How to Get Rich
Five Methods:InvestingEnrichment Through a CareerReducing Living ExpensesSaving MoneyGoing Mortgage FreeQuestions and Answers
Wealth: everyone wants it, but few people actually know what they need to do in order to get wealth. Becoming rich takes a combination of luck, skill, and patience. You have to be at least a little lucky; you build on that luck with your skillful decisions, and then you continue weathering the storm as your wealth grows. There’s no reason to lie to you: getting rich isn’t easy, but with a little bit of perseverance and the right information, it’s definitely possible.
Put money in the stock market. Invest money in stocks, bonds, or other vehicles of investment that will give you an annual return on investment (ROI) great enough to sustain you in your retirement. For instance, if you have one million dollars invested and you get a reliable 7% ROI, that’s $70,000 per year, less inflation.
- Don’t get enticed by day traders who tell you it’s easy to make a quick buck. Buying and selling dozens of stocks every day is essentially gambling. If you make some bad trades — which is unbelievably easy to do — you can lose a lot of money. It’s not a good way to get rich.
- Instead, learn to invest for the long run. Choose good stocks with solid fundamentals and excellent leadership in industries that are primed for future growth. Then let your stock sit. Don’t do anything with it. Let it weather the ups and downs. If you invest wisely, you should do very well over time.
Save money for retirement. Keep saving. It seems that fewer people are saving adequately for retirement. Some feel they may never be able to retire. Take advantage of tax-deferred retirement plans such as IRAs and 401Ks. The tax treatment they embody will help you save faster for retirement.
- Don’t put all your trust in Social Security. While it’s a good bet that Social Security will continue to work for the next 20 or so years, some data suggest that if Congress doesn’t radically alter the system — either by raising taxes or reducing benefits — Social Security won’t be available in its current form. It is probable, however, that Congress will act to “fix” Social Security. In any event, Social Security was never designed to be the only resource for retirees in their later years. That makes it all the more important that you save and invest for the future.
- Invest in a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA is a retirement account to which working individuals can contribute an annual sum of $5,500. That money is then invested and gathers compound interest. If you wait until retirement age to take money out of your Roth IRA, the money that you withdraw isn’t taxed, because it was taxed at the time you first earned it.
- Contribute to a 401(k) account. This is an account set up by your employer where pre-taxed contributions can be invested. Your employer may choose to match all or part of your contributions. This is probably the closest thing you’ll get to “free money” in your life! Contribute at least enough to take full advantage of the match.
- Invest in real estate. Relatively stable assets like rental properties, or potential development land in a steadily growing area is a good way to build wealth. As with any investment, there are no guarantees. Many people, however, have done quite well with real estate. Such investments are likely to appreciate in value over time. For example, some people think that an apartment in Manhattan is almost guaranteed to increase in value over any five-year period.
- Invest your time. For example, you might like having free time, so you give yourself a few hours a day to do nothing. But if you were to invest those few hours into getting rich, you could work towards having 20 years of free time (24 hours a day!) with early retirement. What can you give up now in exchange for being rich later? Investment advisor Dave Ramsey likes to tell his radio audience, “Live like no one else today so that you can live like no one else tomorrow.”
- Avoid purchases that are likely to depreciate rapidly. Spending $50,000 on a car is sometimes considered a waste because it’s likely that it won’t be worth half that much in five years, regardless of how much work you put into it. As soon as you drive a new car off the lot, it depreciates about 20%-25% in value and continues to do so each year you own it.  That makes buying a car a very important financial decision.
Don’t spend money on stupid stuff. It’s hard enough making a living. But it’s hardand painful when the things you spend your hard-earned cash on are financial black holes. Reevaluate the things you spend money on. Try to figure out whether they are truly “worth it.” Here are some things you probably don’t want to spend that much money on if you plan on becoming rich:
- Casinos and lottery tickets. The lucky few make money. The rest of us lose it.
- Vices such as cigarettes. Heavy smokers can only watch their money go up in smoke.
- Huge markups like candy at the movie theatre or drinks at a club.
- Tanning booths and plastic surgery. You can get skin cancer for free outside if you’d like. And do nose jobs and botox injections ever look as good as promised? Learn how to age gracefully! You’re not the only one getting older.
- First-class plane tickets. What are you getting for that extra $1,000? A hot towel and another 4 inches (10.2 cm) of leg room? Invest that money instead of throwing it away, and learn to sit with the rest of us!
- Stay rich. It’s hard to get rich, but it’s even harder to stay rich. Your wealth is always going to be affected by the market, and the market has its ups and downs. If you get too comfortable when times are good, you’ll quickly drop back to square one when the market hits a slump. If you get a promotion or a raise, or if your ROI goes up a percentage point, don’t spend the extra. Save it for when business is slow and your ROI goes down two percentage points.
Enrichment Through a Career
- Excel academically. Whether it’s a four-year college or vocational training, some successful people pursue further education beyond high school. In the early stages of a career, your employers have little by which to judge you besides your educational background. Higher grades usually lead to higher salaries.
Choose the right profession. Look at salary surveys which indicate average annual incomes for specific professions. Your odds of getting rich are diminished if you pursue a career in teaching as opposed to a career in finance. Here are some of the highest paying jobs in America:
- Doctors and surgeons. Anesthesiologists make a whopping $200,000+ per year. 
- Petroleum engineers. Engineers who work with gas and oil companies can make a very good living. In most cases they make upwards of $135,000 per year. 
- Attorneys. Lawyers top out at just above $130,000 per year, making this a lucrative field if you can put in the time.
- IT managers and software engineers. If you’re good at programming and a whiz at computers, consider this very well-compensated field. IT managers regularly make $125,000 per year. 
- Choose the right location. Go where the good jobs are. If you want to pursue finance, for example, there are far greater opportunities in big cities than in rural, low-populated areas. If you want to build a startup, you’ll probably want to consider going to Silicon Valley. If you want to make it big in the entertainment industry, go to LA or New York City.
- Get an entry-level job and work your way up. Play the numbers game. Apply to many places and subject yourself to lots of interviews. When you get your job, stick with it and get the experience you need to advance.
- Change jobs and employer. Once you’ve gotten some experience under your belt, consider finding a new job. By changing your environment, you can increase your pay and experience different corporate cultures. Don’t be afraid to do this several times. If you’re a valued employee, it’s also likely your current company may offer you a raise or other benefits if they know you’re looking at leaving.
Reducing Living Expenses
- Try extreme couponing. It’s one of the best feelings in the world when you can get paid to take home stuff you regularly use. If you do this right, you can actually get paid to coupon. At worst, you’ll save a few extra bucks that you can tuck away for a rainy day. At best, you’ll get tons of free stuff and will be richer in the process.
Buy in bulk. It’s not the easiest way to shop, but it’s usually the most efficient. If you can borrow or buy into a membership to a bulk retailer like Costco, it can make real financial sense. In some cases, you can find brand-name products for sale at serious discounts.
- If you’re hungry and you like chicken, buy four pre-cooked Chickens at Costco at the end of the day, when they go on sale. Sometimes they’ll drop from $5 each to $2.50 each, meaning that you get at least ten hearty meals for about $1 each! Freeze any chickens that you don’t eat immediately.
- Learn to can foods. Up to 40% of food in America goes to waste before it is ever eaten. Succulent peaches, blueberries, and even meats can be canned and stored for consumption later. Be smart about the food that you buy. Actually eat it. Food wasted is money wasted.
- Reduce your utility bills. Electricity, gas, and other utilities can deeply impact your monthly budget if you let them. So don’t. Be smart about ways to keep your home cool during the summer and warm during winter. You may even consider investing in orbuilding solar panels to channel the sun’s natural energy into electricity. Keep your utilities low, and watch the money you save start to mount.
Get a home energy audit. This will allow you to find out how many dollars are seeping out of your home in the form of lost energy.
- You can perform your own energy audit if you’re the industrious type, but don’t hesitate to hire a professional to complete the audit for you. It should cost anywhere from $300 to $500, which isn’t cheap, but it could help you save much more than that over time (especially if you decide to re-insulate the home). 
Go hunting or foraging for food. You may need to invest in gear and permits, but if you already have these, this is an inexpensive way to get your own food. If you’re ethically against the killing of animals, it’s pretty easy to forage for food, depending on where you live. Just make sure to forage only for food whose origin and properties you are sure of. Getting sick or poisoned is never any fun.
- Go deer hunting, duck hunting, or turkey hunting
- Go fishing or fly fishing
- Choose edible flowers, pick wild mushrooms, or forage for food in the Fall
- Start guerrilla gardening or build your own greenhouse
- Pay yourself first. This means before you go and blow your paycheck on a new pair of shoes or a golf club you don’t need, put money aside in an account that you don’t touch. Do this every time you get paid and watch your account grow.
- Make a budget (and stick to it). Create a monthly budget that covers all of your basic expenses and leaves a little bit of “fun” money aside. Sticking by your budget and saving at least some money each month is a good way to lay the groundwork for your efforts to get rich.
- Downgrade your car and house. Could you make do with an apartment instead of a house, or have roommates instead of your own place? Could you buy a used car instead of a new one and use it more sparingly? These are all ways to save a ton of money every month.
- Cut expenses. Look at the ways you frivolously spend money and rethink everything. For example, avoid going to Starbucks every morning. That $4 you spend on designer coffee every morning comes out to $28 per week, or $1,460 over the course of a year!
- Track down your expenses. To soar your efficiency on cutting your expenses, it is vital to keep track of them. Pick one of the numerous expense tracking applications there are around, like Money Lover or Mint, and record every single penny that goes in and out of your wallet. After 3 months or so, you should be able to know where most of your money go and what can you do for that.
- Spend your tax refund wisely. In 2007, the average American tax refund was $2,733. That’s a lot of money! Can you use that money to pay off debts or create an emergency fund instead of blowing it on something that will lose half its value the second you buy it? If you invest nearly $3,000 wisely, it could be worth ten times that much in as many years.
Break up with your credit card. Did you know that people who use credit cards for purchases end up spending more money than people who use cash? That’s because parting with cash is painful. Using a credit card doesn’t carry that much of a sting. If you can, divorce your credit card and see how it feels to pay with cash. You’ll probably end up saving a boatload of money.
- If you do maintain a credit card, do things to reduce expenses. Try to pay off the full balance each month and on time. That results in interest-free credit. At the very least, make the monthly minimum payment before the due date to avoid a late fee.
Going Mortgage Free
Refinance your home mortgage. Refinance to a lower rate or to a 15-year loan instead of a 30-year loan. This way you only pay a few extra hundred dollars per month but you will save yourself much more than that in total interest.
- For example: A $200,000 mortgage on a 30-year loan will cost you another $186,500 in interest payments, so you are actually paying a total of $386,500 over the course of 30 years. On the other hand, if you are willing to pay a few extra hundred dollars a month (for example, $350) by refinancing to a 15-year loan (usually at a lower interest rate), you could pay your mortgage off in only 15 years, and the best part is you would save yourself a whopping $123,700 in interest. That’s money in your pocket. Talk to a loan officer
- about your options.