I want to be a billionaire in 2 years; how can I plan that?
There are an obscene number of good answers to this, so in an effort to "add value," I will try something a bit different. First some facts:There are 1,645 billionaires in the world (2014, Wikipedia)About 2/3 or just under 1,100 of them were self-made.There are 442 billionaires in the U.S., I will assume for simplicity they were all self-made (not true).There are 7.1 billion people on the planet. There are just over 300 Million in the U.S.Now that means that unless you happen to fall into a rather sizable inheritance, all other things being equal you have a 0.00001549295% chance of becoming a billionaire. If you live in the U.S. your odds are 0.00014733333%, which is actually an order of magnitude better (now we're getting somewhere). Now, we add your constraint that you want to be a billionaire in 2 years. This changes the math considerably. I'm going to say that 4 years is close enough to two years for our game, which means that there are 5 people on the planet Earth who have done what you want to do (thank you Chris HolmesParker):Jay Walker Gary Winnick Eric LefkofskyJeff BezosMark ZuckerbergI won't bother to do the math for you, but 5 is less than 1100. That means while not impossible, your chances are better to win the lottery a dozen times in your lifetime. All that being said, a great fictional character once said, "Don't tell me the odds," so forgot all of that, and let me give you a plan:Month 1-3: First you need some money. It doesn't have to be a lot, about $5000 will do. In the U.S. you can earn that much working full time, moving in with a very understanding friend, and eating not much more than Ramen for a couple months. While you are doing that, you should be learning how to count cards and range bets (Card counting) . You should also take a few hundred bucks and open up an online brokerage account (I'll explain why later).Month 4: Fly to Vegas. Atlantic City will do in a pinch, but you want somewhere with medium-stakes Blackjack tables. If you have learned how to count cards / range bets perfectly, you will have an approximately 1% advantage over the house. You should now play your system and hope for the best. You will probably be best off changing casinos frequently to avoid getting your legs broken or yourself black listed. Assuming that you manage to do all of these things, you should be able to turn your $5000 into, say, $75,000 in about a month.Note: It is possible that you will lose everything at this point. Every time that you do, return to step one and add three months to the clock. Once again, try not to get your legs broken.Month 5: While you could stay in the Casino, chances are people are starting to get a bit suspicious of you by now, so it's time to upgrade. Also, as it stands, your losses aren't tax deductible, we need to change that as well. Over the next 2 months you will open up a trading account with a low-cost, options trading, online brokerage. Either that or you will apply for an options trading account with the brokerage you used in the first step. Your goal is to find one with very low fees. When they ask you about your trading experience (usually required for anyone trading options), you can mention your nearly 6 months of experience in equities. Also, and this is absolutely critical, make sure that they are willing to provide you with margin, the more the better. Note: In case you don't know, Margin is a relatively cheap loan that you can take out against your principal (now $75,000) to allow you to juice your returns. Month 6: My very brief research is showing me that you can probably lever up your $75,000 to $300,000 worth of buying power no problem. If you look hard enough, I bet you can do better than that. Once you get your margin in order, it's time to make a bet!Hopefully by now it's either early summer or sept/oct and the market is slumping. If you are that lucky, find an Indexed ETF (Google it) that is 3x leveraged (SPXL or TQQQ are examples for the S&P and NASDAQ respectively). Bet all of your money on slightly OTM (Out of the Money), one month options contracts for one of these indexes. If you are lucky, the market will go up and you will have made a rather sizable chunk of change for the month. Spend the next three months repeating your success. Assuming everything goes according to plan, you double down on all of your bets, and you keep your leverage at the same levels, you should have between $10-50 Million dollars by the end of this period. Note: It is entirely possible that not only will you lose your money at this point, but because you have essentially taken out $225,000 worth of loans (or substantially more later in the game), you will be in significant debt. If you find yourself in this situation, return to step one and add approximately 5 years to the timer. Month 9. Now that you are a multi-millionaire, you should probably peel off a chunk of your winnings and buy yourself a house or something. While I know the goal is to become a Billionaire, better safe than sorry, right? Your friend is probably also tired of you living on his couch. While you could stick with options trading, since you actually know very little about options trading, the longer you stay in the game, the better chance you have of losing spectacularly. Even if you did know what you were doing, your chances aren't all that good. In either case, what's fortune without fame? It's time to make you famous!You should spend the remainder of the year assembling a team. Get the absolute smartest people that you rather sizable nest egg can buy you (not too many though), and think long and hard about an idea that can make you money. This idea should:Allow you to generate huge amounts of traffic.Be in an industry that is currently hot (Internet of Things, Big Data, Bitcoin, Cloud-based something in a pinch)Be able to be produced with a relatively small team ( 10 people).Be exciting enough to garner major media attention. Be able to be developed in 3-6 months. Month 12: Since you have a small fortune to work with already, you don't really need VC. That being said, everything you do is about leverage and spending your own money at this point is stupid, so you should court some outside capital and get yourself a valuation. Since you are building something with very smart people, you have very little need for capital, and you are creating something in an industry with a lot of attention, chances are you can get some pretty decent terms. More importantly though, you will get a valuation many multiples higher than you would have otherwise. Year Two: Now that you haven't gotten this far, you just need to keep pushing. Get your product made and to market. Make sure that people love it, and if they don't, dig into your war chest and figure out what is wrong. When you have a chance to take money at a higher valuation, do it as long as the terms are no worse than your original ones. Pay your employees well enough that they don't defect, but not so well that they get lazy.Make sure that the press knows your story. Seriously, at this point you are pretty much a miracle. Even if your product did nothing, you would get a few stories out of that. Keep an eye on your valuation, make sure that whenever new money comes in the door, you are not losing too much equity and you are levering up your companies worth. If everything goes according to plan, by the end of year two, your paper worth should be somewhere over a billion dollars and you should still have several million dollars of cash in the bank. Note: Since you are not playing with too much of your own money, you're relatively safe at this point (mileage could vary substantially). All that being said, you need to be prepared to return to options trading or Blackjack if your business doesn't take off the way you hope it will. Final thoughts1. Hire a good lawyer.2. Hire a good accountant.3. Hire a good publicist. 4. Keep as much equity as you can.5. Always put at least $5000 aside so you can start again. 6. And er...always be closing?Let me know how it works out!