Wages have stagnated over the last few decades, while the costs of housing, food, insurance, transportation, and utilities have soared. In the life math department, things just don't add up, which is why American consumers are almost $12 trillion in debt. Even if you have a great job and earn a decent salary, it's easy to pay high taxes, run out of money each month (before you pay all of your bills), and to hyper-focus on trying to earn more to make ends meet or to get out of trouble.
A better strategy is to adopt the rules of the uber-wealthy to thrive in today's challenging world. Those who achieve wealth and sustain it generation after generation have an entirely different way of living, acting, and thinking than the rest of us. They know the rules of the game and use them to their advantage—something that you can do as well.
1. Pay Yourself First. Always.
If you are not putting 10% of your income into a tax-protected retirement account first, before you pay any other bill, then you are making everyone else rich-from the taxman, to the debt collector, to the insurance salesman, and the utility company. Yes, getting rid of high-interest debt is important, too, as is adopting a sustainable budget that will keep you out of debt in the first place. This idea is not another bill to pay. In fact, if you are not doing this, you are paying too much in taxes and are failing to realize the power of compounding your gains and protecting your assets and future from financial predators.
2. You Diversify Your Investments and Never Go All in on Any One Asset.
Some years, gold soars. Other years, stocks shine, or real estate roars. During recessions, most stocks will lose value, and recessions occur on average every 5 years. We are heading into the sixth year of the current bull market. The most important plan is diversification, including keeping enough safe and knowing what is safe in today's Debt World. Once you base your financial plan in wisdom and learn how to rebalance annually, avoid the bailouts and add in hot industries, you'll find that histrionic headlines don't harm your portfolio or throw you into an emotional tailspin.
3. Buy Low. Sell High.
Buying low and selling high is easy to say and hard to do because it goes completely against your emotions. It is something that you have to train yourself to do. When stocks go south, most people want to sell, thinking the share price will never recover. A savvy investor will consider buying more, rather than selling low. You know the value of your investments, understand the industry and employ micro and macro trends to determine your buy-in and profit-taking. Wisdom, sound data, statistics, and rationale are the foundation of your wealth strategy, which allows you to buy on an opportunity and sell on euphoria.
4. You Are the Boss of Your Team.
You take ownership and responsibility for what you invest in and for your budget. The experts and professionals you employ are accountable to you. They provide a sound rationale for their plan. You are the boss, however. Once you approve something, the team provides progress updates on a regular basis and is responsible for creating a positive outcome.
5. You Have an Advisory Board.
Royals spend most of their lives learning about the family business of preserving status and wealth. This includes wealth preservation, tax protection, investing smart, forging strategic alliances, influencing politics, mutually beneficial friendships, and more-the life math that most of us are not taught in school. When problems arise, there are teams of people who are responsible for helping you to handle the crisis. Even in good times, there is an advisory board and support team brainstorming, planning,and implementing your vision. Billionaires set up foundations for their children to run, where the money must be carefully overseen, and a board must approve before funds are allocated anywhere.
6. Faithful Husbandry and Profitability.
Royals and billionaires make money on their investments, rather than an hourly wage, and pay a far lower tax rate than salaried professionals. Thus, rather than thinking that more money is the solution to everything, they know that taking advantage of the tax loopholes for the wealthy is as important for wealth as top-line growth, cost containment, fiscal husbandry, investing in the products and services of tomorrow, and a great team work ethic.
Most royals and billionaires pay less for almost everything—a lower interest rate, tax rate, health insurance premium, energy bill, and more . . . And so can you, with a renewed focus on financial education.
7. Capital Solutions.
Depending upon your business, you could qualify for Friends and Family funding, venture capital, a small business loan from the Small Business Administration, grants, factor loans and, in some cases, charitable donations. Affordable, sustainable capital is key to the successful launch or expansion of any business—large or small, yet far too many people employ the easy, but high cost, credit card loan. The use of credit cards for capital is far more detrimental than even hard money loans. If you're in good fiscal shape on this, it pays to check up on your parents and college students to ensure they understand there are better solutions than credit cards when life doesn't add up.
8. Real Estate Empires.
Owning real estate can afford you a great passive stream of income. Rather than pulling equity out of your properties, think of paying off the asset, owning the property outright, and using it as a revenue stream. The Duke of Westminster and the Prince of Wales (who is also known as the Duke of Cornwall) are two of the largest landowners in England—and have been for centuries. Legacy planning to avoid giving the estate to Uncle Sam is also a key part of the equation. Prince William became The Duke of Cambridge upon his marriage to Catherine, on April 29, 2011. Start your estate planning early, and you'll be surprised about how efficiently you can transfer your wealth without tax penalties.
9. Headlines Create Buying and Selling Opportunities.
Savvy investors (rich people) don't expect the markets to roar 24/7. They understand the cycles of assets, the average annualized returns, and have a strategy that allows for profiting and protecting themselves from a downturn, rather than riding the Wall Street rollercoaster up and down every five to six years. Rather than chasing headlines, billionaires and royals diversify and employ patience and a good plan that can profit, even with the world being as volatile and unpredictable as it is. When things hit rock bottom, they are often the first to invest in the recovery and have the safe and protected capital on hand to do so.
10. Invest in Your Dreams, Not Things.
Self-made billionaires and even royals invest more in their dreams than in things. Prince Charles didn't go out and buy the most ostentatious castle for his family when he married. He bought Highgrove and established one of the world's most ambitious organic farms and sustainable lifestyles—something he has always been passionate about. Steve Jobs slept on the dorm floor of his friends and "audited" the classes he liked at college, getting free food at the Hari Krishna Temple, while he and Wozniak launched Apple out of his garage. If you want to invest your dreams, oftentimes the right answer is to get creative about trimming back on your basic needs expenditures.
If you are interested in getting more details on these 10 tips, check out
The Gratitude Game: 21 Days to a Healthier, Wealthier More Beautiful You. This 21-day program is designed to make prosperity and abundance your daily habit by replacing debt habits with the money blueprint of royals and billionaires.
Natalie Pace is the author of the Amazon bestsellers
The Gratitude Game, The ABCs of Money and You Vs. Wall Street (aka Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is) in hardcover. Natalie has been saving homes and nest eggs for 14 years, while at the same time earning the ranking of No. 1 stock picker.
Natalie Pace is a blogger on
HuffingtonPost .com, and a repeat guest on national television and radio shows such as
Good Morning America, Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV, Forbes.com, NPR and more.
As a strong believer in giving back, she has been instrumental in raising tens of millions for public schools, financial literacy, the arts and underserved women and girls worldwide. Follow her on Twitter.com/NataliePace,Plus.Google.com/+NataliePace.
For more information, visitNatalie Pace..