Money has a mind of its own. It’s attracted to some folks and repelled by others. It looks at behaviors and decides who to like and who to hang out with. It seems fascinated by people who make intelligent decisions and not so interested in someone playing video games. And it seems to respect library time more than lottery strategies.
Maybe we need to become better friends with money. Maybe we need to recognize that friendship—or proficiency—with money can be learned. If you want to learn about medicine, law, or physics, you study it. If you want to learn about wealth, you study money. It might take some effort and a lot of focus, intellectual discovery, personal responsibility, and pigheaded determination. But truckloads of knowledge about money are right outside your door—in bookstores, libraries, and on the Internet. Or you can learn about money through an internship or apprenticeship. Not many people make the effort to befriend money—to learn all there is to know about it. It’s a choice.
Long ago, I began my journey to make wealth a study, and I developed a preference for books—lots of them—about money and wealth. I have reread money books two or three times, knowing there are more gems to uncover if only I engage in careful study.
But here is the problem. Most folks do not engage in a careful study of anything. Downtime is often spent scrolling through Facebook and Instagram or endlessly searching for cool cell phone apps or cute puppy videos on YouTube.
Money despises sloth, waste, and sloppiness. YES, there are places money likes to hang out and places from which it flees. Money snuggles up to certain people and turns away from others, running for the nearest door.
Money does not accumulate in places based on need. No amount of whining will change its mind. Money is partial to the rule of law; it often runs from socialists moaning about the needs of the many.
Money likes to be where there is financial success, especially in retirement, and that often demands decades of prudent planning and execution. Those who practice impatience seldom win the long game. Success with money has nothing to due with race, income, sexual preference, height, or weight. It has everything to do with focus, character, intellectual discovery, personal responsibility, and pigheaded determination. Sound familiar?
Here’s what I believe. When accumulating funds for retirement, you would do yourself a favor to learn to live on 85 cents of each dollar you earn and invest the rest in your future. That is so much better than spending all your dollars to live above your means. The problem is that many want the toys before the wealth has been earned. And easy access to credit has enabled an entire generation to believe that debt is normal.
Luxury cars and shiny things financed by debt,
rob your future retirement success.
Debt is not wealth. Retirement cannot be funded by debt. A successful retirement is funded by a long-term prudent accumulation of assets. And a stable financial foundation cannot be decreed by some modern-day dictator. Financial stability and wealth are a choice—your choice. You can decide what direction you will take and abandon the other choices. As Yogi Berra famously said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Picketing and demonstrating Congress will not erase income inequality or wealth disparity. Your wealth will depend on what you are willing to do—which is probably what many others are unwilling to do.
Those who do not choose to save and invest for their futures will not claim my earnings to underwrite their own laziness.
Some people plan for the future; others don’t bother. Some spend time in a free library studying money and wealth; others watch endless reruns of Jeopardy. Some do their research on the Internet; others buy lottery tickets week after week, determined that the BIG WIN will finance their rich retirement. This is all about action, and money reacts to action.
Yes, money seems to know who to hang out with. It really likes hanging out with its friends—people who focus, study, and prepare for the future. And money seems to detest TV reruns. If you doubt that, check the bank balances of your average couch potato.