GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.- Wealthy people usually aren't born that way. Most spend their lives amassing their fortunes by working hard, spending little, saving a lot and investing wisely. It may sound like a simple strategy, but the fact that the vast majority of Americans fall short of millionaire status proves that it's easier said than done. Dan Ament, Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley joins us to share a perspective.
What’s Stopping You from Becoming a Millionaire??
- Your profession - Accumulating wealth starts with your first paycheck, and some jobs can get you going faster than others. According to consulting firm Capgemini's World Wealth Report, many wealthy people today work in technology, finance and medicine—fields that are well represented in our list of the best jobs for the future. If you're past your college days, you can still learn some skills to advance your career and increase your earning potential with free online courses.
- You fear the stock market - Consider the math: According to Bankrate.com, the highest yield you can expect from a money market account right now is 1.26%. here's no denying that the stock market can take you on a bumpy ride, so your fears are understandable. But steeling yourself and diving in is well worth it. Over the long term, stocks have marched upward and proved to be the investment of choice for expanding wealth.
- You don’t save enough - If you don't save money, you're never going to be rich. It's hard to get around that obvious (but often ignored) principle. Even if you earn seven figures, if you spend it all, you still net zero. Begin saving as soon as possible. Cutting seemingly insignificant expenses—such as baggage charges on your flights, late-payment penalties on your bills and out-of-network ATM fees on your cash withdrawals—can add up to substantial savings.
- You live beyond your means - Spending more than you earn can put you in a dangerous hole of debt. On the bright side, you won't be in there alone: According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, one in three American households carries credit card debt from month to month. And among those balance-caryying households, the average credit-card debt is $16,048, according to financial research firm ValuePenguin.
- You are drowning in debt - Debt can be a danger to your financial well-being. If you're constantly paying credit card bills and racking up interest, you won't have a chance to save any money. If you already have some debt troubles, be sure to devise a repayment plan. One strategy is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. The sooner you clear that away, the more you save on interest.
- You neglect your health - You need to work to make money, and you need to be healthy in order to work. The rich understand that, and 98% of millionaires consider good health to be their most important personal asset, according to U.S. Trust.
- You don’t have a budget - Without a budget, it's easy to lose track of how much you're spending and live beyond your means. Knowing where your money is going helps you identify ways to keep more in your pocket. Break out the pencil, paper and calculator to lay out your income and expenses. Or go digital with your finances by using a budgeting Web site such as Mint or BudgetPulse to help you track your spending.
- You lack purpose in your life - There's more to life than money, and wealthy people know it. According to U.S. Trust, 94% of millionaires say they have a clear sense of purpose in their lives.
SOURCES, RESOURCES & EXCERPTS
Kiplinger.com – 10 Reasons You Will Never Be A Millionaire