There are plenty of blogs, articles, and books out there that give you advice on how to manage your money, how to save, and how to invest. However, I have never yet seen an article that gives you that signpost: Start Here.
In your quest to become the best version of yourself, to realize your full potential, where do you really begin? Where is the map to this journey you want to undertake? Where is the ladder for you to ascend the hierarchy of life to reach the zenith of self-actualization?
Please allow me to show you the way.
I’ve always felt there has to be more in my life than my 9 to 5 job. I’ve been dreading the idea of working 9 to 5 until I’m 65 years old or even 70 years old, trying to save along the way, and hoping that I have enough saved until I retire. As a physical therapist, where the job sometimes requires lifting a person almost twice my weight, I question if I would be as effective at my job when I’m in my 60s. At that age, the patients would probably start to look at me like I should be getting physical therapy myself.
I was helping out in a rehab one weekend and there was another physical therapist working there who looked like he was probably in his mid to late 50s, if not in his 60s. As he wheeled a patient in a wheelchair into the gym, he grabbed ankle weights and exercise bands, grabbed a stool, sat down, and bent over to wrap the ankle weights around the patient’s ankles. Throughout the whole time, as the therapist stood up, sat down, and bent over, I could see that he was struggling, even getting short of breath. It was then that I thought, I couldn’t grow old in this job.
So I started looking for answers. As Morpheus of The Matrix asked Neo to choose between the Blue Pill and the Red Pill, Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad was the red pill that opened my eyes: Working 9 to 5 was not the way to get to where I want to be.
Patrick Donohue’s book, Heads I Win, Tails You Lose, gave me the roadmap to my journey. And I’m going to share that with you. As I’ve always been intrigued by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Patrick Donohue also alluded to this hierarchy and presented his own. He calls it The Hierarchy of Wealth. As Maslow postulates that one can’t reach self-actualization unless the other foundational needs are met, Mr. Donohue proposes that you shouldn’t be expecting to achieve financial freedom unless your financial foundation is built.
The Hierarchy of Wealth has 4 tiers, with the first tier as your foundation, where your money should be allocated. For each tier, he suggests which portion of your earned income you should allocate, and which portion of your assets you should use for investing. As getting into the details of this hierarchy would be too lengthy, I’m going to give you the crux of this financial strategy:
- Tier 1 — is where your money is most secure, with no risk of loss.
- Tier 2 and 3 — are where your money, your assets are relatively secure, but have a greater chance to grow.
- Tier 4 — is purely for speculative investment, where you could potentially lose your money.
Remember, your 9 to 5 job is not going to make you rich, but it’s the money that you allocate in investments that would pave the way to your road to success.
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