Do you want to be rich?
Don't worry - this isn't some dodgy internet-based enticement. I'm genuinely interested..
Everyone does. No, seriously, let me explain....
The first thing to accept is that being 'rich' is a subjective measure. What is rich for one person is not necessarily 'rich' for another. The standard definition of 'high net worth' is someone who earns £300k in annual salary and/or has more than £3 million in assets.
Sir Michael Caine was once asked whether having money makes you happy. His reply was typically grounded:
"I've been miserable without money. I've also been miserable with money. I know which one I prefer."
Being rich means being able to do the things that are important to you - and never needing to worry about money.
Money obviously gives you options that you might not otherwise have had. Earning it is one thing...keeping on to it is a different matter. Saving means storing up financial energy - sacrificing experiencing things today in order to enjoy things tomorrow.
In an environment of near 0% interest rates, your currency will not gain value over time.
In an environment of money printing, your currency will lose value over time.
In an environment of high inflation (or any inflation), your currency will lose value.
So, if you want to maintain your wealth, you need to be invested in assets and/or funds that at least beat the net depreciation of your currency's value - that will be a certain threshold of return known as the 'hurdle rate'.
It means that if you do not have your wealth managed by a professional financial planner who actually knows what they are doing, you are going to have to do it yourself - IF you want to maintain your wealth.
For example, £1000 in 2013 was worth what £1208 is worth today in terms of the things you can buy. Bluntly, your money has lost just over 20% of its buying power in 8 years.
So, you have to think about how you're going to preserve your money if you want to be able to live a similar lifestyle in the future. That is the only meaningful measure - can I do those things in the future that I like to do today. Will I be able to afford it and not worry about the expense?
So...maybe the question should be:
'Do you want to be rich forever and what are you going to do about it today?'