My friend Robert Kiyosaki said I should invest in increasing my financial intelligence. By invest he meant put in money, effort, and more importantly, time.
Financial intelligence is the foundation of great wealth. It is the understanding of money and how it works in the present day world. Understanding that debt is not merely debt, but that it could be good or bad; and assets are sometimes not assets but liabilities; and that expenses should be increased and income decreased to maximize the tax laws written by the rich for the rich. It is seeing not what is there but the totality of the picture. It is listening to the story of numbers, and using more numbers to create an extraordinary future.
As a law student, I already came across some terms that are common fare for investors like Buffett and Kiyosaki. I go back to them now and see them in a new light.
I sit and wonder: I have memorized them, delicately moved my fingers through these very words a hundred times, but yet I have not completely understood them, or appreciated their significance.
The Securities and Regulations Code
The title itself is daunting but it is there that I know I can start my journey. I use Professor Catindig’s book, Notes on Selected Commercial Laws: A Guide for Bar Reviewees, where he quotes the Securities and Regulations Code, a storehouse of useful financial information. Here is one term I learned (and re-learned):
Securities (Section 3.1) – These are shares, participation or interests in a corporation or in a commercial enterprise or profit-making venture and evidenced by a certificate, contract, instrument, whether written or electronic character. It includes:
a. Shares of stock, bonds, debentures, notes, evidences of indebtedness, asset-backed securities;
b. Investment contracts, certificates of interest or participation in a profit sharing agreement, certificates of
deposit for future subscription;
c. Fractional undivided interests in oil, gas or other mineral rights;
d. Derivatives like options and warrants;
e. Certificates of assignments, certificates of participation, trust certificates, voting trust certificates or similar
f. Proprietary or nonproprietary membership certificates in corporations; and
g. Other instruments as may in the future be determined by the Commission.
As Professor Catindig noted in his book, the Revised Securities Act did not attempt to define the term “securities” but contented itself with an enumeration of the various securities included in the term. The definition of “securities”, in fact, leads to more questions and more exciting avenues, all discoverable.
Maybe, it is true. The information you most need is actually before you. And that you need only to be reminded of it – because you passed that way before. That you need only to take that extra step to enlightenment.
A pledge – one post per week will be dedicated to improving and increasing our financial acumen.
Like the shepherd Santiago who had come full circle in his journey of self-discovery, I too have come to that junction. I can almost hear the fireworks. But there is a great deal to do, questions to ask, things to learn and re-learn.
I am excited. Please journey with me.