You don’t have to buy into the hype of “get rich” culture. And you actually don’t need to quit your job and start a million-dollar business to be happy.
You can learn how to grow your wealth and keep your 9 to 5 job.
There are a few simple strategies (not one perfect recipe) for building wealth and long-term financial flexibility. I’ll cover the basics and share some additional options for those who want to speed up the process.
Money hack #1: The key to increasing your savings rate
If you want to grow your wealth, focus on saving extra money so you can invest it. Also, having a reserve of extra cash makes it easier to leave your invested money untouched, since you don’t need it for living expenses.
One of the biggest factors to saving money isn’t discipline or frugality—it’s having extra money to save. And you get more money to save by increasing your income. Frugality has its merits, but it’s psychologically strenuous to pinch every penny.
If instead, you focused on getting some major financial wins through your 9 to 5 job, you’d have the extra money you need to start building wealth. Focus on big wins instead of saving $5 on coffee every day:
Find a higher paying job in your field
Learn how to negotiate your salary both in interviews for new jobs and your current job
Switch fields entirely to increase your income
Here are some great guides you can use for research:
Money hack #2: Increase your income without quitting your job
These days, there’s a lot of talk about starting a side hustle and eventually quitting your job. Few people talk about doing the latter without the former.
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone hates their job.
Jobs provide security and a sense of safety. Combine that with extra income from a side hustle and some investments, and you can achieve a high income and net worth without ever leaving your 9 to 5.
Sean Cranston, a.k.athe wealth dad, started investing his money into index funds and ETFs while working a 9 to 5 job. He started sharing his insights about careers, saving, and investing online.
This led to the creation of two e-books about investing that he sells to supplement his income. His current net worth is north of a half-million dollars.
He chose this route because it was a way to make more money without needing to go through all of the demands of being a full-time entrepreneur. Instead, he gets to spend time doing work he enjoys and he’s content to get rich slowly.
Consider starting a side hustle and study these guides for advice:
Money hack #3: A simple investing strategy that won’t interfere with your 9 to 5
Investing is hard even for experienced investors. No matter how much you study, how many charts you read, or how much you think you know about the market, the market is unpredictable.
If experienced investors who spend their entire careers focused on investing have a hard time beating the market, it doesn’t make sense for you to try to do it either.
This is where index funds come in. Anyone with a reasonable income, patience, and the ability to keep stashing away their money can become wealthy over a long period of time. Index funds are baskets of stocks you can buy, instead of trying to pick stocks.
It’s hard to determine which stocks will take off, but it’s much easier to bet on the success of the entire market or a fund that tracks a sector of the market. For example, an index fund that’s made up of smaller companies focused on growth or one that tracks the S&P 500 (which is a basket of 500 of the top companies in the world).
The index has returned a historicannualized average return of around 10.5% since its 1957 inception through 2021. In that time span, major companies have come and gone, entire industries have emerged or collapsed, and a large number of traders were completely wiped out of the market because they didn’t know what they were doing.
Those who just put their money into index funds and waited became wealthy.
The process is simple:
Sign up to a brokerage like Vanguard or TD Ameritrade
Choose an index fund. The S&P 500 is the best
Set your account up to automatically deposit and invest money into the fund.
This is a set it and forget it strategy anyone can use to build wealth
Money hack #4: Use the barbell strategy to accelerate your wealth
Higher risk means a higher potential for return, but it also increases the chances of losing all of your money.
This is where the barbell strategy comes in. If you want to accelerate your wealth you can use the barbell strategy to increase your chances of making big bucks but lower your chances of taking a financial hit you can’t afford.
The strategy works like this:
Keep 90 percent of your money in cash or save investments
Use 10 percent of your money to make high-risk bets
Cryptocurrencies are the current high-risk bet du jour. The prices of crypto assets can rise very quickly and by huge percentages, but they’re extremely volatile. If you put any money into crypto you have to be willing to let it go to zero.
You can also choose individual stocks in companies that you think have the potential to become mega winners in the long term. Imagine if you had invested in companies like Apple, Netflix, or Amazon in their early years and held your investment. That’s the power of stock picking. But, again, it’s a dangerous game and you never want to risk more than you can lose.
Money hack #5: The underrated key to building wealth
Building wealth is much more about your emotional intelligence than your I.Q. A lot of really smart people struggle to build wealth and a lot of people build wealth without using much brain power at all.
The ability to manage your emotions helps when it comes to key areas of growing your wealth like:
Stomaching the ups and downs of the market
Patiently stashing away money for years and decades
Avoiding lifestyle creep and keeping up with the Joneses
Being humble enough to automate your strategies instead of trying to be an investing genius
Using solid, reliable, and consistent strategies instead of following the latest hype or trends
You just have to get a few simple things right to build wealth. For many of us, sticking to the basics is the hardest part.
So, think about it this way: You’re going to get older and the time will pass either way. Why not set yourself up for long-term success now?
Keep it simple. Get a nice gig. Stash your extra cash. Invest. Repeat.