The reason I started with the story of the richest men in AmericaRich Dad Poor Dad
is to illustrate the flaw in believing that money will solve all problems. That is why I cringe whenever I hear people ask me how to get rich quicker, or where they should start. I often hear, “I’m in debt, so I need to make more money.”
But more money will often not solve the problem. In fact, it may compound the problem. Money often makes obvious our tragic human
Cash flow tells the story of how a person handles money.
flaws, putting a spotlight on what we don’t know. That is why, all too often, a person who comes into a sudden windfall of cash—let’s say an inheritance, a pay raise, or lottery winnings—soon returns to the same financial mess, if not worse, than the mess they were in before. Money only accentuates the cash-flow pattern running in your head. If your pattern is to spend everything you get, most likely an increase in cash will just result in an increase in spending. Thus, the saying, “A fool and his money is one big party.”
Today, doctors face financial challenges I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy: insurance companies taking control of the business, managed health care, government intervention, and malpractice suits. Today, kids want to be famous athletes, movie stars, rock stars, beauty queens, or CEOs because that is where the fame, money, and prestige are. That is the reason it is so hard to motivate kids in school today.
They know that professional success is no longer solely linked to academic success, as it once was.
Because students leave school without financial skills, millions
of educated people pursue their profession successfully, but later find themselves struggling financially. They work harder but don’t get ahead. What is missing from their education is not how to make money, but how to manage money. It’s called financial aptitude—what you do with the money once you make it, how to keep people from taking it from you, how to keep it longer, and how to make that money work hard for you. Most people don’t understand why they struggle financially because they don’t understand cash flow. A person can be highly educated, professionally successful, and financially illiterate. These people often work harder than they need to because they learned how to work hard, but not how to have their money work hard for them.