Strengthen Your Wealth-Consciousness

by Patrick Liew on October 11, 2019

The noise was deafening to say the least. At every corner of the room, people seemed to be screaming.
Prices were being quoted loudly by the seconds. It was as if all hell had broken loose.
Some dealers were sitting at the edge of their seats – adrenaline on full rush. All eyes were fixed on the computer screens.
Suddenly, the Chief Dealer screamed, “Five dollars, yours! … Yours! … Yours! … Yours! … Yours! … Yours! … Yours! … Yours! … Yours! … Yours!”
In trading lingo, ‘one dollar’ represents ‘US$1 million’ and ‘yours’ means ‘sold to you’.
In other words, US$50 million dollars had been sold right under my eyes. And it was not the only trade for the rest of the day.
In that instance, my financial consciousness was awakened.
I had never realized there were so much money out there. So much money that could be within my reach – if only I believed and acted on it.
I was spending time in the dealing room of an offshore bank. It was no ordinary bank – financial traders called it a ‘market maker.’
It was a bank that could literally move the money market.
This was not the only dealing room that I saw millions of dollars changing hands.
I was privileged to watch similar action in almost any dealing room – what was termed as the ‘sacred sanctuary’ of a financial and investment firm.
At that point in time, I was head of the regional sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate.
I was involved in supplying financial information to most of the government agencies, organizations, and individuals that were involved in financial investments.
We like to believe that, without us, trading in the investment markets might have to slow down and in some market segments, might even have to stop.
As a result, I got to know many of the ‘who’s who’ in the world of financial investment. Obviously, to them, I was a ‘who’s Patrick?!’
Among these professionals, there was one who impressed the socks off me – the Chief Dealer of a market maker.
I took great effort to cultivate his friendship. It was no easy task because, if you knew him, you would think he was born without a heart or he had his heart gutted out from him by cold hard numbers.
This man was totally immersed in the money market – completely focused on maximizing his returns on investments. His life revolved around profits, profits, and more profits.
We became good friends – actually I was probably his only friend. We were so close that he finally agreed to help me invest my meagre savings and pittance of a salary.
When we shook hands to seal our investment partnership, I felt I had struck the mother lode. My financial destiny would finally take off.
Our investments went on for quite a few months but it was not getting anywhere close to what I was expecting.
I finally took the courage to question his investment strategy. I needed to know how he managed my hard-earned money.
This prominent investor said something to me that I would never forget for the rest of my life. He said, ”Patrick, if I know for sure how to make money, will I still be an employee in the bank?”
I could still hear his words reverberating through the chamber of my mind. They abruptly put an end to my financial innocence.
From that day onwards, I realized the best person to manage my money is – myself.
I started to think more deeply about money matters. I made up my mind to pursue financial wisdom.
There were many imponderables that led me to my lifelong pursuit for wealth. Please let me share some of them with you.
Wealth-creation is the result of a targeted mindset,a passionate dream, an enlarged capacity for more and better results, a competent skill set, and a
disciplined and ever-improving lifestyle.
To do that, you need to build on your money-consciousness.
To start developing a healthy financial habit, use cash instead of a credit card or any other form of cashless transaction.
In other words, you need to strengthen your foundation to create wealth.
1. Be mindful about money
As a start, you should become more conscious about the way you spend money.
You should be more mindful about reality of daily financial transactions.
Remember: when money is spent, it’s gone – forever.
Over time, when you become more conscientious, you will become more careful about your spending behavior and habits.
You will be more wary about not wasting hard-earned money.
2. Appreciate value of money
By using cash, you can be more aware of what you can get with your current amount of warm and tender (and not cold hard) cash.
In the same way, you will also realise what you cannot get with your money.
You will realise that you have to save for a while to get many good things in life.
For example, save money and invest in your own education so that you can be better positioned and be more prepared for success.
3. Develop financial discipline and habits
When you appreciate the value of money and the good it can do for you, your loved ones and society as a whole, you will become more motivated to earn more money.
You will learn to explore more and better ways to generate a higher income and ongoing profits.
You will develop a habit of saving money.
Once you start this wonderful habit, you will want to save more money.
You will realise that you don’t need to spend as much money as you thought.
You don’t have to follow other people’s spending habit.
Many of them don’t know how to manage their finance, let alone know how to achieve financial freedom.
You will learn how to spend less money and still be able to live well.
For example, I have learned to go to factory outlets and wait for a seasonal sales to buy good and essential products but at a substantial discount.
Earning more, spending less and saving more money are basic but critical habits to become rich and wealthy.
4. Become a wiser consumer
When you use cash to buy something, you will need to ask for its price.
You will have to take money out from your wallet and collect back the change if necessary.
When you save your loose change, you will realise every cent can add up to a lot of money.
In addition, you will also become more mindful of the price of your purchase.
Soon, you will discover that prices of goods are not pegged scientifically and they are not absolute.
You can always get better buys and better bargains in different ways and places.
You may also realise that you don’t need the “stuffs” and “toys” that are being merchandised, advertised and promoted to consumers like us.
You will learn to stop yourself from impulsive buying. You will not be easily misled by salespersons and cheated by con men who know how to play on your greed and win your heart and mind.
You will learn to make better buying decisions and live a more effective life.
You will learn to be a wiser consumer.
5. Build a more sustainable reservoir of positive emotions
You may discover that the outcome of buying something is in the hope of an emotional gain. For example, you have been programmed to believe that buying a product will bring about happiness.
Such emotion is transient and frequently not sustainable.
Fact is, there are other ways and even better ways to enjoy positive emotions without having to spend money.
You will learn to appreciate and value relationships, experiences, and memories more than whatever you can buy in a shop.
Some of the best things in life as they say, are free.
Sad to say, we often choose to spend unnecessarily and pursue materialism and affluence.
The wonderful things in life include learning to appreciate beauty around you, being grateful about daily blessing, and meditating about the goodness of life.
It also includes spending quality time with family and friends, going for a nice walk, or recording your reflection like what I’m doing right now.
You will learn to major on the majors. And like Steven Covey would say, put first things first.
6. Live simply
There is a related cousin of the credit card. It’s called an ‘ATM,’ ‘Cash’ or ‘Nets’ card.
For me, I use a foreign bank’s ATM card. They have only a few ATM machines.
I make it less convenient to draw money.
In addition, I draw only a small sum of money each time.
This is to remind and compel myself to spend less.
When you spend less money, you will have less baggage to carry in your life.
You will learn to live simply.
Then, you will realise that you don’t need to live lavishly to lead a happy life.
Simplicity is one of the keys to a life of happiness and well-being.
Using cash can lead you to appreciate the more important and finer things in life.
7. Cultivate discipline of delayed gratification
Spending money is the most expensive way to live life. Lol!
Learn to say no and cut down on unnecessary expenses.
Appreciate the value and discipline of delayed gratification.
It may be hard to practise delayed gratification in an “instant fix” society.
Most people are looking for easy ways, shortcuts, get-rich-quick schemes, and on-demand pleasures.
Delayed gratification requires self-control, discipline and perseverance. These are also traits that are common in many successful people.
When I studied these people, I found they are masters in controlling their urges for immediate gratification.
They do it through self-restraint, training, and constant practice.
They know that success requires self-mastery, determination and hard work. They practised these disciplines in their daily life.
People who exercise more self-control in fulfilling their wants tend to become more positive, self-motivated, and resilient in achieving their goals.
As a result, they become more successful in life.
8. Be an effective negotiator
When you use cash, you will have a greater tendency to ask for a discount and bargain for a better deal.
As you take a firmer grip of your financial position and have a better control over your expenses, you will be more conscious of better buys.
You will seek for advice. You will ask for a better way to acquire things.
You will find out if you can get better returns for your money and a lower interest rate when you need financing.
You will learn the art and science of bargaining and negotiation.
That in and of itself can be fun and exciting. Besides, it is an important skill to develop and apply to be an achiever in life.
9. Develop long term visions and goals
As you realise what money can do for your life and for others, you will be compelled to develop long term visions and goals.
You will not be satisfied with fleeting pleasures and short term gains.
In time, you will be able to afford better things in life.
You and your family can live in comfort and security even as you give more of yourself to the world.
You will have more resources to give back and live a more purposeful and meaningful life.
With sound visions and goals, you will be more mindful of how you should deploy and channel your resources.
You will learn to move in the right direction and achieve better outcomes.
10. Avoid unhealthy credit card debts
Last but not least, you will never be trapped by the clutches of unhealthy financial debt because you can “charge it to the card.”
Credit card debts have become one of the biggest reasons for bankruptcy and financial ruins.
When you use cash, you will never live beyond your means.
You will never have to worry about paying high interest rates to credit card companies.
You will never have to worry about being overcharged and living with recurring payments.
You will not have to suffer auto-renewals of purchases that you don’t need and want.
In summary, learn to increase your financial intelligence level. Learn how to earn, spend, save, invest, protect, and give away your money wisely.
As you increase your financial intelligence, it will prevent you from suffering financially or going broke.
Without sound financial intelligence, even if you are rich, you may not be able to keep your money and grow it over time.

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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