This is a topic that I gave a lot of thought to when I was younger, not because I wanted to mimic the lifestyle of a rapper, but because I was always passionate about not being stuck at a job. I think doing what you love is great, but I think doing what you love on your own time, whenever you want is even better.
Financial freedom is a mindset that puts into motion a life of discipline so that you can achieve your goals.
Over the course of the past 17 years I’ve read nearly every personal finance book I could get my hands on. Of course it all started with Robert Kiyosaki’s book, If You Want To Be Rich And Happy, Don’t Go To School. This was his first book, before the Rich Dad Poor Dad book, a book that I highly recommend to all.
From the books I’ve read, mentors I’ve spoken with, and my own life’s journey, here are 10 actions that will make you rich.
One important note before I begin, there are may definitions of the word rich, to keep things simple I will be talking about getting rich financially, enough wealth to where you could go 10 years without earning a single dime and still have money left over.
1. Have a planYou have to plan to get rich if you want to be rich. Even people who play the lottery have a plan…It might not be a very good one or even successful, but they do have a plan laid out, keep buying tickets until they win.
Having a plan is the difference between wishing you were rich and living rich before you actually become rich. I’m not talking about living lavishly, I am talking about being wise with your money.
Create more than one plan, I always had a long term plan, one where I guaranteed myself a significant amount of wealth over the course of 3 decades. My second tier plan was a way for me to get rich in 15 years; and my 3rd plan, the plan that I mainly focused on, was a 5 year plan.
You want to have fall back plans that are more conservative and guaranteed because in the beginning, creating wealth is difficult. Only after you have the knowledge, experience, and money does your wealth compound.
2. Become a compulsive saverIn my own life, this was huge; my wife and I are both relentless savers. Saving probably an average of 75% of our income over the past 3 years, prior to that we probably saved at least 25%. Not losing money you’ve earned, as well as taking the money you’ve earned and putting it to work is going to be a crucial part of your wealth building.
One of the most important values in my life is always thinking about how I will put my dollars to work. Think of each dollar as a potential employee or business, each dollar will happily work for you if you give it a job.
3. Focus on investments that cash flowStocks that pay dividends, rental properties, becoming a lender, or anything else you can buy that will give you passive income.
Forget about speculative or capital appreciation.
Every single time I tell people I buy houses for rental income, I always hear questions about the real estate market going down or the party being over for appreciation…I don’t care. I don’t give the value of my house a single thought. I want the income, it makes no difference to me if the house is worth $250,000 or $50,000, it doesn’t effect me. All that matters is how much money I am making from the property.
4. Buy at the right priceA great saying in the investment world is that you make money when you buy. Meaning, if the deal is structured correctly, you always walk into an investment wealthier than you were before. This goes for other things as well, including buying everyday items. Saving money because you are buying at the right price will add up to a lot over the years and decades ahead.
5. Treat debt as your archenemyNever go into debt for a vehicle, consumer good, or product that doesn’t produce the income to service the debt. This is a powerful code to live by, because if you just live by this one rule, you will not only become financially rich, but this will open up the floodgates of freedom in your life. Do not become an indentured servant by going into debt for a piece of metal that you drive to and from work. It’s important to accept that no one cares what you drive or what brand your clothes are.
Sure, it feels great introducing your new car to friends for about the first 20 seconds, but after that no one cares; so don’t get stuck with a 2,190 day financing commitment.
6. Invest in your relationshipsMentors, clients, and your financial team. Whether it is your realtor or elderly neighbor who made a fortune in commodities 20 years ago, learn from other people and treat them with respect.
7. Educate yourselfSurround yourself with audio books, podcasts, and sign up for a few financial newsletters.
Most conventional education through a college or university is a waste of time in my opinion. Not only are these instructors not wealthy themselves, but the ones that are, are wealthy because they have sucked from the big tit of government, with these ridiculous state worker pension plans.
8. DiversificationReal diversification, meaning owning rental properties, stocks, private businesses, lending, farmland, precious metals, whole life policies, and other assets.
I hate the typical idea of diversification between mutual funds, individual stocks, bonds, REITS, and MLP’s. These are ALL tied to the stock market, so this is not diversification.
9. Live below your meansIf you are under 35, this is what I call your asset accumulation phase, you should be aggressively acquiring income producing investments that will guarantee your financial freedom by the time you are 50.
To do this, you need to live below your means, this starts off by avoiding the trap of keeping up with the Joneses. Don’t get caught up in the love affair with stuff or having the same status-like items that your friends have who will remain poor until the day they die.
If you make $50,000 a year and you drive a $25,000 car, you’re an idiot. With $25,000 or the payments needed to support that car, you could be building a massive amount of wealth for the future.
10. Compound your wealthImagine a hockey stick laying on the ground pointing straight up. This is the effect of compounding your wealth, it takes time, and is barely noticeable in the beginning, however, after decades of re-investing your wealth, eventually your net worth will go parabolic. People who are in their 20’s who start investing today, even if for just the next 7 years, can actually become wealthier than someone who doesn’t start investing for 7 years, but then invests every year until they retire. That’s how powerful it is to start putting your money to work immediately.
Columbus Financial Coach
The wealthy understand this, which is why a 2% dividend can one day become a 100% dividend on your original investment, if given enough time. This practice creates legacy wealth, a wealth that will be transferred to our children and your children’s children.
Albert Einstein said, “compound interest is the eighth wonder in the world…He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t…pays it.”
Think about that the next time you are at your bank signing up for a loan, YOU are becoming someone else’s asset. You are helping their dollars create more dollars.
If you want to be rich, then act rich. The actions of the rich are not what Hollywood portrays, it is applying the above commentary to your daily living.