Friday, 14 October 2016

What I Learned from Money

One of the biggest teachers in the world is money. Today, I try to decipher this very strange master and its teachings.

Money is a very strange thing–human beings make rational decisions while dealing with most aspects of life but make serious errors of judgment when it comes to dealing with money – be it saving, investing, borrowing or spending. Completely rational people take totally irrational decisions when dealing money, finance or investments. The biggest teacher is life which educates us through mistakes which turns us into wise humans by giving us inspirational experience and the most costly of them are the errors committed while dealing with money. So let us delve into the realm of the lessons thought by money. What I learned from money?

Money Lesson 1: Winning the battle against yourself
You were born to succeed. This is the most basic and simple law of nature. But, very few people actually achieve success in their lives — and even those who do so don’t reach the pinnacle of success that they could. Therefore, while we were born to succeed, most of the time we are unable to do so. This fight between the probable and the reality constantly leaves us battling with our own self. You might be familiar with some of the following feelings:
  • You are thinking of leaving your job and staring your own business.
  • You want to become a singer instead of studying medicine but are studying medicine just because your parents want you to become a doctor.
  • You want to leave your family business and join politics.
  • You want to leave your job and go in for higher studies.
Money teaches you that when you achieve freedom from money or financial emancipation it than gives you the courage to live and fulfil your dreams and achieve your higher self-actualization goals.

Money Lesson 2: Wait till the flower blossoms
Money teaches us that one of the biggest enemies of long term success, whether in stock market or life, is the lack of mental character and ability to postpone gratification. Everyone wants instant success. This leads people go in for short-term gain which results in long-term pain. For example, a young person taking a short term job for earning money and in the process sacrificing his or her long term career, or labor unions fighting for higher wages which in the long run cripple the company and the industry itself or a naΓ―ve investor selling a great company with good clean management having bright future prospects to book short term profits. Patience is a virtue which will help you in a big way in achieving success in your dealings with money. Persevere to past through those fragile moments when you feel like giving up and you are bound to achieve great success – in life and dealing with money.

Money Lesson 3: Thinking before activing and actually acting after thinking
This is one of the most important attribute of people successfully dealing with money. There is today so much information, research, news, etc. that we often get lost in just reading and accumulating information. We have an information cascade with no real knowledge or creative thinking. We can collect and assimilate information but can hardly make sense of that information. Often, investors believe independent thinking means being a contrarian, but being contrarian by itself will not help — what will help is trying to understand why the crowd might be wrong. If you don’t have independent thinking, then you will rush to sell your good stocks at the slightest market panic. When deciding on your various dealings with money like which housing loan to take, which fixed deposit to park your idle funds in, which stock to buy or which insurance policy you need, you may listen to all the financial experts, fund managers, analysts, gurus, etc. but always finally make a judgment based on your independent and creative thinking. And don’t suffer from decision paralysis – always think before you act but after thinking do act otherwise good thoughts have no practical value without actual actions. 

Money Lesson 4: We are Constantly Insuring Ourselves Against Every
Possible Catastrophe
Whether you are aware or not, you are constantly, right from your birth, insuring yourself against different types of catastrophes throughout your life. When you come out of your mother’s womb, you instantly start breathing to insure yourself against death. You then start feeding your mother’s milk to insure yourself against hunger; you go to school to insure yourself against being an illiterate; you make friends to insure yourself against being lonely; you marry to insure yourself against being unloved; you have children to insure yourself against your name dying with you; you respect your elders to ensure their blessings, you listen to your boss to insure yourself against job loss, etc. Thus, whether you know it or not, you are always insuring yourself against some untoward event or the other which you think might or could happen. The fact that you are reading this article means that you are in effect insuring yourself against not remaining poor — to free yourself from all your money problems. Money teaches us that earning is meaningless if it not available to us or our loved ones when it is most needed and insurance will help you protect your wealth against any kind of catastrophic events.

Money Lesson 5: Price, Ego and Jealousy
Money teaches us that the only person which you can harm with your pride, ego or jealousy is nobody else but your ownself. These are the single biggest reasons which lead to the downfall of many an individual whether in one’s personal, professional, spiritual or investment lives. While dealing with money, for example, if you are very proud of yourself, then you will not have the humility to seek anybody’s advice even when you need it and that can be a disaster. You may not do sufficient research or take proper advice before investing. Ego is worse than pride. Pride comes from something which we know or possess, ego from something which we may neither know nor possess but believe that we know or possess. A person with ego will never be able to think properly. Further, if you are egoistic than at the time of spending you may buy a costly product which you actually may not require. There is no point in robbing your wallet to satisfy your false ego. The main thing about ego is that an egoistic person is never able to use the thing on which it has ego.
Jealousy creates a cloud of discontent, resentment, anger and frustration around you which completely mars your vision and puts you at a substantial risk of taking wrong decisions, including poor financial decision. For example, if you are jealous of your neighbor because he or she has made a lot of money in some business, it may prompt you to recklessly quit your job, and start some business about which you may have limited or no knowledge or experience. Jealousy may make you believe that for you to succeed, somebody else has to fail — which is totally incorrect. In fact, we are all connected to one another at a higher spiritual level and no person can hope to become a permanent success unless they take others along with them.

Money Lesson 6: Lust
Money will teach you that lust and cravings are your biggest enemies in this physical world. The moment you lust for somebody else’s spouse or money than that moment is probably the beginning of your own end. Lust is that double edged sword which converts the most powerful gift of God i.e. love into the worst dreaded enemy of yours. The single most difficult thing in this world is to control lust and cravings and the person who will become a true disciple of God. Money and lust are the two most powerful manifestations of Maya (illusion), if a person lustfully greedily goes after them then they elude and delude that person but if a person in a proper controlled rightful manner deals with them than that person can conquer the world and most importantly become true masters of their ownselves. In this world, its very easy to rule others but the most difficult thing is to be true ruler of our ownself. Once your higher self (soul) gains control over your lower temporary self (physical body and mind), you can win any battle including that with money. 

Money Lesson 7: Trust and Faith
These are some of the unique qualities which people successfully dealing with money will possess. You need to have trust on somebody else before you invest in their stock, subscribe to their bond, buy their product or start a business venture with them. You should have faith that a higher super power is moving along with you and steer and guide your boat when it moves through choppy waters. And most importantly, you should be able to trust your own knowledge, experience, wisdom otherwise you will run to sell you shares at the slightest market weakness or cut leverage at an inappropriate time or not take housing loan when truly required to be taken or discontinue with your insurance policy when you require coverage the most.  

Money Lesson 8: Respect for the greatest non-renewable gift
It’s common sense that not respecting the most precious gift you have is a big mistake but it is not common sense to realize what is this greatest non-renewable gift. Some may think it’s money, fame or power, or something like that. In fact, the most precious thing is the only non-renewable resource which you are continuously and uninterruptedly given. But once you lose it, you never ever get it back again — and that is “time”. Money will teach you that you can create money with time but not time with money. Plan your time properly because failing to plan is, in fact, planning to fail. Every time you say yes to something that is unimportant, you are unknowingly saying no to something that is important. Learn to say no to the unimportant things so that you have time for the important things in life. Budget for your time at the point of earning income, plan for your savings, invest time before you invest money in any asset like stock, real estate or bonds and before your time runs out, insure yourself so your future generation gets a chance to live in their own time.
And when you are spending time in reading this article, assess whether the time spent on reading it is yielding you enough output in the form of leading you on to the path of achieving financial freedom — if yes, read it; otherwise, leave it.

Money Lesson 9: Humility and Character
Either you be humble in the stock market or the market will teach you humility in its own cruel way. Have character to stay with the right investments even at the wrong time or money will slip through your pockets. Be simple at the time of spending or else you may wear costly pants but with empty pockets. Be unpretentious while dealing with the government or else you will never be able to protect your money from the biggest legal financial predator of all who will systematically rob you of your own money at every point of dealing with money; be it earning, saving, sending, investing or insuring. Show demureness at the time of leveraging otherwise it will not be long before which you would be creating negative leverage which will wipe out your net worth as well. The importance of humility and character cannot be just out down in words but those who don’t practice it; pay a heavy and many times irreversible price for them.

Money Lesson 10: Fear of failure
If you fear failure than you can never ever hope of real victory because victory and failure are two sides of the same coin. Never fear of failure. We are so afraid of making mistakes because we think that we might fail that we forget the joy of winning. However, often failure is not our fault. From early in our school days, we are conditioned to fear mistakes. A school never encourages mistakes. If a child makes some mistake in the exams, instead of encouraging and helping him find the reason for his mistake, he is labeled as a failure. However, life is full of mistakes. Some of the biggest discoveries and inventions in this world have been a result of mistakes. For example, Christopher Columbus was looking for a trade route to India when by “mistake” he ended up “discovering” America — the world’s richest and most powerful country today! In the financial world, if you are afraid of mistakes, you will never be able to find a successful investment or business because their paths are full of mistakes.

Money Lesson 11: Right to be Wrong
While dealing with money always reserve your right to be wrong. This is simply because there will be many instances in which you are bound to be wrong. For example, you may take the incorrect housing loan, might do mistake while classifying or filing your income or any other tax returns, commit error at the time of saving and not recognize the different between idle saving and fruitful investment, commit errors of judgement or commission at the time of investing in stocks, property or bonds or even subscribe to the inappropriate yet costly insurance policy. While you are bound to be wrong while dealing with money but don’t lose the right to be wrong otherwise you will permanently surrender your right to win as well.

To conclude, money is the biggest teacher of all which will test you at various points of your dealing with it – are you earning money from the best possible source, have you been able to budget for yourself and pay yourself first, can you protect you money from the financial predators, what money is teaching you when you do asset allocation or invest,  how is money distinguishing itself between assets and liabilities and what are speculative items and are you ready to unleash the true power of money by positive leverage. Remember that like everything in this world, money has its own rules and follow the rules of money to become a true successful person in life. Dealing with money is not about beating the market or anybody else, its simply beating your own self, your own negative traits and once you are able to master your own self and become a complete human being, then only you would also become a successful investor.


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