The ten golden rules for becoming a millionaire

Tyler Olson /

I have been providing financial advice professionally for several decades. I am also a multi-time millionaire.

During my time in the trenches, I heard every conceivable financial advice, acted upon many and made some of mine.

Here are the best of the best – some simple sentences that you can follow that will definitely make you richer.

1. Never spend more than you earn

Big broke holding an empty wallet
Ollyy /

When I was 10, I started mowing the lawn to earn money beyond my meager allotment. Minutes after I won my first winnings, my mom was packing me into the car for a trip to the bank to open my first savings account.

Fifty years later, the number one priority is still to put something off every paycheck and send in less than what he brought in.

Of course, for life being what it is, it didn’t always turn out this way. But in general, getting richer each month is as simple as spending less than you earn, and getting poorer is as simple as spending more than you earn.

2. Avoid debts like the plague

no debts
Gustavo Frazau /

Most people treat debt as if it were a normal part of life. They break it down into categories like “good debt” and “bad debt.” They discuss it endlessly, as if it were some mathematical mystery.

Debt is not complicated. Paying money to use other people’s money temporarily makes you poorer. Collecting money to allow others to use your money temporarily makes you richer.

Since paying interest makes you poorer, you only do it in two cases:

  • When you have to survive
  • When you earn more on what you finance than you pay to finance it

Unless borrowing will eventually make you richer, don’t.

3. Buy when everyone panics, sell when everyone thinks they can’t lose

anxious man
Photography A and N /

The rich knock the record when the economy booms, but that’s not when they made their fortunes.

You get richer by investing when no one else does: when unemployment is high, the market is down, everyone is afraid, and there is nothing on the horizon but fear and misery.

The cyclical nature of our economy ensures that bad times happen periodically, and human nature ensures that when bad times happen, most people will freeze like deer in headlights. But downturns are the time you’ve been saving.

If you think the world is really over, buy canned foods and veggies. If not, escalate. As billionaire investor Warren Buffett advised, “Be afraid when others are greedy and greedy when others are afraid.”

4. You can either look rich or rich

man with 2 women
Casparis Grinvalds /

When I worked as an investment advisor on Wall Street, I quickly learned that people with tons of money often don’t look like that. They don’t have to.

So, who are the prominent people who wear luxury suits and drive Porsches? It is often people who make a living selling things to the wealthy.

I don’t remember the last time I wore a fancy suit. I’ve never owned a new car, and I live in a house that’s about a third of what I can afford.

Turning your invested money into things like cars, clothes, vacations, and homes that you can’t afford will make you look rich now, but prevent you from getting rich later.

5. Live as if you will die tomorrow, but invest as if you will live forever

people on the beach
Syda Productions /

You should always strive to get as much out of life as possible each day. After all, you could die tomorrow.

But here’s the thing: you probably won’t. Put something aside so you can continue absorbing what life has to offer for as long as possible.

6. There are only 6 ways to get rich

woman with money
Sophie Photo /

The only ways to get rich:

  1. Marriage with money.
  2. They inherit money.
  3. Exploit a unique talent.
  4. Be very lucky.
  5. Own or lead a successful business.
  6. Spend less and invest your savings wisely over long periods of time.

Even if you aim for any of the top five, practice on the last one and you’ll be guaranteed to get rich eventually.

7. The most dangerous thing you can do is not take any risks

man with apple
Minerva Studio /

Whether it’s money, love or life in general, if you want the rewards, you have to take the risk.

When it comes to money, risk means investing in things that could go down in value – like stocks, real estate, or your own business. Can you get through life without risking? Sure, but as my dad was fond of saying, you’ll never get a hit out of the bunker.

Riskier investments usually provide an opportunity for higher returns. And this extra yield can make a big difference to the size of the nest egg. If you invested $200 a month over 30 years and earned 12% annually, you’d end up with hundreds of thousands more dollars in retirement savings than if the same investment was only earning 2% annually.

Taking a calculated amount of risk is the difference between getting rich and living.

However, making risky bets is simply gambling. Take calculated risks. Minimize your risk by knowing as much as possible before investing, not putting all your eggs in one basket and learning from your mistakes. Or better yet, learn from someone else’s mistakes.

8. Don’t make your well-being someone else’s responsibility

salesman slysie man
Mike Fox /

If you need surgery, you have no choice but to trust your fate to a specialist. But when it comes to your money, never hand over complete control to anyone.

Asking for advice is always a good idea. But no matter who this advisor is or how smart he is, your money is more important to you than to them. So, if you are not doing everything yourself, at least understand what exactly is happening.

Almost anyone can learn to navigate their finances. If you can’t take responsibility for your own money, just keep it in the bank. This way at least you won’t end up stealing, breaking and blaming someone else for your problems.

9. When it comes to information, less can be more

Man relaxing in a hammock
Milla Sobinskaya Glashenko /

About 15 years ago, I invested about $2,000 in Apple stock. I sold half of it a few years ago, then sold a little more two years ago. But as I write this, my remaining equity is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If I had been watching financial news every day and interacting with critics and market volatility, I would have sold it long ago and would be kicking myself today.

If you want to get rich, buy quality stocks and hold them for long periods of time. If you feel like kicking yourself, buy in quality stocks, then sell them at a low price based on something or someone you’ve seen or read.

10. Time is not money, money is time

Time is valuable
Galushko Sergey /

Whoever said “time is money” was a retard. Time is the only non-renewable resource you have. Once your time is up, it’s over.

So, the trick is to spend as much of your limited time as possible doing things you want to do, rather than working with other people doing things you have to do. Money is the resource that allows you to do this.

If you go to the mall and spend $200 on clothes, that means $200 that could have been invested. If you had accumulated 12% annually on $200, you would have raised about $6000 in 30 years. Ignoring inflation and assuming you can live on $3,000 a month in retirement, ditching those clothes today would mean retiring two months earlier.

Of course, you must have clothes. But maybe you don’t need the $200, or you might get it for less.

It’s your choice: the things of today or tomorrow. Those who choose the former often remain poor. Those who choose the latter often get rich. Which would you choose?

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