Winners Do the Work: Save and Invest

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Have you felt like no matter what you do, you're not getting ahead? Most people think that if they can just get a raise in salary, they'll finally start progressing toward their goals, but that's rarely the case. Like exercising, there's no magic pill that gets us off the couch and there's no fairy godmother that's going to make us financially successful. The only way to get ahead is to change our priorities and manage the assets available to us now. 

As with all great journeys, building wealth and financial independence begins with just one step. It's exciting! Try to see this as your opportunity to renew your entire world. In this case, that step is realizing that you can do more with the resources you have in front of you. Changing the way we think isn't easy. You'll need to overcome mass media advertising and the detrimental opinions of those around you, but in the end you could find yourself inspiring others to be the best versions of themselves.

You'll have obstacles of course. McDonald's, Nordstrom, and Mercedes want you to give them your money. They're creating new advertising everyday to separate you from your cash with their wow factor. Are these companies going to pay your expenses in retirement? Are they going to handle your medical bills if you get sick? You don't need to rely on anyone but yourself. Take control of your finances and you'll be rewarded with the pride of knowing that you did it on your own and you can stand on your own two feet.

Real winners do the work, even when it hurts. By exercising when they'd rather sleep in and managing their diets, they take the necessary steps to reach their goals and maintain them. You can change your mindset in the same way by committing to saving and investing. 

Start by setting your goals. All successful people have goals which are clearly defined and written down. They revisit them often and each day these winners do something toward accomplishing them.

Next, create a spending plan so you know how much you'll need to save each month to meet the financial component of those goals. All financial success stems from knowing where your money is going and having a defined plan of how you intend to position your resources for success.

Start an investment plan. Pay attention to your asset allocation and be sure to diversify your risk. This is never more important than when you're first starting out. An inexperienced investor is the most likely to make mistakes. You should know each investment in your portfolio and have a reason to own it. Do not be a speculator, but instead an investor. Speculators look for the grandslam homerun and investors look to make methodical and consistent returns. You want to create a pattern of systematic investment each month. 

Finally make a review schedule that includes all these elements. Personal finance is never going to miraculously take care of itself. Personal financial success isn't a game that you can afford to lose, so be a winner, and exchange a little pain for a lot of personal gain.