We see them everywhere: in the headlines, on morning news programs, even reality television shows. We’re fascinated by their homes, their cars, their vacations, but most of all, their bank accounts. They are the super wealthy, and most of us would love to be one of them.
The super wealthy, loosely defined as those who have a net worth of $30 million or more, are a growing segment of the U.S. population. Where once you needed to inherit your wealth or get lucky and discover a lucrative business in order to reach that level, today it’s easier than ever to achieve financial success and significant personal wealth. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to work hard, but by taking lessons from those who have reached the status of “super wealthy” you can reach more secure financial footing faster than you might think.
Invest Outside of the Public Stock Market
When most people hear the word “invest,” they automatically think of the stock market. There are many more ways you can invest, though, that have a potentially high rate of return. Many of the richest people in America will tell you that they did not make their fortune by investing in the public stock market but by investing in private ventures, whether they are businesses, real estate or private equity funds. As you build your wealth, look for private investment opportunities that will allow you to build your asset portfolio with less risk than the public market.
Own a Business or Part of a Business
Anyone who has achieved extreme wealth will tell you that you cannot do it by working for someone else. In fact, the most successful people in the world are entrepreneurs, people who leveraged one good idea into a successful business. If you do not already have an equity stake in a business, it’s time to start looking for ways to get one if you ever want to secure your financial freedom.
Accept a Certain Amount of Risk
Another hallmark of the uber-wealthy is that, on the whole, they have experienced more failure than the average person has. Most people are risk-averse. They look at opportunities in terms of what they stand to lose instead of what they stand to gain. However, very few people have reached the pinnacle of success by holding back or standing still out of fear. If you want to make more money, you have to be willing to accept a certain amount of risk —including the chance of failure — in the pursuit of finding the path to your dreams.
Nobody knows everything. Even the savviest, most intelligent business people recognize that they cannot possibly know or understand every possible angle to a situation, opportunity or problem. That is why the super wealthy hire experts to guide them. They do not let their egos get in the way of hiring people who are smarter than they are, and they rely on trusted advisors to help them make good decisions. You should do the same.
Focus On Assets, Not Income.
One aspect of great wealth that surprises many people is that wealth is not necessarily determined by income. A high income is certainly nice to have, but remember, income is taxable. It is also easily spent, on things that are not going to build your wealth portfolio. If you looked at what really constitutes the worth of the richest Americans, you’ll find only a small percentage is attributable to cash. The vast majority of their wealth is in non-liquid assets. Commercial real estate, gold, even artwork are tangible assets that appreciate over time and aren’t as vulnerable to market fluctuations as most liquid assets. Consider adding some illiquid assets to your portfolio to increase your overall wealth.
Live Below Your Means.
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: you will never get rich if you overspend and go deeper into debt. To achieve real wealth, you need to spend wisely, live simply and use as much money as you can to earn more money for you.
In the end, there really is no “magic formula” to achieving extreme wealth. However, by following some of the secrets of those who have already made the journey and met — or exceeded — their own personal goals, you can put yourself on the path to joining them in the multimillionaires club.