The two biggest wealth thieves a person will encounter are tax deductions and lawsuits. Taxes work against you by chipping away at your wealth. These include federal income taxes (deducting up to 39% of your income), state taxes (deducting up to 9.6%), and self employment or social security (over 15.5 %.). The average American is paying 42-55% in taxes. Ironically, the wealthiest people in the U.S. are paying only single digits taxes. Rest assured, because there is something you can do about this, and it won’t cost you the $500/hr that these wealthy people are paying for tax tips from their specialists. Next, lawsuits are the other evil. This is not the slow reduction of your wealth as with taxes. It is the sudden confiscation of the money you worked hard to build. You can literally fall from the top of the totem pole to the bottom of the barrel overnight. I believe there are no winners in lawsuits because even “winning” a lawsuit takes up time and money that will set you back. Once again, you can protect yourself by learning how to structure yourself properly. You can "bullet-proof" your assets. You can even avoid lawsuits all together. Crucial to understanding these strategies is differentiating the concepts of asset and liability. Ask yourself the following: Is a real estate investment an asset or a liability? You may be thinking, “It generates income and provides equity; therefore, it has to be an asset. However, the answer is more complex. You must look at how you hold title to that property. If you own it incorrectly and are not properly structured, you could be putting yourself at risk. If you have your home, your car, your bank accounts all lumped together, someone can take them all away in one sweep. Therefore, you must learn how entity structure.