Short answer: ‘Don’t invest’. 

But to me, I would say that what we do after recognising the present lack in our finances is pivotal to our investment success. 

To illustrate, for some, an absence of money is a stumbling block to investing. In their views, it will be more practical to consider investing, only after they obtain some sizable capital. But in reality, the thing is: ‘How many people do you know were given $50,000, $100,000 or more in capital to start off upon graduation?’ 

As such, if you are like most people, you’ll inevitably face the problem of having not enough money or ‘insufficient capital’. 

Despite it being a common issue, how we choose to respond to this is critical as it could change the course of our financial future. Inevitably, some remain poor. However, there will be exceptional ones who will have a much richer future due to adoption of sound principles and the right outlook in their financial life. 

Here, as I write, I’m not saying that I ‘have arrived’ financially. 

But looking back, I did cover some ground and thus, would like to pen down key points to this issue so that you’ll be proactive in building wealth via investing. In this article, I’ll share my experiences and offer a couple of action steps that may be helpful to you today, even if you feel quite financially insignificant presently. 

I Have Low Income Today

Upon graduation, I decided to start off as a self-employed person. 

In my 20s, my income was relatively low and unstable. I felt insignificant. But, at that time, I had a vision to be wealthier and I understood that I needed to learn to be rich in order to attain and sustain wealth. I acknowledged that knowledge and wisdom is greater than money itself and thus, I would ‘invest’ my money to acquire financial intelligence via financial and investment books. 

Action Step 1
Exchange Little Money that could Depreciate in Value 
with Financial Wisdom that could Serve You for a Lifetime

3 Ingredients to Successful Investing 

One of many books I have read is written by Robert Kiyosaki. I’ve learned sound principles from his writings which are fundamental to how I would invest today. Here, I’ll like to share one of the key lessons I’ve picked up from his book, which is his sharing on the 3 ingredients to successful investing. They are as follows: 

1. Education. 
2. Experience. 
3. Excess Cash. 

The priority is education first, experience second and excess cash third, which is very different from most who believe that you just need money to invest. 

Investment Education Comes First 

Today, among many different asset classes, I prefer to invest in only two classes: stocks and real estates for wealth-building purposes. Here, for our discussions, I would use stocks to illustrate this point. 

So, back in my 20s, I was interested in building a sizable stock portfolio.  

However, knowing that I needed education, I had begun my investment journey by learning sound principles and philosophies of successful stock investors such as Warren Buffett. Then, I’d continue my education with accounting studies and mastering the art of stock valuation. 

This stage is important for I discovered that my beliefs on investing are different from the successful ones. From these comparisons, I began to shift my thinking, mindset, and philosophies to theirs. In the immediate term, the principles I was picking up did not offer any monetary benefits. But now, as I reflect, I would say they had served me really well in investing, especially in turbulent times today. 

Action Step 2
Read Buffettology to Learn Sound Investment Principles

Experiences Come Next 

Armed with some education, I have some idea on what a good stock is and how much I should be paying for them. 

But, I have little practical experience in selecting them for investments. 

So here is what I did. 

I put what I had learned into practice and began compiling stocks’ financial data from their annual reports to assess their fundamentals. I started off with easier, simpler and more well-known companies and slowly moved into stocks that are operating more complex business models. 

Soon, I have financial data of hundreds of stocks. 

But, I have not invested a single dime into any of these stocks. 

Was I wasting my time? 

Honestly, at times, I felt so. It was like working as a dishwasher in a kitchen or in a restaurant. I often wonder when I could start handling the knife in the kitchen or progress to become the head chef in a restaurant. But, I appreciated one fact that kept me going, which is – ‘I’m accumulating experiences day-by-day, a stock at a time, which will be crucial to my craft of portfolio building in the future.’ 

Action Step 3
Practice Assessing Investment Deals to Gain Investment Experiences

How Did I Obtain Excess Cash for Investments? 

As I gained education and experiences, I worked on getting ‘excess cash’ too. 

Here, I won’t offer 1,001 ways to earn income for that’s not the point. Instead, I would say that being proactive is crucial. If you want it badly enough, you’ll find a way that is most suitable for yourself. 

As for myself, I raised income through various means. I’m a freelance writer and I sell eBooks and online investment courses as an affiliate. From them, I’d raised income, which allowed me to start building a small portfolio. Over time, I began to earn more as I became a lot more efficient with my work. They had served as capital to be added onto my existing portfolio. 

Action Step 4
Be Proactive and Entrepreneurial in Raising Income for Investments


Till today as I write, I would say that I’m still working on the 3 ingredients above in investing. I’m still educating myself on investment matters, compiling data on stocks to add onto my experiences and raise money for investments. Essentially speaking, the principle is the same. The difference lies in the quantum of excess cash to be raised. 

Thus, if you lack money for investments, try to work on any of the 3 ingredients stated above on a progressive basis every single day: 

1. Education.
2. Experience.
3. Excess Cash.

Here, if you wish to learn more on the art of stock investing, here’s a free training you can attend: 

Link: How to Build a Stock Portfolio that Pays Increasing Dividends?

Ian Tai
Ian Tai

Financial Content Machine. Dividend Investor. Produced 500+ Financial Articles featured in in Malaysia and the Fifth Person, Value Invest Asia, and Small Cap Asia in Singapore. Regular Host and Presenter of a Weekly Financial Webinar with Co-Founded, an online membership site that empowers retail investors to build a stock portfolio that pays rising dividends year after year in Malaysia and Singapore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.