We all love a miraculous success story. We like the idea of orphan Annie getting taken off the streets, of Charlie just happening to stumble upon his golden ticket. We like to see the underdog fall into success because we often see ourselves as the underdog and we’re always holding out for our lucky break. Wouldn’t it be nice if things just worked out for us? If it happened to someone else, why shouldn’t it happen to us? Isn’t it possible that, like the people in those stories we love to hear, we too can get rich quick?
These stories aren’t just present in fiction; they happen in real life too. We’re promised jobs that could get us “up to” such and such amount of money in a very short amount of time, and we rush to apply. We’re promised amazing grand prizes if we enter into a contest and, someone’s got to win, so it might as well be us. Of course, there’s the pitch from financial advisors in the world of investing: do what we say and you will see amazing returns in no time at all. As investors, the “get rich quick” pitch is always right at our front door.
Here’s what your financial advisor won’t tell you, though. Here’s the truth: if you try to get rich quickly, you will go broke fast. Is there ever anyone who does actually get rich quickly, without any real effort? Of course. Someone does win the lottery, after all. But here’s the thing: luck is not a strategy. You can’t plan on getting lucky. And anytime someone manages to become wealthy in a short amount of time, that’s exactly what’s happening: they’re getting lucky. Besides, many of the people who end up winning the lottery blow through their money and end up poorer than they were before they won, because they lack the financial discipline needed to maintain wealth.
It’s no secret that, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Whenever you hear someone tell you that they can help you get rich quick, turn around and run the other way. The only people that will get rich is them—off the profits from the snake oil they’re selling you! If you think you can get more than an eight to ten percent rate of return on the equities in a portfolio, you are probably being sold a bill of goods. If you are being told that your money can be doubled several years in a row, don’t be surprised when the opposite happens—you might just lose it all and more.
As with much else in life, true financial success comes from hard work exerted over a long period of time. Intelligent investing is slow and cautious, not rash and risky. If you really want to build wealth that is sustainable, then you’ve got to ignore the temptation to “get rich quick.” The only way within your power to become wealthy is to do it steadily over time. If you would like any help understanding how to build a plan to do just that, feel free to reach out to us for a complimentary consultation. We want to help you build the kind of wealth that can change your life, but we want to show you how to do it in a way that actually works.