Johannesburg – The preoccupation with being either rich or poor and the looseness with which the terms are used, are disturbing, according to Daphne Byers, advice partner at The Wealth Corporation.

She said articles like “top ways to become rich”, “traits millionaires possess”, “things rich people choose to do” and “things poor people do” abound.

“The precept of the articles is sound – that your wealth will ultimately be determined by the little choices you make every day. However, what was most disturbing was firstly, the preoccupation with being either rich or poor that seems to abound and secondly, the looseness with which the terms are used,” said Byers.

“Being rich means you can enjoy financial freedom. That, in turn, is not a magical number with zeros as far as the eye can see, but rather the point at which one’s income exceeds one’s expenses.”

These offer tips like setting goals, networking, honing skills and saving money.

“While these are noble habits in and of themselves, it can be argued that the only reliable predictor of one increasing one’s wealth is saving money,” said Byers.

“Creating wealth is a journey and there are no short cuts.”

She believes more useful and practical habits to wealth include:

– Budgeting;

– Establishing an emergency savings account;

– Avoiding credit card debt;

– Setting realistic long and short term financial goals;

– Saving routinely to realise these goals;

– Creating a financial plan with the help of a qualified adviser;

– Investing your retirement savings in solutions with appropriate investment returns and time horizons;

– Putting an appropriate risk management plan in place;

– Writing a will to ensure your dependents are taken care of in your absence;

– Reviewing your financial plan and will regularly.

“The decisions you made today determine the reality that you face tomorrow,” said Byers.

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