Long before the financial crisis began I made up my mind that I wanted to be financially free. Back then, I was completing an accounting degree at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Yes, I agree – many accountants are rich but I wanted more. My concept was roughly this: I wanted a crap load of money without having to think about where it was coming from.
I knew what I wanted and I knew that the only way I was going to get there was to educate myself. So, I bought a copy of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. I must be honest – I had to read that book 3 times before I got it. Yes, here’s an accounting student, trying to grasp (or shall I say, re-grasp) accounting concepts (As we know now – Robert’s views on assets and liabilities are not entirely in sync with those of university professors’). After that – I went straight out and bought my first property. I must admit – it wasn’t as easy as that – I didn’t have 2 cents to rub together but I am lucky enough to have a very generous dad!
That was almost 10 years ago. These days I try to educate myself through a variety of sources. One person that has stood out lately is Suze Orman – the world of finance’s own Deepak Chopra. Whilst, Suze genuinely seems to want to help people who are financially illiterate and she generally does provide some pretty solid advice, there’s something that I don’t quite understand about Suze, though. It’s as if she is trying to limit everyone’s personal growth. “Spend less.” “Live below your means”. “You can’t have what you want.” Why? Will people ever become financially free by doing these things?
Know this: there is a huge difference between being financially secure and being financially free. Being secure financially just means that you are able to cover your expenses and maybe, save a little for the future. Having financial freedom means that your passive income goes way beyond your expenses and you will live well regardless what happens in the markets.
My take on it is that Suze Orman’s advice is for people who want to stay as slaves and employees to financial markets. If you believe that you must get and keep a good job for the rest of your life, then stick with Suze.
If, however, you believe that it is possible to dream big, that the possibilities for your potential are endless, that it is truly possible to break free from the shackles of bondage that we call jobs – then educate yourself and go out and play Robert’s Cashflow 101. I just did and I feel liberated.