You would think with all this information readily available to us, that we would be smarter as in general. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case. Most people, relatively speaking are falling further behind. When we look at their financial situation, they are overloaded with debt. Regarding health, they are in terrible shape (literally). Their relationships are total train wrecks with people not even speaking to each other. Overall, the quality of life tends to diminish as we are "dumbed down".
The truth is that it does not have to be this way. People have the opportunity to gain whatever knowledge is needed for success. The only requirement is the desire to attain that knowledge.
Everything starts with willingness. Are you willing to do the things that will lead to success? This is a major question. Few are willing to put in the time and effort required to move their life to an extraordinary level. The desire is not there. Instead, they live on a hope rather than a concentrated intent.
Financial success is not a great mystery. The path to riches is well known. There are a number of options a person has which will ultimately lead to that outcome. However, it is not something that is inherent within us at birth. It is a learned science. The ability to generate a massive amount of money is a result of acquiring knowledge followed up by the application. It really is that simple.
Investing is a huge part of the wealth creation process. A foundational piece to all financial success is that money needs to go to work. It is wonderful to excel and increase one's income. However, true abundance is rarely achieved unless money is earned of existing capital. Failure to do this means one will be a high income earner but not see their net worth excel. This is the condition many athletes find themselves in. The eventual outcome is they go broke because their expenses far exceed their income once the enormous contract runs out.
To be a successful investor, one must learn the basics of investing. There are fundamental principles to follow which will create a nice bank account. One of them is the advantage of time. Too many opt for the get rich quick scenarios. This is catastrophic financially. Most of these "investments" are losers from the start. Yet millions follow this idea. If they were willing to do a little reading and study how many of the most successful investors built their wealth, they would realize that sound financial principles were followed.
There is a concept that applies to success which I tend to agree with. It is the belief that to achieve excellence in something, a person needs to devote 10,000 hours to it. This is a lot of time, obviously, yet it is required to attain the highest level of success. Consider the hours spent by an Olympic athlete training and honing his or her craft. Bill Gates spent thousands of hours playing around with software. Warren Buffet invested tens of thousands of hours to learning and reading about businesses. People like these have the drive to excel and put in the time.
Contrast this with the average person. How many hours do you dedicate to your investments, as an example? Jim Cramer talks about that an individual needs to be willing to dedicated 1 hour per week to each stock he or she owns. If that person is not willing to do that, investing in mutual funds is the way to go. It is incredible that he is asking for a little more than 50 hours per year to study a stock thoroughly. Compare this to the amount of time spent watching television. I read studies that stated the average American watches 5-6 hours of television a day. This amounts to 1,500-2,000 hours yearly. Yet someone is not willing to invest 50 hours towards creating successful financial returns.
It is time to begin the process of working towards your 10,000 hours. Obviously, most will never get to this level. However, if you can invest 500 hours into your financial future, I will hypothesize that you will be far ahead of the average person. Most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do on their financial plan. Is it any surprise that most suffer financial difficulties especially as they get older? Those who have the willingness to garner the knowledge will become financially successful.
3 Areas of Knowledge
There are 3 ways you can acquire knowledge. It is best to start accessing all three to accelerate your learning curve.
1. Personal experience:
You have a wealth of knowledge simply from the actions you have or have not taken over the years. Often, these are the best lessons. Look back upon your life and the decisions you made. See where you were mistaken to learn what the correct action should have been. Life is an excellent teacher if we will embrace the lessons. Sadly, few are willing to do this. Instead they blame other people and circumstances for their shortcomings. There is a wealth of knowledge in your own life story if you will simply look at it. Sit down with a piece of paper to analyze what took place. Be honest about what the decisions you make. Do not beat yourself up over it so much as learn from it. View it the same way as you do a movie. Through this one exercise you will see an assortment of financial "rules" emerge. This is the beginning stages of wealth creation.
2. Experience of others:
There is no need to beat you head against the wall to realize it hurts. Look around to see there are many who do that for you. Notice the results they get. When they do this, their head hurts. Therefore, you can bet the ranch the same will occur if you do it. This is learning from others.
Financial calamities are everywhere. Thousands of people end up in bankruptcy court daily because of decisions they make. It is easy to learn how people enslave themselves financially with their decisions. Learn from their pain while avoiding it yourself. This only requires the ability to suppress your ego and proclaim that you do not have all the answers. Most habitually do the opposite which deters them from learning from others. There is an abundance of financial knowledge in the success and failures of others.
As mentioned, the Internet gives us access to more information than was humanly possible before. Financial success is everywhere online. It requires a bit of effort to sift through it but you will uncover "secrets" that few know. Again, you must have the willingness.
The writings of others enables you to garner knowledge from their experience. Also, there are thousands upon thousands of studies done which you can apply. For example, there are studies about the idea "sell in May and go away". By simply looking into this concept, one might alter his or her investing style based upon the conclusions drawn.
Naturally, you must be mindful of who you follow or the suggestions made. Simply because someone puts it in writing does not make it true. You need to continually search and cross reference new ideas. Delve into the person who is making the statement to see what success that person attained. While a college professor might offer some insight into the stock market, I would take the words of a Warren Buffet to mean a lot more. His track record (and net worth) far exceeds that of any of the professors at our colleges.
The point is knowledge is everywhere. Desire it. Commit to starting on your 10,000 hour path by spending an hour or so a day to learning about success especially in the area of finance. Those who live in a state of poverty do so because they lack the knowledge to live any other way. I would guess that most people, even if not in poverty, fall into this category. Become one who is different. Spend some of your free time learning about this subject. It is a central way to change your life.
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