Most people don’t become wealthy overnight. There are a few who gain wealth through luck, say by winning the lottery or receiving an inheritance from a wealthy relative they didn’t even know about.
There are also those people who happen to be in the right place at the right time, see an opportunity, and take advantage, but in some cases this is tantamount to luck, as well. In order to sustain wealth, however, you need more than just a lucky star – you need perseverance and a strategy.
Consider, for example, how many lottery winners end up right back where they started not too long after raking in thousands or millions of dollars. You’d think that kind of money would last a lifetime.
Unfortunately, when people who have never had two nickels to rub together find themselves dealing with massive wealth, it’s not surprising they have no idea what to do. After gifts to loved ones, frivolous spending, and a failure to protect money properly against lawsuits, just for example, that mountain of cash can quickly become a molehill.
People who manage to maintain wealth do so in a variety of ways, and none inconsequential. Whether you’ve recently come into money or you’re looking for ways to build wealth, here are a few habits of wealthy people that are well worth adopting.
1. Set Goals and Strategize
How much money do you want in the bank? How much tied up in investments? How do you plan to get, keep, and protect your money? How will you make your money work for you?
Plenty of people dream of having money. The difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich have concrete goals and well-planned strategies to earn and grow their money.
Many (not all) earn college degrees that increase their earnings potential. Some start their own businesses. Most are frugal, at least in the beginning, while they’re building up a nest egg to invest and put into retirement accounts.
The vast majority of wealthy people also have investment strategies that include a diverse portfolio of stocks and bonds, as well as retirement accounts, CDs, and more. The point is that wealthy people have a plan. They set goals, create strategies to reach them, and don’t give up.
2. Make To-do Lists
If organization is the key to success, those who gain and maintain wealth prove the theory by using to-do lists to stay on top of their goals and obligations. Many successful people are known to keep a variety of to-do lists, including those for daily tasks, as well as ongoing lists related to overarching goals that could take weeks, months, or years to accomplish.
Although the human brain is a marvelous tool, it definitely has its limits, and the average person is only capable of remembering and organizing so much information at once. Lists ensure that you never let anything slip through the cracks, and when you make to-do lists in the evening, you can start each day fresh with a plan.
Wealthy people spend a lot of time networking – not all day, every day, but a significant amount. They find ways to stay connected and the payoff is that they can rely on help, advice, and access to essential information that allows them to maintain and grow their wealth.
4. Protect Wealth
Wealth grows through activities like earning, saving, and investment planning. You also need to protect your wealth.
Plenty of people are looking for get-rich-quick schemes, and one of the most attractive is taking wealth from someone who already has it. You don’t necessarily need a safe hidden in your closet, but you do need to take steps to ensure that your wealth is untouchable.
Trusts are an excellent way to protect wealth and pass it along to the next generation, for example, and they stop outside claims from eating away at savings and investments. It’s probably a good idea to speak with a professional like an investment consultant or financial planner, as well, to figure out the best ways to keep your wealth safe.
5. Manage and Invest Wealth
It’s not enough to earn money if you want to be truly wealthy and maintain your status. You must also manage and invest your money wisely.
Not everyone is adept at investment management, so hiring a trusted professional to help you strategize is a good move. However, you can do a lot on your own through frugal practices, awareness of where your money is and what it is doing, and an interest in learning all you can about protecting and investing your wealth.