Lessons Gleaned from the Truly Wealthy
Lessons Gleaned from the Truly Wealthy
Some of you may be wondering why this and why now? Is it some sort of ‘sign’or what would she know? She struggles just like us. Maybe you too felt like I did when I first started on my quest to learn. I had some pieces of the puzzle, knew what the picture should look like but I never seemed to have all of the pieces. I still am working on putting the pieces into the right place but I’m getting closer.
It may surprise you to know that I lived next door to the son of a multi-millionaire. When I quit my ‘career’ to raise my sons and delivered the local newspaper, I delivered those papers to not just millionaires but some billionaires too. Some of those people were not just ‘kind’ but helped to mentor me in my quest to be free of the 8-5 work week and follow my dreams. The BEST thing they did was to validate me leaving my established career to do something others felt was menial; stay at home to raise our boys. I was told it was not just a leap of faith but I would never regret it in the long run. They were right…. my fomer boss, the HR director, the manufacturer’s company Representative; all totally wrong.
In retrospect the hardest job I have ever had was being a Mother. The most difficult thing about parenting? Learning to pick my battles wisely. I am still working on that one but in the long run, if socks or mittens magically disappeared, if rooms were not all spit and polish, it really did not matter. The other difficult part was to realize when to let go and know you did your part, now it’s time to let your children unfold their wings and let them fly! It is kind of the same with a lot of our members… we give you the fertile ground and seeds… the rest.. well it’s up to you.
Oh but I digress, that is not the topic I want to write about. There are many things I have learned from those wealthy men and some of their wives over the years and watching some of the goings on within our membership has brought to mind the lessons. It’s time I share what I learned from them and others that were set along my path so many years ago and hope you too glean some useful tidbits for yourself and family.
Most of the people that were in my path no one would have ever guessed had money let alone loads of it. They didn’t drive a Bentley or Mercedes. They drove the cars and trucks you and I drive on a regular basis. They looked and acted like every day normal people. Who would have guessed? It was about the time I was given a “Million dollar bill” (One of those collector types) that I started asking questions.. or realized I was already asking questions. It was about that time I was told it was not my questions that were off but I was not asking the ‘right’ questions. Hmmm right questions, what were they and how would I find out what to ask? Or were there also questions I shouldn’t ask?
First I needed to observe and pay attention to what I did outwardly see. Never did I see those I already KNEW had LOADS of money and assets act like they were superior, give out info, state they were anything but the ‘caretaker’. What shocked me even more is the worse they dressed, some almost like a bum ripped sweater and all, the more they were actually worth!
So here are some of the tidbits either gleaned or outright told to me over the years.
1. Never broadcast what you are worth or how much you control.
All that does is put a target on you and your family. You do not want to put your family, children, and grandchildren in any danger of being targets to get at what you have worked so hard to build so keep your mouth shut. [Just a note here, even in a ‘private’ forum there are always those looking to get what you have or did not put forth the effort you did so they are jealous of what you have acquired]. This rule applies to other people’s Wealth as well. Cross that line just once and you will forever be on the outside looking in. People take their privacy and their safety very seriously and so should you.
2. Manage everything and own nothing.
Ok I know this goes against everything you thought you would want but it actually helps with number 1. Assets in a trust or divided into entities are less likely to be targeted in frivolous lawsuits. [Here is where a good sound financial planner that understands wealth management comes in. There are reputable companies out there to help you decide what is best for your situation.]
3. When dealing with professionals, dress neatly but not over the top.
I have even witnessed one guy looking like a bum when going to take care of business with the wealth manager at our banking institution. Yes, a bum. People that do not know him give him a wide berth thinking he’s going to steal something from them or worse ask for a handout. Now on this one I laugh because we know him personally and he always dresses in a certain way when he is conducting big banking transactions. I realize this probably will have some ‘professionals’ rolling their eyes, however remember, the more you ‘look’ like you have money, the more attention you draw to yourself. That attention can be both good and bad so neat, understated, classic and clean.
4. Be wise with your assets.
If you can get the same product for less or by waiting for just a bit practice patience. Most of these people shop at the same ‘discount’ stores you and I do for a better rate/price or options Rarely do they pay full price for anything other than possibly that special gift for someone special. . Only those that need to ‘put on airs’ flaunt what they have. The rest live modestly and like the average people. They may have a maid or maid service some do hire drivers or a limo from time to time but do not waste money on frivolous things. Now don’t get me wrong, some love antique vehicles and are serious collectors, others collect rare gems, others something that hold is a fascination for them but rarely are these items ‘worthless’ but grow in value over time.
5. Make your money and assets work for you.
Think about some of the lessons from Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. Once you have worked to get to a ‘comfortable’ living situation and set up a nice legacy for generations to come make those assets continue to produce. Be wise and here again is where sound wealth management and asset specialists come in. Do your research, if you know people that have wealth simply ask them for a referral. Most of them are more than happy to point you to good companies or individuals. They know their reputation in the community would be challenged if they send you to shady people.
6. When confronted about your wealth, simply reply you are just the ‘caretaker’.
This is a profound statement when you think about it. You are the ‘caretaker’ of your account, your holdings, and your possessions. Once again, flaunting what you hold or have can bring things to your doorstep you really do not want to deal with. Have a relative or neighbor that always borrows something and never returns it? Or that ‘friend’ that volunteers your resources for what they feel is ‘worth supporting’ but is not on your heart to support.
7. Never forget your beginnings.
Some people once they have funds forget their roots. Keep your feet on the ground and never forget you are a steward of the wealth you have earned, inherited or won. When a person forgets this they change is so noticably that someone you once ‘hung out with’ no longer is up to par. Never forget those who stuck by you through it all or those that were with you on your way up. They are the ones that are not with you for what you have or what you can do for them but are true friends. They are precious and they are rare; so treat them as the gems they really are. Also along the same subject, never forget to give to those less fortunate. Pick your favorite charity or cause and support it. You will get back far more than you give. I am not saying giving away everything but set aside a certain percentage each month and tithe as well as give to whatever cause is close to your heart.