The Only Thing That Matters When It Comes to Building Wealth

|October 24, 2023

Some people choose not to get wealthy.

While they talk about wanting to straighten up their financial lives and get the needle moving in the right direction… they make one lousy decision after another.

As we’ve said so many times before, our net worth is a gauge of our decision-making abilities.

It’s incredibly accurate.

Take, for instance, somebody we recently crossed paths with.

He’s in a tough spot. He’s close to retirement age, and he’s hardly got a penny in the bank.

Whenever we talk with him, it seems like somebody just kicked his puppy. Misery is always on his mind.

To him, life just seems unfair.

Over the few short months we’ve known him, we’ve been able to see why he is where he is. He makes lousy decisions – one after another.

With his wife’s health failing, he decided it was time to sell his house and cash out whatever equity he had. She was the breadwinner. He knew he’d need money to live on after she passed.

Before he’d even listed the house, he received an all-cash offer.

He could have sold his place with no realtor fees, costly inspections or last-minute repairs… just a quick and easy deal.

But he resisted the unconventional offer. Instead, he called up a realtor who – of course – said he’d be crazy to do a by-owner sale.

It was a bad decision.

Long story short, the realtor did get a slightly better sale price. But after inspections revealed several thousand dollars’ worth of needed repairs and the realtor took their 6% fee… the depressed seller walked away with considerably less than his original offer.

“I just can’t get ahead,” he told us.

“It’s because you get in your own way,” we replied.

With that, we tried to help him.

Familiar with his property and the young family he’d sold it to, we told him he was eligible for a new, virtually unknown grant program – a program that would put another 5% of the sale price into his pocket.

It was a chance to get thousands in free money.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of paperwork,” he said. “I’ll look into it when I’m not so depressed.”

We sent him a link to the two-page application form and asked if he could make $10,000 per hour doing anything else.

We haven’t heard from him since.

The Compounding Nature of Bad Choices

We don’t want to pick on the fella. He’s a nice guy. And he means well.

But his life would be a whole lot different if he simply started making smarter decisions.

He gripes about being broke… but between just two rather simple decisions, we count nearly $20K in cash that could have been his if he’d made the right choices.

Imagine the tally if we followed him around each day… $20 here… $100 there… $1,000 for a really dumb choice.

We’d be depressed too.

But it’s not just him. This problem is a pandemic these days.

Folks would rather be told what to do than think for themselves and make the right decisions.

We see it all the time. Folks set up the wrong type of retirement accounts… or put aside college savings outside of a 529 plan… or purchase expensive ETFs when dirt-cheap options exist. The financial world is packed with traps.

And it’s not just Wall Street.

There are folks who lease new cars instead of buying… or go on lavish vacations funded by credit cards… or are simply too lazy to fill out a form and get some free cash.

As a culture, we’ve recently come to the unwise (and incorrect) conclusion that the wealthy are simply lucky or privileged. They must have taken advantage of somebody less fortunate.

It’s a dumb, unhealthy way of looking at things.

Believing it ensures we’ll never reach the financial peak we’re aiming for.

It’s another one of those bad decisions that will weigh you down.

The rich aren’t evil. They simply make better decisions.

Their net worth proves it.

Andy Snyder
Andy Snyder

Andy Snyder is an American author, investor and serial entrepreneur. He cut his teeth at an esteemed financial firm with nearly $100 billion in assets under management. Andy and his ideas have been featured on Fox News, on countless radio stations, and in numerous print and online outlets. He’s been a keynote speaker and panelist at events all over the world, from four-star ballrooms to Capitol hearing rooms.