Will You Accumulate Money or Accumulate Value? - Outside View by Anisa Virji

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Will You Accumulate Money or Accumulate Value?
Jan 11, 2017

Anisa Virji

'What, pray tell me, am I doing wrong?'

CJ was, as usual, moaning about his financial situation.

He's always been a bit negative about his finances. A very well-paying job with an international investment house doesn't seem to be enough to erase the money lines etched on his forehead.

He's still paying for a flat he bought to live in with his wife eight years ago. And now he's paying for schooling for his baby girl (3 lakh per year and she is still in the first standard). He loves this girl, but she's turning his hair grey.

Last year, his company went through a rough patch and laid some of his colleagues off. The thought of losing his salary while his mortgage, and his baby, hung in the balance caused a big hole to appear on the back of his head where his hair used to be.

'I thought I was doing everything right. What's the deal - eat as little as possible, live as little as possible, work like a robot, and invest as much as possible, right? And still I feel trapped in a job I now truly hate. The markets, the gold...something...anything...should have paid off by now. Where did I go wrong?'

You can see the same kind of worry swirling around the heads of many Indian parents. They are tortured by two questions: How will I raise them? What will I leave them?

You do all the usual sensible finance-y things...

  • Save as much as possible
  • Plan your taxes
  • Budget for and track your expenses
  • Keep enough liquid emergency funds
  • Plan and invest according to goals
  • Make sure your insurance policies are in place, etc...

The simple, normal wealth-building steps that any financially savvy person would take.

But you never feel wealthy.

'Why am I not-yet-wealthy?' CJ asked in despair.

CJ, like many others, is stuck in the wrong definition of wealth.

Wealth is a number they see in their heads - and every day, in every way, they work towards it. Long hours, not seeing their family, not pursuing their passions, not doing things they love, never spending on themselves. Living for increments, bonuses, windfalls, market upswings...

The 'wealth' always lies in the future. It is never here or now.

It's too bad society has decided to bestow prestige upon its individuals according to the amount of money they make. But this isn't a definition of wealth we need to internalise and live with.

Wealth is a way of life. It is living a rich life - not when you reach that number, not when you get a big enough bonus, but today. Now.

Rich people understand something most people don't: Wealth does not come from making money. It comes from creating value. When you add value, wealth will follow.

As our wealth coach Mark Ford says, 'To acquire wealth, it is useful to define what it is. Fewer than one in ten people can. The answer is "accumulated value".'

When you create value in lots of different ways, it all adds up to 'wealth'. Wealth is not an unattainable dream - it is merely the coming together of little things you do right.

And you can start by adding value to your life and others. How? By doing what you love.

I recently saw Boman Irani, the beloved actor best known for his iconic role as Virus, the mean old principal in the movie 3 Idiots, speak at a youth achievement award ceremony, and he was so pleased with the creative achievements of these children.

'You have a parcel from God. Each one of us has this package. Just open it and play with it. Forget about industry. Forget about money. Just play with your gift. Have fun. Let them pay you to play.'

This is not a message just for youth. It is a message for all of us. Boman only became successful at 40. But by doing what he loved he added value to himself. And to society.

To make real wealth, then, you need to do something different. Something that is specifically yours. Something that adds value.

If you feel like you're stuck in a job, dreading every day, worrying, moaning...you can't really add much value, can you?

You need to, first of all, learn to be happy.

Did you know that there's research (a lot of it) that suggest happy people make more money? We don't know why exactly, but I can think of several good reasons why this must be true.

  • Happy people are probably more productive. If you're not mired in worry, there is no ten-ton brick weighing down on your head, so you can sleep, think, and work better.
  • They might get better performance reviews. They give out positive energy and contribute to a better work environment, which leads to higher increments.
  • They believe in themselves and invest in themselves. Not just money, but time and energy.
  • They are not worried about finances so they can make better financial decisions - clearing up debts and investing rationally.

The first step to wealth, then, is erasing those worry lines. Do more things you love. Spend more time with your family. Take breaks. Enjoy your work. Those are the true measures of wealth, and they are within reach.

  • A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart. - Jonathan Swift

Use your heart to find and pursue your passion. The best way to make wealth is to do what you love.

  • Persist - don't take no for an answer. If you're happy to sit at your desk and not take any risk, you'll be sitting at your desk for the next 20 years. - David Rubenstein

You may work hard and relentlessly at that job, but it'll never make you wealthy if you don't love it.

The best way to build wealth is to own your business. But you don't need to quit your job right away - we definitely advise keeping the safety net on when striking out. Just start doing what you love, watch it grow, and when you're ready, unchain yourself from your desk.

The Wealth Builders Club India has helped many Indians start with a passion...and end with a business. Turning what you love into income is completely doable. All you need is a simple, straightforward strategy.

To begin with, it requires as little as one hour per day. Are you willing to keep that time for yourself instead of giving it all away to the job? Start doing what you love, and profit will follow. The Club can show you how to do this, and how to live a full, rich life while you do it.

Yes, you can experience true wealth while you build financial wealth.

And when you feel the weight of a number on your heart, remember the words of Henry David Thoreau...

  • Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.

Anisa Virji is the Managing Editor for Common Sense Living, and the Wealth Builders Club India, a Club where you will find all you need to generate a fortune outside of the traditional financial markets.


The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Equitymaster do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site.

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3 Responses to "Will You Accumulate Money or Accumulate Value?"


Jan 14, 2017

Really inspirational and thought provoking article.

Like (2)

Krishnan Nair

Jan 13, 2017

Very good article!!!!Bull's eye!!!!

Like (2)

Nitin Mehta

Jan 11, 2017

Excellent. Flawless, speechless; hitting dart right in the center by explaining WEALTH in its purest, simple way.

I am also the same CJ whom you are referring to. Infact everybody, until eyes and mind opens......

I read it twice, still trying to digest. I am pinning up this article on my desk and read every morning to ensure that each day do not fade which happened till yesterday; so as to START building up WEALTH from TOMORROW.

Like (4)
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