If you’re just tuning in, I’m in the middle of a paint-by-numbers series on how more Americans can reach financial independence.
I’ll cover all the important topics, from saving and investing to diversification and asset allocation to stock selection and the advantages of “asymmetrical risk.” (That’s higher returns with less downside.)
Let me begin with a basic truism: There can be no significant investment without savings.
How do you save more? By maximizing your income and living beneath your means.
Spending decisions are highly personal, of course.
No one knows more than you do about the needless waste or excess in your budget.
These decisions aren’t easy but are an essential first step in the lifelong process of investing and compounding your money.
However, you can reduce the pressure to cut costs by maximizing your income.
So let’s spend a moment talking about that…
In today’s knowledge-based economy, your earned income is generally decided by nine personalized factors:
- Educational attainment or specialized skills
- Chosen profession (and specialization)
- Years of experience
- Hours worked
- Work ethic
- Social skills
- Competence and proficiency
- Ability to cooperate with, inspire and lead your co-workers
- Ambition to rise in the organization.
The lesson should be obvious. If you want to earn more, make yourself indispensable to someone.
Yes, some people are born with greater genetic gifts than others.
You and I were not born with the looks of Cary Grant, the athleticism of LeBron James or the intellect of Sir Isaac Newton.
Nature deals some people better hands than others.
Yet we each benefit from playing the one we’re dealt the best we can.
From an economic standpoint, that means attaining education or marketable skills, showing competence, reliability and integrity at work, and doing whatever is required to advance in an organization.
(Or seek out other employers who do offer that opportunity.)
This is about way more than money…
Life is far more enjoyable when you have challenging work that brings out the best you.
Indeed, polls show that high net worth individuals describe their greatest life satisfaction as “a feeling of earned success.”
Aside from your personal development and self-actualization, generating a higher income allows you to save more without living like a miser or passing up everyday luxuries like dining out or traveling to new and interesting places.
(Or assisting friends and family members who might need a helping hand.)
The Next Step on Your Journey to Wealth
There has rarely been a better time to get started.
The U.S. economy – a marvel of innovation, growth and opportunity – is on the cusp of a post-pandemic boom.
The Labor Department reports that U.S. employers have more job openings than there are unemployed Americans.
Businesses nationwide want smart, ethical and self-motivated employees – regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation – who are willing to learn and eager to take on responsibilities.
If you’re in the workforce today, you want to fit that description.
You’ll enjoy a higher income and standard of living today – and ensure a more comfortable retirement tomorrow.
The next step in your quest to develop a seven- or eight-figure net worth is to develop the mindset of the world’s most successful investors… the topic I’ll cover in my next column.
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