Money

“Scared Money Don’t Make Money” is a quote that got famous from Billy Napier. Billy Napier is an American Football coach who made this quote after asking about him going for a touchdown with seconds left before halftime instead of a field goal. The quote belongs to Young Jeezy in his track “Scared Money” from 2009. How does this relate to money or life?

The Story Behind the Quote “Scared Money Don’t Make Money”

Billy Napier, the coach of the University of Florida Gators Football team, made this quote at a halftime interview while coaching his Lousiana Rajun Cajuns. His team was hosting Ohio University, and with seconds left and a few yards to go, he decided to go for the touchdown instead of the field goal. His team was up 14-3 at that time, and if he was more conservative, he would have gotten the easy 3 points and went into halftime up 17-3. 

He decided to go for the touchdown. In the end, they got the touchdown. Billy Napier was asked why he did it, and he answered, “Scared Money Don’t Make Money.” 

As the University of Florida was courting Billy Napier to become the next head coach, many people tweeted and repeated this quote. 

If you think about it, this quote has a lot to do with our money. If you are scared to take a risk, you may never make anything out of it. Billy Napier took a chance and made things work. 

An Investing Philosophy:

“Scared Money Don’t Make Money” investing philosophy can be summed up quite quickly into you can’t be afraid to lose money to see significant returns in the long run. This is basic investing. 

With a scarcity mindset, you are thinking about holding onto your money and never letting go, which can be detrimental to your health and wealth. With unnecessary stress, the scarcity mindset starts to affect the way you interact with people. You will be thinking of being cheap instead of frugal, which can cost you relationships and opportunities. 

So many times, I have talked to people that do not trust investing. It is because it is risky. Risky things can bring stress to our lives. We could lose money in the investments or even our families. That is completely true. 

Having all of your money sitting in a bank is risky as well. In 2021, the inflation rate was around 6.2% from October 2020 to October 2021. The bank is offering an interest rate of up to 0.50% on your money, and most banks will give you less than that. 

Your choices come down to a couple of things. First, you need to think about riskier being conservative and leaving your money in the bank or being a little dangerous and investing it. 

It gets even riskier for not knowing what you are doing, so financial education is vital. Here is the thing, Scared Money Don’t Make Money. The quote talks about people being scared will never take a chance, and taking risks can provide returns. 

Investing Risks and Rewards

Investing is full of risks and rewards. One day you are up, and the next, you are down. If you are afraid of the day-to-day operations of your investment, that stress will cause you to panic one day, and you are at a loss. This is the reason I stick with what I know. 

Warren Buffett once said “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” If you are unaware of what you are doing, you may fail. The risk is minimized as you learn, study, and figure out what you are doing. That is the point that you have to go out and not be scared. 

One way I minimize the risk is I invest with index funds like Vanguard Index Funds. These index funds help to minimize the risk associated with investing. With a total market index fund like VTSAX, you will own a piece of every company in the U.S. stock market. If you want to have a part of the top 500 companies, you can have an index fund like VFIAX. As in VTSAX and VFIAX, these two index funds can help minimize your risk in investing in the stock market. It allows you to capture great returns, and through diversification, you will have less risk. 

Why is Investing Needed?

Investing is the simplest way to create wealth. We can work our whole life to save money, pay off our mortgage, and still be behind. The average American is saving anywhere from 7-10% of their money. 

Fidelity wrote a post about how much you should save each year. They said you should save around 15% each year starting at age 25 to hit a good retirement by age 67. I wrote a post about how much is enough talking about how much you think is enough to stop working.

Thinking about these two things, if you want to be set in life you need to invest your money. Through the investment of your money, you will see it grow. The growth that will be done on your money will start to snowball and the compounding interest that will affect your money will create something powerful. Scared Money Don't Make Money.

The Power of Compound Interest. 

So compound interest is the interest that is added to your investment. So if I invest $1000 a month for 20 years with a return of 7%, that would come out to $526,382. 

You invested a total of $240,000 and made more than double that in 20 years. If you told me this when I was 20 years old, I would have been investing a ton of money until I thought I had enough to quit working. At age 20, investing just $12,000 a year until you hit age 40, you would have half a million dollars. That is incredible. 

Investing your money allows it to grow. You cannot depend on the banks to make your money grow. The banks are investing your money into other projects because they know the power of investing. 

It would help if you started investing your money today. I remember Scared money don't make money, and if you have scared money, it won't make you anything. 

So If you are looking for ways to invest your money, here are a couple that can help you.

7 Ways to Start Investing Your Money Today:

1. Invest in Yourself

Investing in yourself is something that will reap benefits faster than you think. This can be as simple as reading a few books, taking some courses, and learning more about a subject to help you with a job. Being able to put your money into improving yourself will reap benefits. 

You can start to work out by going to the gym. This costs money and time, but these two things will help you feel better about yourself and make your confidence go up. 

Increasing your skills can make you look better in the work environment. It will help you to get promotions or to go out and find a better job. The possibilities are endless.

2. Index Funds

Index funds are a great place to start investing today. Scared Money Don’t Make Money, so start making some money for your future by investing in the stock market. Through investing in index funds, you will be able to invest in the whole market. This can be done by simply investing in a total stock market index fund like VTSAX or FZROX. These are two popular index funds. 

If you want, you can look at Vanguard Index Funds or Fidelity Zero Funds. These funds are some of the best on the market, and they can help you create a great portfolio to get you started. 

3. REITs

If stocks are not your thing and you want a piece of real estate without buying a physical location, you can start with REITs. REITs are real estate investemnt trusts. It is a company that buys a bunch of real estate but gives the profits to the investors as a dividend. Dividends can be a great way to get your money working for you. 

Truly being scared to get your money working for you should not be an excuse. REITs are a great way to get a return back from your investment. 

4. Real Estate

Real Estate is the next place to invest your money. Scared money don’t make money in real estate. You have to study, learn, and start. By having a plan, and not letting your money sit on the sideline, you can buy up millions of dollars in real estate and continue to reap the benefits from it. 

It may not always be the best investment for everyone, but you must try something with your money. You cannot let it sit on the sideline, earning almost nothing. 

5. A Business

Starting a business can be a risky opportunity, but we are not talking about not taking risks. We want to start being a bit riskier with our money to see a return on our investment. No matter what you do, you need to put your money into something to grow it. 

With a business, you cannot make something survive on a shoestring budget. Yes, it is possible, but you must put in the time and effort to push it to create revenue and a profit. This can also take e-money. You cannot be scared to make decisions that will cost additional funds. Not everything can magically get off the floor without an investment. 

I started this blog, The Frugal Expat, to help people with finances and travel. Through investing in it, it has grown more than I expected. I joined a blogging group called the Money Mix mastermind group (Here is my affiliate link if you want to join, and they have helped my blogging get even better. So investing in a business takes upfront capital.

Jeff Bezos started Amazon with the financial support of his parents. Without his parents believing in this project, Amazon may not be around today.  Scared Money Don't Make Money.

6. A Website

A website is something reasonably cheap to start. You can easily buy a domain, create a website, and get it going with the snap of some fingers. The things that will derail the website are if you fail to invest in it. Websites may need professional help to look good, and it may take some money and time to get this website booming quickly. 

You need to take this site and do your best to grow and mature it, which will take an investment of time and money. 

7. Cryptocurrency

Crypto is something that everyone is talking about. It is the future that is coming at us fast. Now crypto is a risky field if you do not know what you are doing. So it can scare a lot of us off. Scared Money Don’t Make Money. If you try to invest in crypto, you can start now. 

Maybe start with a little to learn what you are doing. Then dive into some books to learn how to do more. The more you know the better your investment will become. 

Final Thoughts:

We talk about investing money. There is always the risk of losing money, and it is that riskier investing your money instead of keeping it inside a bank. I think it is better to use your money as a tool to create wealth. 

At the beginning, of this article, I talked about Billy Napier. He wants to work with people that aren’t scared of going all in. The thought about investing in a football program to reap huge benefits is what the University of Florida needed to hear. 

This is also what we need to hear. If you want to do something big you need to invest in it. If you're going to retire early, invest. If you're going to build a business, invest in it. It can be so simple. Just stop being scared with your money and start making it work for you by investing it. 

Scared Money Don’t Make Money

5 thoughts on ““Scared Money Don’t Make Money” Time to Start Investing”

  1. Great post.
    A couple thoughts.

    Money in a savings account earning well under .50% is risky due to inflation.
    I agree, but many people would be very smart to do just this.
    I am thinking of athletes that lose millions in starting restaurants (for example).

    Steve, “The average American is saving anywhere from 7-10% of their money. ”
    Gary, This surprises me because 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
    50% of Americans can not cover a $400 unexpected expense.

    Steve, “At age 20, investing just $12,000 a year until you hit age 40, you would have half a million dollars. That is incredible.”
    Gary, I suspect very very few people will invest 1,000 a month – 12,000 a year.
    If you invest 200, 250 a month for 40 years @ 7% rate of return, that will be Incredible.

    And finally, to reduce fear of investment loss….dollar cost average.
    Invest 200, 250, 300, 1000 a month – month after month, year after year.
    Do NOT try to time the marker.
    I think Sir John Templeton observed, “Time in the market will make you rich; not timing the market!”

    • Hi Gary!

      Thank you for reading and posting some great information.

      First of all, I agree with you on the savings account as well. I keep money in one for an emergency fund. As you pointed out that a lot of people live paycheck to paycheck and have a difficulty paying off debt.

      The savings rate has been an average of 7% for a long time and usually goes up during a time of financial turmoil. I saw that 78% percent, but according to Nielsen, the American Payroll Association, CareerBuilder, and the NEFE the paycheck to paycheck is anywhere between 50-78%. I have seen other places say 54% and some say 63%. Yes any proportion of people over 50% is not good news. This is also an average. So if people like you and I save a large portion of money that amount with average out with those that are saving 0%.

      You are right about investing. The hardest thing is to start investing. $1000 a month is incredibly hard, but I guess I was thinking in the mode of not being scared to invest. I know plenty of people that just allow their money to sit in the bank because they are scared of investing. Most average Americans should start easier with a lower amount and increase it. As the money continues to grow and their confidence also continues to grow they can do more. Time in the market is much better than timing the market. The earlier you start the better off you will be.

      Thank you Gary for your insightful wisdom and knowledge.

      • Steve,
        You make great points.

        I threw this out “78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck” but, I did NOT check multiple sources to verify.
        I clearly see now my number was inaccurate.
        My intent was not to mislead.

        You know plenty of people with money in the bank that are scared to invest.
        That is interesting. I suspect they need knowledge and information.

        I have a tiny suspicion. They might be wary of financial advisors – for good reason.
        Refer them to The Frugal Expat!!

        • Thanks Gary!

          I know your intentions are not to mislead. I saw the same stat on Twitter just today. It is a massive percentage of the population lives paycheck to paycheck.

          I think the people I know that are wary are those that do not have the knowledge, time, or the willingness to learn about investing. One friend I know saw his dad lose a lot of money day trading as a child so he just keeps all of his money in a bank. This guy has like 6 figures sitting in a bank account.

          I keep marketing and sending articles to my friends and family. The good news is that a lot of them are reading them so that is huge plus.

          Thank you again.


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