Many of us grew up with images of millionaires as rare and unusual people. Movies and television depicted millionaires as untouchable and unapproachable individuals that common folk could never meet. Here in the 21st century, economic conditions along with the availability of pre-tax investing for everyone have created an environment where millionaires are commonplace. If you stand on a street corner and inquire of everyone who passes by if they are a millionaire or a school teacher, you will find that you are three times more likely to meet a millionaire than a school teacher.
Today in America, there are over 10 million millionaires. While a million dollars won’t buy the lifestyle it would have bought for our grandparents, it’s certainly better to have a million dollars than to not have a million dollars. Becoming a millionaire is no longer a matter of winning the gene-pool lottery and inheriting your money, or writing a bestseller, signing an NBA contract, or developing a cure for cancer. Becoming a millionaire today is within the reach of almost everyone, but this certainly doesn’t mean that the millionaire lifestyle will be lived by everyone.
When I began my working career, I started as an investment broker for a New York Stock Exchange firm. My clients quickly educated me to a reality I had not known before. Looking and acting like a millionaire doesn’t make you a millionaire. I had clients who came to my office in brand new luxury automobiles and who lived at the best addresses in town who had low account balances and were constantly borrowing money against their investments to cover expenses. On the other hand, I had clients driving 10-year-old cars, who lived in very nice but moderate housing, and dressed casually who were multimillionaires with a net worth their friends and neighbors would never have imagined.
Trying to look and act like a millionaire before you are one is financially devastating. Farmers who grow corn harvest their crops each year, and those kernels of corn represent not only the product they produce and sell but the seeds they will plant next year. Prevailing wisdom among farmers and wise investors would implore us to “never eat your seed corn.” Particularly as a young person, spending beyond one’s means instead of investing creates financial disaster. That expensive pair of shoes, oversized car payment, or bit of bling that could otherwise have been an investment would have generated a fortune in the market throughout an investing life.
Financial success is a matter of thinking more of your own financial future than how much you care about what others may think of your current financial condition. Just as common sense will never be common, wealth will never be average. It’s a journey available to everyone but remains the road less traveled.
As you go through your day today, make uncommon decisions now so you can live an uncommon life later.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stovallauthor; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.