Personal finance coach David Lester, whose resume includes investment banking experience at Merrill Lynch and Bank of Montreal, says wealth-building boils down to four simple rules that he believes are particularly well-suited to millennials.

Lester joined CTV’s Your Morning on Monday to break down four common assumptions about how to boost your bank account.

#1 – You need to buy a lot of property, but don’t worry about paying it all off since interest rates are so low right now.

False. Lester says interest rates are low right now, but that could change. While real estate investments are delivering significant returns, it’s important to wipe out debt as soon as possible.

“Having a lot of real estate is the easiest way to become a millionaire. Once you pay one place off, you want to get another one, pay it off, rent the first one out, and just keep doing that,” he said.

#2 – You don’t need to invest in a retirement fund as long as you have your property paid off by the time you retire.

False again. Lester says you shouldn’t rely on the value of your real estate portfolio to bankroll your retirement.

“You don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket. So, even though you have your place paid off, you’ll have no way to eat when you are in retirement. Everyone likes to eat, even people who are retired,” he said.

#3 – Don’t work for someone else when you can start your own business.

True. While being a business owner rather than an employee carries risk, the rewards can be significant.

“If you have customers and the know-how to start your own business, it’s a great way to become a millionaire. Start your own business and sell it, or work for someone else and make sure you get a bit of equity or you get a bonus for all your hard work,” he said.

#4 – You have to spend money to make money, so don’t focus so much on saving. Figure out how to make more money. Maybe get a second job.


“Even though you want to make sure you have different sources of income … to become a millionaire, you also have to make sure you watch your pennies,” Lester said. “Make sure that you are doing both. Making more money from different streams of income, and then also saving.”