WHO WANTS TO be a millionaire? You do? Well, quit your job, don't work too hard and stop being too clever. So says Roger Hamilton, a successful entrepreneur who claims to have discovered the Midas touch and is now travelling Asia to let others in on the secret - for a fee, of course. Hong Kong-born Hamilton (right) describes himself as a 'wealth coach' - like a health coach except he aims to get your bank account, rather than your biceps, bulging. 'If you follow a physical fitness coach you have no choice but to get fit. If you follow my steps, you have no choice but to become wealthy,' beams the 34-year-old, who claims to have helped turn 20 people into US dollar millionaires over the past three years. His unconventional techniques have seen him hired as a consultant by chief executive officers, give seminars and speeches to more than 20,000 wealth-seekers and publish a book, Wink And Grow Rich, which is released in Hong Kong this month. The book is an allegorical tale of a nine-year-old boy called Richard who, when asked by his impoverished but hard-working father to make the daily trudge to the 'well of wealth' and pay $1 to draw water, strays from the path his father has told him to take. On his subsequent adventure, he meets enlightened characters who teach him how to create wealth. Hamilton, born to a Scottish father and Chinese mother who were both Hong Kong police officers, says anyone who follows his teachings is guaranteed riches. 'It works even for people who don't know what they want to do or how they're going to get the wealth they want,' he says. 'By using my formula and building a foundation, it's only a matter of time before it comes to them.' The financial guru's rapid-fire speech is peppered with handy maxims: 'Your passion is your compass'; 'wealth is not the end, it's the beginning'; 'invest time, not money'. He exudes the evangelical zeal of a preacher extolling the path to eternal life, except Hamilton says there are eight paths to riches: the creator, star, supporter, deal-maker, trader, accumulator, lord and mechanic. For example, Bill Gates is a creator, Tom Cruise a star and Li Ka-shing a deal-maker. Hamilton has devised 'wealth dynamics', a profiling system that enables people to analyse their personality to see which path to take. 'They cut out a lot of stuff that isn't working for them and find what they enjoy most. It's fun but they're finding success,' he maintains. 'Everyone says, 'If I had millions of dollars like Bill Gates sure I could make money.' But every day we wake up with the same amount of time as Bill Gates. The key thing is most of us aren't investing that time, it's going down the drain. We are not building a wealth foundation at all. The way to wealth is to invest your time first. Opportunities come every day. If you don't have opportunities, you have to develop your wealth network so that you do.' So, why is working hard bad? Because you're missing out on a world of chances, says Hamilton. 'Real opportunities where real wealth is created can come and go without you noticing them. While you've got your head down working hard to make whatever opportunity you have work, you're missing much bigger ones right in front of you.' And why does a Cambridge University-educated man urge people not to be smart? Hamilton reckons his years in academia stunted his growth to riches. While still an architecture student at Trinity College, he met leading British architects and noticed they were all from 60 to 70 years old. 'I wondered why it had taken them so long to become successful,' he says. 'One of them said the problem with architecture is that it takes five or six years to do a project and learn from it. By the time you have done five of these and become good, you are already in your 60s.' So Hamilton decided to do something different. With some friends, he started publishing London tourist guides with company logos printed on them. 'We created a niche and it worked,' he says. The first took two weeks and made money. Within two years, there were guides for 40 cities and Hamilton was on his way to being a millionaire. 'But then I lost all the money,' he says excitedly. 'While I was learning how to run a business, what I didn't understand was how to create wealth out of a business.' He sold the map company to a franchise business on a promise of a share of future profits, but within two years the franchise flopped. He rode dotcom mania for his second fortune, working with Hand Technologies selling computers and software online. But, fearing hard times ahead for the company, he left it and headed to Asia to work on other projects. 'Again I lost everything,' he says. He calculates that he created - and lost - more than US$100 million (HK$780 million) before he was 30. 'I thought, 'I must be learning something by now',' he says. During the 1997 Asian financial crisis he set up a publishing company in Singapore, which grew to employ 150 staff within three years and be worth an estimated US$120 million. But, heavily involved in Internet publishing, he had to drastically scale back the firm when the dotcom bubble burst. Hamilton kept the company but decided to diversify and work with successful entrepreneurs he had been mingling with and learning from in Singapore and Hong Kong. 'I looked at what my strengths were, which was being creative, but not necessarily other areas. Rather than run one business, I became involved in several and vowed to run my own business again.' He tapped into talent, hiring managers to run companies for him and now has nine businesses in Asia, including publishing company Expat Living, event management company Competitive Edge and property and investment interests. 'I focus all my effort on developing what are my greatest talents. What I do is show people what is their greatest talent and strength and how, by gathering the right people around them, they are able to multiply their wealth.' Multimillionaire client Dave Rogers vouches for Hamilton's methods. 'I'm much better off for following Hamilton's methods,' coos Rogers, 'and the growth is going to be exponential this year.' The semi-retired former financier and bond trader now has interests in several companies but spends most of his time at home in Singapore with his wife, Chiharu, and two-year-old-son Justin. 'I read Wink And Grow Rich five times,' Rogers says. 'Each time I got a deeper understanding of myself and people I deal with. I started to see opportunities in every meeting.' Hamilton's Anthony Robbins-style knack for selling himself is another of his core businesses, and one that is rapidly enhancing his riches. So how much is he worth now? 'If you put a figure on it, you lose perspective,' he says, coyly. 'Besides wealth is what you have even when your money is gone. Even if you lose everything, you can get it back again.' Get-rich tips The key to wealth isn't how you invest your money. It's how you invest your time. Each day of hard work is a day further from wealth. If you want to be rich, avoid being too smart - intellectual analysis will kill the nature of wealth like it kills the nature of a good joke. To be rich, don't plan to succeed. Plan to fail. Opportunities lie in every moment. Time is your most precious asset. It's not just what you do, it's when you do it. A five-star life is easier than a two-star life. Your environment is your playground. Wealth isn't the end, it's the beginning. Roger Hamilton leads a 'wealth creation seminar' from 6.30pm-9pm tomorrow at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Entry costs HK$100 and people can register by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 8203 3240.