Living on your paycheck? Learn from the wealthy

Many young workers in Hong Kong live a nine-to-eight lifestyle, working diligently every day and investing any savings they have. However, “financial independence” is a distant prospect. There has even been a gradual downward movement from the middle class, with people reduced to joining the “Moonlight Clan”, a term for those who live from paycheck to paycheck. In the end, is success just a matter of family or luck? How long should we wait for what an Indian child prodigy has called “the day the poor gets rich”?

30 habits of wealthy people – how many do you have?

According to the book Rich Habits Poor Habits, ideas are the true source of power. If you want to join the ranks of the rich, you will have to understand their ideas and mindsets, and develop their habits.

One of the authors, Tom Corley, spent five years studying the habits of 233 millionaires, 177 of whom were self-made, to find out what they were doing right. He also studied 128 people struggling on the poverty line to find out what they were doing wrong.

The poor fear change – but it’s the only way to get rich

The authors also discovered that the rich think very differently from the poor. For example, the rich use their money to invest, whilst the poor think only of consumption. While the rich use money to increase their wealth, the poor simply worry about running out. Finally, whilst the rich embrace change, the poor fear it. Can we become rich? This very much depends on the following thirty habits and ideas.

  1. Develop good habits and practise them every day
  2. Define your dreams, set goals towards them, and focus on these every day
  3. Spend 30 minutes per day improving your knowledge and skills; invest in yourself daily
  4. Eat healthily and do 30 minutes of exercise per day
  5. Try to build relationships with people who aspire to success
  6. Lead a modest everyday life
  7. Take steps towards your goals every day
  8. Adopt a wealth mindset every day
  9. Save 10% of your income, and live on the remaining 90%
  10. Exercise control over your words and emotions every day
  11. Do work that you love
  12. Never give up on your dreams
  13. Only accept positive beliefs, get rid of negative ones
  14. Seek advice from successful mentors
  15. Focus on your dreams and goals every day, and don’t get distracted from your aims
  1. Only set positive goals, avoid negative ones
  2. Don’t be afraid to take risks, which will help you reach your goals and realise your dreams
  3. Practise patience every day
  4. Try to exceed what is expected of you
  5. Create multiple streams of income
  6. Use the power of leverage to reach your goals and realise your dreams
  7. Don’t let fear or doubt stop you from taking steps towards your goals and dreams
  8. Seek opinions and feedback from others
  9. Ask others for things you want or need
  10. Create your own personal to-do list, and stick to it every day
  11. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from others
  12. Aim to give up your time without expecting anything in return
  13. Strive to be happy every day
  14. Train others in how they should treat you
  15. Seek followers who will help you reach your goals and realise your dreams

These 30 habits are by no means new or groundbreaking. They are more like common principles. What is most important here is whether people are willing and able to change. It is very difficult to change a person’s fixed ideas, values and habits. In many cases, this is easier said than done, and it is difficult to get out of your comfort zone. Some people just imitate the surface-level habits of the rich, rather than acknowledging them on a deeper level and taking action to make real changes. In the end, these turn out to be half measures.

Application in investment and financial management

Of the habits listed above, several are particularly suited to the investment market. For example, the second habit mentions setting goals and focusing on them. The same is true for investing. We should set financial goals for the future so that we can formulate investment plans and choose appropriate instruments to implement them step by step.

The ninth habit mentions saving about 10% of your income. While this amount may seem small, it can gradually increase through regular and fixed investment. Moreover, with the compound interest effect, your assets will snowball.

Then, there is the seventeenth habit: don’t be afraid to take risks. While all investments have their risks, risk is linked to return. As long as we invest for the long term, choosing reliable products or entrusting them to professional investment advisors, we can accumulate wealth under controllable risks, gradually moving up towards the ranks of the rich.