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The Boring Secret to Getting Rich is…

On day, a rich dad took his son on a trip; he wanted to show him how poor people live.

They spent time on a farm of a poor family.

On the way home, dad asked, “Did you see how poor they are? What did you learn?”

Son said, “We have one dog, they have four dogs.”

“We have a pool, they have rivers.”

“We have lanterns at night, they have stars”

“We buy our organic food, they grow theirs.”

“We have walls from our expensive houses to protect us, they have friends.”

“We have nice cars to drive and show others, they have freedom of time with their love ones.”

“We have latest tech gadgets; they have real touch & love.”

The son said, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.” 

It’s not money that makes us rich; it’s the simplicity of our lives that makes us wealthy.”

Money is not the goal.

Money itself has no absolute value other than it’s physical state.

Everyone needs money for basic survival. But money is a tool, not an end in itself. It’s like a car – it could take you to nice places but, once there, you didn’t sleep in the car. So it doesn’t matter if you arrive there in a Toyota or a Mercedes.

Everyone can choose to be financially free and spend lots of time with their love ones or do the things they always love with freedom and choice.

But many choose otherwise. They prefer the material things in life to symbolise their wealth status and belonging in the society. They choose to splurge on conspicuous luxury items to prove to the world they have arrived. They rather slog 15 hours a day in that nasty job and become a 30-year long slave for that little space in the sky called a condominium/EC. They slave to own that Prada bag or that BMW to superficially conceal the ‘little wealth’ they actually have.

Some of these ‘superficial rich’ parents I see living around my block, have maids turning into their children’s parents. Why? I suppose both parents have to slog many hours at work to pay their expensive mortgage and car loan, and having very little time left for the little ones who matter most.

Just like the story, looks good on the outside, but poor on the inside.

The reason why Michelle (my wife) and I are financially retired by our mid-30s is simply because we choose to lead a life of simplicity rather than a conspicuous show of riches to others. We rather lead the life we choose, than lead the life material society dictates what we should be.

We are classified as HNWIs (High Net-Worth Individuals with assets more than $1 million excluding primary residence) by sickening people with pea size brains whom created social inequality in our human society by ‘class and status’. We scornfully hate living the high social life, which in reality, no more than an illusion concocted by lifestyle magazines for their  cheap marketing of ‘rich dreams’ to the naive masses.   Most of those socialites and playboys of Tiffany rings and Ferrari cars, are no more than inherited riches and being members of the lucky sperm club. The wealthy who did really attain their riches from scratch and sweat, do not spend any more than the ordinary guy on the street.

We continue to eat simply, dress simply (I’m often in a sports T-shirt, shorts and sports shoes), drive an almost 10-year old continental car and spend very prudently (We adhere to an expense budget).  We may not be the super-rich, but we are considered in our terms, the ‘super-wealthy’ in terms of our quality of life especially with our 10 year-old son, Augustus.

A weekday or weekend makes no difference in the commuting of our daily lives. In terms of work productivity which is strongly encourage by the government lately, we would rank the lowest by their definition. I spent every day exercising, which is my hobby. I stay at home most of the time either reading, watching movies or simply writing articles like this whenever I feel like to.  Meals are often home-cook food prepared by Michelle.

If we do eat outside in a restaurant, seldom will we spend more than $50 on a meal. On some weekday lunches, we could see many working executives rushing to finish their lunch just to rush back to work. Nothing wrong with working hard and be back to work on time.  The problem, especially for the younger executives, many carry luxury bags, drive expensive cars and use latest tech gadgets. To prove to whom and for what with all these conspicuous stuffs, I can never guess. The one thing I am certain, they have to rush back to that slave job of theirs after lunch, while my wife and I are just going to enjoy a movie together on a weekday afternoon.

Did we achieve all these freedom of time and choice with a magic wand? Absolutely not. I slog very hard in my younger days (I started work at 15 years old) with my businesses and investments with a deep desire to be different from society.

Prudence was one of two keys which drove us to financial freedom in a decade. While our friends were upgrading their home and cars, we stayed put in our old apartment and continued to drive an old car. We saved tremendously from what we earned every month, and at the same time, invested smartly in properties during the lull times.  We did not just invest blindly. We will spend countless hours on weekend attending financial courses, reading investment books and talking to others who are already successful.

Every day, we were exposed to temptations from people and friends around us, to live that superficial ‘rich luxurious life’ which we can easily afford, but we would always step on the brake and focus on that goal of attaining our financial freedom.

Patience was and is still that other key to financial wealth and freedom.

From my personal experiences and learning from other successful individuals, I learnt that there are no secrets to becoming wealthy or rich, unlike what so-called many ‘wealth’ gurus often tried to sell.

Prudence, Patience and Hard work are the only 3 keys you will ever need to open that door to your freedom.

There are many roads ahead of you, both easy and hard. The hard road will take you to freedom eventually; the easy road will lead you into an abyss which you will never get out.

You have a choice to choose.

Choose wisely and you will lead a life of wealth and happiness with your love ones.

 

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To your investment success,

 

 


About the Author

Gerald Tay Author, entrepreneur, professional investor and loving father, runs crei-academy.com with a tongue-in-cheek approach to property investment - and himself. He is widely regarded in the industry as 'The Common-Sense' Investor. Gerald writes with passion and straight-forwardness, disclaiming wild claims and impractical investment strategies behind lies and ignorance pervasive in the property industry for vested interests. His well-known statement, "All I did is to value my investments with science, logic and common sense.'

Comments (1)
  • Tom Chan Jul 28 2015 - 9:44 am Reply

    Hi Gerald,

    Like to say that I came across your website by chance and I like your take on life and your perspectives on wealth and all that. Your articles do resonate with me deeply and I hope to share with my close friends your wisdom and take on life.

    When I read your articles, it made me realise (for some time now) that I have been looking at ‘wealth’ in a very skewed and ‘screwed’ way! Haha!
    Anyway, I’m now living a much ‘richer’ life – exactly like yourself, and how I have decided to give up on the relentless pursuit of all things material and meaningless – even without much or any of these ‘invesments’ thingy as my sideline.

    Looking forward to more of such epiphanic articles and shared wisdom from you and your team and God bless.
    Tom.

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