Friday, March 16, 2012

How to Amass Wealth If You're Poor (Like Me)

I work 2 jobs that I truly love, yet they are far from ideal long term career positions my parents would have hoped for. My income is better left unsaid, considered below the 'poverty line' in Canada. I do not have any special skills. I suck at math.

Despite that, my experience in the last 7 years has convinced me that, even on a very low income, you can still establish and execute a successful wealth building plan. Simple tweaks to your lifestyle can surprisingly accelerate your plan to amass wealth; ironically, they increase overall health and wellbeing as well. Embracing a different lifestyle, geared toward saving money and investing, is the first step in preparing to build wealth.

A core principle of building wealth is to think independently, free of influence from the masses. Thinking independently starts with embracing the unconventional, and making decisions for the better of your financial future, not based on what society deems as normal or acceptable. It makes sense that only 1% of the population is a 'high net worth' individual. In my experience the majority of the 99% are just mindlessly spending, keeping up with the Jones' and reaching for acknowledgment and acceptance at any expense. Unfortunately, the majority of the population have most of their decisions dictated by advertising, relatives, friends and society. I call this personal dictatorship. Be aware, if you spend money often on clothing, gadgets, collectables, and at upper scale restaurants, it's impossible to amass wealth if you're poor (like me).

Thinking logically, to be in the 1%, it's sensible to think that you must be fiercely unconventional, be a rebel, go against common societal practices and be willing to do whatever is needed to achieve your wealth building goals, otherwise you'll be just like most of the 99%. Avoid personal dictatorship.

If you're poor (like me), you have to decrease your monthly expenses in a real and rational way. If you are just scraping by to pay your rent each month, it's practically impossible to have a meaningful wealth building plan. Realizing this and making real changes is an important step to amassing wealth. My advice is to move in with roommates, or move to a neighbourhood in an older part of town where rent is more affordable. Especially if you're poor, expensive living is not a priority from a wealth building perspective. Other ways to decrease your fixed expenses are to look for better deals on car insurance, discontinue your land line phone, buy a used car and eat healthier. Less money for fixed expenses gives you more to invest in your wealth building plan.

Acknowledging and controlling your vice can be a deciding factor when building wealth. Generally, the amount of money spent to support a person's vice can easily supplement a successful wealth building plan. Common problems can be drugs, alcohol, shopping, overspending etc. Confronting these challenges is the first step, than it takes independent thinking to make the changes needed to live a more wealth oriented lifestyle. Therein lays the hardest part of building wealth, actually making the tough, unpopular decision that most people would avoid, and diligently sticking to it over your wealth building journey.

Embracing independent thinking is a point worth emphasizing, however, combining community involvement and societal practices with independent and free thinking is the most powerful wealth building combination of all. One man can accomplish very little compared to what a group of like minded men who work together can accomplish. Be aware that societal interaction has it's temptations and it can be easy to abandon frugality and independence. Combining independence and rebellion, while leveraging social interaction is a solid foundation for a wealth building plan. This is where I need most practice.

Ideally, if you can tweak your lifestyle and be consistent, you can save a bundle of money by diligently practicing the above principles.

That's the hard part; the easy part is the actual investing. Simply invest the money you save in a widely held stock index fund every month (you can find these through your bank or brokerage). Repeat each month. Hold till financial freedom.

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2 comments:

  1. Interesting story of your life. I believe even if your salary is not that high as long as you have goal and focus on what you want to be and what you want you will succeed but before you succeed we must learn Mass Affluent Training it's all about on how you handle your money proper training will help people to avoid debts and bankruptcy.

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  2. Thanks for your comment :) Best wishes in 2013

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