As a general rule, the team at Kiplinger champions the art of getting rich slowly. "Don't go for the home run," Knight Kiplinger tells us in his classic column "8 Keys to Financial Security." "In investing, as in baseball, those who swing for the fences do hit the occasional home run. But they strike out a lot, too, and their lifetime batting average -- average annual total return -- suffers accordingly."
But maybe you're willing to take some calculated risks in pursuit of the freedom that money (and lots of it) can give you to make choices that can bring satisfaction, whether that means buying your dream home, giving generously to charity or escaping the 9-to-5 grind. In that spirit, we focus on nine faster roads to riches, with varying levels of risk. The people we interviewed who have made it big didn't always get there on the first or second try. But they all share essential qualities for success: passion, persistence and patience.
What do success stories like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? They all made their mark (and their millions) by coming up with a better idea and running with it. Starting a business is a proven path to wealth, and the best way to get there is to start small and scale up -- which usually means being bought out by a larger company, selling franchises or licensing your product.
An ambitious goal is critical if you want to expand your business, says Barbara Findlay Schenck, a small-business strategist and author of Selling Your Business for Dummies.
Before you apply for loans or sign up investors, polish your business plan. And don't overlook sources of free help. For example, you could tap your alma mater's alumni network for potential mentors. You can also get advice from more than 13,000 small-business volunteers through Score, a nonprofit organization supported by the Small Business Administration.