One of the things I enjoy doing is looking at the search words people use to get to this website. Often I find interesting posts to write by looking at those key words. Well, a few days ago I noticed someone got to this blog by searching for the term in the headline: "How Do I Make a Million Dollars in 12 Months".
If I knew the answer to that question I wouldn't be writing a blog about personal finance, I would be too busy raking in the dough and choosing the color for the suede furniture on my yacht. Well, maybe not suede. I think leather might work better, but I digress.
Anyway, let me take a crack at that question. I have several answers, some serious, some not so much:
1. Win the California State Lottery - according to Wikipedia, your chances of winning are about 41,000,000 to 1, but somebody has got to win, right? Of course, I believe that lotteries and virtually all other forms of gambling are a form of tax on the financially challenged.
2. Have a Rich Uncle Die and Leave You a Bundle - unfortunately, unless you have a wealthy relative who is in poor health and that loves you like a son, banking on that is probably not a great strategy. There is also that tiny matter of homicide laws preventing you from helping nature along.
3. Go On American Idol - in which case you can build yourself a million dollar career by either doing very well or by being the weirdest guy around. If you are seriously searching the Internet for ways to make a million dollars in 12 months, you may actually have a shot at the latter.
OK, enough with the fun and games. Yes, there are some real world scenarios in which you could make a million dollars in 12 months. To do that, you have to either be extremely lucky, extremely knowledgeable, or more likely, a combination of both. If you are a professional at the top of your game, you might also be able to earn a cool million in one year. Some investment bankers, lawyers and doctors can make that much. Of course, if you are a member of the corporate elite, say the CEO of a Fortune 500, a million dollars is chump change for you. And if you are sitting on the next Apple iPod, YouTube or eBay, you might be able to pull off the $1M in 1 year trick.
There are many ways in which some individuals can make vast amounts of cash in a short amount of time. Those make for some excellent dinner party conversations. Sadly, for the vast majority of us middle class folks, riches are not easy to come by, and patience is the quickest road leading to financial security. If you were to ask me about saving a million dollars in 30 years, well that's a question worth discussing seriously.
If you are looking for quick ways to make a million bucks on the Internet, chances are you will run into something or someone that will offer you just what you are looking for. Chances are also that in the course of chasing down this imaginary pot of gold, you will lose much of your money to the scam artist which lured you into his trap.
Come to think of it, if you need to make a million dollars in 12 months, maybe your best bet is to become a online con man. It seems like there is a new client born every minute...