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These 3 Simple Strategies Will Better Your Odds Of Becoming A Self-Made Millionaire

If your dream is to become a self-made millionaire, how do you go about doing it?

Nina Zipkin

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It’s certainly possible that your company could become a resounding success and net you several million in a sale. But that’s not likely to be the case, even if your business is a consistent earner.

We caught up with three wealth management experts – Gemma Godfrey, founder and CEO of digital wealth manager Moo.la; Garrett Gunderson, founder and chief wealth architect at Wealth Factory; and Manisha Thakor, director of wealth strategies for women at Buckingham and The BAM Alliance – to get their best advice for getting yourself on the right financial track and staying there for the long haul.

1Follow the money

This may seem like a basic suggestion, but when it comes to growing a nest egg, the fact of the matter is that many people don’t put in the time and thought necessary to monitor where their money is going. From the start, Godfrey says it is important to understand the full nature of your financial position and obligations.

“[You need to ask] what assets do you own vs. what debt you have, such as a mortgage,” she says. “What income do you generate vs. what are your outgoings?”

Related: 5 Millionaire Traits That Will Help You Get To The Top

Gunderson agrees, noting that especially for entrepreneurs, even though they can be incredibly savvy, they do run the risk of falling into a mindset of always believing that they can make more money and not making the long-term plans needed to not only remain solvent but increase their wealth.

“They get on the proverbial treadmill, always trying to sprint,” he says. “[But] they could just keep more of what they make by stopping the leaks in the hull, and dealing with some of their personal finances.”

millionaire-wealthy-businessman

2Set achievable goals

Another old chestnut that really works? Don’t spend more than you make or, perhaps more realistically, don’t live beyond your means. Thakor says that self-made millionaires start saving as much money as they can as early as they can.

That manifests itself as buying a smaller house or waiting a bit longer to trade in your car for a new one. And it means that “you spend only when you think it makes good sense, not to keep up with everyone else,” Thakor says.

Godfrey and Thakor both say that setting an investment timeline and plan, while figuring out how comfortable you are taking calculated risks, is key to later financial success. But when it comes to stocks or bonds, what if you have no idea where to start?

Thakor has a simple approach that you can use as a baseline. “Invest 80 percent in stocks and 20 percent bond in your 20s, 30s and early 40s and then shift to 60 percent stocks, 40 percent bonds from your mid 40s onwards,” she says.

“You keep investments highly diversified and your costs low.”

Related: 7 Reasons Why You Must Become A Millionaire

3Stay informed

Gunderson says that there are many small things that entrepreneurs may not know about when it comes to optimising cash flow, such as money they could be losing to taxes.

“There are thousands of dollars a month that business owners are losing out on, simply because they are overpaying interest, or they haven’t structured the loans properly,” he says.

“They don’t know how to improve their credit score to negotiate better interest rates. That’s money that [they could put] towards building that wealth, without taking risks and without burning themselves out.”

Related: 15 Ways Millionaires Manage Their Money That Make Them Richer

While this may seem like a lot, you don’t have to go it alone. But when you do look for financial help – and not only during tax season – Thakor says that it’s imperative that “you seek financial guidance only from advisors who practice under the fiduciary standard – which legally requires that they put your interest first,” she says, “vs. those who operate under the suitability standard – which simply says investment recommendations must be in your interest but could benefit the advisor more than you.”

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Nina Zipkin is a staff reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Personal Finance

(Infographic) The Financial Advice Millennials And Gen Zers Want To Know

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful. And that starts with getting the right advice.

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Whether it’s saving for retirement or paying off credit card debt, money management can be a challenge. Of course, different people have different concerns – and that often comes with age. While a 60-something baby boomer might be organising their savings for retirement, your 20-something millennial might be focused on paying off student loans.

In a recent study, financial intelligence company Comet surveyed more than 1 000 people to uncover the top financial concerns of various age groups, as well as the financial advice millennials and Gen Zers want to know and what they hear instead.

Overall, saving for retirement was the top concern across all age groups, with saving for an emergency and affording monthly bills following in second and third. However, it’s no wonder these are some of the most pressing worries – according to the research, 23 percent of people admit they don’t have a savings account, and 43 percent reported not being on track towards their retirement goals. Perhaps that’s because they didn’t hear the right advice growing up. At least that might be the case for Gen Zers and millennials.

According to the research, these young people want to learn things such as how the stock market works, how to manage an investment portfolio, how to invest in real estate and how to build credit. Instead, they’re simply told how to create a budget, save for retirement and pay credit card bills in full every month.

Related: 7 Critical Things Your Financial Advisor Must Meet

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful and comfortable. To learn more, check out Comet’s infographic below.

1532099434_2-cents-worth-infographic

Related: Financial Wellness Coach Nelisiwe Masango Shares Retirement Wealth Advice

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Personal Finance

14 Ways To Make Quick Cash On The Side

If you need money quickly, here are some solid ideas.

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Need to make some fast money on the side, whether it’s to pay off a credit card or to make your rent?

Keep in mind, making quick side cash isn’t about making a lot of money or getting rich. It’s about getting a shot of capital to help tide you over and put something extra in your pocket. However, some of these side-income ideas can build up your wealth over time. There’s many ways to accomplish this: By participating in the gig economy, the sharing economy, online sales networks, passive income techniques and more.

If you’re looking to make extra money in a relatively short period of time, check out these 14 slides.

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Personal Finance

Take Advantage Of Financial Democracy Made Possible By The New Stock Exchanges

Why should financial democracy matter to entrepreneurs?

Etienne Nel

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Because it creates a society able to afford products and services. Without it, even the innovative products and services that are entrepreneurs’ bread and butter will fail.

What is financial democracy, exactly?

It’s both the right and the ability of the (wo)man in the street and business people to make the decisions that affect their financial circumstances.

Financial democracy does not automatically follow political democracy. For almost 25 years after South Africa’s political transformation, the exclusiveness of our financial markets continued to deprive the vast majority of South Africans of the means to invest, save, and build wealth. South Africa has, therefore, never developed a retail stock exchange environment. So, it has deprived the majority of small and medium sized business of access to capital.

For entrepreneurs to truly flourish, they need a mechanism that easily and seamlessly connects the investor pool with every size of business. And, they need affordable ways to enter both the retail and institutional market.

In short, they need stock exchanges. Ones on which listing takes weeks rather than years, doesn’t break the bank for listing fees, and provides the shortest route to the largest possible potential investor base.

That’s not been possible in the stock exchange monopoly that existed for six decades. Now, it is.

What’s changed?

We now have four new stock exchanges. The resulting competitive environment will significantly reduce the cost of listing – and the cost for investors of buying and selling shares.

Instead of restricting share trading to people or organisations who already have tens of thousands of rands to invest or millions to spend on listing, by licensing four new stock exchanges, the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA, formerly the FSB) has recognised that most financial decisions do not call for high levels of education.

Related: The Role Of Foreign Exchange In The Economy

Most people know how to spend their own grocery money. Most know that it’s better to keep their R1 000 monthly income in a coffee jar than spend R50 of it on bank account fees. People who can barely read and write are immensely skillful at manipulating air time deals to their advantage.

There is significant financial savvy in all social strata.

In the same way, although the mechanics of bookkeeping and accounting may be unfamiliar territory to many entrepreneurs, most have a clear understanding of the difference between profit and loss.

The FSCA has therefore enabled democratisation of the financial markets by enabling the broadest possible spectrum of entrepreneurs and investors to use stock exchanges to participate in and contribute to the economy – on their own rather than prescriptive terms.

How do you take strategic advantage of this democratisation?

  1. Base your business strategy on people’s instinct for making decisions in their own best interests. Trust financial decentralisation, such as one sees in crowd funding and in digital environments such as block chain, where people would far rather trust one another than institutions and governments. This is democracy innately at work in the financial environment and it’s accelerating organically as digital technologies give people more means and the confidence to help themselves – to information and opportunities. Ride the wave.
  2. Tap into people’s desire to innovate. Consumer organisations have proved that letting people interactively help them develop products is a powerful growth engine. Apply the principle by letting people grow your business by buying shares in it, giving you capital and themselves a platform on which to build wealth.
  3. Remember, the ultimate loyalty reward is equity.

Your financial democracy business plan

Look to list on an entrepreneurial stock exchange; one that was founded by entrepreneurs on entrepreneurial principles.

That means: A stock exchange that is already built on financial democracy and decentralisation. One that has, at its core, a single operational concept that keeps things simple for you, automatically gives you an immediate competitive advantage, and, ensures that no matter what your business needs in terms of attracting capital, the exchange can provide all the options in the same, consistent way.

What does such an exchange look like?

It has fintech capabilities. So:

It slashes your listing costs. It achieves this, among other things, by enabling you to populate an electronic prospectus, demonstrating your financial viability, and self publish.

It gives you control by having the granularity and agility to impose relevant governance right down to the individual investor. You get to decide the types and quantities of investors you want to attract. This also enables you to achieve black economic empowerment in perpetuity.

It leads the world by clearing and settling trades in T+0. No-one in the value chain has to hold large sums of money for days following a transaction. Small transactions become profitable. Investors don’t have to risk their life savings on a single large trade. A retail market is opened. An investment and savings culture is entrenched. The economy expands. Your business grows steadily.

It enables anywhere, any time trading via a mobile app that allows investors to see share value in real time. See economy expansion point above.

It integrates processes and procedures, simplifying them and ensuring rapid onboarding of issuers and, therefore, speed to market with new concepts and alignment with the digital economy.

It operates a principles-based regime. So:

It treats you, as an executive, with respect. It’s not prescriptive. It does not insist on excessive oversight, allowing the Companies Act to guide you to sustainability.

It does not attempt to squeeze your company into a pre-defined business or listings format. It recognises and works with your uniqueness.

It obviates the need for expensive specialist listings advisors.

It focuses on financial inclusion and access. So:

Shares can be bought and sold for no more than R1 000. See economy building point above.

Related: 27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

The new world of stock exchanges is integrated, synergistic, holistic, organic, self-fulfilling

Decentralisation of financial control, democratisation of opportunity leads to a whole new economy. One in which, for instance, a taxi operator can finance a minibus through a company in which his purchase gives him shares. A single purchase gives him two benefits: a vehicle on which to found his business and a longer-term investment in shares that he can trade. The funding company gains liquidity through access to a wider base of investors while being able to control who buys and sells and the conditions on which trading takes place. Increasing black equity in business becomes an organic, natural, self-perpetuating process.

Everyone wins in a decentralised, democratised financial market. And it’s the stock exchanges that drive the process.

As an entrepreneur, can you afford to ignore the acceleration that listing could give your business growth?

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