Almost everyone of us wants to live in relative financial comfort. You know, not having to worry about where your next meal is coming from, your children’s school fees or about living from paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, very few of us have actual targets and even fewer have plans for reaching those targets.
It’s all well and good to want to be rich, but with no target in mind, it’s kind of hard to plan yourself and see how well you are doing. E.g. if your definition of riches is a salary of $50,000 a year or life savings of $100,000 , you can always assess yourself at any point and see how far you are towards getting there and know what you have to change, if anything.
I have my own target which I’m not going to disclose, lest I be called unambitious by some people and greedy by other people. However I am going to share some of my plans for achieving it (in no particular order).
1. Climb the corporate ladder: One of the most tried and tested methods. Join a large company, that rewards its senior staff very well financially, work hard, and rise. I’m thinking of industries like investment banking, oil production, telecommunications. These requires very hard work of course. You can’t be like everyone else. You always have to go the extra mile, do the unexpected and make your star shine. But with the levels of mediocrity in Africa, that shouldn’t be too difficult.
2. Play the financial markets: Even if I don’t climb the corporate ladder, I can reach my financial targets on the salary of a middle class worker. The answer lies in the financial markets. Because the financial markets in our third world countries are so underdeveloped, there is a lot of room for growth and a lot of opportunities to make money. Our stock markets regularly record growth rates of 30-50%. And that’s for the stock market as a whole. If you had a knowledgeable stockbroker/adviser, your returns could be significantly larger.
3. Start a company: This is one of the most difficult options but I guess one of the most rewarding as well (and not just financially). Depending on your field of expertise this might also not be possible. The idea is to create products that will be so popular as to bring in little sums of cash from many people OR that will be so popular that you can sell the product (or product idea) to a larger company OR that will make your company so successful that you can list on the stock exchange and create a windfall for yourself.
4. Marry into a rich family: Now I don’t even know whether this is easier for men or women. On the one hand it could be harder for women cause in our part of the world, it’s usually the men who do the proposing. So the woman may not really be able to make advances toward this financially loaded man. On the other hand, it could be harder for men because there are fewer financially loaded women. Again in our part of the world, the greater share of family wealth will usually be passed down to the sons rather than the daughters. But say, the man did find a financially loaded woman, she’d probably be in such a different social class, that winning her over would be difficult (forget what our local movies would have you believe. Very few daughters of rich men fall in love with their houseboys and ignore their parents advice and do all they can to stay with those houseboys). And even if the man was able to bridge the social divide, she would have so many suitors that you would have to have to do something special to get and keep her attention. This would also apply for women looking for financially loaded men. Maybe even more so.
So there it is. Four of my strategies to riches. Suggestions, criticisms and alternatives are greatly appreciated.