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Sethi's 5 key messages

The first — and perhaps most important — message of Sethi’s work is that you need to change your perspective on money. That means defining your idea of a “rich life.”

He says one element of his personal definition of being rich is the ability to order appetizers at restaurants because his family avoided them to save money when he was young. Similarly, you can shape your idea of a rich life based on experiences from your background and personal desires.

His second message is to spend money on what you love and cut back on what you don’t. Sethi takes a dig at the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement, saying he doesn’t want to make severe sacrifices to get rich.

“I’m not interested in living a life like that,” he said.

Sethi likes to spend money on luxury hotels, so he drives an older car as one way to balance his budget.

On that note, his third message is that cutting costs are limited, but boosting income is unlimited. You can cut your budget down to the bone but you’ll eventually hit a wall. Instead, focusing on getting a raise or side gig is probably more impactful.

Sethi’s fourth message is that a simple, long-term investing strategy is all you need. His fifth lesson is that you only need a few big wins to get to the rich life you desire. So, you don’t need to worry about $3 expenses as long as you can get the big $30,000 income boosts or savings right.

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How practical is this advice?

Sethi’s list of financial messages have been echoed by other financial experts and business leaders.

Warren Buffett, for instance, has repeatedly claimed that a simple index fund investing strategy can be more successful than sophisticated hedge funds or complex financial instruments.

Meanwhile, experts such as Grant Sabatier have mirrored Sethi’s sentiment that boosting income is easier than cutting costs.

“No matter how much you cut back or how often you crash on a friend’s couch or grab free food from catered company events, the amount of money you can save is limited by how much money you are making," Sabatier, the creator of personal finance website Millennial Money, wrote in his book “Financial Freedom."

As for defining wealth based on personal experience and priorities, personal finance expert Dave Ramsey would seem to agree.

“Being wealthy is all about our mindset — how we perceive our own well-being,” a recent blog post on Ramsey’s website states. “You can wear yourself out by trying to keep up with the Joneses, or you can practice contentment.”

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About the Author

Vishesh Raisinghani

Vishesh Raisinghani

Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

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