I first got into finance and investing almost 20 years ago when I opened my first brokerage account at Ameritrade and read the book, One Up on Wall Street, by Peter Lynch. Since then I’ve read countless books on the subject, took many classes and helped individuals and families with their finances. Most of what you need to do to create wealth is contained in the principles below. The principles shouldn’t be earth shattering, they are simple to understanding, simple to execute, however hard to maintain.
1. We don’t save enough
The paradigm in the United States needs to be shifted from spending first and saving what is left over (if anything) to saving first and foremost. One of my favorite books on creating wealth is The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas Stanley. Stanley studied millionaires and multimillionaires in the US and found that on average they saved 20% of their income. The personal savings rate in the U.S currently sits at 4.4%, which means that millionaires are saving nearly 16% more than the average person is. That extra 16% is enormous when it comes time to retire. For example, a 30 year old making $75k a year that saves 20% in their 401k earnings 6% would have $1.67 million in their plan at age 65. Contrast that with the average saver who is looking at $368k when they retire.