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Top 5 Habits of Financially Successful People

By Jake Withnell, CFP®

We’ve all heard the phrase “get rich quick” and the onslaught of advice about how to create a strong financial foundation. But what should you do if you already have a strong financial foundation and want to take your wealth management strategy to the next level? As a high-net-worth individual, you may have already accumulated wealth, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cultivate positive financial habits. Here are five tips to maximize your wealth and protect what you’ve already built.

1. Set Goals, Not Wishes

    Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Financially successful people live by this concept, taking time to set goals and plan ahead, rather than relying on hope or wishes to make things happen. In fact, while only 3% of Americans actively write down their goals, (1) nearly 67% of wealthy individuals do so, and over 80% create a daily to-do list. (2) Clearly, there is a method to the madness. Goal-setting, especially written goals accompanied by a specific plan, is a great financial habit to build and incorporate into your daily life.

    2. Diversify Your Income

    Income diversification is a tried-and-true method for financial success. The truth is, no matter what your net worth, your income will always be your greatest wealth-building tool. That’s why a solid income stream is great, but multiple streams of income are even better. 

    Diversified income streams act in much the same way that diversified investments do. They allow for less demand and stress on any one income source, so that if an unforeseen event were to occur, the remaining income streams can pick up the slack. There are many ways to diversify your income, including dividend-paying stocks, purchasing rental property, investing in real estate, or starting a business.

    3. Read Every Day

    If you’ve ever heard the saying “Leaders are readers,” then you know that reading is a habit worth building. But how does it apply to financial success? Reading can greatly improve your knowledge about your business, your career, and your finances. Not only that, but it can also be used to improve your interpersonal skills by providing insight into the experiences and viewpoints of others, which will ultimately make you more valuable to customers, colleagues, and clients. 

    Warren Buffet himself has credited his investment success to reading 500 pages a day, saying that knowledge, like compound interest, is something that should be built every day. (3) Similarly, wealthy entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerburg have all discussed the benefits of reading when it comes to their financial successes. (4) While 500 pages a day might be a bit much for most people, reading just 30 minutes a day is an effective habit for those looking to maximize their wealth. 

    4. Volunteer & Network Regularly

    Volunteering and networking are also common habits of financially successful people. Not only is volunteering a great way to give back to your community, but it can also be useful in connecting with future clients and contacts. What better way to connect with your peers than to bond over shared values and charitable causes?

    Similar to volunteering, networking also gives you the chance to build meaningful relationships with people who can help you in your financial journey. Considering 83% of new business opportunities come through referrals and 92% of people trust referrals from people they know, (5) volunteering and networking are crucial habits to cultivate if you want to expand your circles of influence and find financial success.

    5. Find a Mentor

    Whether it’s a money mentor, a business mentor, or a mentor for personal growth, finding a person who has been in your shoes and can guide you through your journey is a research-backed way to be successful in your endeavors. In fact, those with mentors generally have improved career outcomes, including increased earning potential and access to more opportunities. (6)

    Mentors can come in many forms, including colleagues, peers, and family members. No matter whom you turn to, a strong mentor relationship can help create a supportive environment where financial success can thrive. 

    Partner With a Professional

    If you’re ready to take the next step in your journey to financial success, JGP Wealth Management is here for you. To learn more about our wealth management offerings, reach out to me at 503-446-6450, email jwithnell@jgpwealth.com, or schedule an introductory phone call online.

    About Jake

    Jake Withnell is a financial advisor at JGP Wealth Management, an independent, fee-based financial advisory firm in Portland, Oregon. Jake is known for going the extra mile for his clients and for his passion for working tirelessly to help his clients find solutions to their financial concerns so they can confidently live out the life they want. He prioritizes listening and understanding as the foundation of his relationships with his clients, and his highest hope is that they can spend more of their time and energy on their passions knowing he is watching over their financial future. Jake specializes in serving business owners, Nike executives, and retirees, and plays a key role in JGP’s portfolio management process, building and analyzing financial models, and conducting client cash flow analyses. 

    Jake graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in professional accounting and finance. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) professional. Jake’s claim to fame is his time playing tight end for the Eastern Washington University Eagles, all while earning four-time Big Sky Conference First Team All-Academic honors! Jake values giving back to his community and does this by volunteering with the Children’s Cancer Association, Family Building Blocks, and New Avenues for Youth. In his free time, Jake takes advantage of the many outdoor activities the Northwest has to offer, such as trail running, mountain biking, and hiking. He loves traveling and spending long weekends at his family beach house in Seaside, OR. To learn more about Jake, connect with him on LinkedIn. You can also watch his latest webinar on 6 Ways to Maximize Your Nike Employee Benefits.


    (1) https://www.newtechnorthwest.com/the-psychology-of-writing-down-goals/

    (2) https://www.gobankingrates.com/money/wealth/secrets-rich-person-knows/

    (3) https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/27/warren-buffetts-key-tip-for-success-read-500-pages-a-day.html

    (4) https://www.blinkist.com/magazine/posts/reading-habits-of-highly-successful-people

    (5) https://www.signpost.com/blog/referral-marketing-statistics/

    (6) https://www.forbes.com/sites/maryabbajay/2019/01/20/mentoring-matters-three-essential-element-of-success/?sh=25e49bce45a9