- Personal Finance
How to Become Rich (According to Three Internet Gurus)
A vast majority of people, estimated to be about half of the American population, tend to live above their means and as a result live a life dominated by a vicious debt cycle. Others would call troubling financial times merely a rough patch - but what if this rough patch becomes habitual, or worse drags on to the entirety of your adult life even when you're at your retiring years? It's quite depressing to know that financial literacy hasn't caught up with scientific literacy, and because of this we see too many people around living from paycheck to paycheck. Now I wouldn't say that we necessarily 'see' these people; because these guys are too good at hiding their money problems by getting a latte at Starbucks or riding their new SUV. What's tough to know is that today's middle class can't really afford the brand new SUV unless they accrue some debt (owning a new car so freaking expensive, and don't get me started on the maintenance costs). And yet you see too many Mitsubishi Monteros, Ford Everests, Hyundai Tucsons, Honda CR-Vs, Land Cruisers and other gas guzzlers flooding our narrow streets. If only they were as efficient as a Prius and didn't pollute our air, I wouldn't totally mind - but people, for their love of glamour and bragging rights to their next door neighbor, keep buying them SUVs!
Now I'm not mad at the automobile industry, I'm just disappointed at people. Everyone wants to live a luxurious life, yes I get that - but they don't want to take the simple steps to get there. Instead, people enjoy working their jobs so they can (or can't even) pay their credit card bills. I'm not one to be an expert to get rich and become financially independent because I'm not there yet. Only people who have lived it and become it could really ever convince you that in order to be rich in the future, you have to make a few sacrifices in the present. The common mistake is to 'act rich' - and this is one thing you can wipe out starting today. So you really want to become rich? Let's take some advice from these three people on the internet who can serve as our role models.
Mr. Money Mustache
Mr. Money Mustache is perhaps the most inspiring living being in terms of financial independence. Would you call this guy rich? Well, he lives in Colorado and his house is paid off, he has a small Scion hatchback for a car and he doesn't have to work anymore. He sounds like a retired grandpa of yours who happens to drive a hatchback, but he's only half your grandpa's age! He retired at 30 years old, and the investments he and his wife have are enough to get them by for the rest of their lives. He has a cult following on his blog which can be an enormous source of income, but he says he's planning on donating the money.
Now how on earth in this day and age could one possibly retire at age 30? It sound really insane and unfathomable, and weird. But when I came across this guy's blog, you'll realize that what's keeping the modern-day middle class worker from early retirement and financial independence is lack of financial literacy. This guy didn't take a huge inheritance or anything and he wasn't even originally from America. He's Canadian born and early in his adult life as soon as he got a job, he was saving up for a financially independent future. Like all of us he did however make some rookie mistakes early on, but not for long. He and his wife saved up a good enough amount of money that they're both retired now and just living life the way they want, and actually what you and me would want as well. They don't compromise on their food and they travel a lot.
So what's Mr. Money Mustache's secret to becoming financially independent? It can be summarized in his slogan 'Financial Independence Through Badassity.' It doesn't take a few tips to be like Mr. Money Mustache himself. It takes a development of habits, and his ideology has captured people's hearts and he has had his own share of followers called Mustachians. If you wanna become 'rich' the Mustachian way, visit his blog and be inspired.
Investment Juan 01
I'm not surprised that many middle class Filipinos are too scared invest. The major reason for this prevalent mistrust of Filipinos towards financial institutions is because of the Ponzi schemes and pyramiding scams that spring about left and right; and just one column of that in the morning's newspaper is enough to scare the entire middle class away. But it's good to know that not the entire middle class is afraid - there are those who choose to trust and invest, and as a result work their way (without really working) towards becoming rich.
Investment Juan 01 is a blog about financial literacy that touches a lot of topics about investing and handling your money towards financial independence. The blog is mainly written for a Filipino audience, but its principles are universal. Financial independence is not just achieved by saving money in a bank account (to be frank, it cannot be) but by using a variety of investment tools in which you spread your money around. Trust is the main issue why Filipinos never opt to invest their money in financial institutions, and to be perfectly clear, no investment is risk-free. But if you have a day job and are living from paycheck to paycheck, you've got to make your own money work for you in order to become rich someday.
Becoming rich can really be as simple as buying appreciating properties as opposed to depreciating properties (land v. car, time deposit v. regular savings, etc.) and Investment Juan 01 is a great blog to learn different ways to use your money in such a way as to make yourself rich. Before this guy named 'Geri' became a millionaire, he first saved his money on time deposit accounts. But then he realized that his returns were too modest and inflation would simply offset his asset growth, so one day he decided to invest. Check out his blog and learn how he became a God-made millionaire.
I wouldn't call him the Toni Robbins of the Philippines, but Bo Sanchez has made a name for himself in the Filipino Financial Planning arena. With his books filling up bookstores and his talks attended by high-profile people, it's hard to argue that Bo Sanchez is the premiere financial advisor in the Philippines. I first came across Bo Sanchez in an episode of ANC's show 'On the Money' where they talk about people's finances, and what struck me of what he said is that the problem with Filipinos is that because of Catholic principles, they're too ashamed of wanting to become rich.
Bo Sanchez is a wonderful motivational speaker and his principles are quite simple. He also puts the touch of Christian faith into his principles which is why he appeals to a lot of Filipinos. His books may be heavily marketed, but the content is worth it. Financial independence is a concept that is perhaps harder to grasp among people in the developing countries, and he puts it in a light that with enough discipline and faith, it is highly achievable for people in developing countries. Check out his blog and understand what he's all about.
So do you really want to become rich?
Becoming rich starts with a change of attitude, and that simple attitude is living within your means or even below it. But never forget to enjoy yourself on your way to becoming rich. It's just that people associate enjoying themselves and convenience with spending money. There are a lot of cheap alternatives out there, and it's your job to look for them while you're still building your portfolio. Early retirement (in your 30s and 40s) isn't impossible. Financial independence is simply an inward shift rather than an external cosmic event like winning the lottery. If you ask me, retiring in your 30s or early 40s is way better than winning the lottery.