According to the 2019 Market Insights study from Spectrem Group, there are around 11.8 million Americans with a net worth of at least $1 million, or 3% of the country’s total population. Being a millionaire now may not be as impressive as it once was, but it’s still a major accomplishment.
I used to tell myself that by the time I hit 30, I would either be a complete failure or a millionaire. I stayed motivated because I was afraid of losing my job, my money, my investments, and my ability to retire early.
The “secret formula” for building wealth doesn’t exist. However, I can assure you that the path to millionairedom is considerably simpler when you’re in your 20s: You have more vigor, fewer responsibilities, and little to lose.
The ten financial guidelines listed below helped me accumulate a $1 million net worth by the age of 28:
1. Remain concentrated in class
You won’t succeed in school if you don’t work hard. Your habit of binge-watching won’t help your grade. Every year, a large number of students graduate in the top 1% of their class. Become one of them. Why not make the most of your education while you are spending thousands of dollars on it?
Even if you continue to assert that grades don’t matter, the competition for jobs won’t alter. Although some prominent employers may claim that “GPA isn’t the whole picture,” this does not imply they won’t request a copy of your transcript; trust me, they will.
My 3.78 GPA and graduation helped me get a job at Goldman Sachs. But it was still challenging. I applied for jobs vigorously for six months and had 55 interviews before receiving an offer.
Save money until it aches.
I used to be a broke college student, so just getting a job with a regular paycheck made me feel wealthy. But even after getting my first full-time job, I spent years continuing to live like a student. To save as much as I did, I had to exercise a lot of self-control and discipline.
I didn’t offer justifications for why I required fine clothing or a new vehicle. In order to keep my living expenses down, I shared a small studio with a friend for two years. With a small salary, I was able to preserve an additional 20% of my 401(k) cash flow and contribute to my 401(k) to the maximum.
No matter what, make an effort to save at least 20% of your annual after-tax income. Keep in mind that you are not saving enough if you are not in agony due to the amount of money you are saving each month.
3. Be diligent and aware of your place.
Working hard requires no talent at all. I guarantee that you will advance if you arrive at work first and leave last. When you’re older, you can unwind since you paid your dues earlier. Will it affect your social life? Yes, a little bit. But keep in mind that you’re young. Your potential is endless!
I used to arrive at work at 5:30 in the morning and stay until after 7:30 in the evening. I accomplished more, learned a lot, and won my peers’ respect. And when the dot-com bubble broke in 2000, I was fortunate to keep my job because my manager appreciated my work ethic.
4. Take into account both aggressive and defensive tactics
It’s OK to invest in an S&P 500 index fund, but if you want to become wealthy quickly, I advise placing more high-risk bets. For a smaller share of your portfolio, you can get more gains.
While you shouldn’t go bonkers and lose all your money, you should be open to trying out bold investment strategies. As I already stated, you have very little to lose while you’re young.
I had only approximately $4,000 to my name when I was 22. Nevertheless, I received a 5,000% return on my 80% investment in one stock. It was somewhat lucky. But after doing my research and taking a large risk, it worked out.
Make real estate your best friend.
It’s a monster, inflation. As soon as you decide where you’ll be residing for the next five to ten years, make it a goal to own your primary property. If you put 20% down on a house and it increases by 3% annually, you will receive a 15% return on your investment.
At age 26, I leveraged the fortunate gain from one stock investment to pay $580,500 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in San Francisco. Since the mortgage was paid off, a consistent revenue stream is produced by the property.
6. Act more impoverished than you actually are.
You should be more frugal and understated as your wealth increases. Too many young people spend money on unnecessary items just to impress their peers or post about them on social media.
Being impoverished and young has no stigma. Use a cheap vehicle. live in a small house. Avoid dining out every day. Purchase only what you need (thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, wearing the same thing every day is cool). then act like the quiet millionaire next door.
I bought a six-year-old automobile when I hit the million-dollar mark and drove it for the following ten years. I rented a Honda Fit and drove it for three years after that. I continue to dress in the same casual sports attire I did in my 20s.
7. Begin a side business
You can earn money by starting a business or working a full-time job. Even better, you can perform both. Your side business could eventually grow into a large enterprise that pays even more than your regular employment.
I started Financial Samurai in 2009 in an effort to organize the financial mess. I had no idea the site would expand so quickly and to such an enormous size. In 2012, I was able to negotiate a severance package and quit my full-time work with confidence because of it.