The Eight Important Elements Of Economic Success

Comments from investment advisor Dr. Sjuggerud and my responses about the 8 important elements of economic success derived from Dr. Thomas Stanley’s study of more than 1,300 millionaires :

  1. Understand that there are key success factors that our economy rewards; they include: being honest with all people, hard work, integrity, and focus. [I was amazed to learn that the top of the list was “being honest with all people” – even above hard work!] Note that the list doesn’t include being born to the “right” family. It has to be clear that hard work is rewarded more substantially by the economy when magnified by a system and not just by the 30% premium on the labor rate for overtime.
  2. Never allow a lackluster academic record to stand in the way of becoming economically productive. [Can you believe that the average millionaire graduated college with a 2.9 GPA – and that’s wholesale jerseys if he even graduated!] I have always gotten good grades. I study hard and work hard because I like doing my best. Don’t let your good grades sucker you into a non-millionaire life!
  3. Have the courage to take some financial risk. And learn how to overcome defeat. [Handling defeat is a big key in investing – the most important – and toughest – thing to do is to Cut Your Losers.] Funny Dr. Sjuggerud! Cut your losers! This is something I have to confront because I happen to really like doing well. I cried once when I got a failing exam score – which rarely ever happens. The very bright side is that the deviation or any possible low point has a point on the positive side of the spectrum! Calculate your risks.

Decision point to financial freedom

Based on empirical evidence gathered by Dr. Thomas Stanley (author of The Millionaire Mind), my traits would fit me right into the rat race. Simply put, Marie’s mind IS NOT a Millionaire Mind. I STRONGLY DISAGREE. I CHOOSE to disagree.

Built to be an employee

I have to acknowledge though that majority of my track record to date does not quite fit with the majority of the millionaires that Dr. Stanley studied.I have always been an honor student (Studies show that most successful entrepreneurs have average performance in school.).

Unlike most entrepreneurs who built their own wealth, I have always lived comfortably enough (not too posh) and never felt the need to find other ways to succeed in life because my grades, awards, and co-curricular activities have been good enough to get me to junior executive jobs in good companies fresh from college and/or law or business school if I wanted.

After graduating from DLSU and obtaining my Certified Public Accountant license, I worked for a couple of months as a junior officer Finance at a top international bank. I then entered as a management trainee at a multinational FMCG. I was never quite happy. I was constantly complaining and never happy about going to work everyday even though my gross pay was bigger than some staff who may be working for more than 10 years. It must be partly due to being the eldest child, being used to (quasi) independence, and the yearning for and knowledge that there is something more. I wanted to be free to pursue my economics studies and research projects, have fun with JP and my friends and sisters, start a business, travel, write and so many more! 24 hours a day aren’t enough for my dreams.

Reality of the rat race

My boyfriend JP says it’s not how long we’ve been going out, it’s the intensity or the quality of the time that we do spend together that matters. Some couples have been together for 10 months but only have a dinner or movie date once or twice a month. I hardly think that can build a strong relationship. I’m going with the same frame of thinking. It’s not how long I’ve worked as an employee in any company that’s going to matter in my life. IN MY LIFE. I’m going to look at the quality of my dreams, my achievements, my memories, my assets, my friends and family time, my thoughts and emotions.

Robert Kiyosaki‘s first lesson from his rich dad : he had to miss his Saturday baseball games because he was told to work in the dad’s store for a measly 10 cents per hour. In less than a month, he got fed up and realized that rich dad says not to trade time for money. Don’t work for money. Build systems and processes to have money work for you. I’ve read and heard this so many times from big guys (who know what they’re talking about!) so I know it theoretically. The same epiphany came to me 7 months after getting into the employee route.

I say, Filipinos are in dire need of good financial education and sound personal finance habits. This is my contribution.