If you've ever wondered why the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, it's because the wealthy quadrant of our society knows ways to get rich that most people don't. The result is they use their money to make money while the rest of us use our time, labor or both.

And don't fall for the old trap, "It takes money to make money," because that's blatantly false. Sure wealthy folks have more money to throw at money-making system, and thus get a bigger return up front than most of us ever will, but it's not the money that makes money, it's the knowledge and mindset of knowing how to get rich. For instance, if Donald Trump lost all of his money today, do you think he'd be working a 9 to 5 job tomorrow? No way! Even with only pennies to his name he could use his knowledge of making money to rebuild his empire from scratch with very little start-up money to invest.

So the biggest rule to getting rich: Create systems that bring in money on their own. You're probably saying, "Easier said than done, if I knew of any great money making ideas I'd be using them right now instead of reading this article." Fret not, my friend; I've come up with a list of my top 10 methods to get rich.

The List Of Top 10 Ways To Get Rich

1. Buy Dividend-Paying Stocks. Dividends are literally like paychecks from the stock you own. Instead of hoping that the stock you buy increases in price (so you can sell for a profit), why not make money in the mean time? Many dividend-paying stocks actually pay out more than 10% of the investment price annually - a ROI that you'll never find in a bank savings account, CD or any sane mutual fund.

2. Buy Rental Real Estate. Donald Trump is a real estate mogul, and makes almost all of his money from his varies residential and commercial real estate investments. Many people think this is a risky proposition, given the recent real estate market collapse, but savvy investors always position themselves to come out ahead. I'm oversimplifying this a bit, but ultimately if you can pick up a property that brings in more money each month than it costs, you'll always have that income stream regardless of if the value of the property itself goes up or down.

3. Build An Online Empire. The Internet is still the "new frontier" of business opportunities, and creating a portfolio of profitable online properties is a great idea. Like anything, there are countless ways to get started building online income, but the easiest is probably here at InfoBarrel. Simply sign up for a free account (you can do that HERE), get a free Google Adsense account (HERE), then start writing articles. There is a bit of a learning curve (there will be for anything, just so you know), but the forum here is full of people who are willing to help get you to the income level you desire in the shortest amount of time.

4. Get A Good Accountant. Don't be put off by the prices that a good Certified Public Accountant (CPA) will charge, because the best accountants actually MAKE you more money than they cost. There's a reason why the elite wealthy people have personal accountants on staff: CPAs know so many financial, tax and saving tips that they are worth at least double what you pay them. If you paid $100 to find out how to bring in an extra $200 in either tax options or other financial cartwheels, wouldn't that be worth it?

5. Invest First, Spend Second. Most people get their paychecks, pay their bills, buy some groceries, go out to eat, see a movie or two, then, if there is any money left over, they might invest it in a very low-paying investment vehicle like a bank savings account or bond. The rich don't do this at all. Instead of investing what they don't spend, they spend what they don't invest. Make this your mindset and you'll be more than halfway into the rich mentality. Sure you might have to tighten your belt at first to make ends meet, but it will be well worth the temporary hardships in the not-too-distant-future.

6. Ditch The Bank Savings Account As An "Investment." Ever since we were kids, we were told to save money in a savings account, and that it will grow with compound interest. And that's true, if you consider a couple of pennies per year for every hundred dollars "growing." While I don't want to turn this into a Top 10 Exercises To Get Rich article, I do want to caution people away from this antiquated savings account mentality. So the first exercise is to NOT invest in savings accounts. If you want to funnel some money into one for rainy day purchases, go right ahead, just don't expect it to make you any money while it's sitting there.

7. Become A Venture Capitalist. People need business money all the time, even when their companies are performing excellently. It's just like at home when you're making plenty of money but all of a sudden 10 bills are due at once - it's not like you dont' make more than enough to cover the expenses, it's just the way the timing hit. In most households, this is when people reach for the credit card - but I would ask you to consider being the credit card for a temporarily cash-strapped company. If the business is on the up and up, you'll get your money back in no time, and you can usually negotiate a fairly substantial interest rate.

8. Start Your Own Business. You don't have to quit your day job or anything, but owning your own business presents you with several tax advantages that wouldn't otherwise be available to you. Check with your CPA (see, number 4 was important) to learn what is and isn't deductible, and you might find it possible to "double dip" business and pleasure. And your business can be in anything you want. For instance, let's say you love  traveling to the coast. Consider taking some photography lessons and buying some intermediate camera gear and editing software (all deductible business expenses, by the way) and learning how to sell your photos. Then you can probably deduct at least a portion of your traveling "vacation" expenses by mixing it with business so long as you take some photos while you're out there. This is just one example, I'm sure you and your accountant can come up with many, many more.

9. Buy Assets Whenever You Can. Most people spend their money on stuff that will never see any return. Cars, clothes, furniture, lawns... the list goes on and on. The funny thing about these is that once the money is spent on these items, you'll never get anything back (or at least nothing in comparison to what they cost). Learn to spot things that will offer a ROI (return on investment), like some of the options I listed above. Rich people will gladly pay $1,000 for something that provides continuous monthly income, because once the initial expense is over, the income becomes a part of their monthly revenue. Whereas poor people rarely spend $1,000 on anything. See where I'm going with this? It's all about building passive income.

10. Measure Your Accomplishments. Use Excel, Word, color crayons, water colors.. .whatever you want. Just make sure that you're keeping an eye on how you're doing. Not only will that keep you motivated, it will also help justify the effort on those dog days when it feels like you're not accomplishing anything. Make charts - ways to get rich are inconsequential if you're not visually seeing your efforts pay off.