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The Power of Continual Learning

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Why the curious always win in investing and life

My friend Karen is a successful real estate investor. A friend of mine was surprised when Karen asked her if she wanted to attend a two-day real estate seminar offered by a private company.

“Why are you taking a real estate class?” my friend asked. “That’s what you do every day, and you’re so successful at it already. What can they teach you?”

Karen’s response was worth its weight in gold. “That may be why I do better than the average real estate investor. I’m always looking for that edge. There is so much information. I never stop learning.”

Unfortunately, my friend didn’t join Karen. Though she is a real estate investor too, she is not doing well. She hasn’t bought or sold a property in the last three years because her formula isn’t working any more. She isn’t willing to look for new answers. Her decision to stop learning has translated into a lack of success.

I have another friend named Frank. He’s in his eighties, but I think he’ll live forever because he never stops learning. Each day, I get articles from Frank in my email inbox. These are articles related to the world economy and investing.

Frank is very active and eclectic. One week he’s in China reviewing the gold mine he took public. The next week he’s in Vancouver, B.C. taking an art class. We frequently see him at Rich Dad seminars, as well.

Though he’s older, Frank uses the latest and greatest technology to make his businesses run more efficiently. He just never stops learning…and I’m fortunate to keep learning from him.

People like Karen and Frank are successful for a reason. They’re willing to put in the effort required to always keep learning. They understand that financial success is not a sprint but instead a marathon. They get out there and put their feet to the pavement day in and day out. They stay humble. And they have an insatiable curiosity.

If you want to be successful in life, you could learn a few things from them. Because when it comes to investing, there are three methods to choose from:

1. Keep up with change.

2. Keep ahead of change.

3. Get passed up by change.

Why? Because in the financial markets, nothing stays the same. The rules are always changing. To be a winning investor, you’ve got to change as the markets change. And that means always learning.

In order to keep growing personally and to grow your income there is no substitute for this maxim: Always keep learning

Original publish date: January 15, 2015

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