If you read comic books when you were a kid, you’ll remember Charles Atlas. He was that muscle-bound dude (“The world’s most perfectly developed man!”) who taunted you from the advertisements alongside your Spider-Man and Fantastic Four adventures. The theme of the ads was always the same: a bully pushes around a skinny loser, humiliating him in front of his giggling date. Then our 98-lb weakling goes home, orders Atlas’s exercise program, and is instantly transformed into a he-man with rippling biceps. In the final frame he confronts the bully, punches his lights out, and wins back his girl.
Generations of pre-adolescent boys lost their allowance to Charles Atlas and his promise of muscles “in only 15 minutes a day!” That’s not surprising: we all look for shortcuts that promise better results with less effort. It’s true of our finances as well as our fitness.
Unfortunately, whether you’re looking for ripped abs or a bulging portfolio, there are no quick fixes. The steps to success aren’t complicated, but they require advance planning, a long-term commitment and a lot of discipline. In what follows we’ll show you how to go from pipsqueak to powerhouse and make sure no one ever kicks sand in your financial face again.