Money nerd or abundance mindset? Find your own path

The extremes of the personal finance world were on display at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month, as the money nerds went shoulder-to-shoulder with the get-rich-quick crowd.

In an unlikely juxtaposition, FinCon ’22 – a conference of content creators (bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers and other media types) – was a few conference rooms down the hall from PlanNet Marketing’s BREAKTHROUGH International Convention, a forum for producers in a multilevel marketing company with ties to the travel industry.

You had no trouble figuring out which event people were going to as you saw them walking through the enormous hotel and conference center: The money nerds were in shorts and polos plus the occasional T-shirt announcing their brand, the members of the sales organization were dressed to the nines, as if they were going to an adult prom.

What they shared was an enthusiasm for their efforts in the financial world, a tendency toward self-promotion, and a belief that they’re on the right path and want to bring others with them.

The similarities mostly end there, as the groups are otherwise polar opposites.

Yet as individual investors living through crazy financial times, there’s a lot to learn from extremes and the mindsets you find there. You might not ever want to be in the nerd posse or ride with the millionaire go-getters but knowing your mindset and tendencies will help you find your best path.


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Let’s start with PlanNet Marketing, which I hadn’t heard of until I got into the hotel’s long check-in line (I was there for FinCon).

PlanNet Marketing is a multilevel marketing company (MLM) in the travel niche. Partnered with InteleTravel – another MLM company – it gives people the opportunity to start a home-based travel agency business.

I hate multilevel marketing programs; it’s wrong to say that MLMs are, de facto, pyramid schemes, but they feel that way to many people.

PlanNet Marketing could be different, but I couldn’t get any company officials to talk, speaking only to random conference attendees. I did limited digging into the firm, and did not attempt to reach anyone from InteleTravel.

Despite my doubts, I met people satisfied with their MLM experience, who pooh-poohed my concerns and who talked and dressed a successful game.

PlanNet Marketing itself has no real products, but is instead a funnel to InteleTravel, where would-be travel agents get access to a booking engine and travel-booking tools.


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The PlanNet Marketing rep — the person who signs up and gets involved — earns commissions for recruiting other reps, but also on travel bookings, and can also earn further payouts selling InteleTravel agent businesses.

Reps pay a small upfront cost and monthly fee, and don’t have to purchase any product to earn commissions. They have no minimum sales quotas or targets to meet.

They also have little chance of achieving real financial success.The company’s 2020 income disclosure statement, found online, showed that nearly 98% of “active independent representatives” are travel reps, working just a couple of hours per week and earning about $155 per year. That breaks down to about $13 per month, less than the monthly fee those reps pay to the firm.According to the disclosure, less than half of one percent of PlanNet Marketing’s active reps earn more than $500 per year.Odds are, this won’t be anyone’s life-changing side gig.Yet the true believers in attendance, apparently, are either the exceptional producers or haven’t recognized that they’re trending toward average.Advertising Skip Ad Skip Ad Skip Ad Several told me they like this plan — using their money and time — better than investing in the stock market because it gives them full control of their financial future. They dress up because they believe that showing abundance will attract others looking for it.“I don’t trust the stock market,” said a man named William, who chatted me up as we waited for an elevator. Several others agreed with him. “I work to make my money, I have never trusted anyone with it, and this has been a way for me to make more money. I’m not expecting to get something for nothing like I would be if I put my money into the market and hoped it would go up, I am working so that I have more control over what I get.”Compare that mindset and distrust of the stock market to the money nerds at FinCon. Most Read Business Stories There were members of the FIRE movement — Financial Independence Retire Early — and side-gig bloggers, stock and options traders […]

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