Wealth isn’t just for the exceptional few, or the lucky few. It’s right there for everyone to grasp: It doesn’t come fast and it doesn’t come without careful planning, patience and persistence.
Don’t be riled by the young day-trader you-tubing himself in a hotel room somewhere in the Caribbean with piles of cold, hard cash on the bed. And don’t be fooled by the same type instagraming his new Lamborghini and regaling you with his constant party life aboard various yachts in exotic locations.
A few people get lucky day-trading, but most who quit their jobs and try this out are asking for trouble.
Not everyone is Elon Musk, or his antithesis, Warren Buffett. Not everyone is an innovative, futuristic genius, or an investing legend. Nor does everyone hail from inherited wealth to get them started.
But that doesn’t mean that wealth isn’t possible for the rest of us.
Most who equate wealth with a get-rich-quick scheme won’t make it far. For those who are really serious about wealth, it means absorbing a bit of financial pain in the form of frugality, sticking with things for the long haul, and making sure that all the hard-earned money you save is invested wisely, and not all in one place.
Luck is for lotteries, the three Ps—planning, patience and persistence—are for true, lasting wealth:
Nothing good comes to fruition without a plan when we’re talking about long-term wealth. In The Millionaire Next Door, author Thomas J. Stanley notes that truly wealthy people don’t just expect more money to fall at their feet: they plan and work hard toward their financial goals.
And they definitely don’t quit their jobs and try their luck on the stock market in hopes of windfall profits that fast-track them to wealth.
Most of them stick with the same job for decades, where they pump money into 401(k) plans, matched by their employers.
According to a survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, more than 40 percent of America’s baby boomers stayed with their employer for more than 20 years, and 18 percent have stayed at least 30 years. These people are excited about retiring because they’ve been maximizing their 401(k) contributions are will settle down nicely in retirement. Related: Will Comcast Thwart The Disney-Fox Deal?
And the goals of the wealthy usually include having multiple streams of income—not just the job they’ve been doing for decades.
Never has any cliché maxim been truer than that ‘patience is a virtue’ when we’re talking about wealth.
The wealthy don’t spend as much as you think. They’re too smart for super showy houses in drastically dull suburbs, and everyone in the family isn’t necessarily driving a luxury car, or buying their kids sushi for lunch.
We spend money out of boredom half the time, and those on their path to true long-term wealth, never allow themselves to get bored. They keep busy, whether it’s with hobbies or social activities or additional streams of income.
And one of the most important aspects of future wealth: Waste not, want not. Be frugal, the wealthy are. They have a budget and they stick to it. They are also very careful about what services they sign up for, and don’t pay for anything isn’t absolutely worth the price tag.
One of the biggest things the soon-to-be-wealthy are persistent about is debt—and getting out of it. No investment is worth anything if at the same time you’re paying tons of interest in accumulating debt. Pay off debt first, persistently, until it’s gone, and then invest. The ultimate investment is to remain debt free—from mortgages to student loans and credit cards. After all, a free-and-clear home is a retirement fund in itself. In this respect, self-discipline is the best offensive wealth weapon.
And once you’re debt-free, don’t put all your eggs in one basket—diversify, and go for the long-term. This again requires self-discipline. Long-term investments go up and down and can’t be guided by the daily fluctuations in the market, and your fear of what one day is good and another, bad.
Money itself isn’t happiness, but the path to it can be, and that’s what get-rich-quick schemes don’t offer. The true path to wealth is fulfilling, enriching in more way than one, and entirely satisfying.
By David Craggen for Safehaven.com
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