Here’s How a Self-Made Millionaire Says You Can Achieve Financial Freedom

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Now is the perfect time to start working, says a 35-year-old retired former IT employee.


key point

  • Investing is the biggest secret when it comes to building wealth, says Steve Adcock.
  • Investing is about building a portfolio of assets that will add value and generate income.
  • Adcock doesn’t need to win the lottery to retire at 35.

Building wealth can feel like an impossible mountain to climb, especially if you don’t know where to start. But the biggest takeaway from our interview with self-made millionaire Steve Adcock is that it’s never too late to take the first step.

Adcock and his wife achieved financial independence in their 30s and are now free to follow their passions and invest for a living. What’s remarkable about their story is that they achieved financial freedom in their 9-to-5 jobs. They didn’t inherit money and they didn’t win the lottery. While this path is not easy, many of us can follow it.

The early retire started his wealth-building journey early, but says there’s no point in blaming yourself if you don’t. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now,” he said. “Don’t judge your previous decisions. Our goal is to start building better habits now so you can take full control of your life before you turn 65.”

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Financial independence is possible

Everyone has different reasons for wanting to achieve financial freedom. Much of Adcock’s motivation comes from his desire to get rid of the 9-to-5 — he can’t see himself working in IT for the rest of his life. “Information technology pays off very well, but it also drains your life,” he explained. “When you’re in IT, no one calls you and just says everything is fine! They only talk to you (all hours of the day and night) when things are down and need to be fixed.”

When I ask him the secret to building wealth, I hope he will tell me there is no secret. He didn’t. The secret to financial independence, Adcock says, is: “Invest, invest, invest.” This echoes the experiences of many other millionaires.One Ramsay Solutions According to the survey, three-quarters of all millionaires achieved through sustained investment.

As Adcock explains, “No one gets rich just by saving money. Investing in assets (stocks, ETFs, index funds, real estate, businesses, etc.) is the way to build wealth. When we find a way to make money while we sleep ( That’s investing)!), and we’re just getting ready to make a lot of money for a lifetime.”

There is a big difference between saving and investing. Every investor needs a certain amount of available savings cash to deal with the unexpected, often called an emergency fund. But once you’ve established the fund, building wealth means finding assets that will generate higher returns. For example, historically, the S&P 500 has averaged an annual return of 10% or more. By comparison, even the top savings accounts only pay around 2% or 3% APY,

That said, there are no guarantees when it comes to investing. Even seasoned investors will see their portfolios shrink and bear markets and years will emerge. But if you invest with a long-term view — 10 or 20 years or more — you’ll be able to ride out any troughs and hopefully build the type of portfolio that will allow you to retire early. Adcock is harsh on short-term traders. “Don’t day trade,” he said. “Over 90% of day traders lose money. Instead, stick to ‘boring’ investments like index funds and ETFs.”

Adcock’s Step-by-Step Guide to Building Wealth

Accumulating wealth does not happen overnight. It’s about investing money consistently and developing a portfolio that works for you. Adcock shares the following four wealth-building priorities for anyone looking to achieve financial freedom:

  1. “Three-month emergency fund in a savings account.” Your emergency savings can help you weather the storm and avoid having to take on debt or sell your investments in the event of a financial crisis.
  2. “No credit cards or other consumer debt (mortgage is OK).” High-interest debt is the opposite of wealth accumulation. It eats away at your income and costs you money over time.
  3. “Take advantage of company-sponsored 401(k) and Roth IRA options.” Maximize your contributions to tax-advantaged retirement accounts, especially if your employer matches some of the money you put in.
  4. “For additional investment opportunities, open a Vanguard Brokerage Account. “ If you really want to retire early, you need to go beyond the tax-advantaged accounts mentioned above. Opening a brokerage account will allow you to build additional portfolios of stocks, index funds and ETFs.

We may not be financially independent at 35, but with the right mindset, many of us can build wealth and retire early. Follow Adcock on Twitter Get more inspiration.

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