Fact #1: 497 people (approximately 0.000008% of the world’s population) control $3.5 trillion (over 7% of world GDP).
Fact #2: 99% of the US population is NOT part of the “investing class”
Fact #3: For the first quarter of 2012 the average credit card debt for indebted households was $14,517. And it may continue to grow.
You can consider wealthy people evil and greedy or you can view them as a group of people who donate millions of dollars to charity. You can envy them or you can learn from them. You can despise them for their success or admire them for their achievements. That is up to you!
But whatever your perception and beliefs about rich people are, you cannot deny one thing – they are good at keeping and multiplying their wealth.
So what do they do differently from the rest of the population?
What are their best kept secrets?
1. Wealthy people invest money instead of spending it.
In business investing money means making a purchase of value with the expectation of favorable future returns. To put it simply, you use money to make more money. I looked up the term “spending money” in a dictionary and it actually means “using money for small current or incidental expenses”.
Spending money was supposed to be something that we do occasionally when you feel particularly impulsive. Most of us, however, have got it other way around. We spend 20 times more than we invest. And this is the main reason, why we are still not rich.
By “investing money” I do not mean “buying stocks” and “becoming a shareholder”. Anything you buy can be viewed as an investment or spending. The rules are simple- if a product loses its value in the long term – than it is a bad investment decision. If you get more value out of it – you are being smart with your money.
This concept is easier than it seems. Let’s take food, for example. If you eat junk food or processed food for dinner this will lower your energy levels, while providing very little or no nutrient value for your body.
Conclusion? You are spending your money on something that is bad for your health and your physique. Vice versa, home-cooked organic food is an investment that you make, by helping to keep your body strong and healthy.
Now let’s talk about cars. You are probably aware that a new car loses one third of its price the second you drive out of the dealership. Is it a good investment? Probably not… This is why most self-made millionaires prefer used reliable cars to a shiny new Jaguar.
Starting from now before reaching for your wallet, take a second to reflect if what you are about to buy is an investment or a waste of your hard-earned money.
2. Wealthy people invest in themselves.
Wealthy people realize that you can always make more money if you have the knowledge about how to do it and the right set of skills. This is why they willingly spend about 20% of their income on self-education and personal development. They are the ones that read books, attend seminars and actively search for ‘mentors’.
If you want to be wealthy, you have to understand that knowledge and experience are your most valuable assets. It is the reason why professionals get paid 10 times more than college graduates do.
Think of what skills you would like to improve? What inner blocks and negative beliefs about money prevent you from being successful? What are your strengths that you would like to develop further?
3. Wealthy people invest in relationships.
People who have money are often accused of having the “right connections”. It is viewed by many as a negative thing. Similar to a mafia clan, that spins its web around poor law-abiding citizens and indulges in money laundering and other illegal machinations.
Wealthy people have “connections” not because they were born into influential families, but because they take time to establish these relationships. Look at the best-sellers in self-help area, like “Think and grow rich” by Napoleon Hill, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, ” Pathways to Success – In Your Personal and Private Lives” by Dale Carnegie, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey, “Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!” by Anthony Robbins – all of them were written by highly successful and self-made millionaires. They all talk about same things: the importance of positive thinking, expressing of gratitude, compassion, and giving.
Relationships in general, not just business relationships, are one of your strongest assets. Your family and friends will support you through difficult times. Your mentors will give you good advice when you most need it. Your co-workers help you out with a project and make your day more enjoyable. Your business partners and your customers will help you to increase your income and make money.
Invest your time and effort in creating good relationships with people. It is easy.
Here is a tip: “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” – Jesus (from Luke 6:31).