I have never met anyone who likes losing money. And in all my years, I have never met a rich person who has never lost money.
But I have met a lot of poor people who have never lost a dime—investing, that is.
The fear of losing money is real.
Everyone has it. Even the rich.
But it’s not the fear that is the problem. It’s how you handle fear. It’s how you handle losing. The primary difference between a rich person and a poor person is how they manage that fear.
It’s okay to be fearful. It’s okay to be a coward when it comes to money. You can still be rich. We’re all heroes at something and cowards at something else.
My rich dad understood phobias about money.
“Some people are terrified of snakes. Some people are terrified about losing money. Both are phobias,” he would say.
So, his solution to the phobia of losing money was this: “If you hate risk and worry, start early.”
If you start young, it’s easier to be rich.
But what if you don’t have much time left or would like to retire early? How do you handle the fear of losing money?
My poor dad did nothing. He simply avoided the issue, refusing to discuss the subject.
My rich dad, on the other hand, recommended that I think like a Texan. “I like Texas and Texans,” he used to say. “In Texas, everything is bigger. When Texans win, they win big. And when they lose, it’s spectacular.”
“They like losing?” I asked.
“That’s not what I’m saying. Nobody likes losing. Show me a happy loser, and I’ll show you a loser,” said rich dad. “It’s a Texan’s attitude toward risk, reward, and failure I’m talking about. It’s how they handle life. They live it big.”
Rich dad went on, “What I like best is the Texas attitude. They’re proud when they win, and they brag when they lose. Texans have a saying, ‘If you’re going to go broke, go big.’ You don’t want to admit you went broke over a duplex.”
He constantly told Mike and me that the greatest reason for lack of financial success was because most people played it too safe.
“People are so afraid of losing that they lose.”
Fran Tarkenton, a once-great NFL quarterback, says it still another way: “Winning means being unafraid to lose.”
In my own life, I’ve noticed that winning usually follows losing.
I’ve never met a golfer who has never lost a golf ball. I’ve never met people who have fallen in love who have never had their heart broken.
For most people, the reason they don’t win financially is because the pain of losing money is far greater than the joy of being rich.
Rich dad used to tell Mike and me stories about his trips to Texas. “If you really want to learn the attitude of how to handle risk, losing, and failure, go to San Antonio and visit the Alamo.
“The Alamo is a great story of brave people who chose to fight, knowing there was no hope of success. They chose to die instead of surrendering. They got their butts kicked. So how do Texans handle failure? They still shout, ‘Remember the Alamo!’”
Mike and I heard this story a lot.
He always told us this story when he was about to go into a big deal, and he was nervous.
It gave him strength; it reminded him that he could always turn a financial loss into a financial win.
Rich dad knew that failure would only make him stronger and smarter.
It gave him the courage to cross the line when others backed out. “That’s why I like Texans so much,” he would say. “They took a great failure and turned it into inspiration….”
But probably his words that mean the most to me today are these:
“Texans don’t bury their failures. They get inspired by them. They take their failures and turn them into rallying cries. Failure inspires Texans to become winners. But that formula is not just the formula for Texans. It is the formula for all winners.”
Failure inspires winners. And failure defeats losers.
It is the biggest secret of winners. It’s the secret that losers do not know.
There is a big difference between hating losing and being afraid to lose.
Most people are so afraid of losing money that they cannot help but lose. They go broke over a duplex.
Financially, they play life too safe and too small.
The main reason that over 90% of the American public struggles financially is because they play not to lose. They don’t play to win.
They go to their financial planners or accountants or stockbrokers and buy a balanced portfolio.
Most have lots of cash in CDs, low-yield bonds, mutual funds that can be traded within a mutual-fund family, and a few individual stocks. It is a safe and sensible portfolio.
But it is not a winning portfolio. It is a portfolio of someone playing not to lose.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s probably a better portfolio than more than 70 percent of the population has, and that’s frightening.
It’s a great portfolio for someone who loves safety.
But playing it safe and balanced on your investment portfolio is not the way successful investors play the game.
The concept of winning and our desire to win in all areas of our lives were themes of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
It’s a mindset, a goal to which we can all aspire, and that motivates us to embrace our mistakes, learn from them, and keep our sights focused on winning.
It’s something President Trump understands, something rich investors understand…
And now it needs to be something you not only understand, but act on.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily