I owe to this great nation for the opportunities that I’ve had in the last 20 years that I’ve lived in America. America truly is the last frontier of freedom for the rest of the world. My friend, Hunter Nuttall, interviewed me few years back about how I came to the States and how I achieved success.
This blog culminates my belief that in this world full of so-called financial experts, those of us – street smarts – who take interest in managing our own financial matters with self-education and common sense can live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Street smarts possess uncanny ability to discover ways to live within means and to make sound financial decisions without any financial advice from a Harvard MBA or from an opinionated expert on CNBC.
What does it mean to be “street smart”? It means you follow your instincts, you listen to
your gut, you don’t over-think things, you pay attention to the details that tell you what’s
really going on, you learn the rules and how to use them, you know when to speak up and
when to shut up and you know enough to know what you don’t know and what you must
know. You use your curiosity, ingenuity, industriousness and initiative to advance you
towards your goals. You don’t wait for other people to do it for you. You control and
leverage your attitude to position yourself for success. - Mariette Edwards
I passionately believe that freedom is fake if I can’t free myself from the daemon of debt.
Street smarts personal finance manifesto:
Ultimate freedom is the freedom from debt.
Debt is the culprit for misery and stress; avoid any debt – credit cards, car loans, leases and personal loans. Debt is an ultimate form of slavery as it shackles our ability to grow wealth. Debt is akin to pleasure on a loan as that pleasure dies quickly leaving us with financial stress.
Frugality is the weapon to fight against the daemon of debt; it is a way of life — a way of thinking for us street smarts to spend only when needed. Frugal life is the core habit of the street smart to avoid impulse buying – a new Mercedes or a new Yacht.
Beware of experts.
Who has most interest in your financial well-being? Certainly, not those insurance agents who want to sell another life insurance policy that you don’t need; nor those pundits on CNBC who want you to believe that they are better than Warren Buffet. You have to assume responsibility to educate yourself to save and invest wisely. Like a kick-ass, street smart, you have to learn how to navigate through the streets full of these so-called experts with your own financial wisdom.
Learn and embrace the magic of compounding return – the early you start in your life to save and invest for your retirement tax-free - better off you are; my simple rule of thumb is to invest in asset that appreciates – real estate, common stocks and index funds – and to avoid an asset that depreciate – expensive car or unwanted possession.
Be the Street smart.
Street Smarts believe that there is an inverse relationship between wealth and impulse spending; they are self-confident and they take responsibility for their own financial decisions;they believe that “keeping up with the Joneses” leads to financial suicide; they constantly learn not by following advice of financial gurus but by the wisdom of those who have already achieved financial peace.
My Ultimate Goal in Life
I was inspired after reading a book, Delivering Happiness, written by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos . I realized that our utmost purpose in life is to achieve happiness. That realization is the pathway to a simple life leading to financial freedom.
Never Give Up.
No matter how difficult financial circumstances you may have been through in your life — there’s always another shiny day with new rays of hope and optimism. Learn from your mistakes and use those mistakes as down payment towards building a financially sound, more fulfilling life with purpose.
Please feel free to contact me if I can help you.
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