Secrets to financial fitness – do they exist? Is there a set of things you can do that will turn you into a wealthy individual over a short period of time? Ever thought there might be one little thing you’re missing that will help you achieve financial independence?
I’d like to draw a parallel between personal and financial fitness. Once I’ve started thinking about it, I was shocked how similar these two areas are – and how similar the struggles are that people face in each area. Ironically, I used to struggle greatly in both, but I am currently working really hard on improving these two areas of my life. Just like I used to live paycheck to paycheck and owed more money than I actually had – I’ve struggled physically by being out of shape, and almost having a heart attack when climbing stairs.
Here are some of my discoveries when it comes to secrets to personal fitness – and how they relate to secrets to financial fitness.
Nothing happens overnight – and there is no silver bullet:
Despite what late-night commercials will tell you, you can never get into great shape by working out 8 minutes per day. In fact, it’s scientifically impossible! Getting into shape requires hard work, and constant improvements in your workout routine, diet, and lifestyle in general.
What about financial fitness? Same thing applies! You can’t just do one little thing and turn your paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle into a life of luxury and prosperity. There’s no software program that will show you all the secrets stocks about to double – if there was one, nobody would be selling it. While I greatly respect Robert Kiyosaki, I’m very leery of his personal finance lessons. You can’t become a Ferrari-driving real estate tycoon after reading a couple of his books. It might be possible, but don’t read his books, think you’ll implement his system and be on the way to riches in a matter of months. It won’t happen.
Simplicity makes great sense
When I need a good laugh, I pick up a magazine on personal fitness. Good god, how many workout programs are out there – and why are they so different? It seems to me that every single fitness writer came up with his own program. In reality, all these programs and approaches do nothing but confuse new members. But if you talk to an experienced coach or trainer, they’ll tell you right away – most of the results can be achieved by doing a number of exercises over and over, again and again. Here’s a barbell, you can squat with it, you can bench press it, and you can dead lift it. Do eight or ten exercises for 12-24 months do them repeatedly and really well, and you’ll be in great shape. Maybe then it will make sense to target some obscure muscle by doing an exotic exercise, but most people shouldn’t be thinking about it.
Financially, it’s exactly the same. Yes, there are some tricks and creative accounting techniques – The Smith Maneuver, flow-through shares investments, etc. But for most average people most of the results will come from a set of simple rules that need to be followed day after day to achieve great results – and they are very simple too. Live on less than you make, invest part of your paycheck wisely, don’t spend money on stupid things, and keep track of your spending. Yes, it’s hard to do it, especially in the beginning. But it isn't complicated.
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