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How to become rich in South Africa (live like the 1%)

rich South African woman wearing a beautiful white sweater smiling at her iPhone

Everyone wants to be rich, and at the same time, getting rich isn’t easy.

To make matters worse, it seems that lots of wealthy people became rich because they have exceptional talent or simply got lucky — so how is the average South African supposed to become rich?

In this article we will explore 3 sure ways to get rich albeit not easy or quick, it will be substantial and sustainable.

3 ways to become rich that always work

Here are the three ways that you can become rich in South Africa.


1. Earn and maintain a high paying job

Have you plotted out your career path and thought about how you will qualify for your high paying dream job? Does your expertise match the salary? 


2. Start the right business

Innovator? Entrepreneur? What are you undoubtedly good at? 

It’s time to start monetizing those brilliant ideas. 

3. Saving and investing wisely to become wealthy over time

Do you follow a strict budget?  How financially literate are you?

How to become rich with a high-paying job

Here is a summary of the steps that you could follow to get rich as a high-earner:

  1. Do some research on high-paying jobs to learn which jobs pay well, have lots of opportunities, and align with your interests and skills
  2. Choose the job that you want to pursue (if a job aligns with your current career trajectory, then start there, but don’t be afraid to start something new if your current opportunities are limited.)
  3. Get qualified! If the job requires a Diploma or a Degree, then you’ll need to find a way to get a tertiary education. However, not all high-paying jobs do — for these, you can teach yourself or try to find an online course.
  4. Build up experience and develop your CV (even if it means working for free at first.)
  5. Find the right companies and start applying.
  6. Remember to manage your money by saving and investing after you’re hired.

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A high-paying job requires knowledge, expertise and experience. 

A tertiary qualification is the rung on your corporate success ladder.  

A tertiary education’s importance and key role in finding and maintaining a high-paying job are undeniable. It has been proven to open doors to higher-paying, more stimulating and rewarding careers.

The beauty of education is that it does not have an age restriction and can be obtained at any stage of your life. Whether you are fresh out of school or you have worked in an industry for many years – you should be working on attaining the qualifications which align with your desired career path. 


Are your personal values aligned with those of the company for which you work?

You should be proud of the company you are employed at. Besides aligning with the core values of the company, it is important to look into their policies around fair and equal staff, career advancement and just compensation. A good company will have some of the following issues high on their list of priorities:

  • Emphasis on staff retention 
  • Competitive salary
  • Strong and positive leadership


Are you being fairly compensated for your expertise?

Have you ever researched your current salary? Payscale, and other services like it, can help you to research salary data to find out.

Reasons such as increased responsibility, development of new skills and reliability are valid reasons for an increase in your salary.

Here’s how to ask for the financial compensation that you deserve

Upskill, develop critical skills within your industry and make sure you are duly compensated for your efforts.

More money, more problems? No. When you start earning more money, consider growing it instead of spending it.

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How to become rich by starting the right business

Here is a summary of the steps that you could follow to get rich by starting the right business:


  1. Identify the right opportunity. Take your time and brainstorm ideas — what problems can you solve for a big enough market that can afford to pay for your solution.
  2. Become a learner. All successful entrepreneurs are constantly learning to become better at what they do (check out some of the business content on YouTube to get started.)
  3. Get started – even if it means failing at first. Each iteration of your offer will teach you something new and get you closer to the riches that you’re seeking.
  4. Take the right steps to grow — do as much as you can at first, then as soon as you can, start hiring people to help (part-time, full-time, contractors, you name it) so that you can focus on the most valuable activities.


We’re starting a business baby, we’re starting a business! 


A good business idea requires the right opportunity to launch. 

For instance when the Covid 19 Pandemic some entrepreneurs saw this as an opportunity to launch their businesses. Suddenly niche businesses were popping up everywhere, whether the offering was wholesome handmade local goods or a mobile barber shop. These entrepreneurs saw the opportunity and took action. 

Anything can be monetised when packaged correctly and presented to the right market. 


If you are considering starting a business. Do the proper research

Begin with a business plan

Your business plan should be a detailed document plotting out your plan of action.

The document should include:

  • Opportunities you have identified
  • Your business mission
  • Describe your target market
  • List measurable goals 
  • Set deadlines for important milestones. 


*Remember – A business plan is great but you must remain flexible and adaptable to change. 

Get out there and network.

Make friends with the right people in your industry. Sell yourself and then your business. 

Know who your competitors are

Learn all you can about their product or service. THink of ways that you can fill any gaps you identify. Think VALUE. What value can you add? 

Stay ahead of the curve.

Think ahead.  Keep your finger on the pulse. Be aware of industry changes by plugging into industry news. Staying ahead of the curve provides you with the foresight to predict your clients future needs and also your competitors next move.

Find a healthy work-life balance

Remember to look after yourself. 

Every business is different. Here are some tips on how to keep your business growing.  

How to become rich by saving and investing

Here is a summary of the steps that you could follow to build your wealth by saving and investing:


  1. Learn more about saving and investing. A great finance book is usually a good place to start.
  2. Choose how you want to invest your money — a great place to start is with a tax-free savings account.
  3. Pay yourself first. Make your monthly/weekly investment as soon as you get your salary/wages (most experts recommend setting up an automatic transfer to make sure that you don’t miss it.)
  4. Don’t spend the money that you’ve saved and invested. You can adjust your portfolio, but do not spend the money on things that aren’t classified as assets.
  5. Be patient and let your money work for you.


It is hard to save when you are drowning in debt. If this is a reality for you, take your first steps to financial freedom today and find out how you can get out of debt


A good starting point to attaining a solid financial standing would be to budget. Once you are in a position to start saving – do so immediately. An allocated amount to a savings account should be part of your monthly budget.  



If the word investments intimidates you, you are not alone. When you are starting out, it is best to start small and speak to the professionals and do the research. South Africa offers four different types of investments, they are:


  • Cash (the short-term money market),
  • Property (the share market)
  • Equities (the share market)
  • Bonds (the long-term money market).


As daunting as it seems, the right investments are a guaranteed way of building wealth. 


Are you willing to do the hard work? 

By now it should be clear that these are not get-rich-quick schemes. It requires patience and perseverance but the reward far outweighs all the effort. Make an investment in yourself, and start working towards a secure, financially strong and independent you.

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Disclaimer: This website and any information herein is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, financial, tax, legal, investment, credit, or other advice. Before making any decision or taking any action regarding your finances, you should consult a qualified professional directly.

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