We live in a culture where the cultural story tells us, "Go to school so that you can get a job so that you can make money. And after working for forty years you can retire and live well." It is the cultural story, we are told it by our parents, friends, teachers, government ... But how true is it today? The evidence on the ground shows us that work does not necessarily equal wealth. Most people are not wealthy; they work long hours and have little to show for it, that is the fact. And when they retire, they don't usually get the rosy picture the cultural story tries to portray; instead they get to survive on a meager pension. So what happened? Why is the information we are getting not getting us the desires we are having, as far as wealth goes? Why is it only a few people who seem to get wealthy and financially liberated, and why is it that the knowledge they seem to have appears to be so elusive? The answer is simple.
The education system in place today was created in the 1800s. It was designed to give people the skills to work in industries, offices, and so on. It teaches working skills, not wealth-building skills. Even today, you will learn a lot in school, but one thing you will not usually learn is how to get wealthy and financially independent. All they tell you is, "Study these skills, get a job, and you will get paid." If you go to school to learn to be a doctor, they teach you how to be a doctor, but not how to create wealth. If you learn how to be a chef, you will learn that, but not how to create wealth. Do you see the picture now? The masses are not taught how to create wealth. They are taught how to have the skills to work for others or for themselves, but not how to create wealth and financial liberty. For all intents and purposes, the vast majority of them are attempting to create wealth without a clue of how it is done. There is nothing wrong with them; they are just not equipped to achieve the goal they set. You always have to have the right equipment.
Here is a quick list of the main laws of accumulating wealth:
1. A part of all you earn is yours to keep. If you give away (spend, buy stuff, pay taxes, whatever) everything that you earn and are left with nothing, you will obviously not accumulate anything. So, ensure that, no matter what, a part of all that you earn is yours to keep, not to be spent on bills, purchases, taxes, or anything else that doesn't earn you more money. You must start keeping (saving) at least 10% of all that you earn. Pay yourself first.
2. Which leads us to the next point. Control your expenditures so that you are able to keep at least 10% of all that you earn and you are able to live without running out of money, the financial blood of any financial system. The only way you can do this is if you know what your money is doing, where it comes from, where it goes. You must start keeping records, specifically a budget, an income and expense statement, and a cash flow statement. You don't need to be an accountant at all, or even close. You can do all this automatically with very affordable software such as Microsoft Money or Quicken.
3. Once you have started saving at least 10% of all that you earn, you must make it multiply, bear children, grow, and work for you to make you more money. This is where you begin to multiply your money. You let your money bear more of its own kind - more money! In other words, invest it well and it will make you more money than you can possibly do yourself. And when your investments bear fruit, don't eat all the fruit! Re-invest most of your investment gains back again - this is the only way it will grow in leaps and bounds. By the way, invest in high return investments. Get yourself at least 20% annual compound returns. They are easy to get and they are safe.
4. Preserve your capital. You cannot grow anything if you will be losing your capital. Now, understand that it is the nature of money that you will win some and lose some. No one, not even the greatest investor in the world, can guarantee success 100% of the time. Accept this fact and relax. However, you can put in place strategies to ensure that your capital losses are mathematically managed so that they are easily offset by your gains. This is the area of money management and asset protection, and we will look at it later in more detail. Also, it goes without saying that if you wish to preserve your capital, don't get into anything before you have studied it to know and understand why and how it works. "Investing" your money based on hot tips, stuff you saw on TV, your cousins chat with you last weekend.... that will get you into trouble. Find out for yourself first; do your research, and don't just take what the "experts" say. Get in there, get involved, get your hands dirty, and find out for yourself. If you don't want to do that, then the only other way out is to get a very well qualified advisor with a proven, verifiable success track record in that particular field to tell you what to do and what not to do. Don't just get any advisor out of the yellow pages and go with them without checking their performance record and references and so on.
5. If you have a home on mortgage, which many people do, convert it into a profitable investment. As it is, most people hold homes that are actually liabilities to themselves and assets to the bank.
6. Insure a future income. Structure your financial affairs so that you progressively systemize the making of money and wealth. This will free you from having to be present or having to hold a job. You will have created a system whereby your money works for you and brings you both cash flow to use now and when you retire, if you wish to retire, and ever-increasing wealth.
7. Increase your ability to earn more. You will always earn based on what you know, what you are aware of. If you are not aware of a certain opportunity, you will not even recognize it. So, increase your ability to earn by making it a habit to continuously upgrade your knowledge. Over half of all Americans hardly read a book after they finish college. Of course they will be stuck in time if they aren't making any mental progress. They will be stuck in a day that seems the same, the same old same old, a day that seems to repeat itself. You must upgrade your knowledge consistently - we live in a universe where change is the only constant. You have to move with the cheese. Gain financial intelligence and financial responsibility.
8. Cut your taxes down to about 10% of your income. For most people, taxes are the biggest expenditure they face. Most people pay almost 50% of their income in taxes (income tax, corporate tax, sales tax, fuel tax, and all the other taxes they pay all add up to almost half their income). If you can put in place strategies to save you about 30 - 90% of the taxes you are presently paying, and this is what most wealthy people do, you will have a lot of money left over to invest. Mathematically, our economies can do very well with 10% taxes. The reason why we pay so much is government mismanagement, waste and expenditures that don't make sense.
9. Have multiple streams of independent income. This doesn't mean having many jobs. It means creating income streams that are independent of you. This gives you free time, more money to invest, and the ability to earn from one income stream when another may be down. The cycles of money are that you have up time and down times, and multiple income streams enable you to insulate yourself from the downtimes (or even profit from them) and take advantage of the uptimes in many different areas.
10. Avoid bad debt (debt that harms you) and use good debt (leverage) to help you grow in leaps and bounds. Have compound interest on your side, not against you.
11. Create automatic money systems. These will give your finances a life of its own. It will become a self-maintaining perpetual system with a strong foundation and ability to grow. Some of the systems you will need to create are an automatic saving and investment system, automatic debt reduction system, automatic giving system, automatic personal finance management system, and so on.
These things are all easy to put in place. All you need is to look at the right information and apply it. It is simple, but you do need to change the contents of your mind. The thinking that got you where you are now is not the same thinking that will get you somewhere else; it will be a different thinking. You will need to acquire new information and apply it and that's it.