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Want to Be Rich? Here’s the Secret

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There are blogs everywhere that claim to have the secrets to becoming a millionaire, and they very well might have, but it always seems to be “Ten Things You Need to Do to Be Rich!” or something along those lines. Quite honestly, it’s easier than that! I can sum it up in one easy point.

Long Term vs. Short Term

There are two main types of people in this world, there are those that think only in the moment, and then there are others that often think about the future, sometimes 10 to 20 years in advance. I understand that this explanation is rather simplified, so let’s expand on it a bit.

Short-Term Thinkers

Those that I would label, “Short-Term Thinkers” have a difficult time delaying gratification. They might be at the mall and see a brand new big screen on sale (or for you ladies, maybe this would be a new outfit). And, because it’s “a deal” they just can’t pass it up, even though they swore they weren’t going to buy anything that day.

Short-Term Thinkers may also have a tough time making goals for the future because they tackle their lives on a day-to-day basis. Even if they do create a future goal, they normally end up making spontaneous decisions that bring them farther away from that goal. It’s not that they don’t want to hit their goal, they are just more easily enticed by the joy of the short-term instead of waiting for that goal that’s way in the distant future.

Long-Term Thinkers

Those that often think about their future lives and make plans years in advance are known as Long-Term Thinkers. They are very goal oriented and rarely deviate from their long-term plans. If their goal is to save up $100,000 by 2015, every decision in the present will be made with reference to that goal. For example, they might think the candy bar on the rack of the check-out looks tasty, but if they buy it, they know that it will only take them farther away from their overall goal. Therefore, it stays on the rack.

The Secret

Based on the descriptions above, I’m sure you already know what the secret is. That’s right! Be a long-term thinker.

Make a future goal for yourself and with every action you are faced with, decide if it is taking you farther away from your end goal, or closer to it. With this logic, every decision you make will be simple.

Are you a long-term thinker or a short-term thinker? How are you doing at achieving your future goals?

Money

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

27 Comments

  1. Very true. Look at long term borrowing rates vs long term investment returns as well as short term borrowing vs short term savings rates. People who think short term pay 15% to borrow short term and earn 1% while long term thinkers borrow at 5% and earn 10%. Mathematically and psychologically, it makes sense.

    • Great point Funancials! Short-term thinkers tend to take on “bad debt” while long term thinkers wouldn’t dream about taking out a loan, unless it allowed them to obtain their goals.

  2. Long term thinking is the only way to look at things. Your health is a long term issure. It is not the pizza you had yesterday that will give a heart attack. It is the constant bad eating habits and lack of exercise. Financially, it is the same things. It is not the $50 you blew on Friday night that gets you into trouble, it is the years of overspending,the accompanying debt and lack of savings.

    • Yep. Health is the same way. If you don’t have long-term thinking, you’ll most likely be obese and unhealthy. But, if you focus 10 to 20 years in the future, chances are that you’ll be healthy, fit, and looking good! Great comparison.

  3. I am a long term thinker and will do well in the next decade or so. But I will admit that I have trouble with balance at times which has gotten me into some difficulty.

    • I’m a long-term thinker too CFM. The only problem is, it often causes me to think about what’s going on tomorrow because I’m always thinking ahead 5-10 years…. Good thing my wife gives me constant reminders. πŸ™‚

  4. I think I am a long term thinker for sure. I buy the essentials and stick to investing and maxing out my ROTH-Ira. Sometimes it’s okay to be a short-term thinker…you need to be if you want to live a little. However, it cannot be your dominate thinking pattern if you want financial success in the future.

    • I think you’re right about the short therm thinking. Sometimes it’s essential to have a little fun – is that why I never have any fun?? πŸ˜‰

  5. There are many ways to make money: a daily job, trade stock, trade foreign exchange, make money online, investment in bonds, investment in property. Each of these options requires a different level of capital to start with.Thanks for using webanswers_! Hope this helps you.

    • There are quite a few ways to make money online, you’re right. But, there are ways to improve your financial situation without investing much capital. This blog, for example, cost me only $44 to get started. It’s yielding way more than that now! πŸ™‚

  6. I think I am somewhere in the middle…still trying to figure myself and my life out :). Baby steps for me πŸ™‚

    • Those baby steps will get you there! Just be aware which mentality you’re in when you’re at the local electronics store! πŸ™‚

  7. Hello Derek…
    I’m more of a long term thinker though its nice to buy some wants sometimes to have some simple pleasure πŸ™‚

    • Some simple pleasure is alright, but it feels even better when you have a plan for it! Then the long-term goal doesn’t really get postponed. πŸ™‚

  8. I’d like to think of myself as a long-term thinker. But based on my actions, I’d have to say I think I might be a short-term thinker. I really need to come to an agreement with myself and act like a long-term thinker!

    • You’ll get there! It really is tough though. Right now, I’m looking to buy a car, and really, it would be best if I get a cheap car now so that we can achieve our future goals on time. Those newer cars sure look nice though….. Believe me, I understand.

  9. Long term thinker here! Most of our family goals / plans do not manifest until 5 years down the road. But, when that 5 years comes.. oh man we will be rolling in the do and have 0 expenses (hopefully) πŸ™‚

    • Ha! That’s what I’m hoping for too! Now that my wife has a great job, we’ll be able to pay off the house extremely fast! I can’t wait until that goal comes to life and we can watch our mortgage loan plummet each month! πŸ™‚

  10. I am a huge planner. In fact sometimes I think I plan too much and I get lost in the future and forget to enjoy the present. I do agree though- you need to think long term so that you can take action to do the things you need to do to reach your goals. It is the only way to be organized and actually get things done.

    • I similar to you Miss T. As I think about the future, I miss more and more details in the present. But, as long as all of my actions today are in line with my goals tomorrow, then the future should be amazing! πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Derek,
    My first time at your blog. I think your article has a good tie in with Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind (from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). I know we’re all thinking of the end plan when it comes to money but Stephen Covey’s book is a prime example of long term planning as illustrate by the recursive nature of the practice that he advocates.

    P.S. It’s not a plug for the book – I simply found it very useful in helping get my arse in gear and start building a business with a long term plan in mind πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the great comment James! Yes, I agree, it is very much like Habit 2. My wife and I both work, and have side-gigs as well. This will allow us to pay off our house in 4 years or less and we’ll have a jump-start on our real estate investments! I can’t wait! πŸ™‚

      • np. It’s good to see someone blogging about real stuff rather than the usual ‘me too’ crowd πŸ™‚

        • Glad that you’re enjoying the blog!

  12. Getting rich isn’t hard! All that’s required is desire, knowledge, the resources and most importantly action. If you combine this formula and persist long enough, changing your approach if you have to, then you will get rich eventually.

    • I agree with you Mark! There are too many people out there that are glued to their television set, and complaining about how they are poor. Blah blah blah the government failed me blah blah blah. I can’t stand it when people complain about their situation and do nothing about it. Anyone can be wealthy if they just work for it.

  13. I would like to suggest a simple way of investing in exchange traded funds and closed end funds that can greatly increase returns while at the same time lower risk. I believe this method because of its simplicity can enable even those with limted financial knowledge to become rich with considerable less risk.

    Anyone that has any doubts as to the Accuracy and validity of the information provided below feel free to check it out with any competent financial advisor. I feel totally confident that my analysis will withstand any serious security.

    Im am speaking about exchange traded funds and closed end funds from the perspective of a citizen of the united states. The following may not apply to investors worldwide.

    Their are now over fifty single country funds available and maybe over 100 narrow sectors like airlines steel solar so why the concern for the nasdaq or the standard and poor five hunderd each one of these countries and sectors is a index of and by itself The solar exchange traded fund {TAN} is now down 90% from its high in 2007. If I were a investor or trader I would simply look for any exchange traded fund or closed end fund that does not use any leverage in their porfolios and start buying in the ratio of 0.50 percent of your cash on hand in my account after their is a 75% decline from its all time high and than buy twice as much in the ratio of 1.00 percent of your cash on hand in my account if that exchange traded fund or closed end fund declines another five percent an 80% decline from its all time high buy twice as much in the ratio of 2.00 percent of your cash on hand in my account at a 85% decline from its all time high buy twice as much in the ratio of 4.00 percent of your cash on hand in my account at a 90% decline from its all time high and finally buy twice as much in the ratio of 8.00 percent of your cash on hand in my account at a 95% decline from its all time high. Now I know that some of these funds will not decline 90% from their all time highs. Another thing that you might be wondering about I would run out of money. If I followed that method right wrong example take one hundred thousand dollars. Example Buy 500 dollars of xyz fund at 25 dollars off 75% from its all time high of 100 dollars buy 1000 dollars of xyz at 20 dollars off 80% from its all time high of 100 dollars. Buy 2000 dollars of xyz at 15 dollars off 85% from its all time high of 100 dollars Buy 4000 dollars of xyz at 10 dollars off 90% from its all time high and finally Buy 8000 dollars of xyz at 5 dollars off 95% from its all time high This way you will have your biggest positions in the funds that have declined the most and the smallest positions in the funds that have declined the least. Also keep in mind that if your cash position in your account is say one hundred thousand dollars to start this will gradually decrease as the equity portion of your portfolio increases. Example If your cash position is fifty thousand dollars of your one hundred thousand dollar portfolio you would invest one half of one percent to start which would be two hundred and fifty dollars. Also keep in mind when you buy an exchange traded fund you are buying a basket of stocks so the fund cannot go to zero unlike a stock. Than when any fund has regained three quarters of its value that would be say fund XYZ which traded at 100 dollars five years ago. It now trades at 75 dollars in the case of XYZ. Now you would use a 10% trailing stop loss to protect your gains. So if XYZ declines to 67.50 from 75.00 you would be stoped out insuring that you retain most of your gains. If XYZ continues to rally without correcting by 10% Who knows you may sell out of the stock within 90% of its all time high. Its all time high could be 150 dollars..

    And their you have it a simple but brilliant strategy for exchange traded fund and closed end fund investing.


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