What important things does a 20-year-old need to know about money and finance? originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Patience.

By far, that's all you need.

Sounds too simple to be true, so let me explain.

If you look at any of the massively wealthy people out there, you will notice one characteristic that they all possess, and it doesn't even matter what industry they are in.

Warren Buffett has a tremendous amount of patience. He has made himself a fortune by only sticking to his investment strategy, which is to invest in well-run profitable businesses AND to stick with them. Instead of selling his stock when a company's share price goes down, he just buys more.

Steve Jobs patiently stuck with his goal of creating truly revolutionary products. We all know the stories of his weird quirks, but the most notable quality he had was to stay on course regardless of what other people said or did.

Henry Ford virtually reinvented the way products are assembled. During his time he was ridiculed and laughed at, but he patiently stuck to his goal and ended up changing the way the world efficiently creates products.

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Phil Knight all obsessively stuck to their dream of building their respective products. Some people think that they were 'overnight successes,' but if we look at their path to wealth, the only reason why they succeeded was that they were patient.

So how does that help you?

Realize that you must be patient. Pick something that you are knowledgeable, interested, and passionate about and then pursue that goal.

You'll see all kinds of investors endlessly chasing the new 'shiny thing,' and constantly changing their path. It's the reason why stock investors buy and sell shares in a short amount of time, instead of being patient and allowing their investment to build value.

You can read all kinds of books about finance and investing, but it won't mean anything unless you have the patience to execute what you've learned.

Money and finance will take you on a roller-coaster ride, and it's only those who can patiently ride over the bumps that end up excelling in the end.

I write about these ideas several times a week. It's tough to stick to one strategy that will allow you to be successful in building your wealth.

Today we are flooded with ideas, opinions, and news about different finance strategies. The fundamentals are pretty simple:

Spend less than you make, invest what you've saved, and don't stray from your course.

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Published on: Feb 7, 2017