Thinking out of the box is the key to achieving financial freedom and accumulating wealth. Most people believe that earning a college degree and working a well-paid job will help them to earn a good living. Here are some secrets that well-to-do people rarely share that will help you to attract wealth energy.
Budgeting to Build Your Net Worth
Budgeting is the first step to financial stability and the first technique to master. Budgeting means tracking your spending over time to see whether any money is left after covering all expenses. There are bills and expenses that most people pay on a monthly basis – debt payments, groceries, gas, water, and other utilities, transportation, and housing. In addition to regular expenses, there are also less predictable or unexpected expenses such as insurance coverage, gifts, vacations, and home and car repairs. They may reach 10 to 30 percent of your monthly expenses. Budgeting also involves adding up sources of income such as bonuses, salary, and wages. What is left after deducting your total expenses from your income is money that you can use to create an emergency fund or invest to build wealth. If there is no money left to invest and increase your assets, you will never be able to build a healthy net worth.
Increasing Your Net Worth
Budgeting is only the first step to achieving financial freedom. The next step is to focus on your net worth which is the difference between the total assets that you have and your liabilities. Examples of assets to include are tangible assets such as land, inventory, and personal possessions, including collectibles, jewelry, electronics, and vehicles. There are also non-physical or intangible assets such as franchises, software, patents, and copyrights. Personal assets are intangible and tangible and may include things like savings and retirement accounts, insurance, and works of art. Liabilities, on the other hand, are obligations or debt that you owe. Liabilities include things like vehicle and student loans, credit card balances, and mortgage payments. One way to increase your net worth is to eliminate debt and another is to buy assets that generate income. Such assets are, for example, bonds, certificates of deposit, money market savings accounts, and single family rentals.
Choosing the Right Investment Instruments to Build Net Worth
The key to building a healthy net worth is choosing the right investment instruments based on factors such as your investment objectives, age, and risk tolerance. There are advantages to being young such as fewer responsibilities, higher disposable income, and higher risk tolerance. If you are in your 40s, there are advantages as well, including more experience and better ability to identify and deal with problem situations. Your investment objective is also an important consideration, whether it is saving for retirement or making high profits. If your goal is to have some type of passive income or to keep your money safe, then investing in low-risk instruments sounds like a good idea. Interest paying bonds and fixed deposits are two options to look into. Bonds can be purchased from different establishments and institutions such as local and state governments, small and large companies, and foreign companies. Depending on the entity offering bonds, there are different types, including foreign, municipal, agency, treasury, junk, investment grade corporate, and corporate bonds.
Fixed deposits are offered by banks and feature higher rates than standard instruments such as savings accounts. Certificates of deposit also pay higher rates and come in different types such as liquid, IRA, jumbo, and traditional. If you have a higher risk tolerance, you can choose from a pool of high-risk options such as contracts for difference, equity investments, spread betting, and venture capital trusts. Investing in biotechnology stocks, for example, is risky, and the reason is that up to 90 percent of experimental drugs and therapies fail. Land banking is also a risky investment because the plots on offer are usually too small, brownfield, or green belt, for which planning permission has not been obtained. Other high-risk investment options include peer-to-peer lending, mortgage real estate investment trusts, and closed-end funds.
Developing Skills and Healthy Financial Habits
Persons who make sound investment decisions also have good money skills and financial literacy.It is important to develop healthy financial habits to stay away from debt and increase your net worth. Essential skills to focus on and master include tax, debt and credit, spending, and saving skills. Analytical skills also help with problem solving, prioritizing, planning, financial planning, and decision making. People with strong analytical skills are also good at risk management and risk analysis, troubleshooting, and data interpretation. Having good financial literacy is also the key to making sound decisions and achieving short- and long-term financial goals. People with good financial literacy have understanding of basic concepts such as interest rates, repayment terms, inflation, bear and bull market, and liquidity.
Diversifying Your Income
Relying on a single source of income can be risky because you are dependent on it, whether it is your regular job or rental income. The main types of income to look into are capital gains, royalty, rental, dividend, interest, profit, and earned income. Profit income refers to profits made by selling goods or offering services. Interest income is money that you get by investing in different interest-bearing products which basically means that you are lending money to an individual or institution.
Dividend income is an example of a passive source of income that you get by investing in company shares. Common types of dividends include liquidating, scrip, property, stock, and cash dividends. Building a balanced portfolio involves investing in a mixture of instruments for optimal returns. A conservative portfolio includes up to 75 percent of fixed-income securities, between 5 and 15 percent of cash and cash equivalents, and 15 to 20 percent of equity investments. A moderate-risk portfolio, on the other hand, includes up to 40 percent of fixed-income instruments, between 5 and 10 percent of cash and cash equivalents, and up to 55 percent of equities. After deciding on the right mix of assets, the next step is to choose from different sub classes of assets such as corporate and government debt or foreign and domestic stocks. The last step is to choose from different investment instruments such as exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, bonds, and stocks.
There are simple things to do to achieve financial security and freedom, including budgeting to find out whether any money is left to try to increase your net worth. Assessing your present net worth, on the other hand, will help you to see how close you are to reaching your financial goals. Choosing the right investment instruments will also help you to build your net worth and mastering basic money skills will help to this end. Financially literate people know how to track their spending, manage debt, create and stick to a budget, and make sound decisions when it comes to choosing the right insurance product or investment tool. Financially literate people are also in a better position to avoid costly mistakes such as being defrauded or falling victim to predatory lenders. Mastering essential money skills is the key to achieving financial health and making money work for you in the long run.