Does this situation ring a bell? Isn’t it fascinating how most people believe investing to be too dangerous? Even more intriguing is that practically everyone in the lower and middle classes would list “investing” as a means through which the wealthy amassed their fortunes. Therefore, why do the underprivileged think it is too dangerous to join in on the action if they know that the rich are ‘Investors’?
The solution is elementary.
The human race has a natural aversion to everything it does not fully comprehend. We fear change, as Garth famously put it in Wayne’s World.
Am I implying, then, that investing carries no danger? Not at all; investing is highly risky if you don’t understand it or aren’t adequately informed. But the same can be said of pretty much everything we do regularly. Swimming, crossing the street, riding a bike, driving a car, or even eating a chicken wing would all be extremely risky if we hadn’t been educated or shown the appropriate way to do them. Our parents did a good thing by enrolling us in swim lessons when we were little, but they never seemed to see fit to enroll us in Investment school. Instead, they imparted the tasks they had been taught concerning monetary and investment matters: namely, that “to earn money, you need to work hard.”
If you want to be rich and a master of wealth creation, I’m telling you right now that you need to stop living in the shadow of your parents and start making your way into the world.
Having your money work for you is a concept introduced in high school by the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” but I didn’t fully get it until a few years later.
After graduating from college, I resolved to take a six-month vacation across the world and started working as hard as I could to save up the money. While I was confident in my ability to save, I also knew I had some money from my grandfather that I could use if necessary. He left me a hefty sum of money (along with $3,000 of my savings) as an early inheritance, all of which he had invested in shares of which I knew very nothing (other than the idea that if my “overseas trip fund” ran dry, I had a backup plan).
To make a long story short, I could afford the most incredible trip possible without depleting my grandfather’s retirement fund. Moreover, while in Europe, I met an Australian traveler paying for his trip by trading stocks from internet cafés (making $5,000 to $15,000 monthly). This piqued my curiosity about the stock market, and I raced home to check on the performance of my holdings.
Wow, I couldn’t believe that my initial investment of $10,000 had increased to $16,000. So while I was in Norway admiring the Northern Lights and scaling the Eiffel Tower, my money was busy making me happy. What a wonderful and profound experience!
What are some strategies for putting your money to work for you?
This is a more difficult question to answer than you may think. I couldn’t help but brag about my stock market triumph to everyone I knew, but nobody seemed as excited as I was. Everyone I talked to warned me to “be careful, the stock market is precarious” or told me a story of a “nephew, cousin, or friend” who had once lost all they owned in the stock market. It was getting confusing, and my brain was beginning to hurt. Recently, I came upon a beautiful quote by Kurek Ashley that exactly captured my predicament:
Poor folks can give you some of the best advice you’ll ever receive, and it won’t cost you a dime.
Understanding why the average individual thinks investing is too hazardous requires delving into the deeper meaning of this remark. The usual “poor to middle-class” individual gets guidance from someone in a similar socioeconomic position. It seems evident that the blind is guiding the blind, or at best, the seriously visually impaired.
What would you do if your kid wanted to be a professional gymnast but had no idea what they were doing? You would, of course, look for the best Coach/School and enroll your child there. To be financially successful, you should follow the same principle. To learn as much as possible about Wealth Creation, you should seek Mentors through people, books, DVDs, seminars, etc. Then, like a pro surfer, you’ll be able to ride out the waves of uncertainty and danger with your money while still making progress. “Risk” is “not knowing what you’re doing,” as Warren Buffett famously said.
You have a few choices to choose from now.
Do not put money aside; instead, spend your entire life “working for money.”
Spend your life savings on the stock market before you know what you’re doing, watch it wipe them out, and then join the chorus of people warning others, “Don’t invest; it’s too risky; the stock market took everything I had.”
You can either let your money sit idle or put in the time and effort to learn about Investment methods and approaches and gain the necessary confidence to become a successful Investor.
So, does investing come with any dangers? Indeed, there are, but like other potentially dangerous activities—such as swimming, crossing the street, riding a bike, or driving a car—the dangers can be mitigated through learning the necessary skills.
The most significant risk of all must be not investing.
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Read also: How to Begin an Import Business.