3 Renaissance Man Rules of Wealth Building

By Jim Woods

Building wealth really isn’t that hard.

The compounding math is there for anyone to grasp, as are the basic concepts. The tough part comes when you deviate from these principles in search of a shortcut, or if you make one or two bad decisions that put you in a big financial hole.

Let’s look at the three basic rules for building wealth.

Rule No. 1—Be Right More Often Than You’re Wrong

Making decisions means taking action. But no matter how smart those decisions, and no matter how much thought or research or effort you put into those decisions, you are still likely going to be wrong many times.

Think about this as it applies not just to your investment portfolio, but also to life in general.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely someone who has made many good, as well as many bad, decisions in life. Some of those decisions you are extremely thankful you made, and some you no-doubt painfully regret. Hey, we all make mistakes, and that’s because humans are fallible. Yet we don’t have to be right all the time to be successful in life—or in our wealth building.

The key here is to be right more often than you’re wrong. And, when you’re wrong, to minimize the damage. The latter part of this prescription leads us into our next rule of wealth building.

Rule No. 2—Win Bigger Than You Lose

Win some, lose some.

This reality is just part of life. And try as we may to always win, we can’t. Indeed, part of being a Renaissance Man is understanding that life has its good days and its bad days. And while the big winning days are fantastic, the big losing days can really, really hurt.

The key for a Renaissance Man, both in life and in the money and investment realm, is to win bigger than you lose.

What I mean by that is you want to ride your stock, bond, and commodities wins higher. Don’t just bail out on a small gain because you have one, or because you want that shiny new car, boat, etc.

As for losing, most of us have been on the wrong side of an investment decision. The key is to not let those losses go from small to large. Just like one or two really bad decisions in life can end up being the difference between happiness and sorrow, one or two catastrophic losses in a portfolio can be the difference between retiring wealthy and living the rest of your life on Social Security.

Remember that investing (as opposed to short-term trading, which there definitely is a place for) means you build positions in strong assets likely to continue appreciating over time. And, you use the power of compounding and the requisite patience and time, to build your wealth.

Of course, to find those wins in the first place means you have to invest in the right picks from the beginning, and the details of how to do just that are contained within the pages of my newsletters.

Rule No. 3—Seek Income and Capital Appreciation

When you’re investing (as opposed to trading), you ideally want assets that pay you income AND that go up in value.

This may seem simple, but you would be surprised by the number of people I’ve spoken to in my career that think income and capital appreciation are two separate entities.

The best long-term wealth-building assets are those that not only appreciate in value, but that also pay you to own them. This means owning a basket of the best, most-stalwart, dividend-paying stocks the market has to offer.

I’m referring here to stocks of companies that have consistently raised their annual dividends each year, and those who have done it for years, decades, and in some cases more than a century.

This isn’t a quick-fix, get-rich scheme or some kind of real estate flipping strategy. It’s investing consistently in the biggest, most-profitable companies that have demonstrated they are committed to growing their business long term, and increasing the wealth of their shareholders.

You see, when it comes to the basic Renaissance Man rules of wealth building, simplicity reigns supreme.

Once you understand that, you then need to muster up the requisite manly courage, discipline and willpower to see those rules through to the end.

In the name of the best within us,

Jim Woods

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5 Ways a Renaissance Man Can Improve Communication

By Heather Wagenhals, Founder and Host, UnlockYourWealthToday.com

The ability to communicate cogently and objectively is essential to becoming a Renaissance Man.

You can possess all the knowledge in the world, but if you can’t communicate that knowledge to others clearly, then you will be hamstrung both personally and professionally.
To fully engage the Renaissance Man ethos (Focus. Integration. Celebration.) one must interact with others. And, one must make those interactions meaningful and important, regardless of how brief those interactions may be. You see, it is the quality of your communications with others that determines the depth and meaning of your relationships.

Here are five ways a Renaissance Man can improve communication skills.

1. Stop blathering endlessly.

A Renaissance Man understands the structure of communication and his obligations to be an effective communicator. Conversation is not a 50-50 engagement. It is 100% both ways. A Renaissance Man knows every communication is less about getting your point across and more about understanding. Think about how many times you have worked so hard to prove that you are right, only to fail at whatever negotiation or persuasion you are trying to achieve. Consider it your obligation when communicating to try and achieve a clear sense of mutual understanding. A Renaissance Man stays focused on his objective whether it is to look for and establish rapport with someone new, just engage in pleasantries, or persuade someone toward a new way of thinking or acting.

2. Looking is also listening.

A Renaissance Man familiarizes himself with Mehrabian's rule and realizes more is spoken without words. This rule is viewed as a ratio that explains how much emphasis we put on parts of communication. 55-38-7. 55% of our communication is nonverbal. This is body language, gestures, facial expressions, posture, etc. We say the most without even saying a word. 38% of our communication is audible. This is what we hear that includes volume, rate, pitch and vocal inflection. Only 7% of our ability to communicate is the actual words we use. This is why computer-mediated conversations such as email and text messages are often misinterpreted, because a Renaissance Man has to infer 93% of the intent. Even on the phone we’re at a disadvantage because we only receive 45%. Whenever possible, a Renaissance Man should place himself in face-to-face conversations, as that allows for the greatest level of communication.

3. Listen in full focus.

Listening must occur with an intensity and focus that only a Renaissance Man can achieve. Avoid thinking about what you are going to say next, avoid interrupting, and just truly listen. Failure to do this will result in you missing out on quite a bit of information. A Renaissance Man understands the ratio of two ears to one mouth, and he respects his communication counterpart by listening twice as much as speaking. The value of listening intently is that you will learn where people stand, and you will have even more information. Most people will tell you exactly what’s on their mind if you listen with both your eyes and ears. And often, you will glean more from the communication with how and what others say and don’t say.

4. Think before you reply.

One of the most valuable assets a Renaissance Man has is his capacity to think. By remaining calm and not engaging in instinctive and possibly overly emotional reactions, we can find ourselves in our highest resource states—the states that allow us to think objectively and clearly. This is where we review the information we have just received, and we can adequately evaluate the meaning of our conversation. Did the other person give us enough information to elicit our understanding? Is a follow-up question necessary for clarification so that we do not make any assumptions? Unless we stop and think about it for a moment and be genuinely contemplative, a knee-jerk reaction in communication can have an adverse impact, not only on that conversation but potentially the entire relationship.

5. Speak your thoughtful response.

After a Renaissance Man stifles the desire for snappy comebacks or misquoting adages or misinterpreting someone else’s vaguely expressed emotion, he should carefully consider and then respectfully and purposefully shares his response. By exercising the four steps before speaking, a Renaissance Man honors and respects the person he is communicating with, even if he does not agree with their position or point of view. By replying in this way, a Renaissance Man preserves his integrity especially when he perceives his communication counterpart is incorrect.

Every Renaissance Man knows that to earn respect, you must be courteous, even to your detractors. By engaging in civil discourse with everyone using these five communication principles, whether it is the clerk in a store, your employer, a subordinate, friend, or family member, a Renaissance Man seizes the opportunity to deepen relationships and to gain more from each conversation. When you make or deepen connections using the, “Stop-Look-Listen-Think-Speak” formula, new insights, ideas and connections can be made—and that is a recipe for Renaissance Man enhancement.

To Your Prosperity,

Heather Wagenhals


Now, we want to hear from you! Would like to share your opinion or make a comment on the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast? If so, then please leave your comment or questions in the space provided below and share this article with your friends and family on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your comments or question could be chosen as our featured
Ask the Renaissance Man Anything on a future episode.