Concrete Steps to Unlocking Your Financial Genius: Part 2
You are someone who spends free time learning about finance.
I imagine this is because you want to start the climb to independent wealth. A life where you don’t have to depend on a job, a volatile market, or anyone outside yourself to create the passive income you need for a comfortable—even luxurious—life.
Yesterday, I gave you the answer to your question, “How do I start?”
Step #1 was to find a reason greater than reality—the power of spirit.
Let’s get to your next step on this journey.
Step #2: Make daily choices—the power of choice
Choice is the main reason people want to live in a free country. We want the power to choose for ourselves.
Financially, with every dollar we get in our hands, we hold the power to choose our future: to be rich, poor, or middle class.
Our spending habits reflect who we are. Poor people simply have poor spending habits.
I had a lucky proclivity to work on my spending habits starting at a young age: I loved playing Monopoly constantly. Nobody told me Monopoly was only for kids, so I just kept playing the game as an adult.
I also had my rich dad who pointed out to me the difference between an asset and a liability.
So a long time ago, as a little boy, I chose to be rich, and I knew that all I had to do was learn to acquire assets—real assets.
My best friend, Mike, had an asset column handed to him, but he still had to choose to learn to keep it. Many rich families lose their assets in the next generation simply because there was no one trained to be a good steward over their assets.
Most people choose not to be rich. For 90 percent of the population, being rich is too much of a hassle.
So they invent sayings that go: “I’m not interested in money.” “I’ll never be rich.” “I don’t have to worry. I’m still young.” “When I make some money, then I’ll think about my future.” “My husband/wife handles the finances.”
The problem with those statements is that they rob the person who chooses to think such thoughts of two things:
One is time, which is your most precious asset.
The second is learning.
Having no money should not be an excuse to not learn. But that is a choice we all make daily: the choice of what we do with our time, our money, and what we put in our heads.
That is the power of choice. All of us have choice. I decided to be rich a long time ago, and I make that choice every day.
Invest first in education. In reality, the only real asset you have that no one can take away is your mind, the most powerful tool we have dominion over.
Each of us has the choice of what we put in our brain once we’re old enough.
You can watch TV, read golf magazines, take a pottery course, or go to a class on financial planning. You choose.
Most people simply buy investments rather than first investing in learning about investing.
A friend of mine recently had her apartment burglarized. The thieves took her electronics and left all the books. And we all have that same choice. 90 percent of the population buys TV sets, and only about 10 percent buy business books.
So what do I do? I go to seminars.
I like it when they are at least two days long because I like to immerse myself in a subject.
In 1973, I was watching this guy on TV who was advertising a three-day seminar on how to buy real estate for nothing down. I spent $385 and that course has made me at least $2 million, if not more.
But more importantly, it bought me freedom—life.
I don’t have to work for the rest of my life because of that one course. I go to at least two such courses every year.
I love CDs and audio books. The reason: I can easily review what I just heard. I was listening to an investor say something I completely disagreed with. Instead of becoming arrogant and critical, I simply
listened to that five-minute stretch 20 times over, maybe more.
But suddenly, by keeping my mind open, I understood why he said what he said. It was like magic.
I felt like I had a window into the mind of one of the greatest investors of our time. I gained tremendous insight into the vast resources of his education and experience.
The net result: I still have the old way I used to think, and I now have a new way of looking at the same problem or situation. I have two ways to analyze a problem or trend, and that is priceless.
Today, I often say, “How would Donald Trump do this, or Warren Buffett or George Soros?”
The only way I can access their vast mental power is to be humble enough to read or listen to what they have to say. Arrogant or critical people are often people with low self-esteem who are afraid of taking risks.
That’s because, if you learn something new, you know you’ll have to make mistakes in order to fully understand what you have learned.
If you have been reading these daily issues, arrogance is not one of your problems.
Arrogant people rarely read or listen to experts. Why should they? They are the center of the universe.
There are so many “intelligent” people who argue or defend when a new idea clashes with the way they think.
In this case, their so-called intelligence combined with arrogance equals ignorance. Each of us knows people who are highly educated, or believe they are smart, but their balance sheet paints a different picture.
A truly intelligent person welcomes new ideas, for new ideas can add to the synergy of other accumulated ideas.
Listening is more important than talking.
If that were not true, God would not have given us two ears and only one mouth.
Too many people think with their mouth instead of listening in order to absorb new ideas and possibilities. They argue instead of asking questions.
I take a long view on my wealth. I do not subscribe to the get-rich-quick mentality most lottery players or casino gamblers have.
I may go in and out of stocks, but I am long on education.
If you want to fly an airplane, I advise taking lessons first. I am always shocked at people who buy stocks or real estate, but never invest in their greatest asset, their mind.
Just because you bought a house or two does not make you an expert at real estate. Because I recognized that, two things happened.
I had the humility it takes to be willing to learn.
And I had the motivation to actually do it, because I knew I didn’t know everything needed to reach that point of success.
So figure out where you want your cash to flow. Come to terms with your lack of expertise. And go out and get it from the people ready and willing to teach you.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily