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The Ancient Mayan civilization gave far more to human history than doomsday prophesies and blood sport.

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The Maya thrived in Mexico and Central America from 2000 B.C.E. to 900 C.E. and were known for their advanced agriculture, vibrant marketplaces and extensive trade networks.

GOBanking Rates explored the Mayan Money Rules to decipher ancient wealth wisdom to help you achieve prosperity today.

Invest in Food

Agriculture and food trade were critical to the Mayan economy. The Maya didn’t have currency as we know it today. Instead, they traded basic agricultural staples like corn, beans and squash for items that weren’t readily available in their immediate region.

You can invest in community agriculture, whether it’s shopping at the local farmers’ market, frequenting your local farm-to-table restaurant, or adding food stock to your investment portfolio. Examples of food stock investments include:

  • Raw commodities like soy, rice, and corn are well-known.

  • Food production.

  • Grocery stores.

  • Food delivery companies.

Diversify Your Income

Most of the Mayan ruins house extensive trade routes that spanned the region and across long distances. The Maya traded “prestige” goods like jade and obsidian for daily items like salt, stone and tools.

Generate multiple income streams by turning a hobby into a side hustle or look to create passive income opportunities by investing in real estate, businesses, or stocks that pay dividends.

Visit Your Local Business Hub

The Maya marketplace was central to their economy and served as a hub for trade and social interactions.

Visit your local downtown for information and inspiration about your local economy. Are businesses thriving, or are buildings boarded up? What local businesses are thriving, and which aren’t? Could you fill gaps in the local economy through your own business or specialized training and experience?

Sell Your Crafts on E-Commerce

The Maya were known for their specialized craftsmanship. For example, Maya city-states were known for producing unique crafts like pottery, textiles, jade carvings and obsidian tools that were traded regionally.

If you’re good at making jewelry, crafts, or clothes, consider selling your wares on e-commerce sites like Etsy, Shopify, or Handmade at Amazon.

Be Tax Savvy

You can’t escape taxes, even in the Ancient Mayan civilization. Maya rulers levied taxes on citizens who were paid for agricultural goods or labor. Conquered areas also had to pay tribute, which was added to the coffers of the wealthy.

Minimize your tax burden through tax-harvesting, investing in Roth Accounts, and engaging in charitable giving.

Tax-harvesting is the practice of selling investments that have lost their value to offset capital gains you received from other investments. Contribute to or convert to Roth Accounts, where qualified accounts won’t be taxed. Charitable giving can provide tax breaks through cash donations or appreciated stocks. Cash donations offer an immediate tax deduction. Appreciated stocks allow you to avoid paying capital gains taxes while deducting the fair market value of the stock or other asset.

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This article originally appeared on The Mayan Money Rule: Deciphering Ancient Wealth Wisdom for Today’s Prosperity

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