Is My Money SafeWith the recent collapse of several large financial institutions, such as AIG and Lehman brothers, followed by the shaky ground of banks, this single question arises: is my money safe?

The question is actually have a simple answer, but the answer would only be the tip of the iceberg.

Perhaps hiding your money under the pillow is safer these days

These things always happens every time recession hits – people pulling their money from banks and other financial institutions, people do suicide attempts, people gone bankrupt, and so on.

The Government in US and most other countries has a policy and a governing body to protect saving accounts, like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) of the US.

There are also safe investment alternatives, such as money market account that is also insured by the FDIC (this is only applicable for money market account offered through a bank).

But, there are a major caveat, despite all the protection and safer alternatives. The caveat is so big, that even hiding your money under the pillow is safer these days – you could take it literally or figuratively :)

The biggest caveat: you and I

Although FDIC or other similar organisation in other countries does a great job assuring the safety of your money, the bad things happening to you in recession times often, unfortunately and surprisingly, originates from you and I.

Yes, you and I.

You see, financial education and mindset have again and again prove themselves as the main detrimental factor in the ability for you and I to survive, even thrive in today’s recession.

In my opinion, it’s too naive if you trust your money to others. You have to control your money – where will it be put, what will it be used, and how.

Letting others to control your money will result in some horrible stories I read about the collapse of big financial companies.

One of the story I read (I apologise, I forgot to cite the source) is evolving around a 72 years old man from Hong Kong that put his entire life saving into the hand of a broker. The Lehman Brothers’ collapse did only one thing to this unfortunate man – losing ALL of his hard earned money that he collected over the period of 50 years.

The moral of the story: you can’t trust your money to others – it’s your money, not theirs!

The key to ace the recession – knowledge, mindset, and opportunities

These three, in my opinion, are the keys to ace the recession today.

knowledge

Financial education is the number one key people often neglect, even avoid. They said that they don’t have time to learn. Others said that there are others that will help them managing their money.

Here’s the truth – If you are not continuously learn about your money and let others ‘manage’ it for you, you are risking your money yourself – don’t blame the recession!

The education can be obtained for free – mainly through the Internet. There are also mentorship programs that will help you gaining better control over your wealth.

Mindset

Mindset – resilience and kaizen – or continuous learning are several important factors in aiding the knowledge to ‘glue’ to your mind.

Opportunities

Opportunities come and go, even in recession today. Your job is to identify one, and seize it!

Perhaps it’s too late, but late is better than sorry

Is there still time to fix my situation? Honestly, maybe it’s too late already, because we are already in a recession that some called the great depression part II.

But being late is better than sorry! Stop feeling pity about yourself and start doing what you are suppose to be doing – take control of your money.

Two recommendations – You need to invest and diversify.

Remember, saving account is NOT an investment. Diversify your investment vehicles – stocks, real estates, business, etc to spread the risks.

Last but not least, learn from others that have paved the road for you – learn from experts and mentors that have survived recession and bankruptcy before.

Ivan Widjaya
Kaizen
Image by jenn_jenn.