Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 10
Please add your own story to this thread.

I'm currently almost 33 and my net worth/income ratio is probably just under 4x my salary. How is this possible? I'm sure there are folks with more impressive numbers (please share your stories!)

Here are a few things that I did.

1. Okay, I'm a saver. I like to save. I have kept my expenses low and extra money has been kept safe in banking accounts, stocks, and other investments. 401k, IRAs, stock purchase plans. These rock!

2. I'm not afraid to invest in myself. This means investing time, effort and money. I went to a hard, well rated, engineering school. It was expensive and required a lot of my time and energy just to graduate. I also went back to graduate school after working for a couple of years. Since I went to a top program, this was an expensive choice. Both of these choices have paid off many times over.

3. I have always paid off debt as fast as possible, regardless of the interest rate. I borrowed some money from my parents to replace my car at one point. Their rates were beyond reasonable, but I made it a priority to pay it off fast. My student loans were at good rates, but I paid them off fast. Was this the smartest or most Foolish thing to do? Maybe not, but I think the mentality of not wanting any debt has been very helpful in building wealth.

4. I bought a house beyond my means. I put 20% down, but making the payments would have really pushed my limits. However, I took on renters (this was planned) and the net effect was that I was paying down a house that was more than I could afford. I also made extra payments towards the mortgage (why not just round up the mortgage to the next even $100? that I've done that...why not throw in another $50 or $100?).

5. I've taken risks. I changed jobs a couple years after grad school. The increase in salary was significant.

6. I haven't gone into panic mode and have planned for events/contingencies. I was laid off and it took me almost 6 months to find another job. I didn't take the first one that came along, but used my savings (and my wife's income and unemployment checks) to take my time and find the right job.

7. The house I bought (in #4) was in a good location and I was lucky to be selling when I did. It was great to make money on the sale, but the money I made on it went straight towards the downpayment on my current house.

8. I've invested frequently and consistently and significantly in the stock market. Every paycheck money goes to my 401k. Always. No exceptions. Every year I contribute the maximum to an IRA. Always. No exceptions. When I have extra money it has gone to my brokerage account. (The exception has been when I've put a some more towards my mortgage.) Money that has gone into these accounts has not come out. No Exceptions!! You don't have to put 75% of your salary in. You don't have to make great stock picks. You just have to put money in all the time.

Just remember to have fun along the way. :)

Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.