Financial Planning shouldn’t be hard. Unfortunately, the reason that people are not more successful with their money is that they are bombarded by financial services marketing. You are constantly being pushed to buy products from financial salespeople instead of simply copying strategies that the wealthy use to grow and protect their money.
In other words, successful financial planning must be “process-driven” instead of “product-driven”.
So, what do the wealthiest 1% of the population do that the rest do not?
They Keep Score. If you want to manage your wealth, you need to be able to measure it. The rich are masters at getting what they want, and their number one objective is building a substantial net worth and multiple sources of income so they can shift their focus to higher-level pursuits, such as personal fulfillment, freedom and philanthropy. Wealthy people have a healthy obsession with getting what they want, which includes money. They know what their values are and know how to set goals that are achievable. Materialism is only part of their motivation; the strongest for most is the freedom to do what they want, when they want. Winners love to win, and the elation they experience after victory never gets old.
They Know the Rules of the Game. The wealthiest 1% of the population calculate the highest and best use of specific assets and then make a decision to buy or sell based on that calculation. Any financial decision you make must be considered thoroughly because of the impact that it has on your whole financial picture and how it may affect other assets you own. It is critical to understand asymmetric risk - minimizing your downside risk, while having a much greater upside potential. When trying to decide what financial products make sense to use in your financial plan, you just need to copy the characteristics that the wealthiest 1% of the population use in their plans and apply them to your own situation! Here are the characteristics:
Systematic flow of money into the plan
Superior returns on your money
Availability of money when you need it
Minimize taxes on accumulation of money
Minimize taxes on distribution of money
Easy distribution of your money
Protection from loss due to death or disability
Minimize potential losses of your money
Flexibility to change your plan
They focus on money-making activities. Rich people focus most their attention on money-making activities they enjoy. More importantly, they understand how to use of leverage for success and wealth accumulation. Since people who successfully employ leverage accomplish exponentially more in the same amount of time than people who do not take advantage of this powerful tool, they tend to have more free time and not only greater financial resources, but more balanced and fulfilling lives. Leverage allows us to build more wealth than we could ever achieve alone by tapping on various other resources, and extend our potential “reach” beyond our personal resources (cash, time, experience etc.) via the “force multiplier” effect.
At the end of the day, one does not need to be among the richest people in America to live quite comfortably. However, to be more successful with your money, all you need to do is copy what the wealthiest people do with their money and you can be certain to have financial peace of mind.
As a Certified Financial Education Instructor and Certified Life Coach, Joe is a bestselling author and a leader in the financial services industry who is on a personal mission to help millions of “Middle-class Americans” dramatically improve their financial well-being.