My get-rich plan: become wealthy by doing nothing

Don’t get rich quick. Get rich slow. Illustration: Sturt Krygsman


By: Bernard Salt/The Australian

I have a cunning plan to get rich. Can’t say too much. Don’t want to give away my intellectual property.

Oh all right, if you insist, but you must promise not to say a word. You know how spruikers push get-rich-quick schemes? Well I’m going to join their ranks. I’d be a good spruiker. Comfortable in front of an audience. Personable. Suit. Self-confident. I’ll make a killing.

But my spruiking would be different from other spruiking. Whereas other spruikers want you to get rich quick, my plan is to spruik how to get rich slowly. Don’t get rich quick. Get rich slow. I’ll even write a book: Bernard Salt’s Secrets to Slow Wealth. I’d do the talk shows. I’d create a popular movement where getting rich slow is all the go. Here’s how you do it. I hope you’re not recording this because this insight is proprietorial intellectual property: get a job and, when you get paid, put some money aside. That’s right; do not spend all money earned. Spend a lot but not everything. Are you with me?

I know this is a confronting idea so let me take you through this slowly. Let’s say you earn $100. Allocate $90 to living and put $10 into an account that is never touched. I call this do-not-touch money “savings”. No, it’s not money to spend later. No, it’s not money for special occasions such as your birthday or to cheer you up because you’re feeling sad or to go on a holiday because, well, you only live once.

Continue this process week after week, year after year, and you will find that like magic these savings grow. Then, after you buy a house, pay extra off the mortgage every week.

What do you mean, where does the “extra money” come from? It comes from living expenses; cut down elsewhere to make additional payments! How clever is that!

Wait. Here’s the good bit.

While paying down the mortgage and raising a family and continuing to put even more savings aside to build a buffer in case something bad happens, you also — you are going to love this — put even more money into superannuation.

Isn’t this brilliant? You can see why I’m so excited. No one has thought of this before which is why I am so confident about my secrets to slow wealth spruiking career.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, getting rich slow can’t be that simple, can it? Oh yes it can my friends, oh yes it can. (See, I sound like a spruiker already.) But you’re also kinda right. There is a catch. Here’s the secret to my slow wealth program … shhh. Come close. Closer! I’m going to whisper. This is just between you and me.

When others are flitting here and flitting there; when others are going out to dinner and wearing nice clothes and looking oh-so-smart, here’s what you do. You do … nothing. You don’t give into temptation. You stick at your job and continue with your savings plan. Postpone gratification and make sacrifices now so as to garner an even greater reward later.

I’m sorry, what was that? You don’t do sacrifice?

Oh, I see, well that is a bit of a problem because that’s central to the whole slow-wealth philosophy. No worries, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who do indeed do sacrifice and who will positively lap up my spruiker spiel of sacrifice today for reward tomorrow.