mind your own business

Mind Your Own Business

How to win at the game of money

Imagine you’re a player in a game. In this game, you’re put on a field without knowing any of the rules. Plus, the person running the game can change those rules at anytime without warning. Just when you think you’re figuring things out, you have to learn a whole new way to play.

Now, ask, would you stand much of a chance of winning that game?

The answer is, of course, no. Most likely you’re thinking that sounds like a horrible game—one that you’d probably never play. But here’s the problem: it’s a game you play every day.

It’s the game called money.

In this game, the game masters—politicians and central banks—are always changing the rules. Whether by increasing interest rates, quantitative easing, daisy chains, or more, they’re always pulling levers. The middle class and the poor are always playing catch up. The rich are always one step ahead.

Growing up, I had two dads. My poor dad, my natural father, was a passive player in the game of money, always one step behind. My rich dad, my best friend’s father, was an informed player in the game, always anticipating the next move.

In 1955, my poor dad kept saying, “Go to school, get good grades, and find a safe and secure job.” My rich dad, on the other hand, kept saying, “Mind your own business.”

My poor dad didn’t think investing was important. He would say, “The business and the government are responsible for your retirement and medical needs. A retirement plan is part of your benefit package, and you’re entitled to it.” My rich dad would say, “Mind your own business.”

My poor dad believed in being a good, hardworking man. He would say, “Find a job and work your way up the ladder. Remember that companies do not like people who move around a lot. Companies reward people for seniority and loyalty.” My rich dad said, “Mind your own business.”

My rich dad believed you must constantly challenge your ideas. My poor dad believed strongly that his education was valuable and the most important thing. He believed in the idea of right answers and wrong answers.

My rich dad believed that the world is always changing, and we need to continually keep learning. Rich dad didn’t believe in right or wrong answers. He believed in old and new answers.

Today, going to school and getting good grades more often results in crippling debt rather than a secure job.

Today, no one expects the government or a business to take care of their retirement and health benefits for life.

Today, companies lay people off all the time. They don’t reward loyalty and seniority, and the only way to climb the ladder is to always hop on a new one and hop it’s a rung higher.

Today, my poor dad’s rules are old rules, but my rich dad’s rule still remains, “Mind your own business.”

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. No one does. But I do know one thing. If you want to be successful in life and win at the game of money, you need to “mind your own business” by continually learning and adapting. Anything less is a road map to failure.

So, how are you going to play?

Original publish date: December 08, 2015

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