There are many opportunities available for women today, but fear often gets in the way of moving forward. If you want to change your life for the better and start your journey to financial freedom, here are my five suggestions:
- Decide What’s Important to You.
If you are dependent on your husband, family member or the government, then you are not in control of your financial future and well-being. Step #1 is to decide if you want to be dependent…or independent.
If you choose to be dependent, then keep your fingers crossed and hope and pray that there will be something there for you down the road. If you’ve chosen to put your entire financial life, and your future, into the hands of someone else, then I would say you are the ultimate gambler.
If you decide you do want to be financially-independent, then we are of like minds, and I encourage and support you in going for that goal.
- Get Educated About Money and Investing.
Where do you find this financial education? I have yet to find a traditional school that teaches you real-world money skills. There are many books, seminars, and online resources that offer a wealth of information on money and investing. I wrote the book Rich Woman because I wanted to share with women what I did to go from broke to financially-free. I used a step-by-step approach so it would be a path that other women could follow.
My husband, Robert and I founded The Rich Dad Company because we are passionate about people being free—not just financially-free, but free to do what they truly want to do with their lives. The Rich Dad Company and the educational tools and programs it offers are just some of many resources available to you.
Who do you look to for your financial education?
My rule in this regard is this: I only want to learn from people who are actively doing what I want to do. In real estate, business, oil, and gold and silver— my primary investments—I only work with people who are in the trenches in that business every single day. Too many women blindly turn their money over to an advisor or financial planner with the expectation that that person can do a better job at managing and growing their money than they can.
A word of warning: A great many financial planners and advisors are not focused on educating you. They are salespeople with products and services to sell. When talking with a “financial expert,” ask yourself this question, “Am I listening to a true educator or a salesperson?”
- Create A Simple Plan.
Ask yourself: What is it that you want to achieve financially? My plan was very simple. First and foremost, my financial plan is all about cash flow. As an investor, there are two things you can invest for: cash flow and capital gains. What’s the difference?
You buy a share of stock for $20. You later sell that share for $30. The profit you make is called capital gains. Or you buy a property for $50,000. In two years you sell that property for $75,000. Your profit or $25.0000 is capital gains.
You buy a share of stock that pays a dividend. You hold that stock and every year you are paid a dividend. That dividend is called cash flow. Or you buy a $50,000 property and decide to rent it. Every month you collect the rent, pay the mortgage and other expenses and—If you’ve managed the property well—you’ll make a profit each month. That profit is cash flow.
My initial plan was only two sentences in length. I was going to purchase two rental units per year for ten years. At the end of ten years I would have twenty units and a healthy cash flow. The beauty of setting goals and moving forward on the path you’ve set is that once you’re in motion the journey becomes a bit easier. I bought my first unit…and then my second and third. Soon I realized that investing wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was. And instead of needing ten years to reach my goal, I acquired my 20 units in eighteen months.
Create a plan and keep it very simple.
- Start Small.
With almost everything in life, there is a learning curve. Know that you will make mistakes along the way, so start with small steps. My first real-estate-investment was a small, two-bedroom/one-bath house. I learned the fundamentals of owning and managing a rental property on that first house. I also made quite a few mistakes. Had I started with a 50-unit apartment building, my mistakes would have cost me much more.
One action you can take today is to go to a coin shop and buy a 1-ounce silver coin. Today, it will cost you about US $30.00. You now own a commodity. The beauty of this small investment is that now you can go online every day and check if the price of silver is up or down. You’ll begin to spot articles and news clips on silver. Because you now own silver, both your interest and your education increase dramatically.
Which brings me to step #5…
- Put A Little Money Down.
At some point you must take action. You can read all the books you want, attend seminars all day long, research opportunities up one side and down another, but if you don’t put up a little money and get into the game you will never see a change in your financial life.
One simple action you can take is to research various stocks in companies you have an interest in and buy just two or three shares of one company. Your intelligence regarding the stock market will immediately increase if you pay attention to what’s happening with your stock on a daily basis.
Change Your Mindset.
There are a lot of factors to overcome in order to take control of your financial well-being and to change your life for the better. Fear, negative people, hopelessness, and more can sabotage your efforts to move forward. But know that you are not alone. Many women (including me) have gone from being homeless to being financially-free.
The key is to just start. Follow the five steps above, and you will be amazed at how quickly your financial knowledge increases and how rapidly your financial life begins to transform. And once you’re in motion, your successes will breed more success.