6 Money Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

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There are 21,951,000 millionaires in the United States, according to the 2021 Global Wealth Report. It’s a pretty safe bet that not all of them were born rich.

In fact, the number of millionaires increased “substantially” between 2020 and 2021, largely due to housing price increases and stock market gains.

Not all these millionaires are showing off their wealth. Some live below — or well below — their means. As they say, rich people didn’t get rich by giving away their money.

And neither should you. If you want to join the 1% club someday, make smarter choices now. Here are a few things self-made millionaires do that you can start doing today.

1. They add $1.7 million to their retirement — and someone else does the work

Managing your own investments takes a lot of time and involves a fair amount of potential risk. But do you really want to be doing it? According to a recent Vanguard study, a hypothetical self-managed $500,000 investment would turn into $1.69 million after 25 years. But the same amount managed by a qualified financial adviser turns into $3.4 million. That’s $1.7 million more!

If you’ve been considering working with an adviser, a free matching service called SmartAsset will connect you with a vetted adviser who will help you make the right choices for your money. Some financial firms steer you toward investment products that earn them fat commissions. The advisers SmartAsset works with have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of the clients, rather than their own wallets.

Don’t have a true picture of your financial future? No problem. The adviser can help you make a list of money goals, and then help you create a sustainable financial path toward reaching those goals.

It’s easy to put off thinking about the future — and really dangerous to do so. Compound interest is your friend! The sooner you get started, the more you could earn. And all it takes is about 60 seconds to answer SmartAsset's adviser match quiz. After you type in an email address, you’ll get a list of fiduciaries who are ready to help you make your dreams come true.

The process only takes a few minutes and costs nothing, and in many cases, you’ll be connected with an expert immediately for a free retirement consultation.

Nothing to lose, lots to potentially gain: Take a minute and check it out right now!

(Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard white paper, “Putting a Value on your Value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha.”)

2. They protect their wealth with precious metals

As you may have noticed lately, a single bad day on the Street can send your stocks far, far south; a string of such days can send you into the fetal position, wondering where all your money went. Market corrections are another reminder to diversify, diversify, diversify.

This is where American Hartford Gold comes in: Whether it’s physical gold or a gold IRA, this family-owned company can help you diversify and save for retirement with a product that’s real, tangible and hugely valuable.

Gold has been the standard of wealth for thousands of years. It’s not controlled by governmental currency rules, and it’s a fairly finite commodity. Don’t think of it as just a jewelry metal, either: Gold is an essential element in modern electronics manufacturing. In a way, it’s like investing in technology without buying tech stocks — after all, nobody’s building tech without gold.

You can buy physical gold (or silver) from American Hartford Gold right now. And if you’re looking for an alternative (or additional) retirement vehicle, check out the company’s “gold IRA.” It follows Internal Revenue Service rules and regulations and can include gold stocks, ETFs and mutual funds along with gold coins or bars. (If you opt for physical metal, it will be secured in an approved depository.)

American Hartford Gold has a five-star rating with Trustpilot and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. If market volatility’s got you down, or if you just want to invest in an essential (and tangible) commodity, get your free investors kit now.

3. They earn 23% investing in commercial real estate

That’s right: People who invested in commercial real estate through Fundrise earned an average annual return of 22.9% in 2021. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but still — pretty impressive, huh? Here’s what’s even more impressive: You don’t need to be a gazillionaire to get in on the action. Fundrise lets you start with as little as $10.

The company lets you become a landlord without actually having to be a landlord. It’s like buying stocks: You own a piece of the company, or in this case, a piece of a bunch of buildings.

Real estate has long been an investment favorite. After all, people will always need a place to live — and according to a new study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, rents in professionally managed apartment buildings were up 16.8% year-over-year by the fourth quarter of 2021.

To sum things up: You’ll be buying real estate without having to be a landlord. You’ll be diversifying your portfolio, and reducing the risk that comes from putting everything into stocks, bonds or mutual funds. And you can get started with as little as 10 bucks.

What are you waiting for? You can sign up and create your account in just a few minutes.

4. They steer clear of credit card debt

It’s tough to build wealth when you’re paying double-digit interest. Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Between 2018 and 2020, U.S. residents forked over about $120 billion annually in credit card interest and fees.

Want to start earning interest, rather than paying it? Freedom Financial Network can show you the way. Two common solutions are debt consolidation and debt relief.

With consolidation, Freedom Financial combines what you owe into a single, fixed-rate loan. If your situation calls for debt relief, Freedom Financial will negotiate with your creditors to reduce what you owe. No matter which option you choose, you’ll get a thorough financial assessment and a personalized plan. You’ll pay less interest overall and be able to get back on track financially.

Debt happens, but it can be defeated. Get your free, no-obligation consultation now.

5. They diversify in artwork, outperforming the S&P 500 by 180%

An often-overlooked investment in billionaire portfolios is blue-chip art. For decades, the ultra-wealthy have used it to diversify their investments. In addition to well-known investors like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, even institutions like JPMorgan list fine art on their balance sheets.

It’s easy to see why: as a tangible asset, artwork can drastically appreciate in value, during periods of extreme financial crises. In fact, the last time inflation was near its current levels, fine art prices appreciated at an annual average of 33%.

Over the last 26 years, contemporary art prices have outpaced the S&P 500 by a staggering 131%. Until recently, the only barrier to the art market was the cost to get involved. Only investors with millions to spare could attend an auction and buy an authentic Picasso painting.

Thanks to an award-winning platform called Masterworks investors can now get in on the action.

Over 500,000 people have signed up for the platform so far, and demand is growing. Skip the waitlist and get started today.

6. They invest for the long term

So you weren’t born rich. Join the club! For many of us, prosperity is a simple formula: Investing + time = wealth.

Millionaires, whether born or self-made, know this. Putting all your cash into a savings account is only a little more profitable than burying it in fruit jars in the backyard. If you want to make money, you’re going to have to take risks. In other words, you have to invest.

All you millionaires-in-training might wonder how to get started. I don’t know anything about investing! Suppose I get scammed? What if I don’t have a big chunk of change to start out with – will anyone even want to work with me?

Good news: A robo-adviser app called Public can introduce you to the world of investing – and all you need to get going is a single dollar.

Public offers “fractional” investing: small slices of thousands of stocks and exchange-traded funds plus more than two dozen forms of cryptocurrency. When you sign up, you qualify for a free stock slice that could be worth as much as $300.

The robo-adviser will want to know what kind of investing experience you’ve had (it’s OK if the answer is “zero”), and what investment goals you have. Nine out of 10 Public investors are in it for the long haul, according to the company.

You won’t pay any fees to join, although you’re allowed to leave a tip when you make trades. And when you join, you’re joining a community: Public encourages its members to share information about their trades, and to create chat groups to talk about their investment goals and experiences.

If that sounds both easy and welcoming, that’s because it is. To get going with Public, download the free app and qualify for free stock.

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