It seems the older I get the more I fight with my weight. I know how to lose weight - I have done it several times. The formula is not difficult, eat less and exercise more. My problem, like many others, is in the implementation. In much the same way, the formula to building wealth is rather simple - spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Once again implementation is where many people come up short. With the right focus and some positive feedback, building wealth can be much easier than shedding the spare tire around your mid-section. Here's how to do it...
Fad Diets and Fad Investing Plans Rarely Work
Forget about those 'Make 534% On Every Trade' ads that you see on some financial websites. Real wealth is built with sweat equity and a sound financial plan. The only people making money off fad investments are the people selling them. To understand what will and will not work in the future you must understand the concepts that have worked in the past. Granted, each success story is different, but there are common traits as Philip E. Humbert noted when he studied successful people and came up with the "Top 10 Traits of Highly Successful People." Here are 3 traits that we can apply to our investments:
1. Highly successful people work hard
They get up early, rarely complain. They expect high performance from others, but they expect extraordinary performance from themselves. Success starts with a recognition that hard work pays off. Highly successful investors don't waste time trying to find an quick and easy way to get rich in the stock market.
2. Highly successful people are self-reliant and take responsibility
How many times have you heard, 'I am fat because of my genes, my thyroid, my wife, my husband, ...' Or how many times have you heard, 'I am broke because, I don't make enough (my boss' fault), things are so expensive (companies' fault), Social Security will fund for my retirement, ...'
3. Highly successful people "look over the horizon" to see the future
We live in a society of instant gratification. There is no planning for the future and certainly no foresight what the future will bring. A successful retirement just doesn't happen - it is build with a plan over many decades.
Dividend Stocks To Help Grow Your Wealth
A long-term buy-and-hold investing approach focusing on quality dividend growth stocks has has provided the means for many investors to enjoy a comfortable retirement. If you start early enough, you will go beyond a comfortable retirement into the realm of building long-term wealth. For starters, you might consider these dividend stocks that have been rewarding their investors with growing dividends for 55 or more consecutive years:
3M Company (NYSE:MMM) | Growth Yrs: 58 | Yield: 2.5%
3M Co. is a diversified global company provides enhanced product functionality in electronics, health care, industrial, consumer, office, telecommunications, safety & security and other markets via coatings, sealants, adhesives, and other chemical additives.
Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR) | Growth Yrs: 55 | Yield: 2.5%
Emerson Electric Co. designs and supplies product technology, and delivers engineering services and solutions to a wide range of industrial, commercial and consumer markets around the world.
Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE:GPC) | Growth Yrs: 57 | Yield: 2.6%
Genuine Parts Co. is a leading wholesale distributor of automotive replacement parts, industrial parts and supplies, and office products.
American States Water Co. (NYSE:AWR) | Growth Yrs: 60 | Yield: 2.7%
American States Water Co. primarily serves water customers in California. It also provides electric service to a small section of San Bernardino County.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) | Growth Yrs: 56 | Yield: 2.9%
The Procter & Gamble Company is a leading consumer products company markets household and personal care roducts in more than 180 countries.
Diebold, Inc. (NYSE:DBD) | Growth Yrs: 60 | Yield: 3.5%
Diebold, Inc. provides ATMs and other self-service transaction systems and security products to the financial, commercial, government and retail markets.
Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NYSE:DBD) | Growth Yrs: 58 | Yield: 4.2%
Northwest Natural Gas Co. is a natural gas utility that provides service to some 621,000 residential, 64,000 commercial and 1,000 industrial customers in Oregon and southwestern Washington.
If losing weight and building wealth were easy, there wouldn't be people wanting to sell you the secret. Notice there aren't any seminars on how to yawn (though several accounting seminars have caused me to do it.) The first step toward success is deciding to take responsibility for our future. With a little planning, effort and the right dividend growth stocks, we can be well on our way to creating long-term wealth.
Full Disclosure: Long EMR, GPC, PG, NWN in my Dividend Growth Stocks Portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.
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