Step 8 –The Ten Steps to Wealth – What are your Assets?
Somewhere along your journey on The Ten Steps to Wealth, it would be useful to ask yourself the question: What are my assets? This question is particularly interesting in terms of financial assets, as it is often used in a sense that makes us believe that we own quite a few things of value.
I first came across a different way of looking at the words assets and liabilities when I read Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, back in the late 90s.
When we go to the bank for a loan, we are generally asked to list our assets and liabilities, so off we go and list under assets our house, car, computers, major furniture items and the like. If we take away our liabilities (usually our other loans, credit cards and mortgages) from our assets, it does give us a picture of our net worth, which is at least hopefully positive.
Both Paul Counsel and Robert Kiyosaki suggest a different way of looking at the term “asset”:
“..as something that grows in capital value AND puts income in your pocket.”
Most of the items we could list as our assets may have value, but only if sold, and generally consume money (Houses require maintenance, incur rates etc). Oh and the banks only want to know if there are ENOUGH assets to pay off your liability to them!
Some examples of income producing assets that grow in capital value and puts income in your pocket are rental properties, business investments, shares, bonds and the like. As we know from previous steps, to partake in investing in any of these mediums we need to get information, knowledge and create plans.
For me, the most important financial message from Step Eight on the Ten Steps to Wealth is:-
“…spending active income on things that depreciate in value destroys opportunities to live a financially free lifestyle”.
Personal Assets and Liabilities
If your goal is not a financial one, then how does asking yourself the question “what are my assets” relate to you? When you look at trying to achieve any goal, really, one of the best ways forward is to assess what your assets and your liabilities are. Under assets you can list all the things that already propel you towards your goal. Under liabilities you can list all the things that make it that little bit harder to achieve and need to attend to in some way to overcome them.
For instance say your goal is to eat only fresh food for 3 months. Your assets may be that you do the shopping and can therefore control food entering the house, you don’t eat foods with food colouring anyway and that you do all the cooking anyway. The liabilities are that you work longish hours and will need to find time to prepare fresh food, you will need to find time to plan the menus and that you may need to shop at a wider variety of stores to get all you want. Given that kind of list, you would know that the menus and shopping would be where you need to spend your energy and time, not necessarily on getting more cooking utensils.
Knowing what your assets and liabilities are before you set off to achieve any goal you can reclaim and protect your energy and direct it towards the actions that will help you achieve your goal.
Subscribe to The Ten Steps to Wealth to read Paul’s advice as to how to reclaim the power of the money you already earn and his rule about getting lifestyle toys now!