My poor father, who is also my real father, excelled in his studies, he has a degree and is a professor but has always had financial problems. He used to say that the love of money is the root of all evil, that money is not important; and he would often say: “I can’t afford it”. He encouraged me to study hard so I could be hired by a good company and avoid financial risk. He felt poor and he said it often.
My rich father, who is my friend’s dad, never finished high school. He became one of the richest men in Hawaii. He used to say that a lack of money was the base of all evil and that money was power. He forbade me from saying that I couldn’t afford something and urged me to ask myself: “How can I afford it?”. He encouraged me to study hard to find a good company to buy, learning to manage risk. If he went through dark times he said he was broke, because he thought it was a temporary condition and not a permanent state.
Both men were strong, charismatic and people listened to them, they were successful in their jobs, which they always worked hard at. However, the advice that they each gave me about money differed significantly.
Having two dads made me reflect, without rejecting their ideas on principle, but trying to ascertain which advice was the best for me. The problem is that financial education is not a school subject, there is no such subject as “money”. Money is a form of power, but what is even more powerful is financial education. I have learned six lessons about money which I am going to illustrate in this book.