Happy business man under a money rain isolated

It isn’t easy to earn and save money. You work hard at your job and have taken care to build your career, but you probably still have to watch your spending to build your savings. You need a household budget to keep things under control, and even then, the amounts you’re saving may not look like they’re going to secure you the cushy retirement that you’re hoping for.

The reality is that saving is not, on its own, to help you grow your net worth and build your nest egg enough to enjoy the retirement you’d like. To create real wealth, you need to invest.

That starts with stock investments, which you can make in a typical brokerage account or through a tax-advantaged account such as a 401(k). Build a diversified portfolio of stocks to build long-term wealth.

But to maximize your wealth, you need to think beyond stocks. You need to consider the growth potential of your most valuable assets, and you need to think about acquiring new assets. You also need to think about preserving the value of major assets that are bound to depreciate. Let’s talk about the most valuable things you own and the other valuable things you might buy.

Real estate

By and large, it’s better to buy your home than to rent it. The simple logic here is that your rent is sunk into nothing more than your immediate situation, while your mortgage payments — which may not be much more than your rent would be, and can even be cheaper — are going toward a valuable asset that you own and can later sell.

Of course, before you can buy a home, you’ll need to save up for the down payment. But if you can manage it, you can gain a valuable asset and end wasteful rent payments.

And your home doesn’t have to be the last piece of real estate that you buy. You can consider investing in income property. As the name suggests, an income property is a real estate property that generates money for you. It’s a type of passive income stream, and it usually relies on tenants paying rent.

Running a rental property isn’t easy, of course. But if you’re ready to make the jump, you’ll find that landlords have a lot of resources. Be sure to check out the great online landlord software solutions that will allow you to do things such as set up a free rental application and review background checks of your would-be tenants.

Over time, valuable real estate assets such as your home or income property can increase in value. In the case of the income property, you’ll also be able to draw a passive income stream from real estate. These things offset the depreciation and maintenance costs of the properties themselves, making them valuable assets that can potential increase your net worth over time.

Your vehicle

Not all of your most valuable assets will increase in value over time. Some, like virtually all cars, trucks, and other vehicles (the exceptions are a few rare collectible vehicles), will depreciate instead.

Understandably, most wealth strategies focus on the power of assets that can appreciate or earn interest. But you should also be aware that inefficiencies in your care of your valuable depreciating assets can make a huge difference in your financial security.

You should keep long-term value in mind when shopping for your car, the experts at one award winning VW dealership explain, and you should preserve that attitude when you approach the care of your new ride. The more proactive you are about preventive maintenance, the more your vehicle will maintain its resale value over time.

In fact, your car’s care is important even if you never intend to sell it. After all, the longer your car remains safe and reliable, the longer you’ll be able to go before spending another big chunk of change on new wheels.

Your financial future depends on your hard work, income, and traditional investments. But don’t neglect the huge assets that you’ll acquire — or have the opportunity to acquire — over the course of your life. From real estate to your ride, these big-ticket items are a key part of your financial picture.

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