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An introduction to the life of a millionaire

When the student is ready the teacher shall appear. He had no disability insurance and no medical insurance, and so the financial result was nothing short of catastrophic. I come from a large family, and with eight children, money was always tight; but as my father lay in bed, unable to work for nearly a year, we were in the direst of circumstances.

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We were forced to sell our home and move into a three-bedroom duplex. We lived off food storage and, to some degree, the generosity of those around us. During this difficult time, I had a life-changing experience.

One of our neighbors, a very successful businessman and financial adviser, invited the youth in our area to a lecture at the neighborhood Christian church. He wanted to teach us about money. We were confident that he knew something about the subject. He owned a professional basketball team, drove an expensive car, and owned buildings and businesses all over the West.

He was also a self-made millionaire. He came from Ashton, Idaho, a tiny farm town with only two thousand residents -- "if," he told us, "you count the dogs and chickens. They rented two rooms in the back of someone else's house.

They had no running water, and in the freezing northern Idaho climate, the only heat source was the small stove they cooked with. He learned to work as soon as he could walk, toiling as a common laborer picking potatoes on the area farms alongside the migrant workers. He an introduction to the life of a millionaire come a long way since then. He was the wealthiest man I knew. The first thing he did that day was to pull a hundred-dollar bill from his wallet and hold it up in front of us.

An introduction to the life of a millionaire stared at it in wonder. I had never seen one before. He asked, "Is money evil? It says that the love of money is the root of all evil. There's a big difference. In fact, just one chapter earlier in Timothy, the apostle Paul says that if 'any provide not for his own, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Jesus told us to be like the Good Samaritan, yet how many of you here today could afford to pay for a stranger's hospital treatment and housing for a week?

The Samaritan was able to help because he had the financial means to do so. Without it he could only have offered minor assistance. On the one hand, it seems to tell us that money is evil. On the other hand, God often blesses the righteous with wealth and material prosperity. For instance, in the Old Testament, after Job endured his many trials and proved his devotion to God, he was given back twice his wealth and possessions.

So was God rewarding Job's righteousness with evil? The church you are sitting in right now was built through substantial monetary contributions. Every week I see people in our area being helped through the generosity and financial ability of others. The day will come when you must make a decision: You can be part of the problem or part of the solution.

If you want to be the latter, then listen carefully, because what I have to tell you today will change your life. The lessons he taught that day lit a flame of hope within me. For the first time, I believed that there might be more to life than the seemingly endless financial desperation that had been my family's lot.

I thought about his words constantly and began living the principles he shared. I immediately saw a difference in my own life, and that made the belief burn still brighter. By the age of sixteen, I had become somewhat financially independent.

By the age of twenty-six, I had saved enough to put 25 percent down on a house on a beautiful tree-lined street. By the age of thirty-one, I had paid off my home. Less than twenty years from the time my millionaire friend gave that talk, I returned to him with several million dollars I wanted his help in investing. He smiled when he saw me. Then his smile turned to a look of concern. Recently my eight-year-old daughter asked my wife if she'd ever seen a millionaire.

My wife smiled and said that she had. There are more than three and a half million millionaires in the United States alone. In fact, if you have an average American's income, you will earn more than a million dollars in your lifetime.

So will you someday be a millionaire? According to current financial trends, it's not likely. Recent statistics given by the Federal Reserve indicate that household debt is at a record high relative to disposable income. In 1946, household debt was 22 percent of personal disposable income.

Today it's roughly 110 percent. Not surprisingly, personal bankruptcies in America have more than doubled in the last decade. In fact, more Americans now declare bankruptcy each year than graduate from college. What about our retirement? More than 50 percent will be wholly dependent on relatives, Social Security, and welfare. In America, the discrepancy between the haves and have-nots has never been so wide.

If Americans' individual financial prospects seem so dire, then who and where are these millions of millionaires? They are not all businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, or white-collar professionals.

Some are hairstylists and welders and farmers. So what's their secret? What is it that makes these people wealthy and others not? On the contrary, she brings ruin to almost every man upon whom she showers unearned gold. She makes wanton spenders who soon dissipate all they receive and are left beset by overwhelming appetites and desires they have not the ability to gratify.

Only 2 percent of today's millionaires inherited all or any part of their homes or property. Fewer than 20 percent inherited even a small portion of their wealth. And those victims of luck-induced wealth don't often retain their prizes. One study showed that of those who came into fortunes through lotteries, more than 80 percent were bankrupt within five years.

The fate of those receiving other windfalls, such as insurance claims and inheritance, isn't much better. If wealth were simply a matter of intelligence, a disproportionate number of millionaires would have stellar IQs and academic merit badges.

  • If wealth were simply a matter of intelligence, a disproportionate number of millionaires would have stellar IQs and academic merit badges;
  • Part of that growth is learning balance between the different forces of life;
  • At the end of the hour, we sat over empty plates in a nearly empty restaurant.

This is not the case. Most of today's millionaires did not graduate with high honors.

How to Become a Millionaire?

Most of them did not even qualify for a top-rated college. In light of this, it is not surprising, then, that Warren Buffett, the self-made multibillionaire investor, was rejected by Harvard Business College. In fact, research shows that millionaires' average grade point average is lower than a B.

On the other hand, highly academic, well-educated people often act like complete fools when it comes to personal finances. It is common knowledge among financial consultants that America's most educated citizens -- doctors and lawyers -- are notoriously bad at handling their money. If it's not luck or superior intelligence that makes the millionaire, then what is the common denominator besides money, of course that the wealthy have and the rest of humanity does not?

The wealthy understand the principles of accumulating wealth and live them. Some wealthy people learned the principles of accumulating riches through trial and error. Some -- like myself -- learned from mentors or parents. And for some, it just came naturally. But whatever this knowledge's source, I do not know a single self-made millionaire who does not understand and apply the five principles my millionaire friend taught us that day.

This is good news for everyone else. Because it means that wealth is less a matter of circumstance than it is a matter of knowledge and choice. It means that we can choose to live the lives we desire.

  • There will be 3—10 bargains per year;
  • What does God want me to do?
  • Hold one end of the string with your clenched fist, dangling the key in front of you.

So ultimately it comes back to you. Where do you want to go? Heather and James sat across from me in the Japanese restaurant, hopeless, irritable, and visibly upset. They couldn't figure out what had gone wrong.

They had increased their income by nearly 35 percent in the last year, but were further in debt than ever before. They couldn't figure out how their expenses had increased so dramatically, or how their life had gotten so out of control.

Now it looked like things were going to get worse. Their car, which they had just refinanced to cover credit card debt, was on the verge of breaking down. They had already taken a second mortgage on their home and were now looking at refinancing their home to meet their rocketing debt.

Stress was at an all-time high, and they had been fighting a lot.

  • Just you and whatever you want in 5 years or less;
  • Someday this will be true for all of us;
  • The fifth step is about the millionaire's income, which proves that, whether you're an employee or a business-owner, you will be able to gain true wealth;
  • At the end of reading this millionaire book, writing your goals and taking actions on your dreams, you will be able to achieve your goal of becoming successful and wealthy in all aspects of your life: