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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jason Buzi, aka @HiddenCash, Is Back And He Wrote a Book to Help You Get Rich

Posted By on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 11:39 AM


The very giving guy behind the world-famous @hiddencash social media money experiment has resurfaced with a new plan to drop money in laps — and a new book. 

Jason Buzi, the Bay Area real estate investor, got on the phone with us today to talk about his new book he's writing titled Hidden Cash: The Inside Story, a roughly 150-page read (it's still being edited) that tells the real story behind his money, his experience as @hiddencash, as well as offers a little advice on how people can make money themselves. 

"People approached me ... a lot wanted to know the hidden cash story and what inspired me to start it," Buzi says. "I've given [media] interviews but this is the whole story."

As readers recall, Buzi was the mystery man anonymously hiding wads of cash in hidden places around the city, then giving hints to its location via Twitter, using the handle @hiddencash. The lucky person who located the cash first got to pocket it, but they had to document their find on Twitter. It grew into a high-tech treasure hunt that went viral. It wasn't long before @hiddencash was dropping $100 bills in cities across the world, including Berlin and London. 

But the fun came to an abrupt end after a hunt got out of hand in the Southern California city of Whittier; money seekers trashed a park while searching for a hidden stash. Buzi ended up paying the city for the damages done, which amounted to $5,000. "It gave me a little pause about when you have a lot of people in one place looking for money," he says. 

click to enlarge Jason Buzi pondering money and charity
  • Jason Buzi pondering money and charity
But Buzi was still looking for ways to give back. He considered one of the biggest criticisms he faced during the @hiddencash era: why was he handing out  money to people who already had money — why not donate the extra cash to charities and people who don't own iPads or have Twitter accounts. 

And that's how he landed on the idea to write a book — one that would help people with iPads and people without them. Buzi decided to pen a book about the experience as the mystery money man as well as offer life and money advice to readers. All sales from the book would go toward Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization. He set up an indiegogo account so people could pledge to buy a signed copy of the book. To date, the campaign has raised $3,470.

"In addition to the story of Hidden Cash, I will be share life and business advice that I wish someone had taught me when I was a younger man. It would have helped me avoid a lot of pitfalls and heartache,"Buzi says. "I want to share my lessons learned on life, business, and real estate, that have enabled me to travel the world, have some amazing experiences, live a lifestyle of freedom, and give back through Hidden Cash and in many other ways."

And now for a very brief excerpt from the book:
I assume you want to get rich. Almost everyone does. Who would prefer to rent a small apartment than to own a nice house of their own? Or to drive a crappy car instead of a nice one? Who wouldn't want to take vacations when and where they want? Who wants to worry about bills? Who wants to have to work for or with people they can't stand? OK, we agree that almost everyone wants to be rich. Yet few make a real attempt at it. Let's figure out how to get rich. There are basically four ways (not counting inheritance, lottery, etc. as those are just a matter of chance,  not career or business plans):

1. You think you're extremely talented as an artist - sculptor, painter, actor, writer, musician, comedian, etc. Or athlete. Guess what? So do a million other people. With a lot of hard work, persistence, luck and probably compromising your principles along the way, you might be that one in a million who makes it and beat out the 999,999 who think they're better than you. And a lot of them are probably right. Good luck.

2. Get a good job. Your best bet is to become a highly specialized physician, a profession I personally find distasteful (blood and guts? No, thanks). Like a heart or brain surgeon. After high school, you will need 4  years of college, followed by 4 years of medical school, followed by about 4 to 8 years of residency to  specialize. You will probably have a massive amount of debt. But you will make a mid 6 figure income. After 10 or 15 or 20 years, you can retire relatively wealthy. You can also go to law school or get an MBA, although there are lots of unemployed attorneys and MBAs around. But if you go to a top school, and work at the right firm, you will make low 6 figures starting out and then maybe become a partner or senior executive and make mid 6 figures or more. Then, again, by the time you reach your 50's, you should be wealthy.

Okay, so we know Buzi is good at making money (and giving it away) but is he good at writing? "I think I am," he says. "I'm told I'm a good writer — I used to write stories for my little brother and I've always been interested in writing. I wrote a novel that never got published but maybe some day it will."

Until then, you'll have to settle for a book about money and life. The book should be out sometime next month. You can buy a copy in advance here. And here's a sneak peek at it.

And now for the burning question: Will there be more money drops from @hiddencash? "People should stay tuned," Buzi says. "We may be done with money drops but we're not done with giving back in fun ways to the community — we're still brainstorming ideas."

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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