How I made my first million: It’s a myth that working harder means you make more money

Luke Wolfsbauer says you'll never become a millionaire working an hourly-rate job.

Stuff’s series How I Made My First Million talks to millionaires about how they got there. This week, it’s Luke Wolfsbauer, of property investment firm Wolfsbauer Investments.

How did you make your first $1m, how old were you?

I was 21 almost 22. I made it through starting a construction company at 19 then by 21 had over 100 employees. While I was running the construction company I started to invest in real estate because that was something I loved and had passion for. Since 24 years old I have been full time in real estate.

Do you follow any personal finance rules?

I never borrow money on things that are not going to bring a return on the investment. For example If I want a boat for fun I better be able to pay cash or I can’t afford it.

What are two money tips you’d give to a 20-year-old who wants to become a millionaire?

1. Don’t borrow money on things that don’t make you money
2. You will never become a millionaire working an hourly job but it’s a good place to start and you need money to make money so save it.

Any financial myths you think must be busted?

The harder you work the more money you will make.

Do you weigh more importance to saving or investing?

Investing. Money in the bank is a waste. Have some reserves for a rainy day but investing in solid investments with a return is key to wealth.

What was the worst financial decision you made?

Where to start – I have made so many. But all jokes aside, I have made a few bad property investments where the return was just breaking even and it was just a big waste of time. Wasting time is the worst. But I have learnt so much more from my bad investments than my good ones because you remember them.

Do you feel rich?

I feel like I have financial freedom. Which is a good feeling. But do I feel rich? That’s hard to say, depends what table I’m sitting at.

Can money buy happiness?

Yes! But then at the same time no. All depends how you use it, like anything. To me, money buys me time to do things I love and spend it with people I love. If you get into the trap of thinking the more money you make the happier you will be, you will never be happy because you will work until you’re dead thinking happiness is just a bigger house or a better car away. Balance is key.

What is your advice to people to stay wealthy – getting rich is one thing, is staying rich just as difficult?

I think the key to staying rich is residual income. And wealth for that matter. For example, I am in real estate. Rental house! Rental houses! Rental houses! If you have rental houses staying rich is not hard at all. I knew when I started my journey to wealth I needed something that would was paying me monthly without working every day.