Amassing wealth and preserving it are two very different activities and each require unique skills sets and approaches. The most prosperous people have mastered both.
Millionaires who have successfully built a fortune and protected it over time have embraced these seven strategies:
1) Diversify Income
Regardless of income or wealth levels, diverse income streams act as a bulwark against challenges like a lost job, the bankruptcy of a business, or an important investment turned sour. In practical terms, that means owning a wide range of asset classes: multiple and varied types of businesses, equities, commercial and private real estate, bonds and other debt products, currencies (including cryptocurrencies), intellectual property, gold, and oil or other natural resources. Casting a wide net for attractive investments will both fuel better long-term wealth growth and ensure the safety of existing wealth.
2) Keep a Budget
Preserving wealth means always remembering the importance of budgeting. This is true for both businesses and households. A detailed, well-disciplined budget serves as a key financial record and roadmap that enables easy tracking, classification, and projection of expenses. Budgets are an equally important tool for assessing fluctuations in revenue, as well as charting future income and spending goals.
Has a business become overly reliant on a particular revenue line or client? Is a household consistently spending more than planned for a particular item, or are a family's expenses rising beyond even its considerable means? Does spending reflect personal values and priorities? Diligent budgeting helps answer these types of questions and ultimately ensures the stability and safety of commercial interests and household finances.
3) Be Generous to Others
This tip may seem counter-intuitive (preserve my wealth by giving it away?!), but living generously is a core belief of many successful millionaires and something elite financial advisors routinely recommend their clients practice. Traditional philanthropy offers a chance to make a difference for worthy organizations, and often comes with social and business opportunities as well. Simple acts of generosity and empathy — an especially large tip for the swamped waitress or a bonus for an employee who is facing financial stress — may be a barely noticeable sacrifice for a millionaire, yet have a profound impact on the recipient. Karma, the boomerang effect, the Golden Rule... assign it any name you choose: living generously often returns surprising and welcome benefits.
However, generosity doesn't have to be solely a matter of financial resources. Giving your time and passion to the world is fulfilling and can be transformative in many ways. Whether it's mentoring, leading and supporting charitable activity among family and employees, or providing special expertise or experience to a charity that desperately needs it, thriving millionaires consistently seek out ways to give back just as actively as they search for new opportunities to make money.
4) Never Stop Learning
Another important strategy for wealth preservation is recognizing the necessity of continued learning and the accumulation of knowledge. In a world of rapidly changing technology, cryptocurrencies, and ever-increasing numbers of investment products, a thirst for knowledge is a must for making well-informed and responsible financial decisions.
Acquiring new knowledge has benefits beyond just getting an edge; a commitment to learning and curiosity is an example for family, friends, and employees to follow. Growing as a leader, improving interpersonal and management skills, and learning how to be a better partner and parent will all help to ensure lasting wealth and maximum enjoyment of its benefits.
5) Spend on Experiences, Not Material Possessions
The material comforts and goods that accompany wealth are a wonderful perk of being a millionaire. Although most goods, especially as they begin to pile up, offer increasingly diminishing returns for financial and personal satisfaction.
Instead, many millionaires spend their time and money on experiences that are unique, restorative, stimulating, and well… fun. A growing body of research indicates that people of all income levels and ages are beginning to realize that the happiness derived from memorable experiences outweighs and outlasts the (usually) short-lived bump from buying some new and coveted material object. For millionaires, this is doubly fortunate. Wealth opens up a wider range of potential experiences to explore, and focusing on accumulating experiences rather than material goods can also mean a more financially restrained lifestyle.
6) Invest With Experienced Partners
In addition to diversifying income streams through traditional asset classes, millionaires look to invest in non-mainstream opportunities, private deals, and closely-held firms that are not available to the average investor. These types of investments generally come from the connections and networks only available to the wealthy. Finding partners that are innovative, shrewd, and well connected—who are also searching for these special opportunities—is a fantastic way of permanently growing and securing wealth.
It is critical that potential partners in these investments have a track record of success, and
just as importantly, that they be trustworthy and embody a deep sense of integrity. The handshake agreement sealing such a deal should hold as much value as the opportunity itself.
7) Be Resilient: Both Financially and Emotionally
Following the previous steps will go a long way toward helping to preserve wealth for the long run. The final step, though, is preparing for the failures, disasters, and unexpected challenges that even the most successful millionaires and leaders experience. From a financial perspective, this means even millionaires must have a robust savings fund in order to survive a prolonged business or economic downturn. These savings should be paired with a consistent and healthy cushion between revenues and expenses in accompanying budgets. From a broader perspective, it means accepting that everyone fails.
Failure and other of life’s low moments are opportunities to learn, adapt, and grow into a wiser and better-rounded person. The most successful people are not those who have failed least often, but those who have persisted with resilience and self-confidence despite their failures. Understanding this about failure and pushing through adversity is what allows successful millionaires to bounce back from even the worst of business and personal crises.
It Is More Difficult to Stay Wealthy Than to Get Wealthy
While earning a fortune is a laudable accomplishment, financial history and news headlines demonstrate that poorly managed wealth can disappear seemingly overnight. It is of the utmost importance that millionaires continue the financially healthy habits that helped them earn their wealth. These proven strategies are consistently employed by millionaires to fully enjoy their wealth and protect it for the rest of their lives and beyond.
This article is not tax, legal, or other professional advice and cannot be relied upon for any purpose without consultation and advice from a retained professional.
As one of the most knowledgeable and well-connected tax & accounting professionals in the world, Harvey Bezozi's mission as a CPA and CFP ® is to provide concierge-level work product and service, along with seamless communication, high energy, and a super-positive attitude. Located in Boca Raton, Florida, Bezozi has been in business since 1994, and serves clients in all 50 states and internationally. More information can be found at YourFinancialWizard.com
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