Lucky or not, build wealth systematically!

A transcript from failing and learning what not to do over the last two decades.

Udy Dhansingh
2 min readApr 25, 2023

Learnings 🪵

  1. Time is money, money is a tool for a greater life.
  2. If one is born poor that is by chance; if one lives poor that would be by choice.
  3. My life is unique and different, hence what works for others may not work for me.
  4. When others are judging you on your money habits without understanding your pain, walk away!
  5. When it comes to money, trust no one! Including self.
  6. Instead of big wins quickly, look for small steps to greater wins 2 to 3 decades later.
  7. Never spend or celebrate the money that has not hit your wallet. Paper gains, bonuses, stock options, and restricted stocks should not be on the spending plan unless it is realized gains.

Getting rich quickly challenges 📚

  1. If something is too good to be true, it is not true: Promising outrageously high rate of return; lacking products and brochures; not publishing statements periodically; not communicating over e-mails or text messages. Keep away!
  2. Greed and Fear of missing opportunities (FOMO): Jumping into products and services because my friends and neighbors are doing so isn’t a strategy. When those friends and neighbors are bragging about their success, however, are unable to express or teach what works. Keep away!
  3. If you don’t understand the product, it isn’t worth pursuing: Scams are everywhere, and I need to deep-dive and understand the offering, risks, reasonable gains, clarity on steps, and documentation. If most things are beneficial to one party, however painting a rosy picture to lure you. Keep away!
  4. Where there is a herd, the scam follows: Pyramid, Multi-level marketing, Ponzi, and various other schemes attract the ignorant and uninformed. If you’re influenced by the affluent people you know; you’ll get hooked. Keep away!

Getting rich methodically ✈️

  1. Know what you earn and where you spend: Awareness is key to success, keep a tab on earnings. Save at least 15% — 20% first, and then spend as per plan.
  2. Keep debts lowest: A mortgage at < 4% is the only loan that must be taken. When taking loans at a higher percentage, keep the loan amount as low as you can.
  3. Pay off credit cards in full each month: Using credit cards frugally, keeping them within your spending plan, and paying them off in full each month is a mandatory rule.
  4. Max out investment in retirement plans: Tax-deferred investments are a must-have with or without employer contributions. It is a long game, hence get started early, and stay invested until retirement.
  5. Invest in an S&P 500 Mutual fund or ETF: Start early, and stay fully invested in an S&P 500 product with the lowest expense ratio. The fund invests in ~500 companies so that I don’t have to worry about where to put my money.