Ask most personal finance experts and they'll tell you thesecret to becoming richis no secret at all: Work hard, live below your means and save every dime. The nation's One Percenters, however, might disagree.
There's no shame in a modest lifestyle --even Warren Buffett lives frugally. But if your goal is to get rich, it's helpful to know these seven secrets the ultra-wealthy aren't likely to share.
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1. Salary isn't the whole storyClimbing the corporate ladder will only get you so far; at some point, you reach your earning potential and plateau. The rich know that in order to grow wealth, it's important to make your money work hard for you --not the other way around. In fact, Robert Kiyosaki, author of the No. 1 best-selling personal finance book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," built his entire money philosophy around this concept.
Generating income from passive, rather than active, income sources is the best way to do this. Investments that yield passive income include dividend-paying securities, rental properties, profits from a business you do not directly manage on a daily basis -- even royalties on creative work or inventions.
2. Take advantage of time, not timingIf the recentDow Jones crashproves anything, it's that no one can predict what the market will do tomorrow. The wealthy know this and make no attempt to moonlight asday traders.
"Time is more important to investment success than timing," explained Peter Lazaroff, a certified financial planner who manages portfolios upwards of $10 million for Plancorp, LLC. "Most of the population believes that timing the market's moves is the key to growing rich through the stock market. The wealthy, however, understand that time and compound returns are the most important factor in growing wealth."
Thoughit might seem counterintuitive, getting rich requires investors to adopt an unsexy buy-and-hold strategy, ride out market fluctuationsand ignore speculation.
3. Put it in writingThe difference between having an idea and putting it on paper is often what separates the uber-successful from average folks. And if you equate success with wealth, it might be time to start writing down your goals, both large and small, in order to become rich.
Thomas Corley, author of"Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals," noted that67 percent of the wealthy people he surveyed wrote down their goals, while 81 percent kept a to-do list.If your goal is to become a multimillionaire, write it down along with an action plan for making it happen.
4. Understand value over costAccording to Justin J. Kumar, senior portfolio manager at Arlington Capital Management,"The wealthy person has three best friends: her attorney, her accountant and her advisor. The wealthy tend to use the law and tax code to their advantage when figuring out how to maximize their wealth, especially over multiple generations, and they are not afraid to spend money up front for counsel to get these answers."
Kumar explained it's common for middle-income Americans to cut corners in order to save money, yet ultimately find the results lacking. "The wealthy look at value over cost, but they are still prudent in their decisions," he said.
5. Eat out lessPeople who are concerned with saving money often skip the daily latte. The rich enjoy small splurges such as Starbucks whenever they want and instead look at saving from a bigger picture.
Author Paul Sullivan and colleague Brad Klontz, a clinical psychologist with an academic appointment at Kansas State University, conducted research on the difference in spending habits of the 1 percent and the 5 percent. The 1 percent spent 30 percent less on eating out and saved it for retirement instead. "And that, more than the cost of a Starbuck's latte, is what, over time, separates the wealthy from everyone else on the wrong side of the thin green line," Sullivan wrote in Fortune.
6. Be your own bossEmployees work to make their bosses rich.If you're aiming for true wealth, consider starting your own business. According to Forbes, nearlyall of the 1,426 people on its list of billionaires made their fortunes through a business they or a family member had a hand in creating.
"Many middle class workers think that starting a business is too risky," notedRobert Wilson, a financial advisor andfrequent contributor to CNN, NBC and CBS. "Thewealthy understand that what's risky is allowing your time and earnings tobe dictated by a boss who couldn't care less about whether you get whatyou want for your life."
7. Use other people's moneyTo the average person, "it takes money to make money" might sound like a tired cliche used to justify irrational spending. For the rich, it's a golden rule of wealth.
The key isleveraging other people's money to increase your own wealth.
"Trading time for dollars is a losers' game, especially as technologydestroys many jobs that don't require a highly skilled human being," saidWilson. "Usingmoney from banks/investors and hiring people to work for you is a time-tested formula for building wealth, not to mention the tax laws, whichheavily favor businesses."
Whether you're fundraising to start a business or flipping real estate for a profit, relying on other people's money to do the heavy lifting greatly increases the return. Of course, it's also riskier than relying on your own funds. But if you follow the sage words of the great Warren Buffett, consider that"risk comes from not knowing what you're doing."
This article originally appeared onGOBankingRates.com.
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