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How Millionaires Manage Their Money Differently?

How Millionaires Manage Their Money Differently?

Wealthy people manage their money differently than everyone else. They make different decisions and have an entirely different way of thinking about money. But even if you’re not wealthy, you can still manage your money like the wealthy do. It’s step one of becoming wealthy. There are 10 specific ways wealthy people manage money differently than everybody else.

1. The wealthy forget about instant gratification.

Humans are wired for instant gratification. We love it. But evolution made us that way long before our modern monetary system came about. The desire for instant gratification doesn’t help us when we’re trying to become wealthy; it hurts us. Stop making decisions that will make you happy now, but mess up your future wealth.

2. The wealthy understand the difference between wants and needs.

“We need a bigger house,” you may say. Don’t confuse wants with needs. A common mistake poor people make is to disguise wants as needs as a way to to justify them. Then you feel better about making a poor financial choice. Wealthy people understand the difference between what you need and what you want. Know the difference between a want and a need and don’t lie to yourself about it.

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3. The wealthy invest automatically.

There are ways to automate investment, such as payroll deduction to a retirement account, which is great, but the mentality of investing is more important. Automatic or not, wealthy people believe so strongly in investing that they do it as habitually as you brush your teeth in the morning. There’s no question about how much they invest, they know how much they must invest because they set goals (we’re going to get to that) and know how much money they need to reach those goals.

Roy Sheppard, millionaire and finance expert says, “Save 15% of everything you ever earn for the rest of your life.”

4. The wealthy understand the cost of debt.

“What are the monthly payments?” is what poor people ask when considering a car purchase. That’s the wrong question. A better questions is “what is this car really going to cost me?” When you multiply the monthly payment by the number of months of the loan, you’ll see a shocking number that’s way more than the cost of the car and that’s before depreciation, taxes and other expenses. This is the number you have to be comfortable with. Better yet, be uncomfortable with it and keep your old car.

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5. The wealthy start with a goal and work backward.

Know what you want and what it’s going to take to get it. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll get something that’s the result of a bunch of decisions made for instant gratification. Most likely that will be poverty. Decide what you want your life to be like, figure out how much that will cost and do exactly what you need to do to get there. 

Josh Simon, 28-year-old real estate millionaire, says, “Figure out how you would like to live in retirement, come up with a number, then work on a strategy to realize that number. ”

6. The wealthy live within their means.

The great thing about investing automatically (see number 3) is that it basically takes care of this one. If you start by investing as much as you must to reach your goal, you can take what’s left over and do whatever you want with it. By making saving a priority, you can’t spend more than you can afford to. The important thing is that you spend way less than you make. To reiterate: spend way less than you make.

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7. The wealthy make short-term sacrifices

Think bigger than right now. Think about the future effect your decisions will have on your life. The whole point of getting wealthy is to have more of what you want. But sometimes you have to trade off what you want now for more of that or something better later. Think bigger than what you want right now.

8. The wealthy get help.

Know what you are good at and leave the money management to a professional. Focus on the unique value you bring to the world to make money to invest. Don’t be completely clueless about managing money either. Understand the basics at least well enough to know what your financial advisor is telling you. The information is cheap and easy to get. Wealthy people have written lots of books about it.

Millionaire entrepreneur, Vladimir Gendelman says, “I know how to build and grow businesses, but I leave my money management to a professional financial advisor.”

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9. The wealthy do math.

We’re not talking about trigonometry and advanced polynomials; just simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division — third grade stuff. Wealthy people run the numbers when they make a decision. For example, poor people believe that when a car begins to have problems, it’s better to get a newer car so they don’t have to spend as much for maintenance and repairs. This is not necessarily true. You can spend thousands of dollars a year repairing a car and be financially way ahead when compared to buying a car. Think about all the expense of a car purchase. Do the math.

10. The wealthy take advantage of opportunity.

Wealthy people know that things like IRA’s and 401k’s are tax-free or tax-deferred growth and they take full advantage of them. When an opportunity like that arises, take advantage of it. If you also do the math (number 9), you’ll see exactly how beneficial this is.

Managing money like the wealthy is learnable and it’s not hard. If you want to be rich, manage your money using thise 10 principles and you’ll be on your way. You’ll have to make some sacrifices in the short-term, learn some stuff and work hard to earn the money you invest. The result is a really cool tool that lets you do a lot of good in the world and have a blast doing it, which is all anybody really wants. If you can’t handle all ten, just remember this: spend less than you make.

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

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