The Mechanics of Wealth

1. Buy a house.  Or two.  Or more.
    If you know you're going to be living in or near a certain community for five years or more DON'T RENT.  Do whatever it takes to buy a house.  If you have kids in school or are about to, find the best PRIVATE school you can, shop for a house near it, and scale down the house budget to compensate.  There's NO house important enough to risk destroying your kids' future by putting them in government schools (unless you live in New Trier Township, perhaps).

2. Understand Compound Interest
     (NOTE:  I am not involved in any investment offerings made or religions extolled in this section; I just like their comments on compound interest.  And yes, one can be kind, benevolent and successful without being a mystic.  More likely, in fact.):

3. Other keys to the mechanics of wealth 4. Input on likely changes in markets, technology, demographics and culture 
"The only germane argument concerning equities vs. fixed income, which must be explained and re-explained, is that over the entire run of data (1926-present), the average annual return to equities has been 10.4%. That's not a projection or an expectation, that is the actual live average annual return. If funds are invested with a long term horizon (at least 10 yrs), the investor has an excellent chance to average this sort of return and virtually a zero chance of failing to beat the current Social Security expected return (such as it is). There have been only 2 periods longer than 10 years that have generated negative returns (1929-1942, -1%; and 1930-1942, -0.4%). The longer the funds are invested, the greater likelihood the expected return will be reached on an overall average basis. As I constantly remind my clients, the returns in any given year may be positive or negative and, in fact, an allocation may never actually realize the expected return on the button in any single year during the entire life of the portfolio. Discipline and a long term horizon are the keys to positive returns." -- Byron Sanders
See:  "Why the Tried and True Triumph Over the Old and New." HERE.