The average Red Oak tree takes 15-20 years to produce its first acorn. But it will produce acorns for up to 350 years, before it dies.
Conversely, a Cherry tree takes about 4 years to produce sweet cherries but its longevity is short-lived – it will produce cherries for about 20 years before it dies.
Becoming wealthy, like the mighty Red Oak, takes a long time. It took the average self-made millionaire in my Rich Habits Study between 12 – 32 years to become wealth, depending upon the path to wealth they chose to pursue.
Almost every self-made millionaire in my study, other than the Saver-Investors, shifted into wealth management mode, once they became wealthy – they did everything within their power to preserve and grow their wealth, long after the became wealthy.
Not one of the self-made millionaires in my study squandered their wealth, once they became wealthy.
Nope. Not one.
You see, the path to becoming wealthy is a long journey. The self-made millionaires in my study understood how hard it was to accumulate their wealth. Because of this smart money mindset, they intended the wealth they created during their lifetimes to live on long after they were dead, benefiting their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
They saw their wealth as an opportunity to benefit many future generations – that was their legacy.
Conversely, according to the National Endowment of Financial Education, about 70% of all lottery winners go broke within a few years.
Easy come, easy go.
Because they did not work on building their wealth over many years, their wealth really had little value to them, other than in spending it or giving it away to family and friends.
If your goal is to become wealthy and keep that wealth within your family, you must build a solid foundation, forged with smart money habits, forged over many year, which can then be passed along to your children. Building such a foundation takes time.
But the longer it takes, the more sound the foundation will be.
So, I ask you, which tree do you want to be – a Cherry tree or a Red Oak tree?