If you're like most Americans, the thought of making $40 million over 40 years sounds pretty great — especially if you don't have millions of dollars saved up already. But when you dig into what exactly makes this possible, things get much more complicated.
The truth is, making huge amounts of money requires time, planning, financial discipline, luck, and a whole lot of other factors besides. "It's not going to happen overnight," says Eric Tyson, founder of Financial Diet Fitness. "You might be able to pull off something spectacular, but there are many pitfalls along the way." So how does one go from dreaming of such massive wealth to actually achieving it?
"I would say start with smaller goals," suggests Mark O'Neill, CEO of Wealth Management Group. And while building wealth may involve a few major milestones (like buying your first house or starting a business), those aren't always enough for someone looking to become wealthy quickly. Instead, focus on setting attainable targets that will help build momentum over time. Here are three ways to achieve them.
Before we talk about specific strategies, let's take stock of where you currently stand financially. The typical household earns around $50,000 per year after taxes, which puts us squarely in middle-class territory. That doesn't mean you can't grow your net worth, however. In fact, according to CNBC, an estimated 33% of households earn less than $30,000 annually. If you find yourself in this group, here are two main paths to follow:
Increase income: As far as traditional work goes, earning more money isn't difficult. A simple strategy could be taking advantage of free training offered by employers. Another option is freelancing online through platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. You should also consider investing in side hustles that generate passive streams of revenue.
Cut spending: This tip seems obvious, but cutting down on nonessential items can yield substantial returns because they tend to drain our resources faster than bigger bills do. According to Bankrate, homeowners who cut their energy costs by 20% save nearly twice as much each month compared to those who don't change anything. It's probably no surprise then that millennials spend significantly more than older generations on utilities. One of the best ways to lower these monthly payments is simply moving somewhere cheaper.
Save for retirement: Depending how old you are, saving for retirement has its pros and cons. On the upside, doing so lets you avoid dipping into your emergency fund whenever a crisis strikes. However, depending on your current age, it may still take decades before you reach your goal completely. While you wait, you can set aside small portions every week via automatic deposits into a 401(k) plan or Roth IRA account. These accounts allow you to withdraw contributions tax-free once you retire.
Here's another approach: Focus on your biggest savings goals first, and gradually scale upwards until you hit them all. Then, keep contributing even after you meet your primary objective. This method allows you to maximize growth potential without putting too heavy of a strain on your budget.
Once you've identified your largest long-term financial priorities, prioritize tackling them ASAP. After all, you want to reap maximum rewards within the shortest period of time. Once again, experts agree that focusing on short-term goals can boost your chances of success.
While you may feel tempted to put everything on hold until you reach your long-term objectives, remember why you started working toward those goals in the first place. Your motivation matters just as much as your ability to execute tasks. When pursuing seemingly lofty goals, it helps to remind ourselves that nothing worthwhile ever came easy. Don't sacrifice your progress due to impatience.
In addition to prioritizing, know when to stop. If you're trying to turn a quick buck into six figures, scaling up too fast can lead to failure. Set reasonable expectations instead of expecting miracles.
Don't fall victim to common mistakes made by new millionaires, either. Many people get carried away during the early stages of their journey and end up losing sight of reality. They invest heavily in stocks, buy expensive cars, and treat themselves to lavish dinners. Remember that this phase comes later, if at all. Nowadays, only 1 percent of U.S. adults became millionaires last year. Those who did were likely propelled forward primarily by hard work rather than blind ambition.
Lastly, don't forget to diversify your investments. Even if you manage to pick out profitable companies, it won't matter much if you're invested entirely in tech giants.
According to a recent study published by Boston College's Center on Retirement Security, millennials aged between 27 and 37 need to accumulate roughly $2.5 million in assets over 30 years in order to replace 90% of lost earnings. This number is based on historical data and assumes future market volatility. Of course, everyone's circumstances differ slightly, so take these estimates with a grain of salt.
So, how can you realistically achieve such high levels of wealth relatively soon? First, identify whether you'd benefit from higher education. If so, consider boosting your salary using skills learned in college. Next, explore how to increase your odds of landing a job. There are several steps you can take to improve your resume, including networking, researching open positions, and preparing cover letters.
Also, think about improving your credit score to qualify for larger loans. Finally, look into refinancing student debt to reduce interest rates.
Another tactic to pursue is leveraging personal connections to accelerate your path towards becoming a millionaire. Consider reaching out to friends and family members to ask for referrals, offers of assistance, and recommendations regarding jobs and housing. By treating acquaintances well, you'll encourage them to reciprocate.
Finally, don't underestimate the power of technology. With sites like Zillow helping buyers and sellers connect, it's easier than ever to land lucrative gigs remotely. Likewise, apps like Gigwalk provide gig economy workers with tools to perform various odd jobs.
You've heard it before: "Money buys happiness." But how much do you really know about making money? How does your current income compare to your peers' incomes?
In this article we'll look at what exactly makes someone wealthy — and whether there are easy ways to become one yourself. In short, if you want to be financially independent by age 30, here's what you need to consider.
There isn't one simple answer to this question because so many factors go into deciding who has wealth and who doesn't. The key word here is "independence," which is something very few people achieve. Wealthy people have financial freedom, or the ability to choose where they work without needing an employer's approval.
So, when figuring out how to get rich in 2022, keep these questions in mind: What am I passionate about? What skills/talents/knowledge do I already possess? Where am I right now in my career trajectory? And finally, what would make me happy? These will help determine your approach to investing and planning for the year ahead.
Let's take a closer look at each area individually.
It may seem like a given, but most experts agree on one thing: You shouldn't put all of your eggs in one basket (or stock). That means diversifying your investments across multiple asset classes such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, alternative assets, etc., rather than putting all of your savings in one place.
This strategy helps protect against market volatility, while also giving you more control over your finances. If the stock market tanks in 2021, for example, you'd still likely see gains from other areas of your portfolio, meaning you wouldn't lose everything overnight. This is especially true for those nearing retirement.
"When considering long-term goals, investors often focus too narrowly on the near term returns offered by certain sectors, companies or regions," says John Haltiwanger, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. "The benefits of diversification include protecting against large losses, minimizing risk exposure to any single company or sector, and providing greater scope to rebalance allocations based on changing circumstances."
Also, don't forget inflation! It could mean the difference between retiring early or working until 70. According to CNBC, U.S. consumer prices rose 3% last month — nearly double expectations. With interest rates low, even modest price hikes can cause serious problems. So, factor that increase into your overall budgeting plan.
Once you decide what kind of investor you're going to be, then figure out which companies fit within that category. Here's our breakdown of five popular types of investors: growth, value, core, defensive, and active.
Growth vs. Value: Growth generally refers to larger, publicly traded companies. Typically, their share prices tend to fluctuate more. On the flip side, smaller privately held companies typically trade less, making them more stable. However, both styles provide good dividends. There is no clear winner here depending on the type of person you ask.
Core vs. Defensive: Core companies are usually well established businesses that aren't dependent upon new product launches. Examples include Johnson & Johnson, Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, ExxonMobil, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, General Motors, Ford, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Salesforce, Tesla, and Berkshire Hathaway. Defensives, on the other hand, prefer stability and consistency. They're not necessarily bad bets, but they won't outperform the markets either.
Active vs. Passive: Active investors actively search for undervalued shares in order to turn around their fortunes. Passive investors simply buy and hold shares, hoping for better times down the road. As an avid passive investor myself, I've found success through index funds.
Passive investing is becoming increasingly popular thanks to services like Betterment, E*TRADE, Fidelity Investments, Motif Investing, Vanguard, TIAA, and TD Ameritrade. Index funds allow clients to save money and earn higher returns because they track a preselected group of securities instead of trying to beat the market. A study conducted by Morningstar showed that passive strategies returned 2.6 percent annually compared to 1.2 percent annualized return for active managers. Other research suggests that 80 percent of total U.S. household spending goes toward housing costs, health care, food, transportation, education, utilities, debt repayment, taxes, insurance premiums, and donations.
Now let's talk about picking the ideal mix of investments for your personal situation. Generally speaking, the younger you start saving, the lower your percentage of fixed versus variable assets should be. Let's say you're 35, married, and earning $75,000 per year after tax. Your portfolio might consist of 60 percent fixed assets (like CDs) and 40 percent variable assets (such as stocks or ETFs), according to MoneyChimp. By contrast, if you were 45, unmarried, and earned $100,000 per year, your allocation might be 50 percent fixed and 50 percent variable assets.
Here comes another important consideration: When choosing a particular asset class, pick one that suits your personality. Are you aggressive or conservative? Risk tolerant or risk adverse? Or maybe you just want to spread things out evenly. Whatever your preference, stick to that philosophy throughout your entire portfolio. Otherwise, you run the chance of ending up with two completely different portfolios.
For instance, if you chose to allocate 55 percent of your assets to equities, but you hate dealing with them, your emotions could easily sway you away from pursuing your goal. Similarly, if you opt for high-dividend paying corporate bonds, but you're afraid of losing sleep at night worrying about default risks, you probably won't end up keeping that bond forever. Instead, think logically and strategically about your choices: Do they suit your needs and time horizon? Does it match your lifestyle? Would you feel comfortable holding onto it for 10 years straight?
As mentioned earlier, remember to account for inflation. If you're thinking of buying real estate soon, for example, try using Zillow's home affordability calculator to estimate what rent you could afford in various cities around the country. Also, use a mortgage rate tracker tool to check the average interest rate in your state.
Lastly, don't ignore social security. Most workers rely heavily on Social Security payments once they retire. Knowing its importance, it's worth taking SS into account when building your portfolio. According to MarketWatch, Americans currently receive an estimated $1,200 every month from the government program.
Depending on where you live, you could potentially collect anywhere from $15,412 to $41,580 annually. Of course, you'll need to pay taxes on your monthly checks, which vary wildly depending on your individual earnings. If you haven't started collecting yet, consider starting sooner rather than later. After all, there's nothing worse than running out of months to claim benefits.
If you plan on continuing to enjoy the fruits of capitalism without getting paid directly, you might find inspiration in tech unicorns. Essentially, a unicorn startup is a private firm valued at more than $1 billion dollars. Since 2016, almost 450 startups have been founded in Silicon Valley alone. Some of them are Uber, Pinterest, Palantir, SpaceX, Airbnb, Dropbox, Twitter, Reddit, Spotify, Square, and Discord.
Obviously, not everyone wants to join a unicorn. For those looking to create their own successful business, however, here are three tips to follow: First off, avoid chasing trends. Second, develop a unique idea. Finally, stay focused despite inevitable pivots along the way. According to Forbes contributor Rachel Metz, millennials are known to change jobs multiple times during their careers. Don't fall prey to this common trend.
Regardless of the path you ultimately decide to pursue, you must first understand why you want to succeed in the first place. Then, set realistic milestones, map out a timeline, and visualize your desired outcome. Lastly, commit to sticking to a routine, preferably one that allows you plenty of time to devote to your pursuits.
According to LinkedIn data scientist Brian Wielicki, people who spend more hours at work produce twice as much revenue as individuals who only work eight hour days. He adds that productivity increases exponentially beyond 12 hours per day. Therefore, it's crucial to maximize your available time wisely. To that effect, he recommends scheduling downtime, exercising regularly, meditating, eating healthy, and learning new hobbies.
Finally, if you're interested in creating sustainable passive streams of income, here are four ideas that come highly recommended by several financial advisors: Renting out an extra room, renting out items stored in your garage, leveraging unused gift cards, and finding micro-jobs online.
While none of these options guarantees riches, they definitely represent solid opportunities for generating additional cash flow. Depending on your skill sets, interests, and experiences, you might even discover a passion you didn't expect.
There are plenty of ways for you to make money as an adult — you just have to know where to look.
The good news is that there's no shortage of opportunities. In fact, many experts say there will be more jobs than workers available by 2022. That leaves open lots of possibilities for making cash from home or selling your own products (or someone else's).
Here are 10 ideas on how to get started, starting with something simple but powerful: creating value through freelance work.
If you're thinking about getting into freelancing or independent contracting, first consider this question: What skills would you like to learn? Once you've identified those areas, check out these online directories of service providers who provide services related to them:
Upwork: Get paid anywhere between $5-$200 per hour doing all kinds of things including programming, copywriting, data entry, graphic design, marketing, customer support, photography, translation, virtual assistant work, etc. The site has its share of scammers, so use caution when communicating with potential clients. It also doesn't offer much flexibility in terms of payment schedule if you want to take advantage of their "flexible" pricing model.
99Designs: This platform connects designers directly with marketers looking to hire product mockups, logos, infographics, banners, flyers, posters, presentations, websites, apps, and other designs. You could start designing in one area and then move onto another later. Designers set their own rates here too, which usually range between $15-50 per project depending on complexity. If you don't already have any portfolio pieces to show off, 99designs provides a template gallery. Don't forget to join Facebook Groups such as Freelance Graphic Designer Community [No Longer Available] and 99 Designs Forum.
Amazon Mechanical Turk: Amazon offers various types of tasks like image tagging, paraphrasing text, summarizing videos, answering surveys, transcribing audio files, data cleaning, proofreading, etc., designed specifically for computer scientists, engineers, statisticians, researchers, business professionals, students, professors, etc. There are two options: complete HITs ("Human Intelligence Tasks") yourself, or pay human evaluators using MTurk. Some HITs only require filling in forms. Others ask you to perform specific actions like clicking links or typing words. Usually, MTurk pays at least 50 cents for every completed task. Most users receive payments via PayPal once they reach certain payout thresholds. However, keep in mind that MTurk does not allow job submissions outside the website itself. Also, since data privacy laws vary across countries, you'll need secure digital methods of transferring funds.
Fiverr: Fiverr allows you to buy gigs and sell your talents for five dollars each. Gig creators create profiles describing their specialty and showcase examples of past projects. Depending upon demand, gig creators may charge higher prices for complex requests while lower fees for simpler ones. Sellers upload samples of their previous work and list their desired hourly rate. Clients contact sellers interested in working together based upon listings posted on the marketplace. Payment is made during the process of collaboration. Remember that most buyers and sellers communicate over messaging platforms like Telegram, WhatsApp, Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, Discord, Viber, Kik, WeChat, etc.
Pitchbox: Pitchbox matches sellers with buyers seeking expert help in specific fields ranging from software development, web design, consulting, writing, coding, accounting, marketing, sales, etc. You can either post a listing for free or choose to upgrade to Premium ($9/month) or Pro ($19/month), both offering additional features like unlimited item listings and access to premium content. Payments are made after successful completion of a project. Note that Pitchbox limits you to 20 active simultaneous bids per month.
These sites aren't necessarily intended to replace full time employment. Instead, they serve as supplemental income streams.
Once you've chosen a skill, let's discuss three popular approaches to building a freelance career around it: 1.) Offer direct client services 2.) Set up shop as an affiliate marketer 3.) Create your own product offerings and monetize them.
1. Provide Direct Client Services
You can find your niche market by exploring local communities, searching forums, networking events, social media groups, professional organizations, search engines, etc. Then research whether there's enough interest in your field to sustain a long term business relationship. Alternatively, you can simply dive right in without worrying about finding paying customers because you plan to build your business gradually over time. Either approach requires patience and persistence.
2. Become An Affiliate Marketer
This method involves promoting third party merchants' products and earning commissions whenever you generate qualified leads. As an example, suppose you enjoy baking cakes. You can become an affiliate marketer for companies specializing in cake decorating tools, cookbooks, ingredients, and other goods used in the creative process. Since affiliate marketing businesses typically rely heavily on commission checks rather than fixed salaries, earnings tend to fluctuate according to consumer preferences.
3. Build Your Own Product Offering And Monetize Them
Let's say you were born to bake delicious cupcakes. Maybe you're passionate about sharing recipes or tips to improve results. Why stop there? Consider turning your passion into a side hustle. Developing your own product line gives you greater control over quality, price points, delivery schedules, shipping logistics, packaging materials, branding, etc. All these factors play crucial roles in determining profits.
To launch your own product offering, you might need to invest a few thousand dollars upfront. But remember, even small startups achieve massive success stories. Take Uber, Airbnb, Apple, Instacart, Spotify, Tesla, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Lyft, Pandora, Etsy, Twitch, Snapchat, GoPro, Netflix, Dropbox, Zillow, Expedia, eBay, etc. These brands didn't emerge overnight. They took years of effort and experimentation before becoming household names. So, why give up now? Be patient! Research proven techniques to grow your company step by step until you begin generating significant revenue. Learn everything you can about launching and growing your venture. Find mentorships, workshops, crash courses, seminars, books, blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, newsletters, etc. that can accelerate growth. When you feel confident enough, roll up your sleeves and go for it.
Keep track of competitors, new trends, emerging technologies, and evolving markets to stay ahead of the curve. Use resources like Forbes, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Money & Investing Daily, Harvard Business Review, Smart Passive Income, etc.
It takes a great deal of courage to follow our dreams. Do whatever it takes to succeed. Work hard. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members. Make sure to celebrate successes along the journey. Stay consistent. Never quit. Keep moving forward towards achieving goals. Be curious. Have fun!
In addition to learning more about entrepreneurship, we recommend taking the following steps to ensure success:
Create a well organized workspace. A cluttered desk signifies chaos. Similarly, disorganized mindsets lead to confusion. Therefore, maintain a clean slate daily. Put away personal belongings. Leave only essential items within arm's reach. Organize papers. Separate important documents from junk mail. Turn off distractions. Block emails. Unsubscribe from spam. Clean up voicemail messages. Delegate responsibilities. Prioritize tasks. Schedule meetings. Establish clear boundaries. Reward milestones reached.
Set concrete objectives. Define measurable benchmarks. Write down short-term targets. Measure progress. Adjust strategies accordingly. Focus on tangible outcomes. Stick to a budget. Manage expectations. Follow deadlines. Aim for perfection.
Establish systems. Automate repetitive processes. Integrate technology wherever possible. Choose reliable suppliers. Regularly review policies. Update procedures. Streamline workflow. Test backups regularly. Treat employees fairly. Communicate effectively. Improve communication skills. Respond promptly to inquiries. Plan strategically. Hire talent efficiently.
Take breaks. Rest assured, entrepreneurs need downtime now and again. Go offline occasionally. Give yourself mini vacations. Avoid burnout. Admit mistakes. Ask for feedback. Celebrate wins. Spend time with loved ones. Exercise. Limit stressors.
Stay flexible. Remain adaptable. Accept change. Change direction when necessary. Adapt to circumstances. Overcome obstacles. Expect setbacks. React positively. Reinforce strengths. Think positive thoughts. Visualize goals achieved. Motivate self. Trust instincts. Surrender to fate. Live life passionately. Embrace uncertainty. Let go of fear. Face reality. Believe in yourself. Persist till victory. Love life.
Don't expect miracles. Understand limitations. Recognize challenges. Rise above adversity. See opportunity everywhere. Persevere despite failures. Look beyond immediate rewards. Try alternatives. Experiment. Be bold. Prepare diverse portfolios. Brand yourself. Network. Always strive to excel. Practice gratitude. Share knowledge generously. Help peers.
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.