Wealth-building is a process that generally takes time. Although becoming an overnight millionaire is appealing to many, the only natural way to get rich overnight is via speculation, an inheritance, or a lottery win.

Ironically, the best way to build wealth “fast” is to chart a prudent path toward long-term gains. The quicker you can save and invest, the faster your money will compound, which is the magic behind building wealth. Here are ten ways to grow your net worth as rapidly as possible without taking undue risk.

Save

You can’t begin any wealth-generation plan without having money to invest. As soon as you draw an income, make it your top priority to save as much money as possible.

One strategy often recommended by advisors is to “pay yourself first,” meaning put money in savings immediately when you receive your paycheck, even before you pay your bills. This type of “forced savings” will require you to trim your discretionary spending but will also result in rapidly growing wealth.

Buy an S&P 500 Index Fund

The S&P 500 index doesn’t guarantee profits, but it’s proven itself time and time again to be a tremendous generator of long-term wealth. Most investors are surprised to learn that the “risky” stock market has never lost money over any 20-year rolling period. And yet, the long-term average return of the S&P 500 is north of 10%. This means the S&P 500 index has a tremendous risk/reward profile over the long run.

Even legendary investor Warren Buffett, the “Oracle of Omaha” himself, has directed his trustee to keep 90% of his money in an S&P 500 index fund after he passes.a stable

Buy Dividend-Paying Stocks

Dividend-paying stocks may seem like a slow and tedious way to build wealth, but they are one of the best ways to tap into a stable and growing source of income and capital gains.

The so-called “Dividend Aristocrats” are large, well-known companies in the S&P 500 index, like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, that have raised their dividends for at least 25 years. This means those who bought these companies 25 years ago earn huge effective yields on their original investment amount.

Combined with the potential for capital gains, the Dividend Aristocrats can be a great way to build wealth.

Buy a Rental Property

One of the key ways to build wealth fast — and over the long term — is to earn passive income. And one of the best ways to generate passive income is to own one (or several) rental properties. With a well-managed rental property, you’ll receive a steady monthly income with little additional effort. While you’ll have to find tenants to move in and deal with occasional maintenance issues, your payment will essentially be on autopilot.

Unlike your mortgage payment, your rents will continue to rise over time, meaning your tenants will pay some or all of your mortgage while you watch your properties appreciate.

Keep Asking for Raises

The cost of living goes up nearly every year, and so does your experience and value to your company. As such, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for regular raises to keep up with the cost of inflation and be paid what you’re truly worth.

This doesn’t mean you should constantly pester your boss about getting paid more, but you should also make the case, when appropriate, that your value should be reflected in your salary. Those who fail to ask for raises tend not to get them, so don’t overlook this source of building your wealth.

Start a Business

Most of the world’s billionaires either inherited their money — which isn’t as much of a strategy as simple good fortune — or started their businesses.

If you’re looking to generate a large amount of wealth, starting and growing a successful company is one of the most likely paths. Of course, entrepreneurship is risky, as many new companies fail in the first few years. But if you can create a solid business idea, raise the appropriate funding and get the right people working for you, this high-risk, high-reward path can pave the way to a lifetime of wealth.

Broaden Your Education and Skill Set

If you spend your life working for others, you’ll have to make yourself as valuable as possible to generate the most wealth. Educating yourself in various fields and developing a diverse skill set are some of the best ways to demonstrate your value as an employee.

Focus on specialized skill sets in high demand, such as those in the high-paying tech and financial industries, to give yourself the best opportunity to grow your wealth rapidly.

Set Up Multiple Streams of Income

It’s hard to generate sizable wealth on a single salary, even if you save a large portion. To build wealth fast, set up multiple streams of income.For example, in addition to your day job, pick up a side hustle that matches your talents and abilities. If you’re a freelancer, try to find additional clients in various industries.

Not only will this bring you additional income, but it will also help protect you during economic downturns if you lose one of your sources of income.

Live Within Your Means

You’ll never generate any wealth if you spend more than you earn. To set yourself up for a lifetime of prosperity, it’s essential to create a strict budget and stick to it. Make sure that you’ve got a significant line item for saving and investments in addition to all of your unavoidable expenses. Every month you can come in under budget; you’re adding to your pool of lifetime wealth.

Don’t Be Too Conservative.

Although being too speculative is a surefire way to risk all the savings you’ve worked for, being too conservative can be equally damaging in terms of limiting your wealth. Taking risks in your financial life — from investing a bit more aggressively to starting your own business — is necessary if you want to generate excessive wealth. If you put all of your money into Treasury bills, you’ll develop a negative real return after considering taxes and inflation.

Owning some stocks, real estate, your own business, or even some cryptocurrency are ways to gain exposure to higher potential returns on your investments. Just understand that while speculation has a role in generating wealth, it also brings additional risk.

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