1. Your money should work for you, not you for your money.  Early on, you will likely work to save enough money to invest, but your goal should be to have your money work for you. For each dollar you save, your goal should be to put that money to work in an investment that grows so that more than a dollar results. Although you should have some money in your bank account in case of emergencies, whether it’s the stock market, real estate, precious metals, etc…your goal should be to put every dollar to work in an investment that yields more.

2. Small savings grow into large fortunes.  Many successful investors started with relatively little principal. William Nickerson grew $1,000 into $5 million by investing in real estate. There are numerous stories of immigrants who’ve come to this country with little and over time built great fortunes.

3. Use leverage to your benefit.  Among the things that make America great includes our robust equity and debt markets. It is relatively easy to obtain a loan to grow a business or purchase real estate. Banks use your savings to make loans and collect lending fees… In other words, they use your money to make more money for themselves. You can use their strategy to your advantage. Use Other People’s Money (OPM) to grow your wealth by obtaining the maximum amount of leverage that you can reasonable repay and without taking undue risk.

4. Exercise patience.  Never put yourself in the position where you must make a particular investment. Make the investment at the best possible time…the time where the seller is most desperate, the time where most other investors are irrationally pessimistic (false information). When there is blood in the streets.

5. Do not waste time nor money.  You cannot grow what you have now, unless you learn to use what you have now efficiently. Ben Franklin said the following:

“In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market it. It depends chiefly on two words: industry and frugality. Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he can, will certainly become rich.”

-Benjamin Franklin

6. Beware of expenses.  Beware of little expenses. A small leak can sink a great ship. Beware of the expenses associated with your investment (ex. brokerage fees, performance fees, property management fees, management fees, etc.).

7. Beware of easy returns.  Beware of seemingly easy high-return investments. Generally nothing worth-while to achieve is ever easy. This goes for any goal you want to achieve, including losing weight and getting physically fit, growing wealthy, or climbing Mt. Everest. Taking the first step is always the hardest and once you start achieving goals, it becomes easier and easier.

8. Quality first, quantity second.  Having fewer investments with high returns is better than making more investments that yield low returns. The quality of each investment should be your primary consideration. Once you become proficient at choosing high-quality investments that yield above market returns at commensurate risk, you then can focus on growing the quantity of your investments an snowballing your wealth.

9. Trust, but Verify… everything. Once you’ve got wealth, everything will want to talk to you about “great investment opportunities”. Are they wealthy? If so, it might be wise to listen to them. Otherwise, take what they say with a grain of salt. For many people it is more difficult to protect and grow your wealth. Trust no one with your money. That includes stock brokers, investors, CPAs, etc. They will never care about it as much as you do. You should not expect them to. It is your responsibility alone to grow your wealth. Make sure you conduct thorough due diligence on every investment.

10. Learn from your mistakes.  Learn from your mistakes and develop techniques to prevent you from making the same mistakes again. Developing exhaustive checklists and updating them continuously can be a great tool that can help ensure you don’t make the same mistakes twice.