By PT Cheng
From tender age, we were exposed to myths about money and myths of being rich. Be it from our parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, or friends. The myths that we have determine our financial well being in our adult lives.
I call them myths because they are not true. Or, at least they are not giving you the complete picture.
We can't blame our parents for the myths in us. They already gave us the best they could. And don't forget that times change. Things were true then may not be true today.
If you want to move ahead financially, you have to be aware of the myths that you have about wealth and money. And do not let the myths stop you from living a wealthy life.
Money Myth 1: Work hard and you'll be rich.
Many of us think that by having a job with a big company would ensure that we're on the path to financial freedom. With so many layoff announcements, we might be out of job anytime. I'm not saying that you'd be one of them but the fact is there is no job that is guaranteed.
Recently, my friend was laid off in less than a month in his new job. Having a job is merely helping you to cope with daily expenses, providing you shelter, food and clothing. Do not be misled that a job or your employer will turn you into a rich and wealthy person. No one cares more than you about your wealth.
Money Myth 2: Saving is good.
When I was small, I was told by my mother that I must learn to save. I thank my mother for inculcating the habit of saving in me. The habit of saving helps me to develop discipline. Many people think that when they save enough, one fine day they'll be rich.
But is saving alone enough to make you wealthy?
I came to realize that if I only depend on my savings to get rich, I'd have to wait for a long time. That's the problem with savings, it takes a long time for you to get rich. Saving alone is not enough. You have to learn to invest your money in other investment vehicles to grow your money faster.
Money Myth 3: Debt is evil.
The other common myth about money is debt is bad. Did your parents ever tell you that borrowing was bad? Mine did. Not all debt is bad, actually. It depends on how you spend your loans that you're getting. If you take a credit card loan to buy a flat plasma TV, it's a bad debt. On the other hand, if you take loans to start a business or invest in real estate, the debt is good.
If debt is bad, can you imagine what would happen to companies if they are not allowed to take loans from the banks? As a general rule, if you use debts to buy things that increase in value over time, they are good debts. You must know whether the debt you're taking is good or bad.
Money Myth 4: You need money to make money.
When I ask my friends what's stopping them from starting their own business, the common answer is "I don't have money. And it takes money to make money." I do agree that it takes money to make money. But does it really to be your own money?
Everybody has limited resources when it comes to achieving our financial goals. I do not expect you to have everything when you plan to build your own business. You might need financial backing, manpower, expertise, or a coach to guide you. If you lack resources in any areas, find the resources. Someone else will definitely have it. It does take money to make money, but you can use OPM - other people's money.
Money Myth 5: Investing is risky.
Many think that investing is risky because they lack education in investing. Investing itself is not risky if you know how to control the risks. Most of us invest based on a tip from a friend or broker without doing our own research. When you lose money, you say that investing is risky. And you tell yourself that you'll never invest again.
To be frank, everything we do has a risk in it. Learn to manage risks by educating yourself. You can educate yourself by attending seminars, reading books, or even from the Internet.
Money Myth 6: Wealth reflects in material possessions. Material possessions reflect your level of wealth.
This is a misleading measurement. Someone who is driving a Porsche might not be rich and he might
be highly in debt.
Wealth does not reflect in material possessions. Wealth is a state of mind. Wealth is how fast you can become rich if you're stripped of everything. As Henry Ford once said after he was asked what he would do if he lost all his fortunes, "I'll become a millionaire again within five years."
We possess one or more of the above myths, consciously or unconsciously. But what is more important is to be aware of the myths and replace the myths with facts. By doing this will tremendously improve your financial well being.
PT Cheng is the co-founder of http://www.financiallyrich.com/. His web site is packed with tips on how you can be your own boss, make more money, and have fun along the way!