The Secret Wealth Building Stages Uncovered

Jerry Fetta
9 min readMar 28, 2024

I want to share with you the 5 stages of finances that I believe everyone must pass through in society today. I wish I would have known these and been taught them earlier in life, as it would have furthered my progress tremendously, but I know them now and want to share them with you. To this date, I have not seen the financial industry share these at all and believe these 5 things to be something completely new to the average person. My intention is to give you this valuable tool so that you can use it as a self-awareness point for yourself and so that you can start to move into higher levels with your personal wealth.

I believe that finances are a scale, meaning that a person starts at lower levels like I did and then works their way up to the higher levels. A scale, like a ladder, is simply an upward progress. And also like a ladder, if you and I don’t know the steps below us or above us, it’s going to be really hard to climb the ladder. This particular scale has to do with one’s own belief with money and what they’re okay with doing and not doing and having and not having when it comes to finances. Here is what I believe the scale to be from bottom to top:


5. Can have and waste money (Wealthy)

4. Can have money and controls it responsibly (Upper Middle Class)

3. Can have money and is controlled by it (Middle Class)

2. Must have money (Miser)

  1. Can’t have money (Poverty)


I started at the bottom where I couldn’t have money. It wasn’t literal at first, but it was my belief. I grew up poor and it was the mindset of being poor that told me I couldn’t have money. This meant I didn’t attract it. I didn’t look for it. If I got it, I immediately found ways to lose it or spend it so that I didn’t have it anymore. I was the opposite of a money magnet. This is where most of us who were raised like me start. From there, we graduate into someone who must have money. I’ve been here too. I would scrounge around looking for ways to not spend money and for ways to not lose money. This is different than looking for ways to have more of it. This was the life of beans and rice, putting dollar bills in envelopes and limiting myself. Avoiding $3 lattes. I “had more money” but it was not building wealth for me nor improving the quality of life for myself and my loved ones. It was more like a burden or a problem and something I felt I had to be very careful with, preserve, and protect. Why? Because I hadn’t solved how to have more of it whenever I needed so I was afraid to get rid of any of the money I did have. Then we move into the realm of being someone who can have money, but is controlled by it.

I want you to think about money as a current. A current can come from me and be aimed at the things I care about and enhance them, or a current can come at me and be aimed at me and control me. This band is the latter. I began to have money, but I put it in places where I gave up my control and in turn put the control of my money into the hands of others. By allowing someone else to be in control of my money, they actually controlled me because money is like the oxygen to my economic body. I was totally dependent on others who controlled my flow of oxygen. Examples of this are things like loans (both on the lending and borrowing side), retirement accounts, complicated tax plans, etc. I experienced my biggest economic hit when I was in this band. I had loaned out a pretty big chunk of my net worth to someone else for them to invest it (giving up control and making me dependent on them) and they suddenly couldn’t pay me back and then died. I could have money so I was able to go get more, but this loss slowed down my wealth-building progress while I had to recuperate the loss. But the loss didn’t start with the investment not paying me as agreed.

The loss started the moment I “lost” (gave up) control of my finances. Spend as little time in this band as possible and completely skip it if you can. Next, we climb into the band of someone who can have money and controls it responsibly. As I write this, this is the band I’m in now. I can earn as much as I want or need both from active and passive sources, I save 40% of everything that comes in and put it in Sacred Accounts, and everything outside of that is allocated to go somewhere and does. I only put money in things that I understand and control and if my control is reduced, I don’t do it. Responsibility equates to good control. And good control with finances means I can start, change, or stop any element of my finances to achieving my goals.

The only way to gain this level of financial responsibility and control? Knowledge. I must study and train on the topic of finances until I reach the level of knowledge that empowers me to be this responsible with my finances. I’ll give you a hint too: Real wealth building only starts here. The final level we enter is the band of someone who can have and waste money. You may read this and think the same thing I used to think: “I could never waste money.” All that means is you aren’t in this band yet. I believe a definition of wealth is the ability to treat money like oxygen. Can you waste oxygen? Go ahead, take in more air than you need and let out more air than you need. Did anything bad happen? Are you worried there won’t be enough air for the next breath? Are you bothered by the idea that you just wasted a breath? No. Because you have a complete abundance of oxygen. I’m not even in this band yet myself and I’m working on graduating from the 4th band to this one. I believe this starts currently at the $10 million net worth level (not including your primary residence value). If I have $10 million paying me 10% per year steadily, that would mean I am earning $83,333/mo. in passive income. It’s pretty safe to say that if I keep in the points on band #4, which includes continuing to save 40%, that I can “waste” the rest and be just fine. The key here is that “wasting” refers to getting rid of something without consideration, without the thought of “I should have preserved that” or “I could save that for (enter reason here)”. This is where massive generosity starts. I can “waste” my opportunity to have and use my money and freely give it away to others without missing it. This is why we need to get to this level. In fact, this is why we need MILLIONS of people at this level. So, what do you do to get from the level you’re at into the next one? First, you’ll need to be really honest with yourself about where you’re at and base it on your results, not your emotions. Here is my advice to someone at each level:

  1. Poverty: Change your financial mindset. Make a list of all the things you believe about money and write down where you got it from and if that source was financially successful or not. If not, I want you to find the opposite of that belief, something financially positive that you see financially successful people doing and use that instead. A good idea here would be to understand what money actually represents and where it really comes from.
  2. Miser: Focus on your income. Break your negative patterns of hoarding money and put it to use instead. Limit yourself on accumulating savings and penny-pinching and begin allocating money to things that increase your income by increasing your financial IQ, your skillset, your mindset, your network, and your opportunities.
  3. Middle Class: Begin removing Banks and Wall Street from your life. These are the main ones that the middle class give control to and become subservient to. This part won’t be easy and just like someone who has a bad tooth that needs removing, you’ll need the help of a professional.
  4. Upper Middle Class: Avoid comfort and realize this isn’t the end destination. A lot of people get trapped here. They’re saving more than “most people”, their net worth is higher than “most people”, and they have more luxuries than “most people”. DO NOT compare yourself to those below you on this scale. You have only one group left to compare yourself with and that’s group #5, the wealthy. If you compare yourself to anyone else, even to prior versions of yourself, you will become content and complacent and you will cease to make further progress. Stay consistent and stay disciplined.
  5. Wealthy: If you’re here, congratulations. You’ve made it to a range that less than 5% of the U.S. population will ever achieve. Don’t forget how you got here and keep doing those things. It’s a mistake to think “I’ve graduated so now I can finally stop doing all of that stuff”. Nope, keep doing it. What got you here keeps you here. But the other thing to do is to realize you have a responsibility now to help. You need to use your wealth to improve the quality of life for the world around you AND you need to help others get where you’ve gotten. The world needs you more than ever at this stage. Don’t disappear on a beach or golf course somewhere. If you’re a good person and you’ve been wealthy, it is time to fulfill your duty of making the world a better place.

My mission in life is to help good people build more wealth who make the world a better place. And good people are at various points of this scale. So if you’re a good person who wants to help make the world a better place and this article helped you realize where you are on the scale and what you need to do to get to the next level, I want to thank you for reading this and encourage you to apply what you’ve learned.

If you’re a client of mine and you’d like help leveling up, send an email to my team with “Level Up” in the subject line to

If you’re a follower and have not read my book The Blueprint to Financial Freedom yet, that is the place to start. This book covers the specifics for each level in the various chapters and you can grab the book for free as my gift.

Click here to get a copy!

The Blueprint to Financial Freedom by Jerry Fetta

To Purpose, Wealth & Freedom,

Jerry Fetta

Jerry Fetta is the CEO and Founder of Wealth DynamX. He is a nationally recognized financial expert featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Fox, Chicago Weekly News, New York Finance, interviewed on over 45 podcasts with world renowned experts, earning endorsements and affiliations throughout his career with names like Kevin O’Leary, Grant Cardone, Dave Ramsey, and Pamela Yellen.

Jerry’s mission in life is to help create millions of financially educated and solvent families achieving greater financial freedom and sharing the truth about money with those around them.

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(DISCLAIMER: The information in this content should not be considered tax, financial, investment, or any kind of professional advice. Only a professional diagnosis of your specific situation can determine which strategies are appropriate for your needs. Wealth DynamX can and does not provide advice unless/until engaged by you.)



Jerry Fetta

Jerry Fetta is the CEO and Founder of Wealth DynamX. Jerry’s mission in life is to help create millions of financially educated and wealthy families.