Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The path to wealth is usually a slow one

There are no shortcuts to financial success, but you wouldn’t know it by the Internet. Just Google the phrase “get rich quick” and you get advertisements like these:

“Bring in $100,000 a month: I can teach you how!”

“Turn $600 into $39,000 with the Forgotten Commodity!”

“Earn money fast and LEGALLY!”

Seeking quick riches can spell trouble
The absurdity of the ads’ claims is worth a chuckle. And maybe you've never felt tempted to click one just to “see what it’s all about.” But someone is clicking, and buying into the ads’ promises—otherwise they wouldn’t exist.

“Quick and easy” is a good description for making a box of Mac n' Cheese, not building wealth. After all, “The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.” (Psalms 28:20)

Overnight wealth, or lasting peace?
In their research for the bestselling book, The Millionaire Next Door, Drs. Thomas Stanley and William Danko found that “building wealth takes sacrifice, discipline, and hard work”—hardly the stuff offered by the Internet ads above. But chances are most folks wouldn’t click on ads like these:

“Learn the secret to financial success: Spend less, save more!”

“Retire a multimillionaire—in just 30 years!”

“Be content with what you have. Find out how!”

Living below your means, using a monthly spending plan (budget), setting aside money for the future, and avoiding debt won’t you get rich overnight. But they can vastly improve your chances of accumulating wealth in the long run. More importantly, they offer the promise of something much better: lasting peace and contentment.

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