Money clinic: The secret to becoming a millionaire

Can you become a millionaire without investing? If you are lucky maybe, but otherwise it takes effort and investing in yourself to make it happen.

I work as a waiter in Dubai for a catering company and I want to know the secret of how to become a millionaire within a short span of time without investment. AP, Dubai

Expert 1:

Rasheda Khatun Khan, the founder of Design Your Life and author of Millionaire Mindset: 6 Steps to a Wealthy Life

Having a goal is where success starts. Having a strategy is when success can become real. But “ask and you shall receive” can have you waiting for a really long time. You’ve got to make it happen. If you are facing east waiting for the sunset, it will never happen. You have to have the right strategy and any goal can become realistic.

So how do you become a millionaire? Firstly, in what currency? You can be a millionaire tomorrow in Iran, Vietnam or Indonesia or even in Mexico. US$1 million may take a bit longer. Overnight millionaires do exist. Winning a prize in a draw is one of the top ways of becoming an overnight millionaire. Though the probabilities are small, it can happen. At the same time, more than 70 per cent of winners around the world go bankrupt within five years. And they all do so for the same reason – they have no experience. Experience together with the failure and success of making and growing money determines how long you keep it. Investing at the right time in the right place can make you a millionaire overnight too.

Only a few years ago, here in the UAE, residents were able to take a loan from the bank, put it down on a property and, within a few weeks, sell the same property for a huge profit. They would then return the bank’s money and pocket the difference. A few of these transactions made some seriously rich people. A few years later though, many of these buyers lost a tremendous amount of money. These strategies come with a high risk.

The quick win you are looking for, no money down, does exist but is unlikely to last. Value for money comes from putting in the effort and indeed making losses along the way.

The questions you should be asking is: What do I need to do to make my first million? What resources do I have? Am I prepared to do what it takes? Being a consistent saver is key. Having a product that sells is also as important and making strategic investment decisions is the power. Becoming a millionaire is a great goal but it is not the time it takes to become one, rather the effort you put in.

Expert 2:

Sam Instone, the founder and chief executive of AES International

Did you know that 86 per cent of millionaires are self-made, and they tend to share seven habits? These are:

• First, they tend to set goals and make plans; 81 per cent of millionaires maintain to-do lists. They try to make these goals Smart – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-defined.

• Second, millionaires see failures as positive challenges or “bumps” along their road to success – they don’t let failure overwhelm them or knock them off track.

• Third, millionaires tend to work harder than their peers – putting in much longer hours. They also exhibit a higher level of self discipline in many aspects of their lives, often getting up early, staying fit, eating well and excelling in other areas such as sport or hobbies.

• Fourth, they invest when others are too scared to – as Warren Buffett said: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy only when others are fearful.”

• Fifth, millionaires spend less than they earn – and are far more frugal than many people imagine. The most popular car for millionaires is a Toyota – fact.

• Sixth, millionaires surround themselves with like-minded people – 79 per cent of wealthy people spend at least five hours a month networking strategically.

• And finally, seventh, millionaires educate themselves – 88 per cent of wealthy people say that they read for at least half an hour a day for education and career growth.

So, as a waiter in Dubai, can you do it? Can you become a millionaire without investing? You can without investing money, but you can’t without investing in yourself.

Next question:

I want to remit a lump sum to my home country in the next few weeks. What is the cheapest way of doing this? HJ, Dubai

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