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  • Writer's pictureRichard G. Stewart, Jr.

How Much Wealth Can You Have?

I want to tell you about four brothers that lived in a forest just outside an immense cave which tunneled through a vast mountain range. At the other end of the cave was an idyllic paradise where gold coins grew on all the trees.

Rumor had it that inside the cave were all manner of poisonous snakes and spiders, narrow ledges which dropped off into bottomless crevasses, pools of molten rock, and the skeletons of those who had failed to successfully make it to the other side of the tunnel.

The first brother had long ago tried to make it through the cave and had failed. He had fallen against a rock which had rendered him unconscious. Upon regaining consciousness, he had returned to his family and friends and had told them that he had realized that life in the forest had always been rather comfortable, and that it would be best if he remained there for the rest of his life.

The second brother was a man of great courage with an equally great desire to improve his lot in life. Despite the rumors he had heard about the cave, he nevertheless entered it one day and set out to reach the land of endless wealth. Early on, he suffered from snake and spider bites which were very painful, but proved not to be fatal. Later on he fell off a ledge, but fortunately the crevasse was only three feet in depth and, despite a sprained ankle, he was able to continue on his journey. Only hours before reaching the end of the cave, he fell into a steaming pool, only to find – much to his relief – that it was not molten rock but a hot water spring. He pulled himself out and at last, arrived at the land of paradise.

The third brother also desired to reach the land of riches. Wary of the rumors he had heard about the dangers of the cave, he spent time speaking to men of wisdom who had been through the cave and had found out every single barrier or danger he might have to deal with. He studied long and hard and, finally, prepared himself fully for his journey. To his surprise and relief, he found his adventure through the cave somewhat uneventful. His layers of clothing protected him well against the snakes and spiders. And the knowledge he had of the cave helped him to avoid the pitfalls his brother had encountered. With only a few minor scrapes, he reached the land of promise.

The fourth brother also desired to reach the land of treasure, but was not a man of great courage and found his life in the forest to be adequately comfortable or, at least, bearable. Until one day a tribe of cannibals moved into the forest and chased him into the cave. Afraid to continue further, he coped with the cold, wet habitat for a few days and then returned to the forest once the cannibals had gone away. But, alas, the cannibals returned only days later and again chased him into the cave. And so he spent the rest of his life, advancing towards the land of riches only when chased by cannibals, and returning to the forest when the cannibals were gone.

This parable of the four brothers tells us much about necessity levels and one’s ability to break through a particular level of income or net worth and achieve greater wealth and the wherewithal to realize one’s goals in life. Did you recognize yourself in any of the four brothers? They are personalities or identities which, perhaps, we have all assumed at times, or are assuming now.

Many people have suffered failures, of which they are painfully reminded whenever they reach again for longstanding purposes. Others, few in number, through sheer power it seems, reach beyond their fears and failures and, by carefully gaining the knowledge they need to proceed with certainty, or simply by doing whatever is required to make it go right, achieve the rewards which come with courage and persistence. And some people seem to go through life trapped between the cave and the cannibals. Their necessity levels are dictated by how threatening life is at any given moment. When the bills get high enough or the car breaks down, or the kids get sick they pull enough money to handle the situation. But as soon as life becomes less threatening the fears, confusions, failures, and mental and spiritual anguish of the “cave” soon pushes them away from their own land of promise and back to their “comfortable” lives.

The history of the money game is filled with painful failures. We’ve all suffered them. We’ve all been cheated. And we’ve all cheated others. These are the spiders and snakes and crevasses and steaming pools which lay in our paths to the next higher level of financial activity and, ultimately, to complete financial independence. And the more we have failed or pushed others to fail, the more poisonous become the snakes and spiders, and deeper the crevasses, the hotter the water or molten rock and the more dark and treacherous the tunnels to financial security.

But, oddly enough, as soon as you just grab ahold of your necessity level and responsibility level and just PUSH them up, the path to greater wealth (no matter how wealthy or poor you are now) becomes much less dangerous and each further step becomes easier to take.

It is sometimes surprising how much courage and strength it takes just to get started. We usually don’t perceive it that way though. The realization usually comes in a much more mundane, more forgettable fashion. You’re just daydreaming at the breakfast table and you look back and think, “Gosh, I’ve been at this same level of net worth, this same lifestyle for a long time. I’ve always wanted to have this and that and somehow I just never seem to have them. I just never seem to have enough money – hmmmm. Oh no – late to work – gotta rush…” And so it goes, day after day, year after year.

It is sometimes surprising how much courage and strength it takes just to get started.

So, someday you just have to decide to DO something. You have to make this decision and not half-make this decision. If you have decided to really DISAGREE with your current condition, then the next best thing I think you can do is to increase your KNOWLEDGE. As occurred with the third brother, KNOWLEDGE strengthens everybody’s ability to go into the cave of financial activities and emerge a winner. With knowledge, you can also obtain the safest and fastest route to financial independence.

What we have to offer you at R.G. Stewart & Co. and the Institute of Financial Independence is an education on the subject of finance, investments and the economy. No matter what your current financial situation is, I guarantee that the courses we have will greatly assist you in rapidly achieving your financial goals.

With much affinity and admiration,

Richard G. Stewart Jr.

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