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  Category: Articles » Finance » Personal Finance » Article

Becoming Financially Literate

By Bernard Ng

The key to riches is to become financially literate.
That was one of the messages I got from Robert Kiyosaki's book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad".

Financial literacy does not automatically guarantee that you will be rich, but the lack of financial knowledge does gurantee that you are unlikely to reach your financial success. Being finanically literate definitely helps in making better judgements in making financial decisions , and therefore enhances your chance of success and make the path to your finance goal smoother and swifter.

Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad in "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" book, understood this very well and tried to expose Robert Kiyosaki to financial principles to build up his financial literacy at a young age.

Robert Kiyosaki described wealth building like building a building. Both require strong foundation. While the foundation of a building is made from cement and steel, the foundation of wealth building is financial literacy. If you want to build a 80 storey building, you need to dig deep and pour in a strong foundation. Similarly, if you want to build wealth and hold on to them, you need a strong foundation in financial literacy. If not, it would like trying to build a 80 storey building on 10 inch slab, and ended up with a learning tower of debt.

To be financially literate requires certain level of proficiency in these areas such as:

- economics,
- investing,
- accounting,
- taxes,
- money management
- and even business building.

All these are not easy subjects to master and require time and effort to accumulate the knowledge. However, it is not next to impossible. Do not be frighten off by the level of difficulty in mastering them. It's possible if you choose to do so.

Start off with something simple or something which you are already familiar with. For example, you may have heard of the terms balance sheet or assets verus liabilities. You can begin from there, learn more in depth into them and they will in turn lead to you to other subjects area. You can learn at your own pace through the subject materials and you will be amazed at how much knowledge you have picked up after a while.

Do not worry if you did not get good grades as a student in school. School grades do not matter. Do not worry that you are way pass your prime. Your age does not matter. Do worry that your financial situation. Colonel Sanders was 66 of age, and broke when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. What really matters is whether you have the desire to learn and educate yourself.

How can you go about being financially literate? You can do so by opening both your eyes and ears and also your mind to the vast information around you. Your learning materials include not only financial subject textbooks or formal educational courses from institutions. They can be also seminars or talks organized by community services or financial organizations.

They can be financial books and periodicals found in the libraries or your local bookstores. They can be the financial magazines like Forbes, Business Weeks and newspapers such as Wall Street Journal. They can be the business page or money page on your local newspaper.

They can be finanical news broadcasts on the radio or TV. They can even be the conversations between your colleagues or your neighbour, talking about personal taxes! And of course, the Internet, where you easily get tons of information, both from authority sites as well as from personal sites.

If you truly want to accelerate your learning to become financial literacy, you should find yourself a mentor. Find someone who is successful who can give you timely financial advices based on the experiences he had. Someone who had gone down the path before and someone whom you think you can model after.

Lastly, remember to learn and apply. Financial literacy has no value if you don't put it to good use.
About the Author
Bernard Ng keeps a blog "Wisdom of the Rich Dad" at, where he shares lessons learnt from Robert Kiyosaki's 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad'.

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