“Not all Readers are Leaders, but all Leaders are Readers.”
~Harry S. Truman
“Many speak the truth when they say that they despise riches, but they mean the riches possessed by other men.”
– Charles Caleb Colton
Sometimes I walk by the most beautiful malls and shopping centers in the Philippines, like Greenbelt, SM Aura, Bonifacio High Street, and several others. Everywhere I look there are rich people eating at restaurants where each dish costs more than a worker’s daily pay, dressed in the finest clothes that costs more than an average employee’s monthly salary, and buying gadgets that would take most of us a few years to save up for.
On the other side of the city, a few miles from those areas of luxury are entire communities who can’t afford a decent lifestyle. According to ABS-CBN’s report on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)’s Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) last 2014, around one in every four Filipinos live in poverty. Without a good source of income, many are forced to scavenge dumpsters and trash cans for food, sleep in cardboard boxes every night, and are forced to beg for a few coins to survive.
While some children play in the streets wearing dirty rags on weekdays because their families can’t afford to send them to school (a key to moving up in society), the children of wealthy parents have everything handed to them on a silver platter: the latest toys and gadgets, nutritious food, the best education, and far more.
Sounds unfair, right?
One Friday afternoon a friend of mine sent me a video link to an investment strategy.
During the first few minutes I thought it was about money cost averaging, a proven technique for minimizing risk by investing a set amount of money over time, but it wasn’t. It was an advertisement. Like how fast-food hamburgers always look better on TV ads, the investment “system” they featured showed VERY high past performance returns (around 20-30% returns). Those returns are possible… if you’re VERY lucky. Those who expect to ALWAYS get those high returns will be disappointed.
As the video continued to how the system works, my eyes grew wide with shock, and I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a few moments. It was like watching an advertisement telling people to drink a bottle of pesticide as a “health” drink.
“Many times the reading of a book has made the fortune of a man.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you were given the choice:
A few books which cost P3,000,
or P5,000 worth of groceries/cigarettes/beer/gadgets which would you choose?
Most people would choose the P5,000 worth of stuff.
…but what if those books can teach you how to invest and BE A MILLIONAIRE in less than 20 years? Will you still choose the groceries and gadgets that probably won’t last a few months?
That’s the choice I once made, and I’ll tell you how it started. Who knows…
Maybe you can do it too…
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela
It’s around 6 to 7pm every day when I commute from work. While walking home, I pass by an overpass frequented by many commuters.
There on the sidewalks, I see him a few times a week. Sitting on the ground, his knees are tucked in his oversized shirt, grayed with grime. His skin is covered in filth, his hair curly, long, and unkempt, and his face sullen and expressionless. On his hand is a dirty plastic cup, obviously used and discarded by someone else, and he always held it outstretched in front of him. A silent beg for alms.
I drop a five-peso coin and continue my walk home.
At least once every week or two, I see him on the same spot, wearing the same clothes, and doing the same things. And I drop a five peso coin in his cup or outstretched hand.
Week after week, he gets a few coins from pedestrians. Week after week, he’s still there. How much should we give for him to afford better clothes? How much should we give for him to afford a home? How much should we give for him to earn a living?