When I graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2013, I was enthusiastic about gaining experience and building my financial assets, but like many my age had more debt on my credit cards than in in my bank account. I wasn’t struggling to pay the bills or feed myself; I certainly never went on debt-fuelled spending sprees, but I was far from living a life where money was an enabler of experience and quality. Within just a few years though, my financial fortunes looked vastly different; I had accumulated income-producing assets that enabled me to give to charity, help those less well-off than myself and live without constant fear of running out of money. I’ve written dozens of articles about the strategy behind this, so I won’t go into all the details here – this article is simply intended to provide a few tips on how to build wealth.
The Seven Cornerstones of Building Wealth
Some people like expensive cars, others holidays; to me, making the world a better place is the driver of my existence. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy a nice meal or wearing nice clothes; simply that they’re not my main focus. It\’s true that money isn\’t the only thing I can provide to the world; helping relatives, giving back to the community, donating my time and energy to helping others are all great ways to make the world a better place. Having said this, I do have bills to pay and so do other people. If I fall into poverty because I\’m spending all my time looking after other people, I too will be added to the list of those needing help. To prevent this, I have worked to build wealth which I can use to positive ends.
In truth, I believe that we can all do the same. There is no shortage of money in the world; what constrains us is ourselves; our doubts; our flaws; our inability to stop watching cat videos and wasting our most precious resource – time. By following the ideas below, I have started to build a financial nest egg which supports me in my efforts to help others.
- Wealth is created by adding value to the world around us. This value can take many forms, but there are many forms of ‘value’ which will not endure the test of time.
- Using financial advisors is an admission of laziness. If you don’t take control of your finances, they will control you. Giving away control leaves you open to excess fees and poor returns whilst funding the (usually well-paid) lifestyles of your advisors.
- Focus on acquiring assets which will increase your monthly income. Once you have sufficient monthly income to support yourself, you will be financially free and can focus on supporting those around you.
- Your poverty helps no one. There are many people who are consumed by greed, envy and jealousy; rather than spending your time feeling bitter about the success of others, concentrate on improving your own circumstances.
- Mentors are key to success. Learn from those who have already succeeded in a way you would like to emulate. Look for openness, shared values and tangible success when choosing your mentors.
- Spend the majority of your time taking action to build your wealth instead of learning about how to.
- Don’t give up. Building wealth takes time and effort, as well as a good dose of failure.