Many believe that the path to financial success is laden with the difficult, complex process of becoming the obliged, emotional plaything of an eccentric spinster and her revenge-by-proxy niece in a decades-long conspiracy, believing her to be their mysterious benefactor. It’s enough to make even the most financially challenged tiddler in an early 1800s English marsh question the cost-benefit ratio at play.

But what if I were to tell you, that those years embroiled in a sadistic old bat’s cruel ploy to take revenge on the male species could be avoided by simply setting deranged convicts loose in your early youth? Read on to find out how.

Start Young

Like all successful financial strategies, this one embraces the strategic employ of the “long-game,” by recommending that in your early, tormented youth, you stumble upon escaped prisoners, steal food for them, and provide them with a means to remove their iron shackles, thus allowing them the freedom to spend decades creating the wealth that they will anonymously share with you many years later. Investing early in the emancipation of a potential financial backer, however unlikely they may seem, is what ultimately separates the rich orphan from the poor orphan in the years to come, by identifying and capitalizing on early opportunities.

Pro-tip: release multiple escapees to increase your chances at success.

Hedge Your Bets

Although you’ve already more than likely set yourself up for a bright future by aiding and abetting dangerous criminals, it is the prudent orphan who hedges their bets by also attending play dates with the beautiful, frigid niece of a wealthy, jilted society hag in a moth bitten wedding dress, who will pay for their blacksmith apprenticeship. After all, without any contact with the ex-cons throughout the decades to come, there are no guarantees that they will even remember you, much less spend years secretly bankrolling your unlikely little dream of being a gentleman. Toilsome, yet more probable, sources of income must also be pursued simultaneously.

Do Your Research

Success! A big-city lawyer has informed you of your “great expectations” via an unknown donor and you’re on your way to London to enter society life. But a fervent caution—here is where most orphans falter: do not let your romance-addled mind make the classic mistake of assuming it is the cobwebbed old coot using her considerable fortune to make you a viable suitor for her beguiling, cocktease of a niece. The savvy ex-orphan works around their secretive lawyer and makes inquisitive calls to determine the source of their wealth, lest they find themselves eternally grateful to the skeletal sadist who has been grooming them for a lifetime of torment since they were a boy.

Prepare for the Future

Failure to prepare for the future by squandering your sudden windfall on extravagances with the Finches of the Grove is a common pitfall of the nouveau-riche orphan. The shrewd orphan, however, readies themself for the likely event that their shadowy donor reveals himself to be “one-of-the-prisoners-they-helped-escape-the-marsh-as-a-child-who-went-on-to-make-their-fortune-in-the-harsh-penal-colonies-of-Australia-wholly-delegitimizing-their-sole-source-of-income,” by opening a dedicated savings account and making consistent monthly deposits.

As anyone will attest, having the peace of mind a “rainy day” fund brings is well worth a few nights in, sans Finches—especially when that “rainy day” involves the sudden responsibility of helping your fugitive sponsor evade the penalty of death upon capture, as they are hotly pursued by the other convict you helped escape that fateful day, who is also coincidentally the jilter of the rickety bitch aunt to the cuckolding object of your affection.