Margin Memo #003: Building Wealth w/ a System

Wealth doesn't just "happen" to you...

Let’s talk about money…

More specifically, let’s talk about the kinda money that get’s you to a place where you make decisions in your life where money isn’t a factor or a consideration in these decisions.

My family office and wealth management firm CEO calls it “the Freedom Threshold.”

I’m there.

I want you right there alongside me.

For the record: this will likely be one of the longer emails I write you, but it is filled to the brim with value

Read Time: 7.5 minutes

Over the last few weeks, we have been setting the stage for how we, entrepreneurial men who want to win in business and lead at home, must approach life with intention if we want to have…


And with margin comes freedom, clarity, purpose, and depth in all facets of life.

If you’ve not caught on yet, it doesn’t just happen to any of us.

We don’t just wake up from a deep sleep and “have it all.”

It takes ambition, commitment, and intentionality.

Now, if you are reading this memo, I doubt that you lack ambition or commitment when it comes to money and wealth building.

You want it and you’re willing to do what it takes to get it.

You know that a weapon in the pursuit of margin is building wealth.

Many just simply lack the intentionality.

I did.

Until I woke up to the reality that I will always work for money until I make the decision to make money work for me.

And to make money work efficiently for you, you must have a system.

Rules to the money game

Before we get into the system, let me first set the stage…

There are rules when it comes to the money game.

It is in your best interest that you play by the rules.

Rule #1: You must develop a healthy relationship with money

Money is a tool that is used to help you gain one thing: Margin.

It is not to be obsessed over, worshipped, or bowed down to.

It is a tool and tools exist for utility purposes.

Far too many men have lost their way by putting money on a throne in their lives.

By no means is it evil, in fact I love what money allows me to do with my life, but I keep it in a really healthy place. I keep it as a “I love what money allows me to do,” not “I love money.”

Big difference.

Rule #2: You have to get your active income up

The bucketing system that I will shortly share with you on how to build wealth is much slower and more difficult if you aren’t feeding it your excess money.

The more money into the system… the faster you will achieve a level of wealth and freedom.

So… hone your craft, sharpen your skillset, learn to create better offers, learn how to sell more, learn how to deliver on your promises to customers, and learn how to leverage through hiring better people.

Rule #3: Don’t settle for the active income trap

Many men get trapped into a life of inputs and outputs when it comes to their money. It goes like this…

I input time and energy, I receive active income as the output.

I use that active income and I pay for our lifestyle with that.

If I want more, I expend more time and energy.

If I lose active income, I make compromises for me and my family.

It’s hard to kick the addiction of active income. It’s instant, it’s big, I can spend it right now, and I can make more of it by doing more.

The problem: It depends on you.

Nothing will kill margin faster than obligations.

Active income is a tool to create passive income.

Rule #4: Make Money Become Invisible

What I’m about to share with you is by no means intended to be a “flex". It is the “fruit” of intentionality.

The goal in a life of margin is to be able to make all decisions without money being a factor in these decisions.

So, when…

I choose to live on a multi-million dollar ranch in the hills of East TN that costs 6-figures a year just to take care of, not including the mortgage…

I choose to have a private chef so that I can spend every possible minute with my family…

I choose…
…first class anytime I fly.
…nice trucks and cars for me and my wife.
…organic everything for my family.
…to build a commercial gym + studio + office barndominium.
…self-funding startup ideas.
…large donations to causes I care about each year.
…to offer to buy our church plant’s new building as a gift to the church.
…my wife to be home as a home maker and stay-at-home mom to fulfill her calling of raising my kids.

I make these decisions through the filter of “what is best for me and my family?”

Not through the filter of “what can we afford?”

I’ve made and continue to make enough money (the tool) to the point where money is not involved in most of my decisions — it’s nearly invisible.

Rule #5: You must have a wealth building system

When running companies, it’s important to build a system that you can plug people into that enables them to do as much as possible as efficiently as possible.

It’s no different with wealth building…

You need a system that you can plug your money into that will make it as efficient and effective as possible.

The Bucketing System That Has Made Me Wealthy

I call it the “bucketing system.”

Analyze the below…

I make active income (money from my active work)

It goes into buckets (assets and investments)

Those buckets produce a yield (cashflow)

That yield pays for my lifestyle (expenses)

Excess yield gets reinvested (cashflow reuptake)

But the beauty in this system is knowing what each of these buckets means.

Here they are:

Bucket #1 — Single digit returns

  • Low Risk, Great for leveraging against with debt

  • Produce sub-10% returns

  • Bonds, Index & Mutual Funds, IRAs, 401ks, Whole Life Insurance, stocks, etc

Bucket #2 — Double digit returns

  • Produce sub-100% returns

  • Real Estate, Hard Money Lending, Blue Chip Crypto, Business Acquisitions, Some stocks, etc

Bucket #3 — Triple digit returns

  • Produce sub-1000% returns

  • Investing in your own business (think ad spend 3x ROAS), Investing in early stage businesses, speculative investments, alternatives, etc

Bucket #4 — Quadruple digit returns

  • Produce 1000%+ returns

  • Investing in you as the asset: your network (masterminds), your intellectual property, your skillset, etc (the reason these have such a high return is because they apply to everything that you do, not just one asset)

Bucket #5 — Infinite Returns

  • Potentially zero risk outside of legal exposure

  • Infinite returns - you get money out, even though you have no money in.

  • Licensing, Advisory, Name & Likeness, Evergreen, using other people’s money on a deal, etc

What’s really cool about this system is that you can create “allocations” for each of these buckets and pay the right people to allocate your active income for you.

Right now my allocations looks something like this:

  • 30% goes into markets, treasury bonds, whole life insurance (bucket 1)

  • 35% goes into real estate and other funds that buy businesses in emerging markets (bucket 2)

  • 20% goes into businesses I have ownership in, early stage startups, etc (bucket 3)

  • 15% goes into coaching and masterminds (bucket 4)

  • Naturally, because I do all of the above very well I get a lot of advisory opportunities where I get equity, profit share, etc from businesses who want me to answer their calls, give them advice, and think about them in my free time. No money in, but money comes out. You can argue that “some” time goes into it, but I think about businesses all the time. These I just get paid to think about them. (bucket 5)

What’s really REALLY cool about this system is the “reuptake” part. When all of my lifestyle is covered by the returns from the above, I naturally have leftovers.

With those leftovers, I send them back into the buckets to compound and I tend to take the leftovers from one bucket and put that cash to work in a more risky bucket… (i.e. take the yield from bucket 1 and invest it into bucket 2)

In conclusion…


That was a lot.

Last week I told you that I would not always talk philosophy and “margin” talk.

Well this is a taste of that.

I want to mix in life, business, wealth, family, etc.

Trust me… I have more frameworks, systems, and lessons than 99% of humans.

Buckle up.

Grateful you’re here.

Excited you’re here.

Here’s to your pursuit of Margin,
Joey Gilkey

P.S. I really love hearing from you guys. Legit get pumped when I see you guys responding.

P.P.S. It would mean the world if you shared this with people.