Apparently there's a world of difference between 'appearing rich' and actually 'being rich,' for true wealth grows slowly. History is replete with examples galore of self-made millionaires, who made their money by being careful and prudent, and you need to possess a millionaire mindset in order to become one.
It's not necessary to be smarter than the average person to become a millionaire, but yes, you need to understand money and how to relate to it, because this is what is going to help you make more money. You can't earn more than you dream about by just sitting around waiting for something to happen, you need to have the courage to take risks and take the plunge. Move easily and confidently amongst your social peers, rub off your confidence on them and make them willing to do business with you.
The famous Warren Buffet said, “I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful." Invest in a down market and get out in a 'soaring market.”
Most of those who are millionaires today were not millionaires a couple of decades ago— this is because wealth grows slowly— no one becomes rich overnight (unless you land a huge inheritance). Money needs to be invested properly and intelligently so that it multiplies itself without you having to do anything.
Contrary to common opinion, if you want to be a millionaire, you need to earn more, save more and invest more. After a while, all the 'mores' compound to make your rich and wealthy. This however, requires patience and the willingness to go ahead—come what may, even if it means going without something that you want. There will come a time in your life when you will feel secure all round and then you can enjoy the benefits of what you've made without having to 'count money before you spend it.' The right attitude to life and people and the tenacity to hold out augurs well for those who want to become millionaires.
Typically people focus on their state of finances only when they have to pay their bills or clear a debt, but the millionaire mindset is such that they study their finances, plan and make decisions accordingly. The more time you invest in planning and investing, the better the results and the better the decisions. The secret to financial independence is a greater awareness of where and how you stand financially and how to keep improving on that.
Taking a cue from financial advisors, who have built their wealth by adopting good financial tactics, is a good thing to do, because 'good financial habits' ensure that you don't lose money but help it grow. However, the golden rule before investing is to check out your investment before getting into it any deeper. No financial decision should be taken in a huff—take time out to look at the investment, examine it from all perspectives, do some homework and then decide. Decisions taken without thinking or investing just because someone else did so, or asks you to do so, is bad financial practice. Before you part with your money, think long and hard, and if something about the investment just doesn't click, just don't invest at all. Sometimes, this may be the best thing that could happen.
In addition to planning and investing properly, you need to protect yourself from lawsuits and unnecessary taxes—invest in a lawyer who knows his way about in whatever you are investing in and ensure that your wealth remains yours, come what may. Insure yourself against all risks so that your finances remain intact. After all no one can predict what will happen and when, so insurance is a safeguard against being caught 'off guard.'
Harvesting money is a challenge so do everything in your power to make your money work for you. Keep an eye on your wealth and watch what happens to it—never let others do this for you—it's your money after all. Save more and you automatically earn more, but at the same time ensure that you get the 'best value' for everything.
In short, always be in control of your finances and never let them control you, be bold and focused and don't allow your money to drift around aimlessly. Adopt good money practices and boost your net worth. Know what you have and use it wisely, remain informed and be positioned to make good decisions.
Concentrate on what you want, make that your single goal, monetize your talents and never stop learning. Billionaire Warren Buffet estimates that he read at least 100 books on investing before he reached his twenties and that should be your aim too.
As Stephen Richards said, “No matter how small you start, always dream big.”