In my culture there is an old adage: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It’s a quaint agrarian saying that captures a great deal of wisdom.
This principle applies most directly to savings and asset allocation. Savings are key but today I’m writing about income.
When it comes to income the expression is don’t have all your eggs come from one chicken.
In truth many people have almost no income diversity.
To stretch the analogy way to far: most workers have access to one chicken and in exchange for their work they get a small portion of the eggs the chicken lays. If the chicken stops laying eggs or the person who owns the chicken doesn’t want want or need a worker anymore, then the workers go hungry until they can find access to another chicken.
They have their job (and little to no savings or maybe a little to a lot of debt) and that’s it.
If they lose their job and can’t find another one they are in a very bad place. Without a job many people can’t service the debts they have, they can’t pay for their basic needs, it’s a hot mess. An emergency fund and savings are helpful but I was unemployed for 100 days and it was stressful even though I do have savings!
Unless you’re self employed you don’t own your job and can be let go even if you work hard and do a great job!
Losing a job happens all the time. A company gets bought and people get laid off. “My boss is a jerk and I can no longer stand to work for her.” The industry you’re in collapses. Dollars don’t buy as much and a raise doesn’t cover the difference.
Even if you are gainfully self-employed the market you’re in could contract and squeeze your earnings.
Multiple Income Streams
Multiple income streams, income diversification, it means not keeping all of your income “eggs” coming from just one chicken.
Multiple income streams provides strength and security. If one has multiple streams of income and lives below their means it isn’t a big deal if one of the income streams stops.
If all of your income comes from your job, and you lose your job for any reason, you have to rely on any savings you have until you find another job.
But if you have income from 4 sources and one of them stops yielding; you’re still getting a large percentage of your income.
Going out and getting four full time jobs is probably not possible. I know I’m only one person and can’t be two places at once and there are only so many hours in the week.
Right now my day job is the main engine that drives my economic wagon. But I’m saving money so that won’t always be the case.
I continue to develop additional income streams including ones that make money even while I sleep. Some of the areas I’m capitalizing on are: dividend paying value stocks, bitcoin arbitrage, and trading options. While option trading is somewhat active during regular business hours (unless you place good till cancelled limit orders in the morning or evening), the others can be done with little time outside normal working hours.
I do still want to get into real estate (rental property) that has been on hold until I’m more established in my new career.
It’s popular to talk about diversity and diversification, but when it comes to income the norm seems to be getting one job and working there for a long time. That isn’t always possible, practical or prudent in “today’s economy.” Branching out into multiple sources of income provides most financial resilience and security.