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How to Become a Millionaire - Growing Your Wealth from Rags to Riches

Illuminate is proud to present Don Coulter as a speaker for our Think Tank. Don is an extremely experienced and highly knowledgeable expert in investment and finances, being a graduate of Harvard School of Business, as well as being the CEO of Connect First Credit Union, and formerly the CEO of Coast Capital Savings and Concentra Bank. Join us as we take a look at Don's tricks to growing from a humble student to a millionaire and more!


Rising Costs

Don notes that for a lot of people, a million dollars feels like a lot of money. However, that cannot be further from the truth. The average house in Vancouver nowadays can cost upwards of $1.5 million dollars! Knowing that, it seems only reasonable that being a millionaire is a goal for many people. Don gives a few tips and ways to attain that goal.

Rule of 72

Don provides a quick and easy estimate to determine how long it will take double your investment depending on the interest rate. The easiest way to do it is by dividing 72 by the interest rate as a percent. If you have a 10% annual interest rate, just divide 72 by 10 and you will know that your money will be doubled in 7.2 years!

Interest Rate (%)

Doubling Period







Asset Allocation

Now that you know how long it can take to get those returns, where should you put your money to get these interests? Because of inflation, Don does not recommend anyone to put their cash underneath mattresses. Instead, he provides a brief explanation for each investment option, so you can pick the right one for your own needs.


According to Don, bonds are a low risk option that provide guaranteed returns. When people want to make big purchases, they have an option to give away parts of their ownership in exchange for funding, or they can issue bonds. Don notes that bonds are not going to have you swimming in cash, but it is a solid option while diversifying your portfolio.

GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate)

Equity & Private Equity

Real Estate

Mutual Funds

ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund)

Healthy Spending Habits

Don starts this segment by stating his epiphany. Motivation is NOT the key to life. Instead of motivation, investors and prospective investors need to exercise discipline. Getting in the habit of putting a chunk of your money away for saving and investing will not only contribute towards compound interest for later on in life, but also establishes the foundation of investing for the future. It's not about saving all your money, it's about spending wisely. That's why he suggests following the 80/20 rule.

80% of your income should be used to spend on anything you like.

20% of your income is set aside to invest and grow your wealth.

Not Everything is an Investment

The most important item that Don suggests that you invest in — is yourself! Put money and time to improve your life's biggest money maker, which is yourself! However, Don warns against putting money into a car as an investment. That's because the worth of motor vehicles deteriorate quickly over time. His advice: rather than investing in cars, invest in real estate instead.


Don's deep knowledge proves to be invaluable to our future leaders about investment. By breaking down the complexities of saving and investing in simple math, anyone can be a successful homeowner in the future. Remember, it is not just about putting all your money aside. Spend wisely, and a comfortable future will be in sight for everyone! If you follow these tips, your wealth will grow endlessly, and your future will be enriched along with it.


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