There Are Only 6 Ways to Get Rich: Take Your Pick

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Natasha Zakharova /

If there’s one common dream that ties us all together, it’s probably being rich. For some, it’s a nice thought; for others, an obsession.

While it may seem there are tons of ways into the winner’s circle, when you boil it down, there are actually only a half-dozen. They’re all pretty simple, but none is easy. Here they are.

Marry money

Aleksandr Kondratov /

In some cases, love and money do go hand in hand. But for average people, finding a rich spouse is hardly a reliable strategy for getting rich yourself.

Gold diggers beware: Marry the wrong person, and you may one day find there’s not enough money in the world to justify another minute with them.

Tip: If you land someone with at least $100,000 in investments, hire help. There are free services that will instantly match you with up to three vetted financial advisers in your area.

Inherit money

littlenySTOCK /

You can’t inherit money from relatives you don’t have. And even if you do have wealthy family members, counting on an inheritance means waiting for someone to die: not a nice way to get rich. Still, many fortunes pass from one generation to the next. So be nice to your loaded grandparents.

Tip: If you do find yourself with a wealthy benefactor, encourage them to inflation-proof their assets for the long term with investments like stocks or gold.

Exploit your talents

Ljupco Smokovski /

Got a unique skill in sports, art or entertainment? With enough hard work and luck, you can ride it all the way to the bank! Just look at Michael Jordan or J. K. Rowling.

Unfortunately, reaching the big time often requires the kind of talent that’s born as well as bred. Still, it’s worth a shot. Just be prepared to deliver inhuman levels of dedication.

Tip: If you run up the bills while honing your skills, don’t let it distract you. There are companies happy to help you deal with debt.

Get really lucky

nazarovsergey /

Occasionally, people make millions with a lucky investment, a startup or even a lottery ticket. But that kind of dumb luck isn’t just one in a million; it’s more like one in 500 million.

Unless you have a system for beating the odds, relying on chance for wealth is likely to leave you broke.

Tip: While you’re waiting for your ship to come in, sign up for the Money Talks Newsletter. Every day you’ll get tips and tricks to make you money-smart. And it doesn’t cost a dime.

Run a successful business

My Ocean Production /

Owning a profitable company is perhaps the most time-tested path to riches. The downside: It requires sharp skills, relentless effort and probably lots of time. Even so, the rewards can be great for those few entrepreneurs with the right idea, expertise and determination to succeed.

Tip: If you need to borrow to get your idea off the ground, get the lowest possible interest rate.

Spend less, save and invest

Happy Retirees on a beach
Perfect-Wave /

Nothing wrong with trying to make it big with any of the previous ideas, but even as you’re aiming for them, practice this one and you’re practically guaranteed to become wealthy eventually.

All you have to do: Spend less than you make and invest modest sums over long periods of time. Then allow compound interest to work its magic. Minimize unnecessary spending, avoid debt and invest wisely.

Getting rich slowly may not be glamorous, but it’s a solid strategy and practically anyone can do it.

Tip: To find extra money to invest, slash your bills. For example, you might save hundreds every year simply by shopping your car insurance.

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