I am a member of a recently created investment club.  We meet weekly by phone and once month in person. Part of our mission statement is to increase our personal financial education.  Self-study, teaching what we learn to the group; book club/study group; attending workshops and having members of the financial industry speak at our meetings.  At our first meeting, we discussed the most recognized names, programs, books, magazines, websites and blogs on personal finance.
 
Earlier this month, I attended a 3-hour Rich Dad® Education informational seminar. You know the one – a large ballroom in a local hotel filled with hard-working people that are looking to make a change in their lives and the futures of their families.  I was one of the interested – what to do, how to do it and where’s my pot of gold? 
 
Several facilitators gave a brief overview of Robert Kiyosaki, his CASHFLOW Quadrant® concept and two components of Rich Dad® Education: real estate and stock investing.  Thanks, Melvin and Chris. Attendees were able to enroll in one or both topics’ upcoming 3-day seminars in the New York City metro area.  Each enrollment allows two people to attend the 20+ hour seminar.  I choose both programs.  For me (and my investment club) the cost was a nominal amount, especially divided among the club members.
 
This past weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at a major hotel on Sixth Avenue, in walking distance of Rockefeller Center and Central Park, I attended the real estate training – in several weeks, I will attend the investing in stocks training.  Prior to the first day, I had several chapters of Philosophy of Cash Flow and Guide to Real Estate Investing to read.  Focusing on my emotional IQ and financial IQ was tough.  Talking to my mother about family money concerns was tougher. Writing out my thoughts on abundance and discussing my viewpoints with my best friend was liberating.  Perhaps a few of these exercises will be assignments for my fellow investment club members.
 
Gregory Downing was the instructor. Coach. Mentor. Motivational speaker. Facilitator towards financial growth. He and his team (Judy, Rob, Ed and Robert) were inspirational – absolutely the subject matter experts that we needed. Talk about a paradigm shift. It had to be, to get approximately 100 New Yorkers to gather from 8:30am in the morning to 6:00pm in the evening to examine our beliefs and misconceptions about money.  Confront our fears.  Meet through lunch.  Acknowledge our bad decisions on spending, saving and investing.  Learn something new.  Recognize the negative programming that we absorbed our whole lives. Suspend our internal dialogue.  Remove naysayers from our lives.  Step outside of our comfort zones – way beyond our comfort zones.
 
There was laughter and grim realization of our mutual anxieties.   Camaraderie about our small group financial IQ averages. Did I mention the fear? Nervousness.  Excitement.  Then I started to notice the support.  Sharing of notes and lunch.  Extra high-fives.  Pats on the back for being vulnerable in front of a friend or family member and over 90 strangers.  Laughter and hopefulness.  Shouts of encouragements, “You’re a 10!”  And a quick round of Cash Flow: the game.
 
By the end of the weekend, many of my fellow attendees choose to continue their financial education with additional Rich Dad® training.  My next step – we can discuss that next week.

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