Anton Ivanov is a 27-year-old Russian immigrant. His family was not wealthy, and he’s not a celebrity, investment banker or the next Mark Zuckerberg. He’s just a normal guy. … He’s just also a millionaire.
“When I tell people that I became a millionaire at age 27, they immediately assume I … got lucky,”Ivanov wrote on his website. “When I tell them that instead of luck it was years of hard work and sacrifices, they somehow seem disappointed.”
In a recent interview with Yahoo! Finance’s Mandi Woodruff, Ivanov said that he planned to be wealthy from a young age. But he didn’t plan to be a doctor, actor or inventor. He just planned to save and invest.
Ivanov started the blog financessful.com to help others follow in his footsteps. On his site, Ivanov explains his success with five “Wealth Building Principles” that he lives by:
1. “I always live below my means”
In the interview with Woodruff, Ivanov said that while he served in the U.S. Navy, he saved about 60 percent of his income; and, according to his blog, he keeps up that practice to this day.
2. “I pay myself first”
“I held some minimum-wage jobs [in high school],” Ivanov told Woodruff, “and that’s when I started saving my money.” By the end of his high school career, Ivanov had $10,000, according to Woodruff.
3. “I avoid consumer debt”
Along with saving his money, Ivanov read finance books as a teenager. “I caught on pretty quickly that debt is something I should stay away from,” Ivanov wrote on his blog. “And so I did. To this day, I’ve never been in debt, aside from my mortgages on investment properties.”
4. “I spend a lot of time managing my investments”
“I know what I want,” Ivanov said in his interview with Woodruff, “and I track my progress every day, week, month, every year.” He even blogs his net worth; as of Oct. 2, he was worth $1,070,969.
5. “I try to increase my net worth every year”
After high school, Ivanov graduated from just saving to investing. He started with an IRA, but was soon adding as much as the account would allow and still had money left over. So he started a taxable brokerage account at 19 and bought real estate at 22.
“There is no magical number, magical date, there’s no magical time that is perfect for investing,” Ivanov told Woodruff. “Really, the time is now.”