Do you remember Super Mario Bros? Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Yes, the original Nintendo NES game where Mario speeds through eight worlds (each with four sub-worlds) in an effort to save the princess from the evil king Bowser. This game was a huge part of my life growing up and I still play it to this day. It took me weeks to beat the game the first time. The more I played, the more shortcuts I learned and better I became (remember the unlimited life hack in level three or warping from level four to level eight?) Today, I can beat the entire game in less than eight minutes without losing a single life, and I’m sure there are people out there who can do it faster than that. How is it possible to beat a game in eight minutes that once took days or even weeks? Mario is not the only game like this. There are probably games in your life that you find you can cruise through in no time (someday I’ll tell you about my twelve minute Monopoly game…) There is a secret to most games that also can be applied to your own financial life. This secret will not only help you beat Super Mario Bros in just minutes, but will almost guarantee to make you rich. What is that secret? The Game Never Changes. The reason I can Beat Super Mario Bros in just minutes instead of days is actually no secret at all. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of a secret: It’s a pattern. The mushroom guys came at the same time and at the same place. The levels progressed in logical order, and the shortcuts were always there. The reason I could beat the game so quickly is because I memorized the patterns. I learned the rules, and I learned how to exploit them to get me to the end as soon as possible. Learning to master the game of Super Mario Bros is like learning to master the world of building wealth. The game never changes. Yes, there are ups and downs in the market but the fundamentals do not change. As long as a person sticks to those fundamentals, getting to the end is not only possible but almost inevitable. The only time I “die” anymore when I play Mario Bros is when I try to get fancy. I want to explore those levels I have never explored before, or try to play a level with my eyes shut (yes, I’ve tried). However, when I decide to stick to the pattern I’ve learned and mastered I can cruise through the game without losing a single life, rack up tons of “extra guys,” and save the princess from the clutches of the evil King Bowser. The Rules of the Game This is exactly the same concept when trying to build wealth and especially when investing in real estate. A good friend of mine is fond of saying, “If it’s new, its not true and if it’s true it’s not new.” I think this is especially applicable to building wealth and investing. Following a basic plan will get you to the end because the plan works and never changes. The pattern is always the same. Yes, our world changes continually and we need to be careful to adapt based on it. However, the principles do not change. This article’s intent is not to define all those principles, as they are clearly written day after day on the BiggerPockets Blog and by listening to the advice of the professionals who have come before. However, a few examples of what I’m referring to include: Living within your means Buying assets that produce income (cash flow positive properties), Staying out of (or paying off) debt Simply saving money for unforeseen circumstances, Reinvesting profits back into your investments. Building wealth is not rocket science. I believe by simply following timeless principles of real estate investing you can achieve the wealth and security you long for. It is important, therefore, to learn the pattern and follow that pattern to the end. It may not be as exciting as playing Super Mario Bros with your eyes shut – but saving the princess and winning the game is worth every second.