What “Creating Wealth” Really Means by Donald Broughton

As chief market strategist, managing director and senior transportation analyst for Avondale Partners, Donald is a frequent guest on CNBC, Nightly Business Report, and Fox. He is regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal. Broughton has been recognized as a top stock picker by The Wall Street Journal, “Fortune,”“Zacks” and “StarMine.”

The creation of wealth that will last a lifetime is dependent upon developing all aspects of your skills and discovering who you can be. In this column, I am always trying to outline ways to create wealth in all aspects of your life, so that you not only have financial independence, but long-term sustainability. Financial wealth without intellectual wealth or spiritual wealth or emotional wealth or physical wealth, is a recipe for bankruptcy in all aspects of your life. So how do you get started?

Set simple realistic goals for each part of your life and acknowledge that they are all interrelated. Success is not a destination, but a process. The instant you set worthy goals and start progressing toward them, you are a success. Others won’t recognize your success for months, years, or even decades, long after you are already successful.

Financial goals – “Pay off your credit cards in full, and then continue to pay them off in full each month” is a simple easy goal that is at the base of every financially successful person. It can be painful at first, but it instills a simple level of discipline that is necessary. Debt, if properly used, can be an enriching experience, but for most people debt is just a four-letter word.

Spiritual goals – “Believe in something or you will fall for anything” is an axiom worth its weight. I believe Christ is the messiah, and that is the foundation of my spiritual wealth. But of the thousands and thousands of financially wealthy people I know, none of them sustain that wealth without something they believe in down to their very core. Find some time every day to meditate, pray, read about, and study what you believe in. Once you begin to have any financial success, no matter how modest, start contributing a small amount of that wealth to what you believe in.

Emotional goals – “In order to be trustworthy, you have to trust” is true, but often one of the most difficult dynamics of creating personal wealth. Make a list, and over the next week reach out to those in your life who you admire, but have lost touch with, and catch up. Meet someone new and get to know them. Whether at school, work, or the gym, we all need to expand our network of friends. In short, take time to build new relationships and tend to old ones.

Intellectual goals – “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin.  Most people stagnate in the process of educating themselves after formal schooling ends. Find at least two well-written publications, subscribe and read them cover to cover each issue (my favorites are “The Economist” and “Atlantic Monthly”). Sign up for a class once a year and learn a new skill. Keep growing your knowledge base and you’ll be better equipped to handle the growth in all areas of your life. As Nelson Mandela, said, “Education is the most powerful weapon with which you can use to change the world,” and your life.

Physical goals – Without physical health all the other goals fall short. In the end, staying healthy is as easy as drinking plenty of water, eating more vegetables, getting plenty of fiber, eliminating processed foods from your diet, and exercising. Find the time to exercise in some way every day.  Go on a walk, have sex, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk up the escalator, park at the far end of the parking lot, whatever you do – stay active. Set physical goals and work toward them every day.

Why do we have to improve all these areas of our lives? The tabloids are full of stories about people who have financial wealth, but no emotional wealth. We all know sports stars who are paid millions for a few years, but lack spiritual wealth. There are countless examples of entertainers whose talent produces millions, but that doesn’t overcome their lack of intellectual wealth. Creating wealth that is lasting involves enriching all parts of your life. Otherwise, whatever financial wealth you acquire will be quickly drained away by the deficits in the other parts of your life. So go set goals in each part of your life, and start creating wealth.