Sat, 27 December 2014
I am not really religious but it's the holiday season.
So I decided for today's Book Of The Day I would read the Bible, specifically the Book of Proverbs.
The wise man says in Proverbs 22:7, "...the borrower is the slave of the lender."
How true this is.
Throughout history, the lender has always been the master over the borrower.
The average person in the USA is $225,238 in debt.
They owe $15,263 on their credit cards (at interest of around 14.95%), $147,591 on their house, $31,646 on student loans, and owe a staggering $30,738 on their car.
You might be in debt too.
If you are in debt you have two choices. You can be like most people and blame capitalism or 'corporations.'
Or you can follow the old saying, "If you can't beat them, join them."
So become a lender. Start lending money yourself.
Lending money will accomplish one main thing: make you sophisticated with money.
Nothing will make you more financially savvy then lending out a little money and losing it, then learning from your mistakes, and evolving into someone skilled in advanced financial principles.
Lending money will teach you:
1. How to read people and be discerning with money.
2. How to structure win-win negotiations.
3. How to draw up a promissory note.
4. How to calculate a loan repayment schedule.
5. How to deal with conflict from people that aren't paying you back.
Remember, if you want to thrive in life you have to become sophisticated with money.
One of the reasons I went through the whole laborious Certified Financial Planner Program was to understand money at the deepest levels.
So start by lending out a $100 or $500.
Remember only lend out what you can afford to lose.
I once lent a buddy $38,000 to renovate and flip a house. That was in 2007, right before the market dropped. I still haven't seen a penny back yet.
But who cares? Gaining knowledge to me is more valuable than losing money here and there.
It's like anything in life, you will suck at first. But if you patiently commit to building the new skill of lending money you will get good over time - real good.
I don't recommend lending to family or close friends since there is always the chance of some long-term tension.
Lend to an acquaintance or a friend of a friend.
And do not just informally lend out the money. That won't teach you anything.
You probably have already done that in your life before. There is no real educational value from just pulling a $100 out of your pocket and giving it to a friend who is broke.
Structure the deal formally so they have to pay you back on an exact lending schedule.
Go to Rocketlawyer.com and download a simple loan agreement.
Don't worry about charging interest. This is a training exercise not an attempt to become a bank or a loan shark.
The bonus to all this is that you will also be improving the world.
When I lived with the Amish I realized they have a secret weapon. Instead of only relying on big banks, they lend each other money at low interest. This allows young people who don't have much credit to get started running their own businesses.
Many Jewish, Lebanese, and Muslim communities do the same. It's genius.
By the way one of my favorite charities is Kiva.com where you can lend money to people in third world countries so they can start up their own business and rise out of poverty.
So stop being a servant. Become a master. I don't care if you are 18 or 85. Flip the tables on the conventional structure by becoming sophisticated with money.