Nope, this isn’t a magic bullet. Soz guys.
There’s this growing expectation for a quick fix, an easy path. To wealth, to fitness, to life. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there genuinely isn’t one.
It’s folly to heed anecdotes about someone who tripled their money on an investment property or a stock. Just like it’s folly to heed anyone saying you can get a six-pack (abs, not beer) or drop 2 sizes in 7 days.
These types of stories target our vulnerabilities, like buying a lottery ticket. We’re really hopeful, but the odds are way way way against us.
Get-rich-quick is not a strategy. Sure, some things might kick up temporarily, but there’s a principle called mean reversion. Things generally return to their long run averages.
So our counsel is to view money and fitness similarly. They take hard work, consideration and patience. And the reward is in the journey, not just the goal.
Step 1. Identify your goals + values — not just your financial ones.
If you can understand the deeper personal purpose behind your money goals, it will make the path far clearer + easier to stick to.
For example, one of my money goals is to pay off the mortgage. Why? Because I want freedom. I don’t want to be forever tied to bank obligations. Foregoing that coffee = easier in that frame of mind.
Step 2. Spend less than you earn
This is the one that no one wants to talk about. Saving has a bad rap. But frugality and minimalism are actually way cool 😎.
If your spending aligns with the goals + values you’ve identified, instead of seeming like a sacrifice, spending less on other things can become meaningful in your journey.
- Think before you spend. How does this *insert material item here* spending align with your goals and values?
- Track your spending. Doesn’t have to be line by line, but do you know where the leaks in your bucket are?
- Target zero waste. What spending is bringing you zero utility? E.g. bank fees, subscriptions to mags you never read
- Hold yourself responsible — or find someone who will! 👋 Hai Sar!
- Don’t use credit cards unless you can pay them off without paying any interest
Step 3. Earn more
This is a big part of your money equation. Earning more means you can turbocharge your savings. And that means greater wealth over time.
You can achieve this through various methods like:
- Upskilling + education
- Getting a raise
- Changing jobs
- Adding a side hustle
Step 4. Invest wisely
This is putting those savings to work.
It’s a terrible cliche, but you are your biggest resource. You need to thus invest in you. Your mind, your health, your relationships.
Concurrently, you can invest financially, whether in shares or other assets. Remember, if you have any short-term debt, pay it off first! This is your numero uno goal.
On shares: a lot of people we speak to are afraid of them. Makes sense, but they’re no scarier than investing in property.
I’m personally more fearful of the latter because it’s concentrates a lot of money including my future earnings, and a lot of risk into one big and lumpy asset.
Investing in shares means you mathematically spread your risk, you can start small, and your money isn’t tied up in something you can’t easily cash out of.
But both entail significant risk, and both should be seen as long-term holdings.
Investing wisely is looking at the risk and return potential, rationally. Being able to remove emotion, but not necessarily your values. Assessing how an investment aligns with your goals. Considering independent sources of information + enlisting help if you need it.
Investing unwisely? That includes not investing at all (meaning your money is losing value over time), acting on a whim (e.g. gut feel), and following the herd (everybody else has an investment property).
P.S. None of these steps are sequential, meaning you can do any/all of them at the same time.
If you liked this, pass it on to someone who might need help getting smarter with money + career. Without the BS.