8 Money Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

There are 21,951,000 millionaires in the United States, according to the 2021 Global Wealth Report. It’s a pretty safe bet that not all of them were born rich.

In fact, the number of millionaires increased “substantially” between 2020 and 2021, largely due to housing price increases and stock market gains.

Not all these millionaires are showing off their wealth. Some live below — or well below — their means. As they say, rich people didn’t get rich by giving away their money.

And neither should you. If you want to join the 1% club someday, make smarter choices now. Here are a few things self-made millionaires do that you can start doing today.

1. They add $1.7 million to their retirement — and someone else does the work

Managing your own investments takes a lot of time and involves a fair amount of potential risk. But do you really want to be doing it? According to a recent Vanguard study, a self-managed $500,000 investment would turn into $1.69 million after 25 years. But the same amount managed by a qualified financial adviser turns into $3.4 million. That’s $1.7 million more!

If you’ve been considering working with an adviser, a free matching service called SmartAsset will connect you with an adviser who will help you make the right choices for your money. Some financial firms steer you toward investment products that earn them fat commissions. The advisers SmartAsset works with have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of the clients, rather than their own wallets.

Don’t have a true picture of your financial future? No problem. The adviser can help you make a list of money goals, and then help you create a sustainable financial path toward reaching those goals.

It’s easy to put off thinking about the future — and really dangerous to do so. Compound interest is your friend! The sooner you get started, the more you could earn. And all it takes is about 60 seconds to answer SmartAsset’s adviser match quiz. After you type in an email address, you’ll get a list of fiduciaries who are ready to help you make your dreams come true.

The process only takes a few minutes and costs nothing, and in many cases, you’ll be connected with an expert immediately for a free retirement consultation.

Nothing to lose, lots to potentially gain: Take a minute and check it out right now!

2. They protect their wealth with precious metals

As you may have noticed lately, a single bad day on the Street can send your stocks far, far south; a string of such days can send you into the fetal position, wondering where all your money went. Market corrections are another reminder to diversify, diversify, diversify.

This is where American Hartford Gold comes in: Whether it’s physical gold or a gold IRA, this family-owned company can help you diversify and save for retirement with a product that’s real, tangible and hugely valuable.

Gold has been the standard of wealth for thousands of years. It’s not controlled by governmental currency rules, and it’s a fairly finite commodity. Don’t think of it as just a jewelry metal, either: Gold is an essential element in modern electronics manufacturing. In a way, it’s like investing in technology without buying tech stocks — after all, nobody’s building tech without gold.

You can buy physical gold (or silver) from American Hartford Gold right now. And if you’re looking for an alternative (or additional) retirement vehicle, check out the company’s “gold IRA.” It follows Internal Revenue Service rules and regulations and can include gold stocks, ETFs and mutual funds along with gold coins or bars. (If you opt for physical metal, it will be secured in an approved depository.)

American Hartford Gold has a five-star rating with Trustpilot and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. If market volatility’s got you down, or if you just want to invest in an essential (and tangible) commodity, get your free investors kit now.

3. They save $8,256 every year by refinancing

The Federal Reserve is starting to raise rates and will almost certainly continue to for the foreseeable future. As they do, most consumer rates will go up.

It’s no secret that interest rates are already creeping up, but you can still lower your mortgage payments if you act now. With a mortgage lender called Better, you can get fast pre-approval in as little as three minutes.

And the potential savings are huge: On average, borrowers who refinance save $8,256 a year, according to the site. Yes, that’s $8,256 a year. Every year.

That’s extra money you can put toward retirement, a dream vacation or even home improvements. The possibilities are endless.

With rates this low, you’d be crazy not to at least check to see how much you can save by refinancing. Plus, Better streamlined the entire application process online, so you can get pre-approved in just three minutes and close up to 10 days faster than average. Plus, there are no commissions and no lender fees, and they even offer 24/7 support to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Lock in a low mortgage rate while rates are still low. Get started now.

4. They steer clear of credit card debt

Not all credit card debt is the result of careless behavior. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up maxing out the plastic due to illness, divorce or job loss. (Or more than one of those things.)

Fact is, sometimes debt is inescapable. You can throw every dime you have at it and still see the balance grow, or you can do something about it. National Debt Relief can help.

Depending on your situation, you might choose debt consolidation or debt relief. Debt consolidation puts all your debt into one loan through National Debt Relief, with a single monthly payment. Whether you can qualify depends on your credit score.

Debt relief means that the company will negotiate what you owe; the creditor agrees to forgive the balance, which is known as a “settlement.” On average, National Debt Relief will get 50% of your debt written off. (A settlement sometimes results in taxes owed; however, if you have more liabilities than assets, the Internal Revenue Service may not classify the forgiven debt as income.)

Typically, it takes 24 to 48 months to pay off a settlement, although it could be faster. Compare that with a maxed-out card, though: If you were able to make only the minimum payments, it might take 10 to 20 years to finish paying it off. Imagine how much interest you’d pay during that timeframe — and imagine what that money could have done for you someplace else.

There’s no fee to sign up and no fee to cancel, and National Debt Relief will charge a settlement fee only after you approve the deal. And if for some reason they can’t settle your debt? Then you owe them nothing.

National Debt Relief has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Get a free, no-obligation debt relief consultation to see how quickly you can be debt-free.

5. They earn 23% investing in commercial real estate

That’s right: People who invested in commercial real estate through Fundrise earned an average annual return of 22.9% in 2021. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but still — pretty impressive, huh? Here’s what’s even more impressive: You don’t need to be a gazillionaire to get in on the action. Fundrise lets you start with as little as $10.

The company lets you become a landlord without actually having to be a landlord. It’s like buying stocks: You own a piece of the company, or in this case, a piece of a bunch of buildings.

Real estate has long been an investment favorite. After all, people will always need a place to live — and according to a new study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, rents in professionally managed apartment buildings were up 16.8% year-over-year by the fourth quarter of 2021.

To sum things up: You’ll be buying real estate without having to be a landlord. You’ll be diversifying your portfolio, and reducing the risk that comes from putting everything into stocks, bonds or mutual funds. And you can get started with as little as 10 bucks.

What are you waiting for? You can sign up and create your account in just a few minutes.

6. They diversify in artwork, outperforming the S&P 500 by 180%

Not all millionaires put their dollars into blue-chip stocks. Some also invest in blue-chip art. And it’s been on a run: Between 2000 and 2018, returns from this investment category outperformed the S&P 500 by 180%.

Back in the day, fine art investing was the province of those who could afford to drop millions at exclusive auctions. But now a company called Masterworks lets you get a piece of the action for as little as $20 plus fees.

These investment masterpieces are from renowned artists such as Warhol, Basquiat, Calder and Banksy. Masterworks researches the most consistently valuable artworks to buy, then holds them for three to 10 years. After auction, Masterworks shares the profit with investors. Sometimes the returns are even faster; for example, Banksy’s “Mona Lisa” was released to investors in October 2019 and sold in October 2020, providing a 32% net annualized return.

It’s a truly unique way to increase your net worth. While there’s no guarantee you’ll win big, here’s an investment that allows you to appreciate the beauty and history behind these artworks. You’re not just an investor. You’re part of the global art market, for as little as $20.

Masterworks is an invitation-only art investment platform. If you’re ready to own a piece of art history and diversify your portfolio, request your invitation to join now.

7. They invest for the long term

So you weren’t born rich. Join the club! For many of us, prosperity is a simple formula: Investing + time = wealth.

Millionaires, whether born or self-made, know this. Putting all your cash into a savings account is only a little more profitable than burying it in fruit jars in the backyard. If you want to make money, you’re going to have to take risks. In other words, you have to invest.

All you millionaires-in-training might wonder how to get started. I don’t know anything about investing! Suppose I get scammed? What if I don’t have a big chunk of change to start out with – will anyone even want to work with me?

Good news: A robo-adviser app called Public can introduce you to the world of investing – and all you need to get going is a single dollar.

Public offers “fractional” investing: small slices of thousands of stocks and exchange-traded funds plus more than two dozen forms of cryptocurrency. When you sign up, you qualify for a free stock slice that could be worth as much as $300.

The robo-adviser will want to know what kind of investing experience you’ve had (it’s OK if the answer is “zero”), and what investment goals you have. Nine out of 10 Public investors are in it for the long haul, according to the company.

You won’t pay any fees to join, although you’re allowed to leave a tip when you make trades. And when you join, you’re joining a community: Public encourages its members to share information about their trades, and to create chat groups to talk about their investment goals and experiences.

If that sounds both easy and welcoming, that’s because it is. To get going with Public, download the free app and qualify for free stock.

8. They stay informed

Earning means learning. The more you know about investing, saving and avoiding rip-offs, the richer you’ll be.

And that’s where we come in.

Take five minutes every day and check out the totally free Money Talks Newsletter. More than a million Americans have, and they’ve reported saving an average of $991.20 each by checking our news and advice.

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Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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