Money Lessons from Millionaires


If you’re barely getting by, it may seem crazy to try to emulate a millionaire. After all, millionaires have a ton of money, and you don’t. And while some millionaires used their wisdom and wit to get where they are, there are presumably plenty out there who were born wealthy and had numerous advantages growing up.

But advice for the rich is often universal, and there’s a lot we can learn from the wealthiest of the wealthy. With that in mind, we tapped some financial advisors who represent millionaires and asked them to share advice they give their clients that also applies to the rest of us.

Click ahead for eight millionaire money tips for the rest of us.

1. Make your money work for you.
Don’t work for your money. In other words, invest in stocks, says Matt Papazian, a financial advisor at Cardan Capital, based in Denver.

Why it matters. Papazian says the wealthiest people generally own their own businesses. “This allows them to generate income or grow assets even when they are not sitting in the office,” he says.

And if you don’t have the resources to start your own business? Invest in one. “The best way to replicate the ownership of a business is by owning securities in businesses that are already in existence. These companies can be selling iPhones, computers, candy bars, detergent, cars – globally, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. It’s the next best thing,” Papazian says.

2. Keep an emergency fund.
Michael Rose, managing partner with Rose Capital Advisors in Miami Beach, Florida, stresses this to his clients, many of whom are wealthy athletes and entertainers.

Why it matters. Even the wildly rich need to keep money saved for emergencies, Rose says. They simply need more money put aside than the rest of us. Rose says this is especially important for entertainers and athletes, who may make a lot of money but are self-employed.

“It’s a boom-and-bust industry,” Rose says, adding that without a lot of money put aside, athletes and entertainers are often one injury or unproduced movie away from bust.

3. Plan for a health emergency.
This tip comes from John Voltaggio, senior wealth advisor at Northern Trust in New York City.

Why it matters. If you have a spouse and kids, they’re likely depending on you to stay in good health. “What happens in the event of a medical emergency, incapacity or even death? Does the client have appropriate medical, disability and/or life insurance in place, which, when combined with others assets, will provide for surviving family members?” Voltaggio asks.

Even if you don’t have many assets and aren’t concerned who will get your mansion and three cars because you live in an apartment and take the bus to work, as long as you have an income that supports your family, you should have life insurance.

4. Review your finances periodically.
So says Anne O’Brien, an estate planning advisor with Caplin & Drysdale in the District of Columbia. She represents athletes, entertainers, political figures and wealthy business owners.

Why it matters. Because money is complicated, and the rules, especially with taxes, often change. “A year-end meeting of the client and advisors is essential,” O’Brien says.

Of course, you may not have a team in place in the way O’Brien suggests. “At a minimum, the attorney, an accountant and a financial advisor,” she recommends.

But even if you’re huddling with your spouse and a money management software program, it’s better than never looking at your money and hoping everything works out OK.

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Source: U.S. News & World Report | Geoff Williams