Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, the authors of the book, The Millionaire Next Door, spent years studying self-made millionaires to discover the personal traits that had led them to wealth.
"Planning and wealth accumulation are significant correlates even among investors of modest means."
And what that statement means is that if you have a plan to save and then execute that plan, the odds are you will reach your financial goals—if you plan to save, you will.
But to that, I would add three more:
1. Your plan to build wealth must be documented;
2. You must, on a regular basis, measure your progress towards meeting the goals of that plan, and;
3. Accountability, that is, you need to report your progress to someone else. Obviously, this other party must know of your plan and goals and, ideally, this other person would be knowledgeable in the field of personal financial management; in other words, you need a personal money coach.
And, in this regard, I am not talking about a financial adviser who is always trying to sell you something…like a stock broker or someone who peddles life insurance products. What I mean is a fee-only financial adviser and in some communities there are services that will provide this assistance for little or no charge.
In fact, a friend, who you know to be financially savvy, might also be able provide this discerning eye. The goal in this regard is to inject some level of outside accountability into the process.
It is, of course, possible to go it alone…but based on research, being held accountable to some extent will help motivate you to achieve your goals and stay on track. And, because building wealth is something you do over time not over night, it’s a long haul and it helps to have someone you can count on who can count!
There are only two ways to get rich—accidentally and on purpose. The odds are against you getting rich accidentally. Yes, you might win a big lottery prize, but, really, the odds are against it. And, besides, do you really want to bet your financial future on getting lucky?