Invest in yourself in the deepest sense of investment. Sure, save what you can. Sure, acquire smartly. But, above all of that, micro-manage! Indeed, there are times that living as if you have all the resources in existence at your disposal without paying for them somehow is foolish.

“Earn money to pay for it, yet pay yourself first” is not just a rusty and foolish idiom filled homily. It is a George Samuel Clason type truth that says it all. As market entrepreneur James Jerome Hill put it: “If you are not in the habit of saving, how can you ever earn or handle wealth?”

My answer: You cannot. Impressing the other people without watching yourself first is the ultimate foolish behavior and reality. Indeed, the genuine garden path is impressing everyone else and not genuinely having anything to survive and thrive on yourself. Being responsible to yourself includes a rational selfishness that helps you survive in reality, not the fantasy of “needing” to impress others or make others think that you are prosperous. Persistent disciplined and measured saving in reality leads to the most genuine of wealth, not just getting an instant abundance from the lottery without understanding and full dependence on luck and “providence”.

As Robert Kiyosaki said about his Rich Dad and his Poor Dad: All the titles and tricks in the world only trick you. Common sense wealth earned is the best way to go. Making impressions is a weakness, but genuinely being what you are impressing from the core consistently genuinely improving is the strength. Indeed, experience and understanding is better than titles.

There was this story on Ivy League University Doctorate cheating being at epidemic proportions in the United States of America on the news show “60 Minutes” on television meaning college kids from our country are using other countries knowledge to cheat, keep up appearances of knowledge and competitive standing. I mention this because it illustrates a point I am making about genuine investment in reality in life: Even if you get away with cheating, the mirror does not lie almost like Oscar Wilde and his picture of Dorian Gray getting uglier the more crimes and lies done by the character Dorian Gray. Reality is always there, however much we outwardly avoid it. The fantasy really is getting away with cheating. Honesty and real work (did not say “hard” or “easy”) is the way to go with all investment. Otherwise, what is the point? The counter point is in the mirror you look in.