FP Article 26
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How to Escape
the Poverty Trap
by Rajen Devadason
The poor make themselves poorer as apes of
possible to earn a lot of money and
to end up broke... or worse! And it
is possible to earn a modest income
all your life and finish your career
as a very rich man or woman.
Would you care to
know why that's so? Here's my
work against our dreams of growing
abiding wealth. Therefore, the
solution is to tame our appetites.
Are you willing to exercise delayed
More to the point: Are you willing to exercise
both your mind and your soul to rewire the way
you look at the world and at money?
Doing so is necessary because
even in the richest nations on Earth, the
overwhelming majority of citizens never live
much beyond one or two paycheques from total
fiscal meltdown. That is a particularly
dangerous way to live because even though the
global economy generally expands from one year
to the next, the distribution of wealth across
our planet is becoming increasingly unbalanced.
The cliché is true: The rich are getting richer.
So, keep reading if you would like insights on
how to escape the poverty trap.
This is an article on how to escape
the poverty trap. I hope you enjoy
reading it. But if it isn't what
you're looking for, you're welcome
to search for something that better meets
your needs. Thank you for allowing
me to serve you.
In case you didn't know, Lew
Wallace - the man whose quote opened this piece
- was a Major General in the American Civil War.
He later served at the court martial of those
implicated in Abe Lincoln's assassination, and
later still served as governor of New Mexico.
But Wallace is best known as the author of the
towering masterpiece Ben-Hur: A tale of
the Christ. More people have watched the
third and most famous movie by that name
starring Charlton Heston than have ever read the
book. If you get the chance you should do both!
What I find interesting
in the context of our
subject today of figuring out how to prosper
financially in the midst of a sea of counter
examples comprising family members and friends
who live from hand-to-mouth is the
power of a negative example. Let me explain:
Wallace never considered himself
a religious man. But one day he found himself
seated on a train listening with rapt attention
to an eloquent agnostic named Robert Ingersoll.
Colonel Ingersoll spoke for two solid hours
against God, Jesus Christ, and heaven itself!
Ironically, instead of being
turned away from God, Wallace decided that he
wanted to deal with his admitted ignorance of
such matters. So he set himself the task of
truly learning about the issues at hand. Wallace
later wrote: "It only remains to say that I did
as resolved, with results - first the book
Ben-Hur, and second, a conviction amounting to
absolute belief in God and the Divinity of
In case you're wondering, I share
those convictions. But right now the pertinent
point I want to make is that it is possible to
be exposed to one set of doctrines and end up
convinced of the validity of a diametrically
Certainly in the realm of
financial planning, that is the case. Human
appetites are insatiable; almost as soon as we
acclimate to one level of lifestyle do we begin
aspiring to the next!
From the perspective of staying
hungry and ambitious, that trait is great.
Unfortunately in our
consumer-driven society, which subjects us to
thousands of possible ways to spend money -
often even before we've earned it... through the
'magical' properties of credit cards and other
forms of expensive consumer finance - craving
something and then succumbing to the temptation
to possess it before we have 'earned the right'
to own it is a recipe for failure.
In case you're wondering,
'earning the right' to own something means being
wise, patient and smart enough to focus first on
building up our store of personal financial resources to
genuinely afford the stuff we want.
Succeeding in this regard
requires two things:
1. The correct mindset; and
2. The correct information.
There is very little I can do to
inculcate the correct mindset in you. You will
need to decide for yourself whether succeeding
financially, which in this age of escalating
prices almost certainly translates into one day
becoming a millionaire or better yet a
multi-millionaire, is something you crave with
every fibre of your being. If you don't harbour
this accomplishment as a major life goal, then all the
reading in the world is unlikely to change
things for you. But if you do harbour such a
powerful desire, then all you need do is acquire the right
information to act as the Master Key to open the lock
of the Door to Your Dreams!
Some of that information can be
found right here at this site, but much of it
will come from your own long-term search for
To start, I suggest you do three
things to stake the odds of success in your
serious with goals;
serious with reading about money; and
serious about emulating the success attributes
of existing millionaires.
If you will do all three, chances
are good that you will escape the poverty trap
within one or two decades.
If you wish to get serious with
learn about goal-setting.
If you want
guidance on what to read,
I think I can help there as well.
And if you are serious about
emulating the success traits of those who have
already made it financially, then the following
seven points from the
outstanding book The Millionaire Next Door
by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko will
In their book - which I urge you
buy a copy of at your nearest bookstore, and
then read and study - Stanley and Danko list 7
common denominators of those who successfully
1. They live well below their
2. They allocate their time,
energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive
to building wealth.
3. They believe that financial
independence is more important than displaying
high social status.
4. Their parents did not
provide economic outpatient care.
5. Their adult children are
6. They are proficient in
targeting market opportunities.
7. They chose the right
If you are 100% committed to
escaping the poverty trap, then you will reread
that list of 7 factors and identify one or two
that you can work on immediately within your own
life. (I particularly like factor number 3.)
In closing, I suggest you reread
this article slowly from top to bottom. This
time take careful notes of ideas and also
explore the embedded
mentioned above, and again here, concerning
might help you deal with areas in your own life
that are crying out for radical improvement... today
and for many consecutive tomorrows to come.
If you will do all that work -
and make no mistake, it will involve some hard
work and a great deal of discipline - then I
believe you'll be able to eventually escape the
poverty trap. And so, in the words of Star Trek's Spock,
I wish for you to:
Live long and prosper!
© Rajen Devadason