What makes a millionaire? Is it fair to call millionaires members of an elite club of sorts, with specific rules that must be followed in order to obtain, and maintain, membership? Well, according to radio host John Tesh, the answer to these questions is firmly affirmative.
Tesh, a 1990’s actor and TV host turned broadcaster, recently broached the subject of what makes a millionaire in a daily broadcast of The John Tesh Show, which lives by the slogan, Intelligence for your life. I happened to be tuned into his radio discussion, and I have to say Tesh offered many words of wisdom.
Allow me to paraphrase some of those words for you now.
Actually, Tesh defined ways of becoming a millionaire by outlining ways that will probably ensure that one never becomes a millionaire. He said there are four principle reasons why so many people who want to become millionaires cannot become millionaires - and all of the reasons come down to not just behaviour concerning money, but attitudes behind the behaviour.
Firstly, Tesh tells us, millionaires in general are not the sort of people who worry about keeping up with the Joneses, or outdoing the Smiths. Purchasing the newest gadget, best barbecue, or fanciest car in the neighbourhood should not move a person who honestly wants to make millions. Such a person only should be concerned with keeping up with his or her own goals and dreams.
Secondly, millionaires generally are not impatient people. They do not run out and buy things they cannot afford. They are not impulsive, or compulsive, in their spending. To become a millionaire, you must save and invest for what you want. And you must remain cautious about credit, often using it at minimum for convenience sake, not for the satisfaction of immediate or wild wants.
Thirdly, millionaires for the most part are not people who live life without the solid grounding of an actual financial plan – with specific objectives and dates clearly set down for what is to be achieved. The wannabe millionaire should not wish for things in five year’s time thinking the wish itself will somehow take care of matters. There is no place for superstition here. Dreams come true by taking decisive steps to make them come true.
Fourthly, millionaires are not people who freely trust others with their money, nor do they take advice about finances without questioning things. To be a millionaire, you ought to question all matters concerning finances, no matter how “expert” the opinion, or how “sure” a deal may seem. When millionaires forget these basics, they can suddenly find themselves in big financial trouble (consider the money so many lost by trusting that Wall Street con artist Bernie Madoff).
Now, I repeat, I’m paraphrasing and extrapolating on the content of Tesh’s broadcast, but it’s all here in spirit.
In the end, Tesh got me thinking about wealthy people in the world who would agree with all the above points. One person’s name, in particular, came to mind - Warren Buffett – who has spent almost a half a century patiently and intelligently growing people’s investments through his Berkshire Hathaway Fund.
I admire the man greatly. His philosophy about growing money is simple, and reflects almost to the letter just what Tesh is saying: Follow your own path, be patient, have a solid plan, and know what you’re getting into.
Now you have the keys to the club.