Why financial education, not money, is the key to building wealth
Anyone who says that money isn’t important obviously has not been without it for very long.
The year 1985 was the longest and hardest of my life. Kim and I were homeless. We were unemployed, had little-to-nothing left in our savings, our credit cards were maxed out, and we were living in an old, brown Toyota. After three weeks of that, a friend found out about our financial situation and invited us to stay in a basement room. We stayed there for over nine months.
During those times, Kim and I often fought and argued. Fear, hunger, and uncertainty has a way of shortening our emotional fuse, and we usually end up fighting with the one we love the most. Yet, love held us together through those hard times.
We kept our financial woes quite for the most part, but when a friend or family member found out about our struggles, the first question they always asked was, “Why don’t you get a job?”
At first we attempted to explain ourselves, but it didn’t do much good. To someone who values a job, it’s difficult to explain why you might not want one. We had a few odd jobs here and there, but those were only to keep us fed and gas in the tank.
At the time, the idea of a safe, secure paycheck was certainly tempting. But we didn’t want safety and security. We wanted financial freedom. By 1989, we were millionaires. By 1994, we were in a position to never work another day in our lives.
No money, no problem
I often hear people say, “It takes money to make money.” This is not true. For Kim and I to go from homeless in 1985 to millionaires in 1989, and then to financial freedom in 1994, it didn’t take money. We had no money when we started, and we were deeply in debt.
It also didn’t take a formal education. I have a degree, and I can tell you that achieving financial freedom had nothing to do with what I learned in college. I didn’t find much demand for my skills in calculus, spherical trigonometry, chemistry, physics, French, and English literature in the real world.
What does it take to get rich?
I’m often asked, “If it doesn’t take money to make money, and schools don’t teach you how to be come financially free, then what does it take?”
My answer: It takes a dream, a lot of determination, a willingness to learn quickly, the ability to use your God-given assets properly, and to understand how money works and can work for you.
It starts with financial education
All of the qualities necessary for getting rich, start with financial education—a type of education that you can’t get in a traditional school. My financial education started with my rich dad, my best friend’s dad, and continues today through books, seminars, learned lessons, and mentors. From all these sources, I learned about cash flow, debt, business and investing, taxes, and more—and how to use each to make myself rich.
If you want to be rich, I can’t stress the importance of starting your financial education today. Take some classes, read a book, attend a seminar, and find a great coach. It’s the most important investment you can make.
And if you want your children to be rich, it’s imperative you have a strong financial education that you can pass on to them. That’s what my latest book, Why “A” Students Work for “C” Students, is all about. The greatest gift a parent can give to a child is the gift of financial education.
I encourage you to start your financial education. But I also encourage you to never stop learning—and to never stop teaching. Way leads to way. Pass on your knowledge and knowledge will come to you.
Written by: Robert Kiyosaki