5 Steps for You to Become Wealthy

One of the really cool things about my job is that I get to meet a lot of wealthy people. I get to see what kind of people they are and what their life is like.

What I find really rewarding though is to take people whose lives are struggling or just regular income earners and put them on a path to become wealthy.

In my latest blog post, YouTube video and podcast episode I’m going to answer the most common questions I get about creating wealth, and how YOU can become wealthy.

You’ll learn:

  • What is a wealthy person?
  • How much do you need to be wealthy?
  • Do you want to be rich or wealthy?
  • Do most wealthy people inherit or make it themselves?
  • Are wealthy people happy?
  • Do wealthy people worry about money all the time?
  • How do you define “wealthy”?
  • How to create your personal definition of wealthy.
  • 5 steps for you to become wealthy.

How much do you need to be wealthy?

Net worth, not income.

  • Value of your assets – Everything you owe = Your Net Worth.

Who is richer?

  • Make $500K & spend $500K.
  • Or make $50K, spend $40K & invest $10K.

Wealthy = A person that saves & invests over time.

  • Save $1,000/month invested in equities averaging 10%/year.
  • After 30 years, $2.2 million.
  • Anyone can become wealthy.
  • “Self-made millionaire” – You can become one!

“It’s not what you make. It’s what you keep.”

Do you want to be rich or wealthy?

Is a “millionaire” wealthy?

Song: “If I had a million dollars.”

A million is not much money anymore.

In Toronto, many people have $1 million equity in their home.

Can give you an income about $40,000/year. Not wealthy.

Average American thinks being rich is a net worth of $2.2 million.  Schwab’s 2022 Modern Wealth Survey

Anyone that invested $1,000/month effectively for 30 years can have $2.2 million. 

% of Household Wealth    Net worth

Top 0.01%                    $129,000,000

Top 0.05%                    $28,800,000

Top 0.1%                      $9,900,000

Top 1%                     $6,300,000

Top 5%                     $2,400,000

Top 10%                      $1,600,000

Top 20%                       $1,000,000

           Stats Canada (2019)

When I go to parties or meet people, I can tell who has money and who does not.

  • People flashing money & pretending to be rich rarely have much money.
  • Typically spenders.

Wealthy people tend to be modest. Have a quiet confidence.

  • Don’t want everyone to know they are wealthy.
  • Want genuine friends. Not people that like them for their money.

Rich: High income & high lifestyle.

Wealthy: Have money. Save & invest.

Expensive car = A spender.

No correlation between owning an expensive car & being wealthy.

Athletes & actors are not the wealthiest. High income, but not high net worth.

  • Wealthiest actor is Oprah Winfrey.
  • Wealthiest athlete plays baseball in Japan.
  • Wealth comes from businesses & investments, not sports or movies.

Spend a million or have a million?

Do most wealthy people inherit it or make it themselves?

You may think rich is someone with rich parents. “Old money”.

Forbes 400 richest, only 5% inherited their wealth.

85-95% of millionaires & billionaires made it all themselves.

Well-established story:

  • 1st generation makes money.
  • 2nd keeps it.
  • 3rd loses it.
  • Self-made millionaire: Work ethic & entrepreneurial drive.
  • Kids & grandkids grew up rich.
  • Don’t have the same drive. Spend more.

Self-made. Not inherited. 

Are wealthy people happy?

Freedom is why wealthy people are usually happy.

We ask people what is important about money to you.

#1 answer is Freedom.

Song: “If I were a rich man.” Fiddler on the Roof.

Freedom. Live your life without thinking about money.

Many people think the wealthy worry about money all the time.

  • Mostly they don’t worry about money.
  • It is poor people that worry about money.
  • Constantly think about how to pay their bills.
  • Money is NOT the root of all evil.
  • LACK of money is the root of all evil. Or WANT of money.
  • Money is a tool. Options in your life. 

How to create your personal definition of wealthy.

Define by comparing to others?

  • E.g., richer than 90% or 99% of others in your country.
  • Not meaningful for your life.

Wealthy is having more than enough for the lifestyle you want.

  • Financial independence + a comfortable margin. Freedom.
  • Live without worrying or thinking about money.
  • Song: “Money, money, money” – ABBA
  • Rule of 25: “Your Number” is your desired lifestyle x 25.
  • Add a margin of safety to be wealthy. Add 20-50%?
  • Rule of 25 works because it is related to the 4% Rule.

Your personal definition of wealthy.

  • FIRE community wants to be financially independent early.
  • Be wealthy when you are young. Focus on wealth. Set a lower goal.
  • Or be very wealthy later in life. Focusing on wealth. Work longer.
  • Or retire at a “normal” time with a “normal” lifestyle.

Your Financial Plan is the roadmap to the life you want.

You need a Plan.

People with a plan and those working with a financial planner on their Plan have higher net worth.

5 steps for you to become wealthy.

Your personal definition of wealthy.

Having more than enough for the lifestyle you want.

1.   Get a Financial Plan.

  • Know what you need to do to be wealthy (your personal level).
  • Need a detailed retirement goal. Know your “Number”.

2.   Save the amount required in your Financial Plan. 

Minimum 10-20% of your gross income.

3.   Invest effectively for long-term growth.

  • The highest reliable long-term return is equities (stock market investments).
  • Think like the wealthy. Focus on growing your net worth.

4.   Consider leverage (borrowing to invest). Grow wealth much faster over the long-term.

  • Focus on building your investments. Investments are your wealth.
  • Leverage can work because it increases your investments.
  • Effective strategies: E.g. Smith Manoeuvre, Lifecycle Investing, Rempel Maximum or 3:1 investment loans.
  • Not for everyone. Must commit to it for a minimum 20 years to be confident it should work for you.

5.   Wait for your wealth to grow. Follow your Plan.

  • Not get rich schemes. Get rich slowly & reliably over time.

Your Financial Plan is the GPS for your life.


Planning With Ed


Ed Rempel has helped thousands of Canadians become financially secure. He is a fee-for-service financial planner, tax  accountant, expert in many tax & investment strategies, and a popular and passionate blogger.

Ed has a unique understanding of how to be successful financially based on extensive real-life experience, having written nearly 1,000 comprehensive personal financial plans.

The “Planning with Ed” experience is about your life, not just money. Your Financial Plan is the GPS for your life.

Get your plan! Become financially secure and free to live the life you want.


  1. KP on January 19, 2024 at 7:35 PM

    Most people will borrow to finance a car, borrow to pay for an education and borrow to pay for a home. But somehow they have a problem with borrowing (leverage) to finance their retirement. Go figure!

  2. The Curious on January 18, 2024 at 10:09 AM

    It’s interesting that your chart about financial planners is from 2008 when most of the low-cost online brokerages didn’t come into effect after that. I would love to see something more recent than 16 years ago.

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