Rules to RICHES – Nine Truths That Can Set You on the Path to Financial Freedom
Building generational wealth that will allow you and your family to live off dividends and interests isn’t an impossible goal; in fact, more than 90% percent of the super-rich in the US (the top one percent of wealth), didn’t inherit their money. If you’d like to follow in their footsteps, you can use these rules to fundamentally change your approach to financial freedom:
1 CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT MONEY
The general populace has a love-hate relationship with wealth. They resent those who have it but spend their entire lives attempting to get it for themselves. The reason the vast majority of people never accumulate a substantial nest egg is because they don’t understand the nature of money or how it works.
Cash, like a person, is a living thing. When you wake up in the morning and go to work, you are selling a product – yourself (i.e. your labour). When you realize that every morning your assets wake up and have the same potential to work as you do, you unlock a powerful key in your life. Every dollar you save is like an employee and over the course of time, the goal is to make your employees work hard until eventually, they make enough money to hire more workers (i.e. money). When you have become truly successful, you no longer have to sell your own labour but can live off of the labour of your assets.
2 DEVELOP AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE POWER OF SMALL AMOUNTS
The biggest mistake that most people make is that they think they have to start like Napoleon with the entire army. They suffer from the “not enough’ mentality; that if they aren’t making thousand-dollar investment at a time, they will never become rich. What these people don’t realize is that their entire armies are built one soldier at a time, so too must their financial arsenal.
A friend of mine once knew a woman who worked as a dishwasher and made her purses out of used liquid detergent bottles. This woman invested and saved everything she had despite it never being more than a few dollars at a time. Now, her portfolio is worth millions of dollars, all of which was built upon small investments. I am not suggesting you become this frugal but the lesson is still a valuable one. Do not despise the day of small beginnings!
3 WITH EACH DOLLAR YOU SAVE, YOU ARE BUYING YOURSELF FREEDOM
When you put it in these terms, you see how spending little here or small amount there can make a huge difference in the long run. Since money has the ability to work in your place, the more of it you employ, the faster and larger it will grow. Along with more money comes more freedom – the freedom to stay home with your kids, the freedom to retire and travel round the world, or the freedom to quit your job. If you have any source of income, it is possible for you to start building wealth today. It may only be ten or 20 buck at a time, but each of those investments is a stone in the foundation of your financial freedom. The sooner you start saving and investing (even starting with your scholarship money or pharmacist paycheck) the sooner you will achieve your financial freedom. Buy that shoes, dress, blouse, shirts because you really need them NOT because these items are on “sales”. Nobody is going to notice your new shoes anyway and there is no prize for being the most fashionable among your peers.
4 YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR LIFE
Years ago, a friend told me she didn’t want to invest in stocks because she ‘didn’t want to wait 10 years to be rich’ and would rather enjoy her money now. The folly with this school of thinking is that the odds are, you are going to be still alive in 10 years. The question is, whether or not you will be better off when you arrive there. Where you are right now is the sum of the decisions you have made in the past. Why not set the stage for your life in future right now?
5 INSTEAD OF BUYING THE PRODUCT ….BUY THE STOCK!
Someone once asked me why they weren’t wealthy. They always felt like they were putting money aside, yet never seemed to get any further ahead. The answer is simple; I told them to stop buying the products companies sell and start buying the company itself. A survey of America’s affluent, those who make over US$225,000 a year or won US$3 million in assets) revealed that almost 30 percent of all the income the wealth earned went into investment and savings. That isn’t the result of being rich, that is why they are rich. When the pain of getting out of the bondage of financial slavery is greater than the pain of changing your spending habits, you will become rich. Either change or be content to live as you are.
6 STUDY AND ADMIRE SUCCESS AND THOSE WHO HAVE ACHIEVED IT….THEN EMULATE IT
A very wise investor once said, to pick the traits you admire and dislike the most about your heroes, then do everything in your power to develop the traits you like and reject the ones you don’t. Mould yourself into who you want to become and you’ll find that by investing in yourself first, money will begin to flow into your life. Success and wealth beget success and wealth. You have to purchase your way into that cycle and you do so by building your army one soldier at a time and putting your money to work for you.
7 REALIZE THAT MORE MONEY IS NOT THE ANSWER
More money is not going to solve your problem. Money is like a magnifying glass; it will accelerate and bring to light your true habits but if you aren’t capable of handling RM30,000 per year, the worst possible thing that could happen to you is to earn six figures, it will destroy you. I have met too many people earning RM100, 000 a year living from paycheck to paycheck and I don’t understand why it is happening. The problem isn’t the size of their checkbook, it is the way which they were taught to use money. It is NOT how much you earn but how much you save that matters! The rule applies to everyone regardless of whether you are a pharmacist, doctor, dentist, manager or Haji Malai!
8 UNLESS YOUR PARENTS WERE WEALTHY, DON’T DO WHAT THEY DID
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. If your parents weren’t living the life you want to live then don’t do what they did! You must break away from the mentality of past generations if you want to have a different lifestyle than they had.
To achieve the financial freedom and success that your family may or may not have had, you have to do two things. First, make a firm commitment to get out of debt. Second, make saving and investing the highest priority in your life; one technique is to pay yourself first.
9 DON’T WORRY
The miracle of life is that it doesn’t matter so much where you are but rather where you’re going. Once you decide to take back control of your life by building your net worth, don’t give a second thought to the “what ifs’. Every moment that goes by, you grow closer and closer to your ultimate goal – control and freedom.
Every ringgit that passes through your hands is a seed to your financial future. Rest assured, if you are diligent and responsible, financial prosperity is inevitability. The day will come when you make your last payment on your car, your house, or whatever else it is you owe. Until then, enjoy the process
Adapted from the magazine “CALIBRE” – April 2010 Issue