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Are You Occupied?

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The news last week was filled with stories about Occupy Wall Street, the populist movement protesting against big business and the rich. The movement is a grassroots campaign that doesn’t have any political power – yet, any centralized organization, and doesn’t even have any recognizable agenda.

The only thing that binds them together is discontent.

And the discontent is spreading. Last Saturday, it culminated in the biggest protest yet, as an estimated 20,000 people took to the streets of New York City, shutting down traffic and taking over a park. The protest resulted in over 70 arrests.

The movement also spread to other countries like Greece, England, and Italy, even turning violent in Rome with over 70 people getting hurt and some buildings getting burned to the ground.

I can’t blame them

I can’t say I’m surprised. Nor can I say I even blame people for being angry. There’s plenty to be angry about.

Even though the fat cats on Wall Street are mostly responsible for the worst financial recession since the Great Depression, no one of any importance has been held accountable. In fact, they were bailed out, which is the name of the game for the rich. All the while, the poor and the middle-class have suffered and paid for the sins of the rich.

In my book, Conspiracy of the Rich, I warned that protests could spill over into the US as discontent about money and the reality of injustices in the financial system finally settled in. This may be the beginning point of those protests—or they might fizzle away. We’ll have to wait and see. Either way, it appears we’re beginning to see the lid on the pan clanking as the proverbial water begins to boil.

Fighting the system doesn’t work

I also said that while I can understand why people would want to protest, I don’t think it will accomplish much. The Conspiracy is strong and powerful. I’d rather spend my energy figuring out how to beat the system than to fight against it.

The fundamental lesson of Conspiracy of the Rich was that the rules of money have changed and things aren’t going to go back to the way they were before. In order to thrive financially, it’s imperative to understand the new rules of money and to play by them.

While I often wish the system could be changed, I don’t believe that will happen. So, I’ve spent my life studying the way money works and the rules of the rich, so that I can use those rules to prosper. This has paid off much more than fighting the system.

I also want you to prosper. So, I offer the following advice.

Be occupied by something other than anger

But rather than be occupied with protests and anger, be occupied by financial education. Use the energy from your frustration to fuel personal innovation. Learn all you can about money, how it works, and how you can make it work for you.

Also, be occupied with applying your financial knowledge. Learn the four asset classes, choose which you’re most interested in, invest in that chosen asset class, and start businesses that uphold your values.

In the end, the world isn’t changed by people who complain. It’s changed by people who do. Don’t like the way corporate America and Wall Street operate? Be part of changing the way America does business by being an entrepreneur who starts a company to not only make money but also make the world a better place, starting companies like TOMS, for instance.

It’s this guiding value that led Kim and I to start the Rich Dad Company. We want to see people live a rich live and prosper.

And we know that financial education is the key

That is our passion, which we’ve made into a business. It’s a joy to know that millions of people’s lives have been changed by the lessons my rich dad taught me about life, business, and money. It’s a privilege to share that knowledge, and to do so while building a successful business.

I don’t know what these protests will turn out to be. Maybe they’ll change the world, but I doubt it. Rather, I believe it will be people who have convictions, financial knowledge, drive, passion, and a desire to do good in business and investing who will make the world a better place.

So, the question is: What’s occupying you?

For additional information about increasing your financial education, check out our community here.

Original publish date: October 18, 2011

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