Learn or Die image

Learn or Die

Why financial education is the key to prospering or perishing in a fast-paced world

Everybody learns. For instance, in order to make bread, bakers follow a recipe they've learned, even if it's in their head. Surgeons follow a recipe for complicated procedures, with certain steps and actions that must be taken to see a positive outcome. Even employees at McDonald's have a formula they must follow in order to be good at their jobs.

When it comes to money, the same is true. Most of us have heard the saying, "You are what you eat." I have a similar saying: "You become what you study."

In other words, be careful what you learn, because your mind is so powerful that you generally become what you put into your head. This is why it's important to be proactive in your learning rather than passive. When you're a passive learner, you become whatever others want you to be rather than what you want to be. When you're an active learner, you take control of your life and your future.

Unfortunately, most people are passive learners, and as a result, they are perishing financially in a world that is active and changing.

Most people have learned to be employees

When it comes to money, the masses generally have one basic formula that they follow, which they learned in school: Work for money. The predominant formula I see in the world is that every day millions of people get up, go to work, earn money, pay bills, balance checkbooks, buy some mutual funds, and go back to work. That is the basic formula.

The problem is that those are the old rules of money. They don't work in today's world. The rich know this and have long since moved onto new formulas for making money work for them and for getting rich.

This is because the rich have a financial education that they use to prosper. The poor have a traditional education that causes them to perish.

The rich take control of their education

The thing that separates the rich from the poor is what they learn, how they learn, and the speed at which they learn. If you're tired of what you're doing, or you're not making enough, it's simply a matter of changing your formula for making money by changing what, how and the speed at which you learn.

Years ago, when I was 26, I took a weekend class called "How to Buy Real Estate Foreclosures." I learned a formula there that I didn't learn in school. That formula, once I put it into practice, has made me very rich. I also worked to learn while employed at Xerox. I learned how to sell. That skill has also made me very rich.

I didn't stop there, however. I'm continually learning new formulas and investing in my financial education. I have attended classes designed for derivative traders, commodity option traders and chaologists. I was way out of my league, but I learned a lot that made my stock and real estate investing more meaningful and lucrative.

The point is that I took control of my education, and I am rich because I didn't leave my financial education to what others wanted to teach me or what I was told I should learn.

The rich learn fast

If you want to take control of your financial education, most junior colleges have classes on financial planning and buying traditional investments. They are a good place to start, but I am always searching for a faster formula. That is why, on a fairly regular basis, I make more in a day than many people will make in their lifetime.

The reality is that traditional education is often teaching yesterday's formula. If you want to learn today's formula, you need to be more proactive in your education and be learning much quicker. This is why I suggest attending conferences and seminars, reading books, and being mentored by people who are actually in the industries you're interested in.

If you want to be a technical trader, learn from the best technical traders who are actually making money and working everyday, not from professors who have yesterday's theories. The same is true for real estate, business, commodities, and more. These types of people know what's changed, what's changing, and how to adjust to prosper. They have valuable knowledge that will make you rich.

In today's world, it's not so much what you know that counts because what you know is old. Rather, it's how fast you learn. If you can find information others are looking for quicker then they can, you'll go far in life. It's a priceless skill.

What are you going to do today to boost your financial literacy?

For help, check out our free, financial education community here.

Original publish date: February 05, 2013

Join Our Community—1.5 Million Strong

Register for free!