After reading a “Hot to Get Rich” guide, this man decided to debunk the myths and offer real advice, from real people, on how to get rich.
I just read some of the worst advice I have ever seen in my life.
After having lunch with a millionaire I decided to see what people thought about how to get rich. I Googled the term, and was shocked to see a website I respected give out some advice that I’ve found to be flawed.
This site is very well known and is dedicated to giving answers for many how-to questions. Unfortunately, they got this one wrong.
I’m not going to link to the article because I have nothing against the website itself, they provide tremendous value to many. When I saw they had published a guide called “5 Ways to Get Rich”, I thought it sounded great and I started to imagine the possibilities
I have spent some time talking with, and studying, millionaires. I couldn’t wait to read the cliff notes of millionaire 101!
My excitement crashed after reading the very first suggestion.
While reading, I thought they should change the title to “5 Things That Broke People are Doing While They Hope to Get Rich,” the people that I am learning from and about are telling me a different story. Here is what they’ve shared with me. Here are the five myths about how to get rich debunked and a better way to handle your finances.
1. “Save money wisely.”
On the surface, this sounds like great advice. In fact I have listened to many successful people tell me this exact thing. The old saying “It’s not what you make, it’s what you do with what you make” applies here. Right? While saving money wisely is a great tip, the next sentence they offered almost spun my head around.
“Spend your tax refund wisely.”
Here is where the advice I have been given is different. If you are getting a big tax return, you are doing something wrong! Why would you let anyone (especially the government) keep your money over the course of a year without paying you interest? Their guide says to invest your tax return, I agree. Why not invest it one year earlier by not overpaying in the first place?
The real tip here is to take control of your own money. You don’t need someone (especially the government) to save it for you; you need to learn how to save it yourself.
2. “Reduce living expenses.”
This is another great generalization that my millionaire group may agree with until they run into this supporting tip that accompanies it: go hunting for your food to save money.
This is ridiculous. Hunting is an extremely expensive hobby when it’s done legally. In this article Jim Zumbo talks about paying over $400 for elk tags in different states. Add that to the price of travel, time off work, butcher, weapon, and ammo, and you could buy Kobe beef. Hunting is not a good way to save money.
Reduce your living expenses by eating at home, buying food when it’s on sale, or saving money on energy bills, not by picking up an expensive hobby.
Now we are talking! This is where fortunes are made. One good turn in the stock market can change your family tree forever! The guide says you should invest money for retirement, to which I agree. But why not invest yourself into your retirement as well?
In this post; “Ways Rich People Think Differently” on Business Insider, we learn that 85% of rich people enjoy their jobs. Rich people don’t work in a job they hate long enough to quit (A.K.A retire). They find work they love and do it as long as possible.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t save for retirement, or that you shouldn’t retire, but what are you planning to do with your golden years? Will you sit in a chair and think about how much you hated going to work every morning or will you wake up early for the chance to continue getting paid for doing what you enjoy?
4. “Enrichment through a career.”
Many people have done great with this. We live in a time where we can make great money in fantastic careers, but we also live in a time where the pathway to those careers is not the same as it used to be. That’s why the suggestion that supported the idea was once again flawed: excel academically.
This is actually not an indicator of success. Sorry academia, but you are no longer the gatekeepers to great careers (or education for that matter). This huge shift around finding success is why I wrote this article about the true value of a degree. Don’t believe me? Here is an article on addicted2success.com that says the average millionaire has a GPA of 2.9.
The next “tip” in this category is to choose the right profession. Again, this is great until you look closer at what they suggest. They say to choose a career based on salary. This is a horrible way to choose a career. If you want a real filter through which to choose a career, start with what you love doing. Then find a way to make money with it.
5. “Going mortgage free.”
I agree. At least they saved the best for last.
I understand that the principles in this guide are meant to help people, and to get them on the right track with their money. However, their guide is missing the number one thing that the self-made millionaires I know and study are ALL doing. There is a quick and dirty tip to becoming rich, and it is something that we all have access to. BABM.com talks about it.
The tip is brilliantly summed up by Dr. Wayne Dyer –
“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”
What bad financial advice have you heard?
Photo: Flickr/ Tracy O
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