There is a shortcut to massive wealth…
And you can learn that shortcut by listening to successful people that have come before us.
I asked experts from all over the globe this question:
If you could tell yourself one piece of financial advice, what would it be?
Be sure to implement these strategies, and true wealth is yours!
Jeran Van Alfen, CFP®, Empire Wealth Strategies LL
One thing I wish I knew early in my career about finances and a topic that comes up regularly among young professional clients is to place more importance on short term savings and establishing liquid funds before putting so much emphasis on long term savings.
So many young people get caught up with their 401k and buying an expensive house before thinking about what matters to them right now and establishing financial security in the short term. They can find themselves without adequate emergency savings, in a high amount debt, and still putting significant amounts of money into their retirement account.
Barry Maher, Author, Consultant, and Motivational Speaker
If I could give one piece of advice to my younger self, it would be to start building a financial cushion as early as possible. I was self-employed then and operating on a shoestring, often a broken shoestring. That made business (and life) stressful and it also kept me from taking advantage of several big opportunities.
Nowadays I’m still self employed, a speaker and writer, and having a bit of money behind me keeps me from tossing and turning at night, stressing-out over what might happen if business gets slow. It allows me to focus on doing my best work, not just fighting to get the next check. Just as important, it provides me with the freedom to walk away from gigs that might not be appropriate.
Joshua Weiss, CEO of TeliApp
If I could only choose one piece of advice to give my younger self, it would be to take $50 from every paycheck, no matter what, and stick it in to a high interest rate bearing mutual fund.
If I could choose additional pieces of advice to give my younger self, they would include:
- Take $50 from every paycheck, no matter what, and stick it in to a high interest rate bearing mutual fund.
- Respect the money you earn. It doesn’t come easy. Save every penny and do not spend money on things you don’t need (as opposed to “want”).
- Get credit cards, but only use them sparingly and always pay off the entire balance at the end of the month.
- If you don’t have enough money in your bank account to get it, then don’t.
Andre Voskuil, Founder of DutchOracle Capital
Great question – without a doubt it’s “Avoid Black Hole Investments“.
A self-declared term that means that it will save a lot of BAD investment that are tough to recoup from smaller gains. Also, Black Hole Investments continue to suck money, time and energy long after you made an initial investment.
Tom Clarke, Professional Photographer
I would force myself to sit down and come up with a comfortable percentage of every dollar I made that I would put away. Once a certain milestone was reached I’d invest into an IRA or mutual fund (and maybe a CD or two, since the interest rates were phenomenal then compared to now).
As it stands now the one thing I have going for me is that I am doing something I truly love and it’s not really a “job” for me!
Marcie Hill, Freelance Writer/Professional Blogger
One piece of wealth advice I wish I had known earlier was to learn how to invest in stocks and not to be afraid of risk.
I grew up in a working class family where I learned to save money. I learned about 401(k) and retirement options in college. However, I wish I had learned more about investing in stocks. Also, I would have sought out risk-averse investors for advice.
Matthew Reischer, CEO, Legal Marketing Page Corp.
I wish I knew earlier that credit is not money but ‘the ghost of money‘. If I had known that the American economy was built on credit and not money, it would have assisted my understanding of how to better attain wealth.
Wealth is not how many dollars you have in your bank account but an abstract expression of the strength of your personal financial balance sheet.
Kevin Conard, Co-Founder of Blooom.com
I wish I could have told myself this: the best thing for you to do is to pretend that whatever salary you are offered for your first job (let’s say $30k for this example), pretend that you “only heard” $27,000. This way I would have started off day one putting 10% of my paycheck into my 401k. From there on out, I would have always been saving 10%.
It is far, far, far harder to start at 0% and increase over time. But then comes a car, a house, a marriage, kids…etc, and then you wake up one day and it’s nearly impossible to recover from/increase your savings rate.
Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com
The piece of wealth advice that I would give my younger self is to buy property early – get in on a small property, even a town home and then continue to trade up. Don’t wait until you’re 30 to get going on that.
Even better, if you can buy properties and save up for a down on the next one without having to sell the first. It can be an incredible long term strategy.
Vino Mehta, CEO of Vino Mehta and Associates, Inc. and Author
The concept of wealth is not as straightforward as economists, society, and bankers make us believe in our youth. As we age and our perception changes, the definition of wealth also changes.
When we lift ourselves spiritually and see life from another perspective, inner contentment, the experience of security, and inner bliss, appear to be the ultimate currency. They fulfill the individual to such an extent that he is then free from any feeling of neediness or desperation.”
Wow, how good is that advice?
Here are the key lessons that I took away:
- An emergency fund and paying off debt should be priorities at the top of your financial to-do list if they aren’t already checked off.
- Save up the amount of funds that you don’t need to worry about day-to-day bills. It gives you the freedom to do your best work.
- Respect the money you earn and don’t waste it!
- Use a credit card to build up your credit score… and never buy something unless you have the cash to pay for it.
- Avoid “Black Hole” investments. They can be costly and time-consuming, and a major setback in your financial life.
- Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life!
- Learn early how to invest in stocks! Don’t be afraid to take risks!
- Your credit and your personal balance sheet matter. Take care of them.
- Start off putting more, not less, into your investment accounts. It is hard to go the other way.
- Per Deborah, buy property early. It can be a great long-term strategy to build wealth.
- As we age, our definition of wealth evolves and matures with us. Take the time to learn what true wealth is later on in life, and that’ll save you some troubles!
- Inner contentment, security, happiness, these are the ultimate currency.