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The Seven Wonders of the Financial World

We know you've been dying to know. How much would it cost to build the Great Wall of China out of Legos? (No, this isn't a McKinsey interview.)



January 17, 2024

4 min read

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      Lucky for us, a kind redditor broke it down here. The 13,000+ mile Great Wall replica would require over 600 trillion Lego bricks. And those things don't come cheap.

      Bulk discounts and "brick-laying" labor aside, it would cost over $90,000,000,000,000 ($90 trillion) to recreate the Great Wall of China out of Legos. Then throw worker's comp insurance and sticky rice mortar in there and we're nearing 10-20x the US GDP.

      No, this isn't a sponsored ad for The Lego Group™

      You're probably familiar with The New 7 Wonders of the World: Chichen Itza, Petra, Machu Picchu, The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, Taj Mahal, and Harry Styles.  (Just kidding, it's Christ the Redeemer.)

      But you've probably never heard of "The Seven Wonders of the Financial World." From tax-advantaged retirement accounts to Shiba Inu coin, there's a world of extraordinary and fascinating financial mechanisms that could be worth paying a visit. (And they may even earn you a round-trip ticket to Machu Picchu, too).

      The Seven Wonders of the Financial World

      1. Compounding interest

      Legend has it, Albert Einstein once called compounding interest "The 8th Wonder of the World". (Snopes isn't so sure about this). It's one of the surest ways to build wealth as you earn returns on the money you invest AND on returns at the end of every compounding period. A win-win, as Abraham Lincoln maybe said....

      2. Financial foundation

      Full stop — the most important part of a financial plan is money set aside for unexpected expenses. With an easily-accessed cash reserve for car troubles, major home repairs, health issues etc, you can focus on growing your money without feeling that "worst case scenario" stress.

      3. 401(k) employer matches

      Ah yes, the crown prince of tax advantages. If you're lucky enough to get a 401(k) employer match, it means that when you put money into your 401(k), your employer will put some in, too. You might be thinking... "That sounds like free money?" And that's precisely why it made the list.  

      4. IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts)

      The benefits from IRA accounts go on and on. To name a few: they allow your contributions and earnings to grow tax-free, your withdrawals to be tax-free during retirement, and contributions at any age — as long as you don't make too much money. (That's what the Backdoor Roth IRA is for).

      5. Cryptocurrency

      If you put $1000 dollars into Bitcoin in 2010, it would've grown to $287.5 million by 2020. Cryptocurrency is a polarizing dinner table topic — especially for our grandpas whose only context for "mining" was The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. But with 100 million+ users of cryptocurrency today, digital currency isn't going away any time soon.

      6. Credit Cards

      Could one 3x2-inch piece of plastic (or 18k gold) really come with a sign-on bonus, fraud protection, frequent flyer miles, cash back, purchase protection, and a built-in expense tracker? Essentially, yes. Credit cards mean you can be rewarded for regular spending. But with great power comes great responsibility.

      7. Financial freedom!

      The moment we've all been waiting for — when you no longer need a paycheck to live your life without money stress. This means something different for everyone: pursuing hobbies, spending time with family, traveling, donating to charities, or continuing to work (but without the financial pressure).

      We created Playbook to help you get there sooner.

      The Playbook take

      The red sandstone of Petra is awe-inspiring, and sunset at Machu Picchu has been described as moving beyond words. While they're a far-cry from architectural marvels, the Seven Wonders of the Financial World also come with a view from the top that could change the course of your life.

      The financial mechanisms at your fingertips today could add years of freedom, fulfillment, and wonder to your life — the kind of wonder that comes from coaching your kid's Little League team, taking a ceramics class, donating to a good cause, or even walking The Great Wall.  

      The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

      To financial freedom and beyond,


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