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10 Game-Changing Things You Don’t Know About Millionaires

10 Game-Changing Things You Don’t Know About Millionaires

We all have our opinions about millionaires and the rich. I’d like to challenge some of those opinions and show you some things you might not know about millionaires. It’s not about luck, fancy lifestyles or greed. It’s about developing a mindset that sets you apart from the rest. Here are 10 game-changers that you didn’t know about millionaires…

1. Millionaires are Hard Workers

During a survey by Spectrem, 94 percent of millionaires said that hard work was the number one factor in their success. This could be in the form of literally building their businesses from the ground up, like Sam Walton and Walmart, or creating and acting upon new ideas everyday, like Steve Jobs and Apple.

How you can apply it: Hard work is a must if you want to be a millionaire. You’ve got to accept that and be willing to get your hands dirty.

2. Most Millionaires are Self-Made

Today, the amount of millionaires who inherited their wealth is around 18 percent and that number seems to be falling. Most millionaires started out with very little and many were born into extreme poverty. Some of the most popular and most impressive examples include Carl Icahn, Larry Page and Jeff Bezos.

How you can apply it: Don’t use another person’s inheritance as an excuse for why you can’t do it yourself. Most millionaires made their money on their own; that means you can do the same if you put your mind to it.

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3. Millionaires Want You to be a Millionaire

Millionaires understand that there is enough wealth for you to be rich too and it actually helps them in different ways. More millionaires means more business and enterprise and that helps everyone. Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump even wrote a book called “Why We Want You to be Rich”. It’s true, it’s not a battle, but more of a buddy system.

How you can apply it: Become a millionaire. Next! I know, easier said than done, but this list is a great starting point for you to be on your way. Keep reading…

4. Millionaires are Not Jacks of All Trades

You’ve heard the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none” right? Well millionaires are quite the opposite. It’s common for them to be masters of one, or possibly a few different things, but not many. Millionaires figure out what they’re good at and what they’re passionate about, then they devote their life to it.

How you can apply it: Stop trying to master everything. Figure out what your one thing is and devote everything you’ve got to it. Master your one thing.

5. Millionaires Have Multiple Streams of Income

It’s not just about diversifying, it’s about creating more wealth through different avenues. Warren Buffett owns more than one stock, just like Jeff Bezos owns more than one company. Millionaires find their specialty and branch out. It almost always takes multiple streams of income to truly become rich.

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How you can apply it: Start your multiple streams now. They may start small, but they don’t have to stay small. Try different businesses and investing approaches, just makes sure you understand what you’re doing when you get started.

6. Millionaires Value Education

With the college dropout stories of Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) and Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress), it’s easy to discredit education, but when you consider that most millionaires have a minimum of a bachelors degree, it’s easy to see that these successful dropouts are the exception to the rule. The top 3 degrees for millionaires are engineering, business and economics. As far as the super-rich, economics degrees seem to take the cake. And remember, many of these college dropouts used the knowledge they learned in college to start their business in the first place.

How you can apply it: Get an education! If you decide to dropout and become a self-made millionaire, more power to you, but getting started with an education will increase your chances for earning more money.

7. Most Millionaires Don’t Feel Rich

Generally, when you’re a millionaire, there are still thousands of people with more money than you, so millionaires don’t often think of themselves as “rich”. We all tend to define success in our life by the next thing coming and millionaires are no different. Just like you think you will be happy with that next promotion or that new car, millionaires usually think they would be considered rich when they hit the next million or a billion.

How you can apply it: We can all takeaway an important lesson here. Be where you are now and be happy with it. You are getting better, wealthier and smarter, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you hit the next level to enjoy it.  Enjoy your life now.  Right where you are.

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8. Millionaires Don’t “Look” Rich

You probably see people all the time who drive brand new Escalades and live in mini-mansions, and they’re probably in debt up to the roof. They might even be broke based on their income, versus their spending. The “keeping up with the Joneses syndrome” traps many people. The Joneses are broke! Most millionaires live in conservative homes and drive cars that are a few years old. They focus more on having money than having stuff.

How you can apply it: Never focus on what other people think. Budget your money and invest wisely. That’s the road to wealth. Huge homes and fancy cars are quick roads to piles of debt. The main takeaway here is: spend less than you make!

9. Millionaires Know They Can’t do it Alone

They may be self-made, but that doesn’t mean they did it alone. Millionaires understand the value of making friends, networking and seeking help from experts when they need it. Most millionaires report that they had a mentor along the way and that their mentor played a huge role in their success.

How you can apply it: If you want to do something big, you’re going to need help. Becoming a millionaire is no different. It’s important to reach out to others for advice and mentorship.

10. Millionaires Love to Shop…Differently

If you develop a habit of buying new clothes, cars and toys on a regular basis, you are developing a habit that will leave you broke. Millionaires love to shop, but they shop differently. They look for good deals on businesses and stocks, not new motorcycles and 1000 inch TVs. They know the difference between assets and liabilities and they focus on the former rather than the latter.

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How you can apply it: Shift your mindset to buying assets over liabilities. One of the most important factors between the rich and poor is that rich people buy assets and poor people buy liabilities. Shop like a rich person.

Today there are literally millions of millionaires across the globe. Millionaires are different. They are not the status quo, but being different may not mean what you thought it did. These are all common characteristics of millionaires and even billionaires. Develop these traits and you’re on your way to becoming one.

Featured photo credit: OnInnovatio via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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4. Short Term Vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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5. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

6. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding:

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

    Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

    4. Measure, Measure, Measure

    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

    The Bottom Line

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

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