So You Want To Be Rich Eh?
In “How Do You Become Rich?“, Finance Fox pens a 1,200 word post on what it takes to reach the promised land. I immediately checked out the post because I’m always fascinated about how others define rich and how others plan to get rich. Eddie’s definition of rich is “having a fortune over $1 million bucks.” $1 million bucks is a good amount of money, but at what age? At 35, that’s pretty darn rich. At 70, not so much.
Eddie then goes on to ask what is the secret of successful rich people? My answer is almost always, PERSEVERANCE. The ability to solider on and not give up even in the worst moments. Every single wealthy person I know has had some tremendous disappointments in their lives, but they don’t stop trying.
The more critics there are, the greater the wealthy person’s fire is to succeed.
FEAR OF FAILURE
I’m absolutely afraid of financial failure, which is why I have a tendency to build up enough income buffers so that in the case a business idea fails, I won’t be left completely distraught. I also find money to be very manipulative. As a result, if I can do things NOT for the money, I feel I will produce a better product, which may ironically bring more money in the future.
Just the other week, I got my butt whipped 0-6, 1-6 in tennis because I entered a level higher than where I usually play. It was slightly embarrassing losing in front of so many people, but I came away invigorated. I put to rest I cannot play that level of singles, and refocused my efforts on doubles instead. My opponent is ranked #1 in his age category and I was proud to at least try.
My mantra is, “I’ll never know unless I try.” I don’t mind whiffing badly. At least I’ll learn from the experience so I can continuously make the product better. The educational aspect of failure itself is something of great value.
AND THEN THERE’S LEVERAGE
“Rich people leverage everything – time, technology, and money.” To that point, I agree completely. Leverage is a beautiful thing on the way up, but a disaster on the way down. Hence, back to the word, perserverance. If people can hang on to their leveraged assets for a long enough period of time, chances are, they will make money back and then some.
US housing in the 1980′s is a fantastic case study where those who sold during that downturn severely kicked themselves in the nuts when the housing market rocked higher for the next 20 years. Their leverage would have enriched them greatly had they held on. It’s the same thing for forced sellers of housing and stocks in the past four years. 10-15 years from now, we are going to look back at the period between 2008-2011 as a wonderful time to buy. Things have already begun to heat up in 2012.
How do I plan to get rich? By trying and trying again. As for leverage? Maybe. I prefer to use the word scalability.
Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.
Archimedes, the mathematician.
Check out Finance Fox’s post, and let me know about your thoughts on leverage and how you plan to get rich. There is an interesting chart on the breakdown of the various income sources for the very rich. It’s what we should all shoot for to minimize our tax liabilities and increase our free time.
Recommended Actions For Increasing Your Wealth
1) Manage Your Finances In One Place: Get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize. Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 25+ difference accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to manage my finances. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing and when my CDs are expiring. I can also see how much I’m spending every month. If you are interested, they can even provide tailored financial advice for much cheaper than traditional wealth managers.
2) Refinance Your Mortgage: If you are a homeowner and you have not refinanced in the past year, I strongly suggest you check online to see what the latest rates are. There is seriously some serious mortgage interest savings to be had! I always check with Quicken Loans because they are fast, quick, and provide a no obligation real quote based on the input you provide. I recently refinanced to a 5/1 ARM for 2.625% in the Summer of 2012 after just refinancing in the fall of 2011 for 3.125% from 3.625%! I am now saving $4,000 a year in mortgage interest!
3) Check Your Credit Score: Everybody needs to check their credit score once every six months given the risk of identity theft and the fact that 30% of credit scores have errors. For over a year, I thought I had a 790ish credit score and was fine, until my mortgage refinance bank on day 80 of my refinance told me they could not go through due to a $8 late payment by my tenants from two years ago! My credit score was hit by 110 points to 680 and I could not get the lowest rate! I had to spend an extra 10 days fixing my score by contacting the utility company to write a “Clear Credit Letter” to get the bank to follow through. Check your credit score for free at GoFreeCredit.com and protect yourself. The averaged credit score for a rejected mortgage applicant is 729!
Photo: Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco,