Reader Comments: Multiple Streams of Income

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article questioning the effectiveness of multiple streams of income. Here is a snippet from the article:

… rentals, businesses, investments, stock trading and my regular 9-5 job as sources. My question is, should I be focused on smaller multiple streams of income? Or focus on larger, single projects?

I was so impressed by the quality of the reader comments that I thought I would dedicate a blog post to some of them. Here are some responses to my question “Multiple streams of income, or not?”

The Financial Blogger says: .. keep all your income streams while your young, then weed out the ones that you don’t enjoy as you get older..

Glblguy says: .. Making money while you sleep is key. If you are passionate about something, you’ll attract money like bees to honey.

Investoid believes: .. you are likely leaving money on the table on each stream if you don’t specialize…

Brip Blap concludes: …I think your best bet is to view the 9-to-5 as a ‘base’ that provides a salary and benefits, and concentrate on other income flows that can work ‘while you sleep..’

Halotis warns: have to be careful not to become irreplaceable. If you’re irreplaceable in your current position then you also can’t be easily moved up…

Financial Jungle believes:  ..I agree to use my ’10-to-6′ :D job as a stepping stone to earn passive income from stocks..

Canadian Money Blog Reviewers explains:  ..I personally try to climb the job ladder and keep having fun in the process..

Q Cash thinks the ideal situation would be to have multiple streams of income, but all passive.  Good advice from the 37 year old millionaire.

FourPillars and Bootsie both think that I should concentrate on my career since it provides the bulk of the income.  Maybe they’re right, maybe the grass isn’t greener on the other side?

Dennis says: … I think the key determinant for how you can diversify your income stream is time.

GatesVP gives some great advice: ..concentrate on the income that makes you happiest.  Perhaps I should turn to full time blogging. :)

As you can see, lots of different opinions as to whether or not to keep multiple streams of income.  For now,  I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and increase my assets whatever way that I can.

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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Best of August 2007 and More! | Million Dollar Journey
14 years ago

[…] Reader Comments:  Multiple Streams of Income? (32 comments) […]

14 years ago

Thanks! Lots of great suggestions! I really enjoyed reading all of the comments.

Rod Payne
14 years ago


That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

The health insurance is a big one that I don’t think we think of in the classical sense, but it is a valid stream for a specific purpose. I’m covered, as well, and I’m happy enough to pay for something that I may never use.

I’ve got a small stream now from investment income, and I’m soon going to pick up a few rentals (hoping for 3-5 over the next 4-6 years).

14 years ago

FT – I think you overestimate the number of hits I get by quite a bit!

FB – I’d rather have a beer than a bag of potato chips…

Rod – I guess I mis-understood your comment.

In terms of what I’m doing financially:

I contribute quite a bit to my rrsp which I could live off of for quite a while if necessary. I’m working on paying down the mortgage would will result in a lower minimum payment (if necessary). I have disability insurance through work which pays 85% of my net pay tax free, so that should cover the heart attack situation. I have critical illness insurance which may or may not cover any actual illness I might get. I also have adequate life insurance which won’t do me much good but my family would benefit from it.

Losing my job would be a problem although I would get approx 9 months pay if that happened.


The Financial Blogger
14 years ago

Mike, Maybe your cable bill and a bag of chips ;-)
the problem with the regular job is that there are so much you can do to get a promotion. At one point, even if you are better than anybody else, you can’t just get a 20% raise or a promotion every year. However, if you focus on being good at your job (enough to get promotions/raises/bonuses, etc.) you will probably still have some time free to think about something else.

It can be investing (the more time you spend on the market, the better are your chances of making money), part time consulting in your field of study, starting a side company, buying a rental property… As you can see the list can become exhaustive.

It is safer to derive income from several sources. But it takes time and efforts. Unfortunately, time is something that nobody can’t buy :-(

Rod Payne
14 years ago



Having a second stream of income to pay the cable bill is the exact opposite of where I’m going with this. Having a second stream of income growing over time so that it can replace your primary source of income is the goal.

There’s no need to get a second or third job (unless one wants to). However, you should be striving to increase your income from your job and sacking some of that away each paycheque.

About ten years ago, I read how one in 4 people will have a serious illness or injury that requires a lengthy time off work. Ever since, I’ve asked people what they plan to do if they had a heart attack tomorrow. The answers are positively frightening.

So, let me ask you. If you had a heart attack tomorrow, what have you done to ensure you won’t be financially ruined?

14 years ago

Great comment Gates…you’re almost at the point of actually inspiring me!

Rod – since I’m so dumb for only having one stream of income, can you please explain how I can obtain these additional streams without having to get a second or third full-time job? And I don’t want to hear about dividend income or blogging – that won’t pay my cable bill.


Gates VP
14 years ago

Hey FT… when I wrote the original post I had no idea that you’re an engineer! Look, you may have a professional maximum, but right now that max is into the 100k+ as a senior project manager, 200k+ if you can hack private consulting, and maybe even better if you can find a consulting firm with stock options (like another stream that you get to build, with a giant list of caveats). I personally know engineers in Winnipeg and Edmonton making both of those numbers.

I’d change what I said, but I mean it even more now, most engineers really like their jobs, despite all of the annoying parts. I’m in computer consulting (we’re like engineers but with software and computer hardware :) and the people I deal with, generally, really like their job. Personally, I love this stuff, I’m at my “dream job” right now, but I spent two years working for a tyrant when I started. The only thing that could make me show up at work was the fact that I loved what I was doing, just not who I was doing it for. I just held out until I found something better.

The truth is, if you’re under 30, the time you apply to anything will be amplified over the coming years. Everything that you learn today simply has more years to mature and grow. So if you magically have extra time (who knows how between work, the blog, the wife and the properties/stocks?), then focus on the stuff that’s going to give you the most long-term benefit.

Personally, I think that’s you! You already know lots and lots about money and how it works. If you’re a consulting engineer, that puts you steps ahead of most, who simply don’t understand. But there’s always a ton more stuff that can be learned for work:
– Management (you’ll be one sooner or later)
Sales (priceless, you’re always selling)
– Advanced computer usage (Excel programming, professional document creation, web work, 101 programming)
– Read a small business kit, know what’s involved.
– Professional Development training in your field

BTW FT, these are not specific to you, they’re just general advice. The truth is, the more you know about “all” of this stuff, the better you can become at any career or job.

Engineers have a pretty fixed corporate ladder, so if you show up every day and deliver, you’ll be managing people in 10 years. But if you can talk business with the bosses, they’re going to put you at the front of the line, b/c they know that you’re savvy and that you understand what it means to “make more money”. (either that or you’ll discover that they don’t have clue and you’ll start your own business, take half their staff and half their clients and triple your salary :)

All of the stuff I list above is about “talking money” or being better at delivering on-time and under budget. (man I feel another blog post coming on: Essential Life Talents) We talked about this in “When are you not frugal?”. But spending money on you is the number one way to increase your income streams. If you’re going to show up from 9-5 anyways, why not make the most of it? At some point you’ll do something different with your life (not engineering), but talking numbers and understanding sales is just going to make you a better blogger or being a better blogger will make you a better writer when get to publishing your book, of course, being a better sales person will help you turn over that book that much quicker… and so on :)

Nothing more valuable than being really smart, that will generate all of the income streams you really need :)

Rod Payne
14 years ago


I agree with you wholeheartedly about the emergency fund and line of credit. My problem with the whole scenario is that relying on one stream of income leaves one too open to catastrophe. I also believe that relying on one stream of income makes it too easy to live on a cash in/cash out basis where people don’t put aside an EF. Encouraging people to have diversified income streams encourages them to build savings/investments/etc.

I’m not able to depend upon my secondary streams of income (yet), but my financial plan has me working toward a 50/50 split between work and non-work sources of income by the time I’m 45.