There’s a saying among Alaskan bush pilots: there are old pilots and bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots. Put more bluntly: those who takes risks don’t make it. The same principle applies to wealth builders, and there is no bigger financial risk than debt. Donald Trump used debt to build his empire, and was all but wiped out when the next recession came along. After barely surviving, he resolved to stay away from debt and trade more on his name. The lesson: Stay away from new debt, and if you’ve already racked some up, it’s time to start paying it off.