You (Yes, You) Can Get There Faster Than You Ever Dreamed . . . But You’ve Got to Start Now.
You’ve heard your early twenties is the right time to start building your fortune, but you can’t relate. Automatic Wealth for Grads shows you how to transform this lofty goal into real-world achievements.
You’ve just graduated college and you’d like to be wealthy someday. Of course you would. Problem is, you have no clue how to make it happen. First, you’re broke and drowning in student loans. Second, no matter what the “experts” might say, it feels like there are tons of fellow grads fighting over a handful of jobs. Third, though you don’t mind hard work, you don’t want wealth to come at the expense of a social life, a family, and the chance to do some good in the world. Should you give up the dream and content yourself with an average life?
Absolutely not, says Michael Masterson, author of Automatic Wealth for Grads . . . and Anyone Else Just Starting Out (Wiley, 2006, ISBN: 0471786764). Not only is it completely possible for you to become a multimillionaire before you retire, you will never again have the advantage you have now: youth.
“Most young people simply have no concept of how simple it is to build wealth,” says Masterson. “I didn’t say easy, because hard work and self-discipline are required, but simple. Any reasonably intelligent person with a fairly ordinary career trajectory can do it. But now is the time to get started – with every year that passes, your window of opportunity closes a little more.”
The “automatic” in the title of this book is significant. Masterson insists that when you follow his formula, you develop powerful wealth-building skills that eventually become habitual. In other words, you’ll have the time, energy, and peace of mind to focus on things other than – and more important than – money.
Sounds good, right? Read on for just a few tips and insights excerpted from Automatic Wealth for Grads:
Let’s say you start making an average income (which according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers is $30,337 a year). Assuming that you are good at your job and get consistent annual raises of 4 percent, you’d be making $43,170 a year 10 years from now, and $140,046 in 40 years. Not only will you be making more money, you will be able to save more money. If you consistently – and that means every year – deposit 15 percent of your income into investments, compound interest will begin to accumulate like you wouldn’t believe. As a chart in Automatic Wealth for Grads proves, assuming a return of 10 percent a year, you’d be worth about $5.5 million when you are ready to retire.
1. First, pay the government . . . because they can get very nasty if you don’t.
2. Second, pay yourself-put the aforementioned 15 percent of your income in some sort of investment.
3. Third, pay the interest on your debts – credit cards, student loans, car, etc. Keeping that debt low is critical.
4. Fourth, pay for non-critical parts of your life. Those would include entertainment, travel, and toys.
“You will probably have to split an apartment, but living with other people can be a great experience,” writes Masterson. “You don’t need to spend $1,000 on rent right now. Pay yourself first. That’s the secret.”
Forget the standard resume-cover letter program. Instead, write a direct marketing letter that lets your prospective employer know you understand what his problems are and that you have the solution to them. Call the office of your prospective future boss and ask for a short, non-threatening informational interview. This is a great way to get in that locked door and find out a lot of personal and professional information about your target prospect. You may even end up with the job before you leave the office. Remember that the hiring interview is a sales call. Let the customer talk as much as he wants. Listen. Nod your head. Smile and agree. When he asks you a question, give him the answer that he wants to hear. If you’ve been listening closely, you will know what that is. If you feel you might not get the job you are seeking, suggest that you can do a project for the company on a freelance basis. Perhaps even for free. It works in selling vacuum cleaners. It should work when you’re selling yourself. Throughout your career, practice Masterson’s secret to success in business and in life. In every relationship you get into – every business, social, or personal transaction – make sure the other person gets as much benefit from it as you do. When considering your own advantages and disadvantages in taking any course of action, consider those of everyone else involved, too. “New grads can be fear-driven and insecure, and that can lead them to take a looking-out-for-Number-One approach in business and life,” notes Masterson. “This can be true at any age, but when you’re young and facing what seems like a cold, cruel world, it can be especially tempting to focus on taking rather than giving. But believe me, when you take the initiative to do things right, everything will turn out better: business, relationships, and your sense of personal satisfaction will skyrocket.” Don’t succumb to the temptation to pay for prestige. A big part of being able to save the requisite 15 percent involves not blowing your paycheck on expensive cars, high-dollar meals, and trendy couture. But that needn’t mean depriving yourself. Masterson insists that you can “live rich” on a very modest budget. “Beautiful, comfortable clothes are not cheap, but they don’t have to cost a fortune,” he writes. “You can buy a great pair of slacks for $150 or you can spend 10 times that amount. The difference will be the label on the waistband. The point is this: The best material things in life are affordable. They are not cheap – quality never is – but if you buy them selectively and use them with care, you can enjoy a life as materially rich as Bill Gates on an income that wouldn’t get him through lunch.”
Of course, the above tips represent just a sampling of the topics covered in Automatic Wealth for Grads. The author also addresses strategies for becoming a valuable employee, ideas for starting your own business, the basics of real estate investing, and more. Through it all, though, he insists that you can practice your wealth-building activities in the context of a life that’s true to your fresh-from-college idealism.
“Right now, you may think becoming a millionaire is not a laudable goal,” notes Masterson. “You might say money doesn’t matter. Well, it may not matter now, but it certainly will when your kids are applying to colleges or when you’re approaching retirement. Financial independence frees you to live a rich, fulfilling, authentic life. And that’s the true definition of wealth.”
Michael Masterson has been making money for himself and others for almost four decades. At one time or another, he’s owned and run companies that were public/private, onshore/overseas, local/international, service- /product-oriented, retail/wholesale/direct mail, and even profit/not-for-profit. Masterson is the author of Automatic Wealth: The Six Steps to Financial Independence, Power and Persuasion: How to Command Success in Business and Your Personal Life, and Confessions of a Self-Made Millionaire.
Automatic Wealth for Grads . . . and Anyone Else Just Starting Out (Wiley, 2006, ISBN: 0471786764) is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or direct from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797.
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