Raeda Latif

For many people, living the dream is the ultimate measure of success. But for many, achieving enough to live the dream is just an elusive goal which seems to be surrounded in a haze of fantasy and surrealism. For such people who are in doubt of how to earn in surplus, in fact millions, we would like to be the harbinger of good news that there are ways to reach this objective. We will be discussing how to achieve these objectives with the promising note that the odds of earning millions through these strategies are far greater than making millions through a lottery ticket or a raffle draw. As a matter of fact, it just takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, patience and a sprinkle of stubbornness to keep at it, year after year, to earn the millions you want.

Following are the strategies, some or all of which when employed, can result in your earning millions:

* Invest prudently: Investing prudently is the cornerstone to becoming wealthy. You have various asset classes that you can invest in, either singularly or in a combination thereof, to earn profitable returns against your investment. With the high interest rates currently on offer, investing in bonds or Government Debt Securities (GDS) such as T-Bills or PIBs is a good option of parking some of your available funds. National Savings Scheme (NSS) also offers profitable returns and funds can also be invested in some of the NSS Certificates in order to earn regular or periodic returns against your investment.

You can invest in the stock market as well. Pakistan Stock Exchange offers lucrative returns for investors in the long term. The KSE 100 Index stocks at PSX offered excellent annual average return of 10.58% in the last 10 years to investors. Pakistan Stock Exchange offers a variety of blue-chip stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds for investors to invest in. By investing wisely in the equities and bond market at PSX, you can add to your earnings. You can invest in blue chip dividend yielding stock picks to earn dividends and/or invest for capital gain. There are over 520 listed companies on the Main Board and 3 listed companies on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) Board of Pakistan’s capital market. Pakistan Stock Exchange offers multiple indices such as the PSX Dividend 20 Index which includes the top 20 dividend paying companies which can serve as a source of guidance for investors wanting to invest in high dividend yielding stocks.

* Save for retirement: Saving at an early age to earn returns post-retirement is a useful way to add to your earnings. At an age where you are no longer able to work or be employed, saving right away for your retirement in a retirement plan may be a very good decision. It must be mentioned that the earlier you save and invest in a retirement plan, the greater will be your returns post-retirement. The retirement plans have low premium payment requirement going up to higher values as per your suitability.

There are numerous retirement plans available with local banks, insurance companies, Asset Management Companies, and other FIs to provide for a return after retirement. You can choose a Voluntary Pension Scheme (VPS) through an Authorised Pension Fund (authorised by the SECP), Asset Management Company/Registered Pension Fund Manager, or a Trustee (a bank or a company appointed with the approval of the SECP). Many employers already have a Voluntary Pension Scheme in the form of Provident Fund, Gratuity or they make contributions towards EOBI.

You must try your utmost to save regularly and increase the amount saved every year, taking into account the prevailing inflation rate. This will enable you to earn higher returns after your retirement.

* Make extra money: A side business or a freelance venture can add to your monthly income. There are side jobs that you can do such as freelance writing, content creation, web designing, tutoring and selling arts & crafts on the web, among others. Investing your time and energy in these activities can help you earn significant amounts of money once you establish yourself as someone who delivers quality products or services.

Let’s say you earn an average of Rs 100,000 a year in your side hustle. You can invest this amount every year in equities for a period of 5 years. Thereafter, you let the accrued amount grow for another10 years whereby it earns 10.58%* every year that it’s been invested. At the end of 15 years, you have Rs 1,867,018. This is a significant amount raised from a relatively small amount benefitting from the effects of compounding.

* Avoid debt& save for emergencies: To be able to earn millions, it is important that a chunk of your hard-earned money is not spent away in debt repayments. Avoid debt and take decisions that enable you to stay out of debt. Avoid purchases through credit cards, personal loans and cash advances through your credit card.

Only in times of emergency when you don’t have any emergency funds available, should you spend through your credit card. If you really do have to take on debt for any purpose, make sure you know how and by when you will clear off the debt. In any case, it is advisable to have sufficient savings stored in an emergency fund wherefrom you can spend for your emergent needs. As a rule of thumb, you should save between 10% - 20% of your monthly income as your emergency savings.

* Spend Less: An important trait of people who have made millions is that they spend less than the average middle-class person. It is a good idea to reduce your expenses to save the money that can be utilised for savings and investments. From purchasing items which are less expensive than their pricier counterparts like purchasing a cheaper or smaller car to eating out rarely or in a less pricey restaurant can add to your savings.

Your objective should not only be to live within your means but well below your means to give you the extra space you need to save and invest more. You will be surprised to note that a lot of people whom you might consider to be the average Joes in terms of their lifestyle are actually quite well off and are millionaires. This is because they have learnt the art of spending little and living well within their means.

* Get a professional qualification: A promising way to augment your income and earn millions is to enhance your qualification. You can become a professional in any field by studying the right courses and investing your time in a certification, diploma or degree. It is never too late to boost your qualification and become a lawyer, an architect or a certified accountant, to name a few of the professional fields available. However, it takes time, perseverance and courage to take on such fields. Leaning the art of time management may be a crucial ingredient in making your journey to earn that certificate or degree a successful one.

* Network with the right people: By networking with the right people for yourself, you can get new ideas for investing money. By being in touch with people who have impressive financial goals, you will gain insight in how to reach for those financial objectives. You may get an idea or two about starting a new business or a new source of income. Peer pressure of this type which pushes you to invest or earn extra income can be very welcome.

* Earn passive income: Let your money work for you by earning passive income. You can do this by owning rental properties. You may not purchase very expensive big-ticket properties. Even a couple of smaller properties can earn you added income. Not only will it earn you regular income, but your principal investment will also be secure. Because property appreciation is a given in our country, so you will benefit from capital appreciation as well.

* Do what you love: Becoming an expert in something is easier when you like doing it. If you have interest in music, candle-making or painting, among others, and have been dabbling in it, invest some money and time in learning more of that interest. Make it a hobby to learn more of that field of interest. Once you have learnt more about that what you love doing, take measures to market it even if you have to spend some money along the way. You can have a webpage where from you can sell your candles or paintings or upload your instrumentals on digital music platforms. These music streaming platforms will enable you to build a market for yourself thereby allowing you to actually sell your music later on once you establish yourself as creator of quality and impressive music liked by sufficient number of people. Similar is the case for other arts and crafts such as making videos on topics as diverse as capturing beautiful places and sceneries on video or giving lectures on self-help and grooming, among other subjects and topics. These hobbies or fields of interest can substantially add to your earnings when marketed adequately and expertly.

Conclusion: It is not easy to earn millions. But it is very possible. Through perseverance, courage, hard work and sacrifice, you can align yourself successfully to earn millions. Know your strengths and take advantage of them. Similarly, know your weaknesses and try to avoid falling prey to them. Subject yourself to high demands and deliver on those demands in terms of saving, investing, earning passive income, studying to enhance your qualification or by simply marketing and selling what you love to do or create.

(The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the newspaper)