Monday, June 07, 2004

Wealth V Education

Yesterday night Nasrul, Pak'an (Farizal Farhan), Zaquan and me went to Pak'an's place. His mother invited us to go have dinner there, since they also invited their other relatives to come have dinner. Pak'an's house was quite a crowd that night. Meriah lah jugak hehe..

The dinner was nice. We were served (it was self service though - buffet style) with nasi ayam, and it was superb. I really love the sambal, and especially the vegitables (cooked chineese style) really opened my apetite. Nasrul and Zaquan even added their nasi ayam few times. Just how apetizing the food was. Thanks to Pak'an's mother.

During our dinner, Zaquan, Nasrul, and me did have some conversations with Pak'an's father. His father is a government officer working in the education sector. Not a teacher though. Our conversations mostly were about our future (like what to do after finishing our degree and so on). Some interesting points brought up by Pak'an's father was that last time, during their time yougsters need not have to struggle to get a degree. Infact, having an SPM or STPM is good enough. You'll deffinitely be respectable among the society. However, now days, people don't even look at degree as a big deal. Due to too many university graduates, the expectations of the society is now much higher. Just a normal first degree is nothing much now. Pak'an's father did suggest that after finishing our first degree it is advisable to continue on pursuing our masters. He said that having a higher level of education will deffinitely let us get a better pay. And that better pay will let us live a reasonable life.

How far is that true? Well, yes it is true to a certain extent. But the question is, how much more will we be paid? Just few hundreds may be, just to round the figure to 2000 or so. Is that figure enough? What kind of life would fall into the category of a reasonable life? The fact is that most people who get paid working for their employer ALWAYS have financial problems. Despite of how much money they have, it will still be not enough. At the beginning of the month, they get their pay check, than they spend it for their house holds, insurance, petrol, car, credit bills, and the list goes on.. By the end of the month, their money either gone completely, or they only have very little left for them to spend on things they love. Some even worst, they even went broke and have to go in debt. This is the normal financial circle of the so called smart people (they either have a degree, masters or so..) Can this kind of life be catogorized as a reasonable life? I would rather say no!

In both books I read, The Millionaire in Me by Azizi Ali and Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki, both of the author stressed out the same point, that the amount of money is not of that essential to achieve wealth. The more vital part is; how you spend your money. What is your spending habit. Even if you are paid 20 000 a month, it will still not stop you from becoming broke, if your spending habit is to spend more than that 20 000 (especially those who uses credit card or buy things on credit). While on the same time, getting paid only 1000 a month will not stop you from achieving wealth, especially if your spending habit is to spend less than that amount of money you receive every month. And also if your spending habit is to spend on things which will eventually grow your money - investment. This is what most smart university graduates doesn't know. They think getting a higher pay will solve financial problems. The problem is, most of us spend years in school, and learn nothing about money. I would rather say that to achieve a wealthy life, being a university graduate is not a necessary thing.

Look at people like Bill Gates. He is a university drop out. But now?... He is the richest man in the world. According to a research, the top ten richest man in the US are all either don't go to the university at all, or if they do go, they are drop outs. In Malaysia, look at Lim Goh Tong. Last time he cannot even sign his own name in English! But look at how much his asset is ---- He owns the Genting!!

The fact is that, people who goes to the university, to pursue their degree, than masters, than to the top, to do their Ph.D, what they learn is, they are trained to be a good worker. So that when they starts working, they can work very well for the people who don't go to the university, and help these so called not so intelligent people become rich. Robert T. Kiyosaki, in his book did mentioned that smart people hire people who are smarter than them to work for them. So, let's look at the trend now: all of us, those who is either doing their degree/higher level, or intending to do so, would be studying very hard, spending 4-6 years to learn how to work for people who doesn't go to the university so that they can become rich, while we suffer from endless financial problems.

Erm.. May be that is why our beloved Prophet Muhammad encourages the muslims to venture into businesses. He stated that 99% of wealth lies in the business world.

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