When I read a lot of the posts on here I get the sense that many feel that the deck is stacked against most everyone; and that unless you're born wealthy, or are incredibly lucky, you have basically no chance to succeed financially. I disagree in general with this assessment. But part of that may lie with my definition of "success." The basics are very simple: if you work for a living and spend less than you make, you will accumulate wealth. That is really not that hard. Luck will always play a part -- if you get a debilitating disease or some other massive health problem such that you can't work or have considerably more expenses, you'll have trouble. But again, the basics are simple: work and save. You probably won't become massively wealthy doing just that, but doing that alone will make you more successful than quite a lot of people. If you define success as making "big" money, then I think luck will need to play a bigger role. That's not to say that hard work isn't necessary and won't take you far, but hard work won't always result in big money -- you do need some good luck. I guess what I mean is, hard work (along with an absence of really bad luck) will nearly always produce "good" outcomes, but in order to produce "great" financial outcomes, you'll need some good decisionmaking and good luck as well. And I think that as long as you're getting "good outcomes" the. You can consider yourself financially successful. Am I really far off here? I'd be interested in hearing what others think about my take.