When you ask, “What is the single most important asset anyone can have?” you’d be quick to say something along the lines of a house, a family or an Australian Citizenship. From my experience, the single most important asset you can have is your ability to have income. Financial Success ultimately comes to education and health.

Whether you’d admit it, money plays one of the biggest roles in every person’s life. There’s no escaping it. And no, unfortunately, it doesn’t grow on trees, Mum was right… this time. Your world may not revolve around money but the world around you certainly does. These are 5 keys for you to unlock your ability to attract financial success to your life.

Learn

From before the moment you came out of your mother’s womb, you starting learning at an astronomical rate. You can learn to survive or you can learn to thrive. Are you in survival mode or are you in thriving mode? When I was in school, I didn’t have a passion for learning. But today, my drive to learn far surpasses any other aspect of life. It is important to have a continuous drive to improve and develop yourself to be a better version of yourself. This leads to job opportunities, increased chance of higher income, confidence and success in most areas of life including financial success. If you were to ask some of the most successful people in the world what their habits are to gain financial success, you would find that reading and keeping a journal would be in the top 3. Keeping a journal is the most renowned technique for you to get to know yourself. If you don’t know yourself, how can you know others and leverage relationships to obtain great win-win outcomes?

Retention

When your earning income, you need to steward it well. Retaining your money takes many forms including but not limited to budgeting, research and self-control. The way that our society has been set up is that it makes it very easy for you to spend yours and others’ money. Think taxes, tolls, credit cards, ATMs, transaction fees, swipeless, cardless, interest-free periods, bank fees, late payment fees. All these things will rob you of your money. If you don’t manage these things in your life, these things will strip your chances of financial success. It requires planning, commitment and self-control. If you have a weekly budget and you stick to it, you will save thousands of dollars every year. Simple things like take-out for example, if you buy lunch every day at work because you didn’t plan or were too lazy, that can easily equate to at least $50 a week. Which is $2,600 a year. $2,600 thrown away because there was no foresight or planning. This is lunch only. What about breakfast or dinners? Or groceries? It’s the same with bank fees and credit cards. The banks will charge you fees sometimes for reasons completely unjustified, check out this article from the Barefoot Investor on how to deal with this. Most of the time if you were to call the bank and ask them why and disapprove them doing it, they will refund the fee. You actually have a lot more power than you realise. But if you don’t say anything, they’ll just take it and assume your acceptance of it. Don’t accept theft.

Invest generously

In contrary to popular opinion, investment and generosity go hand in hand. Investment must be done from a place of generosity in order to avoid the temptations of greed and the misery that so often follows. When investing, it’s important to diversify your risk across different asset classes. Most of you would be thinking “yes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. However, this statement is so much more profound than many of us realise. Most of us attribute this to finances only, but I tell you the truth, you can apply this model to every aspect of your life. Whether it is money, business, family, relationships or health, you invest into these things automatically and you need to diversify your life’s portfolio accordingly. On finance though, prioritise your financial investment in your budgeting. Be clear and conscious and committed to investing financially. You can usually budget more to invest than you realise.

In Australia, we are fortunate to have a government initiative known as Superannuation whereby you invest a portion of your wages each payday into an investment account. Its purpose is to encourage Australian’s to be conscious of their retirement and take some of the welfare burden off the Australian government. Your retirement is just as important if not more important than your daily living expenses now. Why? Because the closer you are to retirement, your most important asset starts to lose its value – your ability to have income. Don’t be naïve when it comes to your retirement and your superannuation. There is a variety of different asset classes that you can invest your finances including shares (equities), fixed income (bonds), term deposits, your own business, ETF (exchange traded funds), managed funds, your employment, real estate. Some of these classes carry more risk than others. There’s no such thing as “get rich quick” schemes. Becoming wealthy requires patience, research and hard work.

Enjoy

Most importantly, you need to invest in you. Without your ability to succeed, you never will. You need to enjoy yourself and enjoy life and be in it for the long haul. It’s hard to motivate yourself to do something that’s not energising to you. You as a human are a beautiful thing, and you have the ability to adapt and change your preferences and habits. You are deeper than you realise and you can be happy and joyous in any circumstance. If you can conquer the battlefield that is your mind, you can unlock the impossible. Some of the world’s wealthiest people actually live life quite frugally. Take Warren Buffet as an example, the world’s greatest investor with a net worth of $63 Billion, he still lives in the same house he bought in 1958 for $31,500. People will tell you that money doesn’t buy happiness, which to some extent is true. But you feel much better in a nice warm bed than sleeping on the streets. Live within your means, practice joy, speak life, take breaks, rest, get spiritual (if you’re into that), and most importantly find relationships that will build you up.

Where to from here? The final key…

You have to do what is right for you, there is no cookie-cutter answer to investing, whether it’s assets or strategy, you need to be investing according to your circumstances. If you find that you are having trouble budgeting for investment, or budgeting in general, or are struggling with debt, I highly recommend consulting an authorised Financial Planner. If you were planning to go into debt to invest or have a large debt from previous decisions, it would be worthwhile investing in life insurance. Talk to a financial planner to see what the right amount of cover would be for you. If you need some vision and direction as to your investment strategy, again, consult a financial planner.

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