There are so many ways to get rich. Some ways are perceived as easier than the others. But if you want to have a high probability of success, I believe there are a few methods that are proven to be more likely to make your dreams come true.

First, let’s start with the easier one: marry rich or inherit wealth. The problem is that only 5% of the population is rich. It is probably less than 5% in some places. If you are born in a wealthy family, the rest may admire the lucky you. This leave the other 95% compete among themselves to get a wealthy spouse, if they depend solely on this “easier” way to get into the 5%.

Believe it or not, there are courses in China that train young girls on how to attract and get married to the rich men. After all, there are many new billionaires in China nowadays that a girl has higher chance to marry a wealthy man, provided that she is equipped with the necessary quality. What else is a better way to acquire these valuable skills other than taking up a course or workshop? A consultancy firm in the upscale Jianwai Soho complex in Beijing is offering this type of special training. A standard 10-hour package costs 2,000 yuan (RM925), reports The Global Times.

Since most of us are not attractive female, now, let’s get more serious to examine the other alternatives:

#1 – Build a massive portfolio of stocks.

Warren Buffett did it. Many others do too, by accumulating shares of some great profit-making companies while the price is fair and undervalued. Stock investment is suitable for people with great analytical mind. Thorough research can be done at the comfort of your home by studying the past annual reports since the information of a public listed company is easily accessible. In Bursa Malaysia alone, there are around 1000 counters to choose from. The key is to find really good company that can make good use of your money invested with them. If the management team can produce better return than what you are making on your own, it is best to have your money managed by them.

Certainly, there are a handful of companies that produce magnificent financial result consistently for many years. Find those companies and buy their share when it is at a discounted price. Accumulate enough of it through years of savings. You can even borrow money to invest when you are very confident about what you are doing. Then, you should be able to accumulate enough wealth just repeating this strategy.

#2 – Join a start-up and get stock.

Early employees in Apple, Google and Microsoft became millionaires on this basis. Is there such companies in Malaysia? For us, there are not many great startups that eventually get listed and make their employees millionaires.

But if you have the chance to study in some top universities like the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) or Stanford University in Silicon Valley, there is a great chance that one of your school mates will be starting some exciting high tech business there. MIT alumni founded or co-founded many notable companies, such as Intel, McDonnell Douglas, Texas Instruments, 3Com, Qualcomm, Bose, and Dropbox. Coupled with the perfect environment to get seed funding, angel investors’ support and the venture capitalists who are actively looking for new startup to pump in their money, it is possible that you might end up as the first batch employee in some significant startups.

For example, the number 20 employee of Google, Marissa Mayer joined Google as a software engineer. Now she is the CEO of Yahoo. When Google was publicly listed at Nasdaq, her fraction of company shares had turned into millions of dollar, making her rich almost overnight.

Getting rich through this route looks pretty fun but as many has known, not everyone has the luck that the perfect chance just comes at the right time.

#3 – Exploit your skill and become a celebrity.

This is how sports stars, authors and entertainers become rich. You have to have some special skills. Talents is a must-have trait for this route to riches.

In order to create tremendous wealth through this method, you not only need to have the specific talent, you also got to be able to market yourself really well. When I refer to talent, you got to be in the top 1%. It is just too hard to make it. Even if you are in the top 5% talented people, it might not be “talented” enough.

In this case, I would love to take myself as an example. If you got the chance to see me sing and play the piano, I believe you’ll agree that I’m talented (Look for my music videos at youtube channel if you are curious enough to see me perform). But why didn’t I end up being a full time artist, or become a superstar? Frankly, I am not the top 1%. I am good but I’m not great. I might be the top 1000 performers in Malaysia, but I am not the top 10. Or I am not good at marketing myself ruthlessly. Perhaps I didn’t try hard enough. And finally my priority changed after I got married.

By now, I think you’ve got what I mean. To be a celebrity who earns very high rewards, you simply got to be the best in your group who perform that special skill (acting, talking, singing, running, playing badminton etc). That level of success requires a very high level of talent (that not everyone is born with), luck, hard works, and even people skills.

However, if you have any sort of talent that you can make use of, by all means go for your dreams! It is only worth living when you are chasing over your dream.

#4 – Buying, developing, managing and selling property

Property investment gives you much leverage based on the very simple logic: land is limited, but human population keeps increasing. In the long term this remains a proven way to accumulate wealth for centuries.

The challenge is that most properties, especially the good ones require relatively higher capital to acquire. One wrong decision might take years to recoup the losses. But if you learn the trade, it is quite safe to accumulate wealth this way. Since property hunting requires you to get out of your comfortable home and actively look for good bargain, it is very suitable for those who are extrovert. In fact, if you don’t feel shy of negotiating with seller, buyer, real estate agents, lawyers, even contractors, you really have the upper hand to find more good deals, or even transform a seemingly bad deal into a good one.

You can see that most of the local tycoons are normally involved in property development. Even if you find a tycoon who is not a property developer, he or she normally has a massive holding of properties or lands.

This strategy is so simple but yet so powerful. It will never go wrong if you are accumulating income-producing properties at good locations. In the long term, properties price will just go one way, which is “UP”.

#5 – Start your own business.

I would say this is the most effective and proven way to become rich. There are people getting rich in every niche and industry. If you can find a new approach to a specific need and build a profitable business that addresses that need then you’ll be able to create real value that customers willingly pay you for it.

It could be a retail business, a saloon, a consultancy or a product dealer. It will probably take years of very hard work to build up the enterprise. But if you can pull it off, the potential rewards are so huge. This is how many of the seriously wealthy people did it. I would say 90% of the rich people get rich through building a successful business.

The best thing about making money through business is that you don’t have to be good at everything your business require. You just got to find the right people to perform the work they are best at. Like what is said by the author of Good to Great, Jim Collins “We found, instead, that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And then they figured out where to drive it.” It is about building a team of high performers. Then your business will surely take off!

In business, you can also get to choose the industry you are passionate about. You get your freedom right from the start when you are the boss, calling all the shots!

You decide your journey

Explained above are top five best ways I can think of on how to get rich, plus the bonus method about marry your way to riches. Have you ever think of what is the suitable way for you? Whichever way you choose, the important thing is to start early. Make good use of your time now. Make good investment with your money right now. The earlier you start, the better the chance to get there on time because you will still have the luxury to perform course-correction. Start now. Good people deserve to have lots of money because you know how to spend the money on good deeds.

Comic by CWTan Copyright ©

This article is originally published in Money Compass Magazine Oct-Nov 2012 Issue.


Personal finance author and trainer

    48 replies to "What’s the Best Way to Get Rich, Especially if You are Poor Now?"

    • shawn

      The best option so far for being rich…

      im a loan advisor, i help people for their financial loan, rich or not the best things happen in your life is “How to manage your own Financial Life”.

      i dont think with the words “Rich” can get you from bottom and all the way up just because you wantedto be rich ie:

      1. stocks
      you dont learn the stocks like ABC.

      2. Property
      Sounds like A OK but in the end all you do is waiting, simple words you need to study the market as well as stocks.

      3. Business
      How many people are getting rich with “A Business”?, many businesses is counting on marketing strategies, not just online but offline too.

      I agreed with kclau, but some cases need an explanation not just contents wrap about being rich.

      Study, learn the markets (whatevet you intend to do, such stocks market, property and investments…

      Read a lots of books, i really mean lots of lots of books…

      Cheers, dont hope yet… action is a must…

      • Bennet

        No matter how much educated or how much u read books sometimes luck doesn’t stand with us .There are dropouts who later became millionaires .The only thing you need is passion ,some basic knowledge.

        Bennet Joe Mathew
        12th science

    • Philip Lim

      Hi KC,

      Thank you very much for sharing. You were saying about local start ups, you might want to take a look at this 100% Malaysian start up.
      Zap Zap Math – Cool Math Practice Games by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd.
      Or go to


    • J

      Good ppl deserve more money for them to do more charitable work! That’s the phrase that says it all, leave a legacy that will last for centuries to come… like the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation…..

    • Bushan Mathavan

      A good sharing.. keep on the good work KC Lau

    • Shaun Ang

      Great sharing

    • Saravanan

      This article is a good guide for anyone who is searching a direction on how to gain more money..

    • Helmy

      The best way to get rich if poor now is getting the right knowledge and the passion to change!

      As the saying goes, for thing to change you have to change, for thing to get better, you have to get better.

      • kclau

        Nicely said, @Helmy. Is has been quite a while since I last heard from you. What have you been busy with?

        • Helmy

          Thanks KC, just busy with my current work & family. Would like to catch up again with you. More to learn from you and the community. =)

      • Bennet

        Yep bro I agree

    • desmond

      i like it

    • wilymn

      What better time to receive these tips than the CNY period, Let’s go “HUAT AH ” all the yr thru.

      • kclau

        yeah .. Gong Xi Fa Cai

    • Elcane Loong

      Valuable insights on Money Lessons, it encouraging to see many willing to share their experiences and knowledge for others to learn and apply. Some of which ; we must apply daily.

    • Lee mei Ling

      Wise diversification and work hard for knowledge to become a smart investor yourself. Work hard for money but handicapped in investment knowledge will not grow WEALTH. Knowledge and passion is the POWER to grow WEALTH for lifetime consistently.
      Thanks KC for your invaluable sharing which enlighten our LIFE!

    • ng js

      What i like about kc is that he always made it very simple to understand and very informative. Great stuff.

      • kclau

        @Ng, thanks for kind words. I try to make things simple so more people can benefit from it.

    • West Wong

      thanks for sharing. Good to have that as a knowledge gaining session for me as a Financial Planning student.

    • Jun Xian Lee

      Thanks for your teaching and tips which have enriched my financial knowledge.

    • norahsre

      Sharing is caring

    • ellwye

      Excellent article! Wish I could get more ideas on my journey to financial freedom from the event! 🙂

    • shiva

      Im doing my own business and having difficulty to bring it to the next level, need ideas in terms of marketing especially. Your articles as always are very informative and gets people back in their financial track. Thanx for sharing again Kc Lau.

    • Kong

      Thank you for sharing your knowledge and tips. Plenty of knowledge, hard work, perseverance and a little bit of luck pays off in the end. Perhaps a holistic approach, where by combining some of your useful tips
      Such as stocks and properties will yield a higher return.
      Not to forget, hitting a lottery jackpot will make us a millionaire overnight.


      There are many ways to become wealthy as the above article suggests. However, Most do not become rich because they lack the knowledge and discipline/sacrifices which are critical to succeed in the journey towards achieving financial freedom……..

    • victor yu

      Thanks for the article, it has definitely added value to me as well as your readers.

    • winghun

      great article, wanted to learn more and apply it n make it happened!

    • bijoy

      thanks for the write up

    • Thinakaran

      Destiny isn’t a matter of chance….rather its a matter of choice!…nothing in life is easy….after reading this article,I am determined to chart my own path to attain my financial goals!

    • Raja Noor Izzuddin

      Great article from by Chiew Phing Cheah. However, I feel that Chiew can expand his alternatives way to get rich as follow:-

      i. Marry well. Really well.
      ii. Involve in other people’s money career – brokerage, private equity, insurance, money management
      iii. Inventing income
      iv. Ride-along – find the right horse, hitch their wagon to it, and help the horse.
      v. Work in the oil & gas industry – preferably in the Middle East
      vi. Work in the high-powered profession – top-tier strategy consultant, doctor, pilot, partner at law firm.

      Good effort an enjoyable reading 🙂

    • Elin

      Great to have found this – would like to attend and learn from the expert. Thank you!

    • s.annie louisa

      What’s the Best Way to Get Rich, Especially if You are Poor Now?Very interesting comments,what will be the best way you are really poor,heavily debts with bad debts,what will be the way?Since 20 years struggling to find the way.Only with God’s grace and miracles still alive to raise beloved offsprings with limited academic achivements and still struggling in the ocean to meet my richness not to be materialistic and destroy our planet earth with exiting polutions but to be someone who is rich enough to make our planet earth a better place to live in.What will be the way if you are in this situation.please leave your comments.

    • Quek

      Very good tips on how to get rich. Thanks for sharing.

    • alshahul7

      Thanks for these is an eye opener to all..Thanks again KC.

    • anne

      very meaningful and good tips that realized me on how to achieve my financial freedom faster..tqvm KC.

    • K S Lim

      Of the 5 options provided, becoming a stock picker requires the appropriate knowledge, joining a start-up does not always guarantee success (not every start-up) will become a success, one needs the correct skills to become a celebrity, not everyone can become a successful developer. The last option sounds more feasible, but there is still a need to know what business can be successful. One needs to have the correct aptitude and attitude and desire in order to make it.

    • Raj

      Very educational and enlightening article that made me realise that I should have implemented the mentioned tips therein a long time ago. However, it is “better late than never” to execute the said tips for my benefit asap.


      Thanks for sharing KC. I have learn a lot from this ARTICLE

    • zool

      Nice article.. really appreciate for the good tips and advice..:-)

    • Harn Su Goh

      Way to go Lau. Another great piece of work there

    • Wai Hoong

      I just made a good investment of my time reading this article.

    • Sujan

      Noting but the truth of getting to get rich.Well said

    • sachin

      You have mentioned really true things. I am interested in 90% who have started business and developed it well.

    • Purplegurlz

      Thanks for the great idea. The best part that i do agree with is start now. I will and i know i can do it

    • Jason Lee

      Interesting piece of article on how to get rich.

    • Caryn Chiang

      Thanks for sharing KC. I have learn a lot from this blog ;D

    • arif Ismail

      salute for your great effort on your blog. Try to benchmark you…

    • Mr Lonely

      thanks for the sharing~

      Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary)

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