Taking the Fear Out of Investing
How you can work hard to retire well
When I started down the investor path I honestly did not even know what the word investing meant. I had a very steep learning curve ahead of me.
I started with real estate. That made the most sense to me. I bought my first rental property in 1989. It was a small, cute, two-bedroom, one-bath rental house in Portland, Oregon. It was only two blocks away from where we lived. I have to tell you, it was the most frightening thing I had ever faced. I was scared to death. I was worried. I was afraid of making mistakes that would cost us money. I really didn’t know what to expect.
I was ecstatic when after my first month of ownership I received a whopping $25 in cash flow from that property. I was hooked at that moment. Today, I control many millions of dollars worth of real estate, as well as other investments. And it’s through my investments – which throw off ample amounts of cash flow every month – that I am completely financially free and independent today.
Buying and holding
When many women hear the word “investing,” they think of mutual funds, or stocks and bonds, not real estate. The buying and selling of houses seems daunting, but investing in real estate doesn’t necessarily entail multiple transactions. It’s about buying and holding, not buying and selling.
What retiring is and isn’t
When Robert and I retired, we didn’t just retire to the poolside with margaritas in hand. That year we bought an 85-acre ranch in a small town called Bisbee. Bisbee is an artsy community up in the mountains of Southern Arizona. There was a broken down shack on the property that was actually an old stagecoach depot in the days of the Wild West. We rebuilt it into a wonderful one-bedroom house with a separate artist’s studio on the stream. There was no TV, no radio…only peace and quiet.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
It was in the quiet of Bisbee that Robert wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad. In April of 1997, we self-published Rich Dad Poor Dad, printing 1,000 copies of the book. To be honest, we thought we’d have Christmas presents to last us the next ten years. No bookstore wanted the book. No distributor would touch it. No wholesaler would even return our calls. So we began marketing it ourselves. The first place we had the book for sale was in our friend’s car wash. We put it wherever we could. The book slowly started to sell. Word of mouth spread, and within two years Rich Dad Poor Dad was on The Wall Street Journal’s bestseller list. We were high as kites!
Frankly, we did not set out to build another company, but The Rich Dad Company has now grown beyond our wildest expectations. Today the book is in over 46 languages and in over 50 countries. CASHFLOW® 101 is in 16 languages, and counting. There is a complete series of Rich Dad books as well as a series of Rich Dad Advisors books, written by people who advise us on investing and business. The business has grown and continues to grow into a worldwide brand representing financial freedom and independence. No one is more overjoyed and grateful than Robert and me.
I don’t know if most people would be willing to go through what Robert and I endured to get where we are today. We took the hard road—the road most people avoid—in exchange for what we anticipated would become the easier road in the future. Fortunately that course of action paid off for us.
On women and investing
In talking with so many women I’ve met because of The Rich Dad Company, I’m repeatedly asked, “Will you please talk to women about investing?” Very simply, my goal is to inspire women to take action and to understand that becoming financially independent is not rocket science.
Any one of us can do it. It just takes some time and education.
Today, more than ever, we, as women, can no longer depend on someone else, be it our husband or partner, our parents, our boss, or our government, to take care of us financially. What was true for our mothers and grandmothers is not applicable to us today. In my opinion women must learn to invest to ensure a secure life for themselves and their children. It is no longer just an option. The rules have changed, and it’s time we take control of our financial futures.
This starts with financial education and then acting on that education. And, it starts today.
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