October 09, 2019Individual Investment Management

As someone who grew up solidly middle class, money was fascinating to me as a child.  How did people afford expensive things?  Is there a "secret" to becoming wealthy?  There are certain questions that only experience can answer.  After 20+ years in financial advisory, a graduate degree in finance, and a decade of experience running my own business, I have come to notice common traits among the wealthy.

They borrow smart... 
The wealthy are not afraid to use debt strategically.  This means they use debt to invest, start a business, or secure income producing property.  Debt for consumption is generally minimized.

They surround themselves with great people...
Whether it's a smart adviser or supportive friends, they find and surround themselves with positive people and generally try hard to eliminate the negative.

They plan, monitor, and adapt...
The wealthy generally have a long-term vision of what they want to accomplish and what is important to them.  This includes the ability to adapt if things go sideways.  They don't just hope things go well.  

They understand real assets...
There are assets that appreciate and assets that don't.  While cars, household items, and fancy clothes technically count as assets, you will not become financially independent buying many of them.

They are curious about the world...
I'm always fascinated to learn about the careers and side-hustles of those who achieve financial independence.  Successful people are often heavy readers and often belong to multiple social organizations in an effort to stay connected. 

They don't get hung up on failure...
A failed venture is an opportunity to do something more productive or re-learn how to succeed.  Don't be deterred by taking a chance that goes wrong.  It can open many doors that you didn't know were there!

They educate themselves about money...
Money is a subject you can't hide from.  A poorly thought out financial decision can set you back years.  Contrary to what you may think, advisers actually enjoy it when their clients are financially astute because it makes the relationship easier!