I bet lots of you have read Robert Kiyosaki’s, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” where he talks about the different ways his father and a friend’s father taught him about money. When looking back at my own life I see that I too had different perspectives shown to me.
My parents split up when I was 4, and went in very different paths upon their separation.
My Dad who was a plumber when he was married to my Mom, moved back in with his parents in the Twin Cities so he could go back to school and be close to better health-care (he was a multiple cancer & heart attack survivor). He was very outgoing and ended up being elected class president at the community college he went to. He studied business and became a real estate agent after graduating.
I remember him being a realtor for a while but it wasn’t his passion so when the market turned bad, he went back to being a part-time plumber. But his main source of income was disability payments.
My Mom was a rather shy and conservative bookkeeper. Due to my Dad’s poor health she was often the only one working while they were together, so she knew how to stretch a dollar. A few years after the divorce she married her boss. The business grew from 3 employees to 30. They partnered up with another couple and bought several rental properties. They’d work 60 hours a week and then work on their rentals on the weekend. They are the epitome of “hard work = success”.
On paper it seems like a clear case of whose financial advice I should follow:
- My Dad declared bankruptcy two times.
- My Mom saved almost everything she ever made and should have no financial worries.
But real life isn’t lived on paper.
My Dad was an optimist. Even though he struggled his whole life, he always thought things were going to turn around. Which probably explains why he tried so many pyramid schemes, excuse me, I mean multi-level marketing systems. While his situation did cause him stress, he was generally a positive person who was always smiling.
Where as my Mom is a walking ball of stress with a permanent scowl on her face. She is afraid of almost everything and believes that Murphy’s law is written in stone. Don’t get me wrong, she too is a very pleasant and caring person, but only those close to her know that.
My Dad always told me to find something that I loved doing and I would be a success. My Mom always stressed security.
I didn’t realize this until just now, but this duality has been messing with me my whole life. Like in college I majored in Radio TV & Film, but shortly before graduating I abandoned this due to it paying peanuts straight out of school. I instead took a marketing job and have been in a corporate mindset since. It also explains why I can go in long stretches of great financial discipline, but then blow it all away just like that.
Interesting…I think I just saved myself thousands in therapy
**You’ll note that I’m referring to my Dad in the past tense. He passed away in 1996. If he were alive today he’d probably be working for my uncle’s plumbing & heating business, be a fantastic grandfather, and he’d be trying to get us to become Monavie distributors. **
But enough about me, what about you?
Where did your financial philosophies come from? Are you following in someone’s footsteps or did you carve out your own path?
Until next time,
P.S. For those of you who were hoping for a review of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book, here is a one liner:
I found it to be an easy read which opened my eyes to the benefits of passive streams of income, and not to think of my house as an asset.