Reading time: 5 – 8 minutes
How to please our spouses, what movies to watch, what computers to buy, what restaurants to check out, and well, pretty much anything and everything.
If you’re like most people you turn to friends or family for help.
And most of the time they come through for us.
Those closest to us have no trouble dishing out advice on whatever issue we bring to them. But they are not always the right people for the job.
When it comes to the serious issues of life we need to be careful who we listen to.
A while back one friend of mine was interested in getting some financial advice so she turned to the only people she really trusted – her parents.
They told her to join a mutual fund. Why? Because that is what they did.
Mutual funds are considered safe because they are diversified.
Speaking from experience I worry when people tell me an investment is safe because I have seen firsthand just how “safe” some funds can be.
When Lehman Brothers crashed in 2008 a close person friend lost 75% of his investment in one mutual fund because it was closely tied to the value of real estate which came crashing down. To make matters worse, the 25% that is left cannot be withdrawn unless they request the money 6 months in advance. The advice doled out by my friend’s financial adviser - hold, things will come back.
While there are some good financial advisers out there some are little more than salespeople. They can create nice graphs and they sound good but they don’t walk the talk.
Each of us can only give advice on what we know.
And most people I know don’t take the time to study what I consider the big 5 issues of life.
I call these the big issues because they can make or break you.
Many people think they are informed because they read the newspaper or have a financial adviser but that, in my book, does not qualify as informed.
Being informed to me means they have invested a serious amount of time, energy and money into understanding these topics. They read books by experts, attend seminars, are keeping up with the latest trends and finally, taking action.
Though it’s not enough to simply study, they must be actively participating.
Here on this site I address quite a few different issues but in essence they boil down to five key elements: success, happiness, time management, investing and education.
A close friend of mine who just happens to be a multimillionaire summed up why people shouldn’t listen to me nicely when we talked over coffee.
He said he had an issue with me writing a success book (iSucceed: secrets for the average joe and jane) when I can’t consider myself a complete success just yet.
He told me this because he knows my financial standing and knows I should be further along than I am.
I wholeheartedly agree – you SHOULDN’T listen to any financial advice I offer.
Thankfully, most of what I pass along to you is NOT my own personal advice. It is the advice of millionaires who have made their fortunes in the realm of sales, business systems, books, coaching, real estate, stocks and gold.
A few of my closest friends are millionaires. And when they speak, even if they don’t realize it, I listen.
On my way home after having drinks with them I whip out my trusty iPhone 4S and click open Evernote to jot down some notes for future reference.
I learnt a long time ago that it pays big to listen to those who have made fortunes.
Now I know what you’re thinking – “I don’t have any millionaire friends.” No sweat.
Go out and buy Donald Trump’s new book – congrats, now you are getting a front row seat to a billionaire.
Pick up an audio lecture by Brian Tracy and you can “turn your car into a mobile classroom.” As my mentor once said.
Attend a lecture by a famous investor.
The key I’ve found is to get your mind on the same wavelength as these people.
I may make my own analogies, or add my own personal experience but when it comes to success I’m saying pretty much what people have said for thousands of years – it’s WHAT you know and WHO you know that make the difference in your future.
I am also a big believer in warning anyone who listens to my advice on the 5 big issues.
There are no guarantees in life and all I can do is pass along what I’ve learned and what I’ve found out. After that the choice is always firmly in your hands.
In the end don’t rely on someone else to make the big decisions for you. Take charge of your own investing, relationships and business by taking the time to study.
It has paid off big for me in more ways than one.
And if I can do it, you can, too.