According to Brazilian finance expert, Igor Cornelsen, the single most important element to know about amassing wealth is that investors are better off being a tenacious saver and a mediocre investor rather than being a below-average saver who plays in the stock market. “It’s like exercising,” says Igor Cornelsen. “If you strategize an efficient plan for cardio and weight training you’re more likely to keep in shape, but going to the gym for five minutes won’t help you out in the least.”
When you think about getting rich the first thought that comes to mind is the stock market, but amassing wealth is more about allowing your money to work harder for you. While savings may be the safer way to build a nest egg, it’s not exactly the easy way to approach wealth. Igor Cornelsen advises clients to bump up their savings systematically. Each year, ratchet the amount you save a little more. “I think the most simplistic approach to saving is living below your means, especially during those early years. You’ll come out ahead 25 years from now,” advises Cornelsen.
For investors, instead of banking on optimistic returns, invest in a balanced mix of stocks and bonds. And look for those funds that can be expected to beat inflation by a modest amount of points each year. For young investors just starting out, invest aggressively. Of course, the strategies that often promise the biggest potential on returns can also present the greatest potential for loss, so avoid long shots. Wondering if you could achieve great results by simply picking better funds? “Good luck consistently picking funds that outperform the market. It’s not impossible but it’s surely a gamble,” says Cornelsen.
Lastly, live on last year’s budget. Cornelsen points out on disqus that as pay climbs, many people increase their spending on discretionary items. “Forego spending and place those additional funds in a savings account, or increase your 401k savings.” Using other people’s money, like a handout from your employer to build wealth is the best case scenario. Tax-advantage accounts like a 401k and IRA allow you to build wealth quicker, and at the same time you can reduce your income taxes.
Igor Cornelsen has been advising clients on brandyourself.co of hitting that seven-figure mark for more than two decades. The Bainbridge Investments founder has had a front row seat to helping working class people amass wealth. Cornelsen says “the secret formula for reaching $1 million is manipulating and managing your money,” and “most households will miss the mark, but not for lack of desire. You just have to understand how to operate with what you have.”