What Is The Secret To Success?

Financial Difference Makers…

How can I build wealth? How can I save enough for retirement?

As a financial planner I hear these types of questions on a regular basis. People in general want to know, what is the secret to success?

I find that I like to look at clients that we have that are already in retirement to see the traits that have led to their financial success. We can learn a lot from our history, and I find it interesting to hear about people’s lives.

Here are the common traits that I see in clients that have been successful in building wealth. I find them simple but true.

  1. Start Early – Time can be an ally or an enemy, depending how much of it you have. When you are young it seems like you have forever and yet as we age it seems as though time speeds up.
  2. Forced Savings – The biggest asset that most people will own is their home. By forcing yourself to make mortgage payments you eventually pay it off and own a valuable asset. Your home is something for personal enjoyment and to meet your basic needs of shelter. What about building other assets that will build ongoing revenue streams, such as a rental property or even an additional savings account?
  3. Eliminate Debt – In this day and age of instant credit and a pay later mentality, we need to be careful of the debt we accumulate. Canadians continue to increase their household debt levels to all time highs. Clients that grew up through the depression, have a common view on life, no debt and don’t buy it if it you don’t have the money. Of course it is pretty difficult to not go into debt to buy a home. In years past people would stay in the same home until it was paid off, now 5 years is an average timespan for owning a home.
  4. Discipline – All of the above hinges on this one. It comes down to the day-to-day decisions that we make in life. Do I buy a new car? Go to Starbucks? Eat out or stay home? Another vacation? Renovate? I am not saying to not enjoy life but the small things can add up.