So, What are the Ten Roads? More importantly, what will work for you?

1. Start a successful business—the richest road! Sure you can become a Bill Gates or a Azim Premji. However even if you do not become so successful you may still be able to make a couple of crores – not bad. This route is not for all – there are many people who do not consider giving up their jobs will not find this appealing.

2. Become the CEO of an existing firm and juice it—a very mechanical function. Jack Welch did it. In the Indian context the name that comes to mind is Naik at L&T. There are many others who are in this boat, see whether you are academically inclined to do this is what you have to see. May not be easy for every one.

3. Hitch to a successful visionary’s wagon and ride along—it’s high value-added. If you partner a great idea – the entrepreneur needs support, operations, HR, etc. and all the support at the start up stage. You need not be the visionary, you need to ride along.

4. Turn celebrity into wealth—or wealth into celebrity and then more wealth! Again you need to get parents who push you hard enough to become a celebrity and you should have enough motivation to become a celebrity. Sachin Tendulkar, Anand Viswanathan are names which come to mind. However, not really easy.

5. Marry well—really, really well. Well for those of you who are not married this is a good option. Though of course with divorce available, re-consider your options. However, not an easy option. This is an option available to both men and women – but it may be easier for very beautiful women than for ordinary looking men.

6. Steal it, legally—no guns necessary! One qualification that helps in this is the law degree in the USA. However, we all know of another professional who tried doing it, unsuccessfully. He died before he could use the money!!

7. Capitalize on other people’s money (OPM)—where most of the mega-rich are. There are more money managers in the Forbes list than the people whose money they manage. The kind of money people throw at fund managers chasing a rainbow of “index beating” returns is not funny.

8. Invent an endless future revenue stream—even if you’re not an inventor! Well Bill Gates did it, maybe you can do it.

9. Trump the land barons by monetizing unrealized real estate wealth! A very good idea if your surname is Hiranandani, Raheja, Parekh, etc. however if your surname is Patil, Athalye, Subramaniam, Ramakrishnan, do not try this. It may not work.

10. Go down the Road More Traveled—save hard, invest well—forever! To me this seems to be the only option available to you and me. Just go through the grind. Work hard, invest well – choose a large (say 100+ scrips) index and do a SIP – assuming the amc charges are 0.5% p.a. Over a 20 year period treat it like a savings bank account. When you have money, you should invest. When you need money you should sell, simple.

To me only step 10 seems to be sensible…God bless you if you can do any of the others. If you do not do step 10, even the earlier steps may not help!!

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  1. Missing out on the other nine steps, you leave only Number Option and that sure is a long and patience testing method.

  2. Well as I often say if you think there are short cuts, show it to me…and I will tell why it may not work. For an idiot who does not know how to manage money, even getting a large lottery, marrying rich, are no solutions. They look like solutions, temporarily.

    So I keep saying “If you think financial literacy is expensive, try financial ignorance. If you think paying for a gym / swimming pool is expensive, try ill health” – so only a person who knows the cost of ‘not having’ can appreciate the benefit of ‘having’.

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