SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Yes, opportunity is knocking for American investors. Less than two weeks ago Spectrem Group of Chicago released its latest annual report of American millionaires. About 200,000 new millionaires were added last year, for a new total of 8.6 million.
True, that’s less than the 9.5 million at the 2006 peak, but it’s still great news along with the Dow industrial’s 994 point first-quarter rally of 8.1% first quarter ending last Friday, two clearly positive signs of a recovery.
In short, you can still become a millionaire. Here’s the secret: It’s all in your head, your attitude, your state of mind. If you want to retire a millionaire, you can. Here’s how: You control your mind.
A few decades in business, and years writing about behavioral economics and psychology have convinced me of this one simple truth: Becoming a millionaire really is all in your head. It has little to do with wealth-building techniques, tools and rules.
In fact, you could forget all the usual stuff: asset allocation, stock picking, savings plans, budgeting and so on. I know, that’s what the experts tell you to focus on. But if you’re not in the right state of mind, none of that matters.
Seriously, I’ve read the books: “The Millionaire Mind,” “Instant Millionaire,” “Automatic Millionaire,” “Millionaire Next Door,” “One-Minute Millionaire” and many more. Even wrote a couple, “The Millionaire Code” and “The Millionaire Meditation” and worked on Wall Street as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley.
But I keep coming back to this one simple fact: Becoming a millionaire really is all in your head. Period. No excuses. You decide to become a millionaire and it will happen — in a bear market, a bad economy or riding a bull.
So here are the 10 best tips I picked up over the decades, tips that’ll help you become one of America’s next millionaires: 1. Getting rich isn’t about money
Fidelity’s Peter Lynch often said, if you spend 15 minutes a year studying the economy, that’s 10 minutes too much. And when money guru Ric Edelman researched 5,000 millionaires for “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wealth,” he discovered that millionaires spend an average of just 6 minutes a day on personal finance. They have better things to do. 2. Think different
Go inside “The Millionaire Mind” with author George Stanley: “They think differently from the crowd … it pays to be different.” Yes, it builds wealth. Go where there’s a unique opportunity that fits your unique talents. That’s “the central theme” of Stanley’s work: Don’t fit in, go your way. 3. Accentuate the positive
Most of us have read books like Napoleon Hill’s classic, “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.” That message hit home in “Fast Company” by a Special Forces instructor, a veteran of 26 years: “If you have a guy with all the survival training in the world who has a negative attitude and a guy who doesn’t have a clue but has a positive attitude, I guarantee you that the guy with a positive attitude is coming out of the woods alive. Simple as that.” As a Marine veteran, I know he’s on the money