Lots have been discussed and shared about handling one’s financial life and honestly, with the tons of information available now, sometimes all these make the whole subject matter overwhelming.
But if we take one step backward, there are actually only a few truths about money we need to be all aware and only a few facts about life we all need to tackle as early as we can.
So forget everything muna you learned about life and let me help you have a new wider perspective on this. This will also help you avoid scams like what happened to a friend I shared below.
Truths about money
1. Money is only a symbol of value.
Think about it.
The richest people we have in the world are people who have given enormous value to others.
Everyone uses Facebook and so we have the youngest billionaire man in the world because of that.
SM Malls got everything for all of us and so we have Tatang Henry as the wealthiest man in the Philippines.
And similar businesses who continue to serve our non-negotiable needs keep their owners on the top list of wealthy families in the land.
Here’s the point: All of them together with all other titans are rich primarily because of the real value they give.
And as people of justice, we reward people who give us something valuable, thus their ever growing wealth.
This also explains why a lot of Lotto winners end up being bankrupt just few years after winning. The money they won simply has no innate corresponding value put into them and so it’s difficult for them to sustain (or even handle) it.
So here’s the key:
Start looking at yourself and finding ways how you can give something that’s going to be useful to others.
Your immediate boss might be in his current position because of the value he offers. (If you don’t agree, don’t worry, things will reflect this principle soon.)
But if you want a sure-win investment and a continuous supply of wealth, focus on expanding your value.
But here’s what seems an irony.
Why are there people who give real value but are not wealthy? (Teachers, Professionals, priests, etc)
The answer is that these people either chose not to monetize their value or were not aware of the other two truths about money shared below. The second group are simply not equipped with financial education, which is critical in one’s financial life.
2. Money has a time value.
The value of money constantly fluctuates through time.
In other words, your money’s value is a function of TIME.
The same amount of money you have now won’t have the same value in the future which is why investing is a crucial step to cope up with this fact – to make sure that your money’s purchasing power is made intact.
You don’t want to just save money because inflation would just eat up slowly its value to purchase things and services.
(If you want a quick guide for beginners how to start investing in the Philippine stock market, you can download your free ebook here.)
3. Money follows certain laws.
I love universal laws.
Natural laws, like the law of gravity, make everything in order.
Regardless of whether a person is good or bad, the same set of laws apply to everyone.
Because of this very nature of laws, our life becomes somehow more predictable.
Imagine if we have a different set of laws that hold in different times, it would be impossible to create the future that we want because it could happen that different principles govern life in the future which we’re still not aware at the present.
By being aware of the laws of money, we position ourselves to a better creation of our financial future.
So what are the laws that govern money?
In our last post, three basic money laws were shared.
Second Law of Money: Get only into a business you understand. Seek advice only from competent people.
Third Law of Money: Make your gold work for you. Make an army of golden slaves before you buy luxury.
The good thing is that money laws are very simple and easy to follow. However, you can either make these laws work for you or work against you. The difference between the two spells the direction if one will become rich or poor.
For example, the Law of Compounding can apply to multiply the earnings of your investment (thus working for you) or multiply the interest of your credit card debts(working against you in this case).
I recently had a friend who seemed to ignore the Law of Risk & Returns and so was duped into one alleged investment SCAM recently reported. (I thank him for allowing me to share this with you.)
Again, these laws are solid and this universal power of laws helps you predict the future and thus gives you either a positive hope or a warning that the worse is coming.(I shared a video below when I presented the typical lifecycle of a scam.)
T3 Law of Growth
Another law which apples to grow your money is what I call the T3 Law of Growth.
According to this law, your money’s growth will depend on 3 T factors – Time, Talent & Treasure.
Simply put, your money’s earning is dependent on the Time you give for it to grow, your Talent in growing it (how much returns you can make for each peso) and your Treasure (how much capacity of money you can invest).
For example, let’s say you only have 1000 pesos (low Treasure), you find an investment that give only 2% returns a year (low Talent), but you have 100 years holding period (high Time), your money will become 7245 after that period. But who can live beyond 100?
And so you study to get better returns (higher Talent) that is 20%, that same initial1000 (still low Treasure) now can reach the same target of 7245 after only 11 years (lower Time). Much better than 100 years!
But what if you start with 7000 right at the start (high Treasure), then that 7245 can now be achieved in 1 just year (low Time) even with 3.5 annual returns (low Talent).
You can see the summary below.
As you can see, the same ending target result can be achieved by varying the magnitude of each of the three T’s.
In short, focus on the T3 you can apply to your assets for it to generate the specific goal you want.
So those are the basic truths to money, which will help simplify your road to wealth.
The Real Money Game
But ask yourself:
Why again am I here on this game of money??
Well, one reason – YOU have life goals.
In fact, you probably just went into all this money mumbo jumbo because you wanted to achieve some of these life goals and you just realized that “hey, money seems to play a big role in realizing these goals.”
In the end, we’re led back to our realizing life (and purpose). Unfortunately, life, while achieving its purpose, also faces risks. This, in turn, leads us to two basic truths about life.
Two Truths About Life
- Life has risks.
- Life has goals.
The two major risks you currently face in your life are (1) You die too soon or (2) You live too long-Long.
Each one should find a way that suits his preference, personality, and capacity to address both of these risks.
In my case, I have my set Life Insurance to answer the first risk and Long-Term Medical Savings (Kaiser plan) and other investments to address the second risk. Interestingly, my Kaiser plan also has insurance coverage so it’s good as a starting point for those who don’t have both life insurance & long-term medical savings yet. More so, this same Kaiser plan also has some short-term benefits too but if you have short-term HMO provided by your company, your Kaiser plan can then focus on supplementing your long term medical savings as its original objective. This is also the reason why I got the same plan for my older sister. (It also has an online facility that allows me to track my payment history and set schedules for its services).
Disclaimer: IMG (International Marketing Group) is the exclusive broker of Kaiser healthcare and as an IMG associate, I was able to save third-party broker fees when I got this plan for myself and my family. I can also get a tiny commission whenever I refer people to my trusted agents. Kaiser is only part of my overall financial portfolio. I also have other plans from other financial vendors. Email me if you’d like to get proposals here.
After addressing these real-life risks, now we go back to achieving your financial goals: you can start saving for your dreams/goals by investing a portion of your current income in various instruments (stocks, mutual funds, etc) with a specific timeline and target attached to it.
But I believe that the best solution still is to increase your cash flow so you can add more on your investments on top of your initial investment power coming from your primary income source. I always tell people to explore other ways to have multiple sources of income. You can check my related post here >> How to increase your cash flow.
I believe once your cash flow has stabilized and keeps growing, the rest of the steps in the financial planning process – settling debts, securing emergency fund and protection, etc – will easily follow.
Hope this helps to give you a new perspective in your financial planning.
If you can add anything on above, let me know in the comments below.
Have fun investing,