As it turns out, if all you do to become rich is working hard, it will only end up costing you more in the long run. It seems weird because one of the American values that we are taught at an early age is that the only way to acquire wealth is through hard work. It’s a straightforward assumption; the more you work, the more you earn. However, working hard is only half of the process to becoming wealthy; the other half involves having your money work for you. Ric Edelman, founder and executive chairman of Edelman Financial Services, states:

You will never achieve financial success if you put your money into a bank account, or a CD, or a T-bill, or a muni bond, or an annuity product… All you need to do is build a diversified mix of investments, using low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds, and build a diversified portfolio on a global basis.

Becoming wealthy means that you need to work smart, not just work hard. It may be time to upgrade the American value of “work hard to get what you want” to “work smart to get what you want.” You will be better off maximizing what you have instead of trying to work more for what you don’t have. Putting your money to work is definitely something that many people overlook.

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