To Achieve… To Succeeed…

Millionaire Money Habits

January 25th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Finding the Fun in Financial Planning

I have to admit that when I first started to get serious about financial planning I did not find it exciting. In fact, I found it darn right dreadful. But my entire life I pictured myself having no limitations because of money. I remember when I was about six-years-old I literally thought I was going to create a money machine. I still remember what it looked like . . . a silver half-sphere that had an endless supply of dollar bills ready to be picked like a Kleenex box.

It wasn’t until I entered my mid-twenties that I realized I actually could produce money machines by building profitable businesses and investing wisely. I had a vision, but now it was time to take action.

Growing up in a lower class family, but immersed in upper-class surroundings I had a real curiosity about why rich people became rich while poor people who worked so hard remained poor. As an adolescent I read the classic books like The Millionaire Next Door, and Think and Grow Rich. Even though I didn’t understand most of what was being discussed, I tried reading and re-reading to try to figure it out. I figured everyone was capable of becoming rich; I just had to find out how.

I continued to read and read, and finally I came to a point where I decided it was time to get real about personal finance. Sure these books made me feel warm and fuzzy because they told me that I too could become rich, and they gave some introspection about the wealthy class, but they did not actually increase my financial IQ – the one thing almost all “how to get rich” books preach about. They did not teach me how to understand the stock market, what a dividend payment was or how to decrease my taxable income.

So, I took the advice of the books and famous money mentors. I decided if I want to become wealthy, I had to increase my financial IQ. But that sure sounded painful considering I had to willingly teach myself about economics, use math and read about other boring topics.

But I had a vision to follow and nothing was going to stop me. I subscribed to Money magazine, and started reading the Wall Street Journal and listening to a.m. radio. I tried to imitate wealthy people and went directly to their information source. And let me tell you, I did not find the topics enjoyable. It was like trying to read something in a different language. Lots of acronyms, charts, articles about mergers, acquisitions and IPO’s, how the Dow is performing, international trade, and retirement planning.

Yuck! At 22-years-old the only thing I was worried about was if I had enough available credit on my credit card to support my weekend lifestyle. It was just not interesting. After all, the things people are mostly interested in are things they are good at. Well, I enjoyed sports and music. I always had an aversion to finance and couldn’t digest the information, so how could I be good at it? Strangely, I never thought in order to become wealthy I had to understand the principles of money and money management.

But I kept to it. I made myself read every article entirely and listened intently to every financial radio and television show. I figured if I could just decode the message, I would be well on my way to becoming rich. And you know what I found out? After failing to find quick riches by chasing hot stocks and quickly losing in the foreign exchange market, among other things, I found that the there’s nothing fancy or complicated about the road to wealth. It’s about being disciplined with money, investing in boring index funds and contributing to your 401k so you can take advantage of compound interest.

Somehow, I have found a way to now be totally infatuated with this stuff. I am fascinated by the global economy, and how economics plays its role in the stock market. I love the competitive nature of the wealth game and the potential to make more money. And now I can now participate in discussions with wealthy people about investment strategies and other opportunities.

I’ve found that there is an unlimited number of ways to build wealth, an endless amount of information to digest, and personal finance is a great challenge. It’s like playing in a highly competitive sport, but the only opponent is you, with a million ways to win and millions of dollars at stake. And when you win, the only thing to do is to figure out how to outdo yourself to win even bigger next time.

What I’m getting at is that financial planning can be boring at the core, but when you discover the competitive side and the personal development it can bring, the hunt for wealth can be very exhilarating. Maybe even more satisfying, when you learn to accumulate wealth at a greater pace, you have the ability to teach others to do the same and watch them grow personally and financially.

Millionaire Money Habit: Push yourself to read and listen to financial news. Subscribe to a personal finance magazine, tune in to personal finance radio while driving, and pay attention to the financial segments on the news. It may be boring, but immersion is the best way to really improve your financial literacy and, therefore, be able to act like and become a millionaire.

Tags: , , ,
  • Mrs. Micah
    2:28 pm on January 25th, 2008 1

    I really like how you describe it as a kind of sport. That’s a nice way of looking at it…I’ll remember that.

  • PT from Prime Time Money
    7:23 pm on January 29th, 2008 2


    Great article. I’ve struggled with some of the same things. For me, I’ve found that necessity breeds financial knowledge. For instance, I knew nothing about mortgages or home insurance two years ago. But when I decided to buy a house it was easy to invest the time to learn. It’s easy to learn when you are naturally asking the questions.

  • Yi Hui @The Simple Wealth
    8:11 pm on February 1st, 2008 3

    Hi Ryan,
    I found your story dear to me because of the things we have in common. I have also lost money in forex, among other things, and I also came to appreciate greatly the simple ways to achieve wealth. You can read my story at
    Isn’t it amazing? It’s actually easy to become wealthy, and we think it’s so hard. I’m not wealthy yet, but I feel confidently I will be. Anyone could be.

  • Michel
    10:24 pm on November 13th, 2008 4

    Have to agree with this article! When I started out being
    self-employed, I never would have thought that discussing finances
    could get me all fired-up, but it does now! I even started teaching
    basics to others, since, like someone else has said :”The only
    things needed in life are how to succeed in your family life and
    your finances. Strangely enough, neither subject is covered at
    school!” Your article does hit a spot Ryan! Keep ‘em coming! :)


  1. Saturday Roundup - Jan 26th, 2008 - The Time Travel edition | Credit Withdrawal - Helping You Kick the Credit Habit
  2. Carnival Of Money Stories Circus Edition |


RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI

  • 6 steps to financial freedom

    6 Steps to Financial Freedom
    free when you subscribe to my newsletter.
    *I respect your privacy and will never share your email.