When you hear the word wealth, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Mansions? Designer clothing? Luxury cars? Dining out at exclusive restaurants? Growing up, I probably would have had the same answers. After all, I grew up in a house that cost just $8,000. Yes. An eight followed by three zeroes. Also, my parents filed for bankruptcy twice. However, throughout my financial career, my definition of wealth isn’t about material items. It’s all about net wealth. Why? Because look can be deceiving.
Here’s an example from a couple who were potential clients of mine.
They made $500,000 a year. Not too bad, right? The thing is, they had the house, cars, boats, jet skis, and whatever else you think rich people buy.
Guess how much they had in their checking and savings accounts? $17,000. Yikes. They might be giving off the impression that they’re wealthy. But their net worth tells a different story.
What is Net Worth and Why is It Important
“When you start thinking about the net worth, you might envision some internet billionaire or media tycoon — a bigwig with big bucks,” writes Megan DeMatto for CNBC. “But anyone can calculate their net worth, and it’s a good number for everyone to know.”
In other words, net worth is an indicator of wealth. To figure out your assets, live savings, investments, and property, you add them all up. Then you would deduct your liabilities, such as credit card debt and mortgages.
“Net worth is different than income since we don’t necessarily keep every dollar we make,” explains DeMatto. “Instead, we buy, borrow and make investments with money, and the total value of our properties and cash goes up and down with time.”
The calculation of your net worth, then, provides an overall measure of your financial health. “Think of it like a snapshot that shows you where you are on your financial journey,” she adds.
“Keeping track of your net worth over time is a good indicator of your financial status,” asserts DeMatto. “People work hard to bring home their salaries, but what happens after your paycheck hits your bank account is not always predictable.”
Taking a look at your net worth, you can see where your money has been spent in the past versus what you hope to do with it. And, net worth can be used to see your progress when making decisions such as buying a home or a car, taking out a loan for school, or setting up a savings goal.
Ways to 10x Your Net Worth
Instead of wasting your money on items that give the impression that you have wealth, you should actually go out and build your net worth. Yes. It’s even possible if you’re starting from scratch. And, here’s how I was able to 10x my net worth from $0 to $100,000.
1. Surrender your broke mindset.
The first thing that I had to do what surrender my broke mindset. And, in my opinion, this is something that we’re born with. But, if you really want to learn more about this, I suggest you check out the book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck.
According to psychologist Carol Dweck, when it comes to success, it’s not about intelligence, talent, or education. An individual with a fixed mindset believes that their intelligence, skills, and abilities can’t be changed. So, if you have a broke mindset, you are convinced that things will never change.
Like, you could come from a family where everyone is in debt and no one is considered a millionaire. So, you have this internal monologue convincing you that you can’t escape the same fate.
A lot of have us develop this mindset through our upbringing or various relationships in our lives. And, if you don’t break this broke mindset, then you’ll never be able to grow your net worth.
How can you break out of this vicious cycle? By developing a growth mindset. In regards to money, this basically means understanding that you need to learn more about money.” For me, that meant exposing myself to books like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki — which I loved since it struck so close to home.
In addition to that, you also need to spend more time with more people who have a growth mindset. And, consequently, spending less time with “anti-wealth” hackers,” which I call “Buttpews.”
What exactly is a Buttpew?
- They are broke because they have a broke mentality, that’s why they wait for things to happen, instead of being proactive.
- These people drag their feet on every decision.
- These people are time-suckers, looking for a free lunch.
- In their eyes, the glass is always half empty.
- It is not acceptable for them to take responsibility for their actions. In other words, they constantly make excuses.
- They complain and whine about everything.
2. Stop buying liabilities.
Want to know why that couple with the luxury cars, boats, and jet skis weren’t wealthy? Because these were assets and not liabilities. And, here’s a secret I want to share with you all. You can increase your net worth, without depleting your bank account, when you stop buying liabilities and purchase assets instead.
But, what is the difference between buying assets and not liabilities?
First, let me begin with an explanation of assets, which appreciate in value over time. In addition to real estate, companies and stocks are income-producing assets. On the other hand, liabilities drain your savings.
So, if you want to increase your wealth, you should identify and stop buying liabilities, like those fresh pair of Yeezy’s you just saw on social media. You also need to setter clear of luxury brands, overpriced items like expensive haircuts and sports cars, or overpriced McMansions. And, I would strongly suggest that when you can, always buy instead of renting.
As for assets, these would be things like real estate, insurance policies, passive businesses, and stocks and bonds.
Overall, stop following the S.J.S.P. Principle; stop justifying your stupid purchases.
3. Invest over 20.
Speaking of investing, this is the perfect segue into number three. And that’s not just investing. But investing over 20.
But, let me backtrack here. There’s nothing wrong with going the traditional route when it comes to investing. Like if you have a 401(k), then awesome. It’s one of the easiest ways to save since the money is going directly out of your paycheck. It’s even sweeter if you have an employer who matches these contributions.
But, you need to take it to the next level if you can to grow your net worth. For example, you could do what I did and start investing in a Roth IRA. Was that easy? Nope. I made a lot of sacrifices at the time, like continuing to rent instead of buying a home.
However, that allowed me to invest more than 20 percent of my income. And, what’s wild, is that I was still new to the investing game and learning the ropes. But, I did my research and continued to learn so I start trading stocks or investing in mutual funds or ETFs.
With that being said, if you want to grow your net worth, you just gotta start. It doesn’t matter the amount if you use robo-advisors like Robinhood. You have to take that first step.
When you take that risk, you’ll learn more about different mutual funds and various investment strategies. Personally, that’s how I built my wealth. Even when I experienced failures, this helped me better understand what is within my expertise and what I’m comfortable with investing at least 20 percent.
4. Reframe the meaning of investing.
To be honest, this took me some time — even though I was in the financial industry. Maybe it was because I drank the Kool-Aid when it came to making money. You know, like investing in mutual funds and the stock market.
However, books like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” challenged that thinking. Even if you don’t have the entrepreneurial spirit, which I didn’t think I did, there are other ways for you to make money. But, after some trial and error, OK a lot of errors, I did become an entrepreneur.
I get that none of us want to fail. But, it’s one of the best ways to learn and grow. And, that lead me to develop new sources of income like books, podcasts, coaching programs, mastermind groups, online courses, and mentorship. Or, even in investing in people, who I call income accelerators. For example, hiring people to redesign my website or diagnosis the site’s SEO.
Also, if you have the money, outsource the things that you don’t like. Tim Ferris talked about this in the “4-Hour Workweek.” But, here’s an example from back in the day. I used to spend hours searching for the best images for my blog posts. Eventually, I hired someone else to do this for me. That freed me up to find other ways to grow my wealth through this investment.
Long story short, redefine your definition of investing. While there’s still room for traditional investments, you also have to invest in yourself and explore different income streams. Trust me, it’s a surefire way to 10x your net worth.