Building wealth is surprisingly simple, but it isn’t easy. There aren’t really any “secrets” to creating wealth, and if anyone is offering a shortcut or get-rich-quick sounding scheme, they’re probably just trying to make a few bucks. We think there are three basic ingredients needed to create wealth: discipline, money, and time. Let’s jump right in and discuss each ingredient more in-depth.
You may be able to build wealth with less money or time than normal, but it’s impossible to build wealth without a significant amount of discipline. The more discipline you have with money, the easier it will be to build wealth. Just like any other habits, the more you practice, the easier they become; saving money is no exception. At younger ages, when money is a scarce resource, it may be especially hard to save, but dollars saved at a young age have the greatest potential for growth.
Discipline can also be described as deferred gratification: the process of resisting the temptation of an immediate reward in hopes of a far greater reward in the future. Once you get in the habit of saving money, and building wealth for your future self, it’s a difficult habit to break. Cultivating the discipline required to create wealth may seem easy, but the failure of the majority of Americans to have just $1,000 saved for the future should be an indicator of how uncommon financial discipline actually is.
Money, obviously, is a necessary ingredient for wealth creation, but there are some shortcuts. The younger you start saving, the more time your dollars have to grow; if you start saving at age 18, you probably won’t need to save as much for retirement as someone who starts saving at age 40. As you grow in your career, your salary and disposable income will likely increase, and you’ll have the opportunity to increase your savings rate along with it.
If your savings rate isn’t quite where you’d like it to be, there are two different ways to save more money: you can either spend less or earn more. If you don’t know exactly where your paycheck goes every month, it might be easier to spend less. For those already living a frugal lifestyle, making more money might be the easiest path. Continuing education can broaden your career prospects or increase your pay grade, but going back to school isn’t required to make more money. Almost anyone can join the gig economy and work from home, deliver food, or help others with different tasks in their spare time.
No matter how much money you make or how great of a saver you are, your money needs time to grow. The easiest way to give your money an adequate amount of time to grow is to start saving at a young age. The greatest example of someone who used time to their full advantage is Warren Buffett. Unlike most other investors, Warren earned exceptional returns and regularly beat the market. His phenomenal returns weren’t his biggest secret to building wealth, though. Warren’s secret is time. He started saving as a child, and is still saving today, at 90 years old. You don’t need exceptional returns to build wealth if you save for nearly a century.
You might not be able to save for 80 years of your life, but you can make sure time is on your side by starting to save at a young age, like Warren Buffett.
The three “secret” ingredients to wealth creation aren’t actually a secret at all. To build wealth, you need to master discipline, money, and time. Once you’ve got those down, wealth creation is inevitable. Our latest show takes a closer look at these three key ingredients, what you need to do to achieve each, and some examples of success. Watch “Do This to Be Rich (The 3 Secret Ingredients!!)” on YouTube below.