Pretoria is home to one of the youngest self-made millionaires in the country - and he is anything but a nerd. Albert van Wyk, of Waverley, is young, funky and has a head for business.
He made his first million at the age of 22, the first of many, he promises. Now 24, Van Wyk has pledged to be a fully fledged millionaire before he is 30.
This energetic young man is not shy to share his knowledge on how to make a fortune. He has launched his first book, titled How To Become a Millionaire at 22.
“It is an initiative with the main purpose of getting you filthy rich; just kidding. It’s deeper than that,” Van Wyk joked.
The book is all about equipping readers with the necessary tools to become financially established and independent. It’s a practical and realistic guide to assist people in building a foundation that will enable them to achieve great success without financial and mental barriers.
Everyone has it in them to become a millionaire if they set their mind to it, Van Wyk says.
He is living the dream of many South African to be a millionaire before the age of 30. It’s all about hard work, taking advice and not being afraid to take chances.
His father was one of his biggest inspirations for his millionaire state of mind. “My dad taught me that if you want to become a millionaire, you need to learn from a millionaire.”
With these thoughts ringing through his mind, he started to read books about other millionaires and learning from their successes
Van Wyk has always had a head for business and, while other children played, he thought of ways to make lots of money.
During his primary and high school years he ran small businesses on the side, and that experience taught him about making money, losing money and the value of money.
Van Wyk reminisces on his early years, alongside his younger brother, as he walked down the street with a can of paint, sketching the numbers on the street curves in the community for a fee. At school, he also started selling cheap toys he had bought.
Through his hard work in matric, Van Wyk managed to get a bursary for his tertiary education. “When I started matric I had this deal with my dad that, if I get a bursary, I would like to keep the fees from the bursary.”
Van Wyk used all that money and invested it in property. He had previously read about property investment, and it was one of his many goals to become a property baron.
Today, he makes his money from properties and several other small businesses.
After studying industrial engineering at the University of Pretoria, Van Wyk worked for a company for a year and took a big risk when he decided to quit his job and rather to focus on his businesses.
With his passion for entrepreneurship, Van Wyk enjoys working with start-up businesses. He recently returned to the University of Pretoria to give a lecture about his successes. His next plan is to go to schools to try to make an impact on more of the country’s youth.
Van Wyk believes that if the will is there, there are many opportunities available to make money.
Even with his success, Van Wyk still remains humble and goal-driven. He said it takes hard work and the right mindset: “To work hard is also a lifestyle.”
Van Wyk says it took him two years to write the book in a simple, easy-to-read style to help people with financial concepts. To reach the younger market, it is easier to understand than most business books. “The tools, mindset and the inspiration is in the book, but we need to spread the word.”
The biggest lesson is that these dreams can become a reality.