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Financial Literacy: Battle Of The Gurus

Getting rich is a major concern for most of us. Most of us won't be able to live without certain luxuries, and being able to lay hold of those luxuries does require money. Yes, contentment will never be attained by material things alone, but you have to admit that financial freedom does add to one's quality of life.

That is why financial self-help is a growing industry nowadays. Because of the desire to get financially free, many gurus have cornered the field in helping people conquer their financial demons. In the U.S., Dave Ramsey is probably the most trusted and most-loved of these financial gurus. Sure, Warren Buffett and Donald Trump are still the go-to guys for learning how to get wealthy, but Dave Ramsey has ensured that the Average Joe will be able to relate to and apply the concepts he teaches.

Dave Ramsey, however, focuses on sensible, grounded financial concepts. Centered on the Baby Steps to financial freedom, his principles could be summed up in: Build an emergency fund, Get out of debt, Build your retirement and savings funds, then Build wealth and give. Sensible concepts that will prove sure and true.

On the other hand, people get started on their wealth journey with the teachings of another guru in mind: Robert Kiyosaki. Robert Kiyosaki isn't concerned about your debt. He isn't concerned about a slow but sure way to get financially free. He is concerned about getting out of the "Rat Race" and onto the "Fast Lane."

Robert Kiyosaki's book Rich Dad, Poor Dad took the world by storm. While it earned its critics, it had more fans. And in the Philippines, a group built its business paradigm on Kiyosaki's principles. In 2009, the Create Abundance 2020 community took Manila by storm with seminars on how to get wealthy. Focusing on diagnosing the root of people's financial misconceptions through letting them go through a game of Cash Flow 101 by Robert Kiyosaki then graduating them on to financial literacy classes, the group aimed to help people get out of the "Rat Race" and follow their dreams, as facilitated by financial freedom.

However, the hype and the mania created by Create Abundance 2020 eventually died down. I am not privy to how and why it died down, but I can speculate on it: I believe that the concepts they taught were too overarching for the regular Filipino to act on. Plus, with most Filipinos on a hand to mouth existence, only a handful really have the drive and the perseverance to make it big as entrepreneurs.

Either way, the rise or fall of that said group is not our concern. Our series is about the soundness of the financial concepts that Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki have preached.

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