I recently watched a video on Ted Talk about a man named Curtis “Wall Street” Carroll. He tells his story of being illiterate and how he ended up in prison. He talks of the day he picked up the business section of the newspaper by mistake instead of the sports section and a fellow inmate then inquired if he knew how to trade stocks and having no knowledge of what that was he took it upon himself to learn more. He goes to say that after learning how to read, write and spell he discovered this wealth of knowledge about money and he learned inmates were doomed if they were ever to be let back into society because over 60% of Americans have less than $1000.00 in savings. He now teaches other inmates to become more responsible with their money and manage their finances so when they are released they know how to save their money, control cost of living, borrow money effectively and lastly diversifying their finances by allowing their money to work for them instead of them having to work for it.
If understanding these basic principles of financial education are that important to someone in prison how much more important are they for those who are not? Most Americans are heading towards a financial disaster and by the time they realize it will be too late. Let us focus our attention on a key principle Curtis and frankly, what many other people have attributed to their success. That is, learning how to make your money work for you instead of you having to work for it. This term is also known as passive income is where financial freedom happens. Passive income being all the money you earn without working. Besides having an inheritance, winning the lottery or robbing a bank the two main ways to earn passive income is by having a business that runs without you having to be there or becoming an investor and having investments in stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. You don’t need to take a poll to know that majority of Americans do not earn their money passively but rather actively. The traffic in the morning and evening is a clear indicator.
If the key to winning the money game is having money work for you, then how many streams of passive income are you currently building? Becoming an investor is one of those ways and it’s why we must take it upon ourselves to invest in getting a financial education.
When I made the decision to become an investor and entrepreneur, it was out of fear. I was afraid because I no longer had a job and was no longer contributing money to my 401k. I knew I needed to protect my nest egg but I lacked the knowledge to do. After taking an introductory training seminar on investing in the stock market, I was excited to get started. My mentor’s first recommendation was to read books. Sadly, they were not books about how to trade or read charts etc… Think and Grow Rich, Richest Man in Babylon, Cash Flow Quadrant came highly recommended and for the movie lovers, Trading Places. I watched the movie. A few months later, I invested in a program to improve my skills and manage my business better as Real Estate Agent for I had not practiced real estate in a few years. One of the very first segments of this program highlighted the importance of reading and some of the books recommended were same books as those in the trading seminar. Later I started yet another business and you can guess what my mentor in that field had to say about reading and which books he recommended? After hearing about the same books from people in three different industries, I finally made the decision to get the books and read them. My favorite being the Richest Man in Babylon. I found the audible version on sound cloud and I play the audible as I read the book.