While Warren Buffett makes a good case for investing as an avenue for wealth creation, another billionaire, Mark Cuban, is of the opinion that people should stay as afar away from it as possible. Since we can learn from the points on which we disagree as much as those on which we agree, we would like to see what wisdom we can glean from such a different perspective.

With a net worth estimated at $3.2 billion, we sure would be interested in knowing the smart money moves Mark Cuban thinks everyone should be making to improve their financial situation. Check out the three:

 1. Buy in Bulk

He says:

Do a budget and look at the things you buy repetitively and then go and buy those things in bulk. Stuff you will need all year, like toothpaste, shampoo and soap, being some of the non-perishable personal care items one can save money on.

As long as you have got a little room under your bed, if you buy a year’s worth or even two years’ worth of toothpaste, you are going to get a 50 percent discount. What you will save a year doing will be more than you are going to earn investing the same amount of money.

2. Have Six Months Worth of Income In the Bank

But I do not work, you say. This may be true for most people, especially teenagers who are still dependent on parents. The principle here is to start now in cultivating a robust saving culture. If you are in the habit of keeping part of what you get now as gifts and pocket money, it will be far easier to do when you actually start earning money. And the benefits?

According to Mark Cuban, “just knowing it’s there for a rainy day can provide some peace of mind”. It may not earn you much if you keep it sitting in the bank,  but you will sleep a lot better, he concludes.

He believes that the stock market is a risky game because the market could go up for years, and you could think you are well off, and then in a millisecond, a crash can take it all away. That’s why you want to have that savings, so you are protected should something go wrong.

But for balance, investment experts will tell you that risk is part of the investment game. That while it can pay big, one must invest with the mindset that one could lose money too. This is the reason big players like Warren Buffett and Peter Finch always advise that you invest only in companies and industries that you understand deeply, which minimalises the risks somewhat.

3. Ensure You Are Debt Free

Cuban says the single best thing you can do for yourself is to remain debt free. Debt, whether stemming from using and abusing credit cards or otherwise all too often leads to financial carelessness and overall unhappiness. 

He also believes that financial debt is the ultimate dream killer. That whatever that thing is that will make you incur debt, it will also be the primary reason you stop looking for whatever makes you the happiest.

These differences in perspective thus help you have a deeper understanding of finances, and how weighing different opinions can work to your benefit.

This article was adapted from an earlier post on entrepreneur.com

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