Frank sharing and valuable insights from a guest (thanks!) in our Salary.sg Forums, in response to a list of questions I posed in an old article on how to get rich:
– How did you make your first million?
“Made my first million i think around 30 or 31 years old. Graduated from uni in 1999, started own business in 2000 and have been running it for 9 years now. Am 34 this year. My family saves a lot. We save about 80% of total annual income.”
– How long did you take?
“About 6 years to make the 1st. 2 years for 2 second and 1 year for third. Make about 1M per year now. Probably can increase it to 2M per year over the next 5 years. It is very true that the 1st is hardest to make and the subsequent easier.”
– If you were to do it again in today’s context, how much time do you need? Would you do it differently and how?
“Well, i make my money mostly from company profits and pay. My 1st company took 5 years to hit 1 M turnover, my 2nd company took 1 year. Experience, a good team and knowhow really helps. I will still spend time, money and effort in business with stock trading as a fun sideline.”
“Investments I enjoy trading stocks but i never trade with more than 200-300K cash.No margin also. Money is hard to earn. This downturn made about 120K buying at low from last Sep to this year Mar. Over the past 9 years probably made about $250K in stocks. My idea is to use stock gains to pay for lux items. Stuff like gifts for wife/kids and travel.”
– If I want to be rich, what’s your advice for me?
“Make sure you have the right drive and temprament for it. And you need to be in the right area. Traders, Lawyers, Med Specialists, Sales, Consultants, Investment Bankers are the right group that can make $1M by 35 to 40. If you want by 30 I think have to be businessman or sales/middleman work”
– What is the most important lesson you picked up in the process of getting rich?
“I do not see myself as rich yet. It is very interesting that as you accumulate wealth you get exposed to even wealthier people and know more. Eg. I used to think I can retire with 3M net worth. Now with that, I feel might as well aim higher and go for 10M and I can picture a lifestyle requiring that. I suspect when I hit 10M, it will become 20M. So there is this slippery slope of greed which I personally want to be aware of. Money is for spending and making people around me happy, it is a means to an end and I need to keep reminding myself of it.”
– What do you think is the most important habit that helped you?
“Persistence and a drive to make things work no matter what. It helps in business a lot.”
– Any missed opportunities? Can I make use of these opportunities?
“Erm…. there are always opportunities. If viewed that way, then i have missed many many.”
– Do you think luck plays a part?
“Yes, we can try all we want but we need a little right place right time. But u need to work hard and be prepared to take some risk and take the challenge when it presents itself.”
“Hope this helps our readers. I write because I benchmark myself a lot personally and it makes me very competitive as a person. So for those of u who like to benchmark, this story is for you!”
See his original post in Salary.sg Forums and a follow-up to my original article: How to be rich (part 2).
Pingback: links for 2009-09-08 | On9 Systems
Yes, I think once you have made 1 million, the idea of making more money is more like a challenge.
Once you get exposed to more rich people, the possibilities of how much a person can make expands. It’s never ending.
However, it’s definitely something good to pursue!
Congrats for your success!
He mentioned Lawyers… i know alot of lawyers in Singapore and i doubt that the lawyers these days can be millionaires by the time they are 35. The salaries + bonuses are just too low.
i’m a millionaire. I had 1.5m in 07, lost 1m (on margin) during the crisis. And back to 1.2m now, from 0.5m just 1 yr ago. Last yr, I was destroyed but fortunately, I kept the faith and didn’t exit out my trading positions.
my experience is not as smooth as 6 yrs – 1m, 2yr-2m, 1 yr – 3m. In fact, I find that quite hard to believe during the 2008-09 period, to have no losses. At this rate, the writer could beat Warren Buffet by 50. But I do not want to start an argument – nor am i interested in doing so.