A financial planner says a critical habit for building wealth seems obvious, but most people don't do it

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

Couple relaxingJOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty ImagesAs Warren Buffett put it, ‘There is nothing wrong with getting rich slowly.’
  • If you want to build wealth, plan for the long-term and be patient.
  • That’s according to Katie Brewer, a financial planner who says that when it comes to money, too many people focus only on earning it and spending it.
  • Patience is a cornerstone of billionaire Warren Buffett‘s investment strategy.

At the risk of sounding poetically cliche: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same goes for your net worth.

“This seems obvious, but there are plenty of people who only focus on two things when it comes to money: making it and spending it,” Katie Brewer, a CFP and the founder of financial-planning firm Your Richest Life, wrote in a blog post. “But that is a short-term view of money that does not lead to wealth.”

Focusing on increasing your income is invaluable, to be sure, but those earnings won’t lead to lasting wealth without thoughtful planning and the patience to see it through.

Look no further than Warren Buffett. The billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway considers patience a cornerstone of his winning investment strategy. Buffett repeatedly advises fellow investors to remain steady even when markets go haywire.

“Investors who avoid high and unnecessary costs and simply sit for an extended period with a collection of large, conservatively-financed American businesses will almost certainly do well,” he wrote in his 2016 letter to shareholders.

Need a better place to keep your savings while you wait? Consider these offers from our partners:

There’s a reason advice like Buffett’s is ubiquitous, Brewer said: It works. “Save a portion of every dollar you earn. Don’t spend more than you have. Make investments that will earn you money over time. The key ingredient in each of those steps is patience,” she wrote.

Financial planners suggest making saving easier by automating contributions to a high-yield savings or retirement account. Saving off the top forces consistency and nearly ensures your wealth will keep growing.

When it comes to investing, experts recommend low-cost index funds, a Buffett favourite. Index funds are a type of passive investment that exposes investors to a broad selection of stocks in order to diversify and ultimately minimise risk. They’re low-cost and regularly outperform actively managed funds – as long as you’re patient.

As Buffett put it, “There is nothing wrong with getting rich slowly.”

Want to see how much your savings can grow? Find out with this calculator from our partners:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.