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Road to riches paved with good habits

DAVID WILSON
Last updated 10:10 20/02/2014

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So you want to be more than just rich in experience - seriously cashed-up? The obvious ploy is to play the lottery, but the odds of hitting the jackpot are one in 8 million, according to lottery strategist Gail Howard.

What is more, with modern medicine, your wealthy parents just might outlive you. So you need an independent investment strategy anchored in canny habits. Here are some that should boost your wealth, if you muster the discipline to adopt them:

BRAIN GAIN

One mark of millionaires and billionaires is that they seek and follow professional advice, says accountant Bob Wheeler, author of finance guide The Money Nerve.

Then, after asking for suggestions and grasping the issues, successful capitalists act decisively - if they feel they have a broad-enough view. According to Wheeler, they are unafraid to consult several sources and see if the tips tally.

Humbly inquisitive A related trait of successful investors is that they are never too proud to ask questions when in the dark.

''They are not concerned about looking stupid or being judged,'' Wheeler says.

Their only concern is that they glean the right information.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS 

Successful investors consolidate their position by staying focused on tax strategies and financial issues.

Presenting updated fiscal data for scrutiny, they find out what the impact of the latest numbers will be, Wheeler says, adding that they keep fine-tuning their strategies.

''They don't make assumptions, and they keep checking in as new situations arise.''

Among the questions they put, Wheeler says, there might be a request for a discount on an invoice.

VISIONARY ZEAL

The gains adventurous investors reap stem from passion for the work they do, according to success coach Niro Thambipillay.

Instead of just working for money, they find out what they care about about, then explore how to profit from their passion.

Just look at Facebook entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg or Google's founders, who were passionate about organising the world's information, he says, arguing that tycoons rarely expressly set out to be rich. Instead, they aim to make a difference.

SOCIAL SPIN 

Canny investors are all the more effective because they nurture relationships, according to Thambipillay, who says the path to riches lies in enhancing your circle of influence.

That means building rapport with others - be that clients, venture partners or staff. According to Thambipillay, you will never meet a rich hermit.

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The secret, he says, quoting tycoon Richard Branson, is to seek and hire people smarter than you and then get out the way.

ORGANISATION

Meanwhile, Thambipillay says, strive to stay focused in this ''age of distraction''. Avoid multi-tasking, which he paints as a productivity killer. Likewise, skip showbusiness gossip.

Prosperous people know time is their most precious commodity, so tackle priorities, remaining ready to delegate, which frees up more time.

So, too, does their tendency to start the day early - before anyone else, knowing that how they begin affects how the whole day goes, he says. In their spare time, he adds, they focus on learning - educating themselves.

INTEGRITY

A final wealth habit, identified by financial adviser Peter Horsfield, who runs a Sydney North Shore millionaires' club, is old-school: trustworthiness.

Financial winners have character and competence, both of which are vital traits, according to Horsfield.

Trust is the bedrock of success, he says, because money flows to where the most value lies, so those who can be trusted to deliver more will find they need not chase money.

In fact, quite the reverse, Horsfield says - others will apparently throw money at them.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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