Photo: Fiona Xie/Instagram
If the trailer for the upcoming movie Crazy Rich Asians has you feeling a teensy bit envious, well, we feel you. The movie is set in Singapore, after all, and features mansions, glittering apartments, high fashion and fast cars. It is obscene that anyone should live like that… And you want it too. How to get it? Well, girl, getting rich — or at least being richer — is largely a matter of knowing what to do with your money and how to grow it.
Here are 5 creative hacks to grow your wealth, and who knows, you could soon be celebrating with your very own private lawn party.
1. Invest Early and Often
As a child of the digital age, there’s no excuse to be scared of investing your money. Thanks to the rise of robo-advisers and online trading platforms, even beginners can start investing from as little as $100. (That’s like what, a night out?)
Check out online investing services like Smartly, which completely automates all your trades for you. And if you’re worried about high fees and hidden charges scamming your money, you’ll be pleased to know everything is transparent and upfront.
How does investing make you rich? Two words – compounding interest. Basically, the longer you invest, the faster your money grows. That’s why how early you invest is more important than how much you invest.
Don’t wait, because investing early and often dramatically increases your chances of getting rich.
2. Pick Startups and Buy Stocks
If you and your gal pals have been going gaga over a new app, you might want to pay closer attention to the developer. The latest thing keeping you glued to your mobile screen could be the next big thing in the red-hot technology sector, and a timely investment could boost your wealth by no small fortune.
Admittedly, this strategy might not produce results for everyone. For example, Whatsapp and Instagram are two runaway successes that nobody saw coming. Plus, the addition of new startups every other week doesn’t make picking winners any easier.
Take a leaf from actor-turned-investor Ashton Kutcher. When asked how he chose his startups, Kutcher said, “I just try to fund the best and the brightest.” In essence, this means focusing on brands that solve a real problem, thus adding real value to consumers in the real world.
You don’t have to plow every spare penny into every new app with a glitzy corporate video. In fact, you should strive to be shrewd and selective. Experience, instinct and a little bit of luck will go a long way in finding that big payoff.
3. Learn a New Language
With globalisation now a way of life, the demand for multilingual professionals is on the rise. You should take advantage of this trend to give yourself a leg up in your chosen industry.
Attaining fluency in the language of a market which your employer is targeting is a good way to get yourself noticed, especially when the higher-ups need someone to head up a new overseas office.
You can also make use of your language mastery to move from a smaller SME to a global MNC. Such a switch will allow you to pick up valuable overseas work experience which will enrich you personally, professionally and financially.
4. Start a Side Hustle
Ready for a hard truth? No matter how much you penny pinch, you’ll be modestly rich — at best. And that’s after going through a lifetime of deprivation. We’re talking no holidays, no shopping, no hobbies, not even Christmas presents (ok, maybe the $10 office Secret Santa. Maybe.)
If you really want to get rich, you need to widen the gap between what you spend and what you earn. And the most effective way to do this is to start a side hustle. Yes, that means sacrificing your weekends and evenings, and even public holidays.
The good news is things are only difficult at the beginning. That’s when you have no clients, no portfolio and no idea what’s a fair price to charge. However, as you grow and establish your client network, you will start to settle into your niche.
Don’t go overboard, though; the idea isn’t to throw every spare waking moment into your start-up. Ideally, aim for your side gig to boost your income by 30% to 50%. Most importantly, save or invest what you earn.
5. Exert Your Influence
Influencers are dead. Long-live the influencer.
Let us explain. As long as we have social media, brands will always hire influencers to tell us what to eat, drink, buy, or do. We can’t help it; we’re hard-wired to “monkey see, monkey do”.
However, the era of the mega-influencer is waning, with consumer trust going on a decline. The model is evolving to favour micro-influencers — active social media users who inspire higher engagement and brand loyalty, despite having a smaller follower count.
Since anyone with 1,000 or so followers qualify as a micro-influencer, it means that it is now much easier for you to monetise your love of a particular brand or product.
Get it right and mini-celebdom awaits, along with some decent earnings to give your wealth a nice uplift.