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Opinions of Friday, 6 October 2017

Columnist: Emmanuel De-graft Quarshie

Whatever makes the rich, the opposite makes the poor

Emmanuel De-graft Quarshie Emmanuel De-graft Quarshie

To be rich means to have abundant possessions and especially material wealth. It also implies a city which is well endowed in terms of natural resources. Endowed to a greater extent that, such a city can borrow/lend to other countries. A soil may be classified to be rich if it’s having abundant plant nutrients. A fuel mixture is classified as being rich if it’s high in the combustible component. Food is classified as being rich if it’s highly seasoned, fatty, oily or sweet in taste. On the other hand, to be poor is to lack material possessions, anything either inferior in quality or value, small in worth or less than adequate.

However, to be rich or poor as an individual depends basically on your foundation. Most often than not, the foundation laid by one’s parent is the biggest contributory factor. Highly wealthy and endowed parents are most likely to ensconce a property or larger investment purposely for their wards who would take over after their parents become old or depart from the earth. Contrary, very poor parents have nothing and are most likely to leave behind no property nor investment for their children after they die. In the case of the rich parents, a good foundation is laid for the children who takes over and continues in that order. The children if properly guarded are able efficiently use what was given them to make more fortunes.

They also die and leave behind wealth for their children and this continues as a generational achievement. The opposite can be said of the poor household/family/generation. Because the parents are poor and basically couldn’t even afford the best schools for their children, they die and leave behind nothing. A poor kid who may be consciously guarded as he/she grows up makes life worthwhile, the analogy is, even if she makes life worthwhile or miraculously becomes wealthy, because the rest of the family is poor, there turn to be pressure on the one person who has achieved wealth and with this, instead of adding up to wealth accumulated, her wealth reduces as she helps by providing for other members of the family.

The poor is unable to attend important events which offers the opportunity to meet important personalities for example, attending business seminars, education tours, visiting expensive clubs, shopping malls, movies, vacations etc. These places are mostly visited by the rich and denies the poor the opportunity to create links with great personalities who could have offered better opportunities.

The rich children on the other hand attend bigger and renowned schools, make great contacts meet great people, shops at expensive malls, attend educative and business seminars, fun trips, and excursions, meets new friends and goes for bigger events such as birthdays etc. These events makes them have such a salubrious lifestyle. Money draws people closer to you, money makes more money when properly invested. Now, let me examine some of the key elements that makes people richer and even their descendants. Among the factors identified as leading to riches include, HABITUAL SAVING, SOUND INVESTMENT, INHERITANCE, GETTING MARRIED and an ADVANCED DEGREE.

Saving is classified as the most important component and trait of every successful individual. It doesn’t really matter whether the individual is working for someone or doing his own business. The ability to save a proportionate percentage of income/dividend/rent received has the tendency of ensuring success in one’s journey to becoming rich. It isn’t just about saving but making it a habit, being committed to savings regardless of the transactional obligation of the individual each day. Also related to the above is investment. The ability to commit to saving would ensure a sound investment.

Most at times, people withdraw from saving and unfortunately spends on items which yield no profit. A sound investment is committing money earned/saved into productive ventures which yield higher returns. Further, it is argued that young guys who get married earlier enables them to save and make riches. The argument is based on the notion that, getting married in the youthful age enables such individual to save the money he would have spent on beer with friends on Friday nights and weekends whilst still a bachelor. This point is debatable but somewhat true. Arguably, one can also say that, getting married increases one’s spending as he needs to take care of just not himself but an additional mouth. In addition, another means through which an individual may become rich is through inheritance. This normally happens when a rich relative dies and fortunately his properties are willed or bequeathed to an individual who never expected such great fortune.

An individual with good managerial skills can make more riches out of the properties he/she inherited. Lastly, the level of one’s education also determines how rich he becomes. In most companies, the education level you’ve attained together with working experience helps to get promoted and acquire higher status at work and in society. This increases wages (mostly the take home pay), bonuses and better conditions of service. With such huge increase in income, it allows the individual to save and sustain wealth. The points listed above are factors that enables an individual to be successful, the opposite is true for the factors leading to poverty.

Additional elements noted as contributing to poverty includes ignorance, disease, apathy, dishonesty and dependency. Ignorance means lack of information, knowledge is power so lack of information on high risk investment/business venture may cause an individual to lose his capital and become indebted or poor. In addition to the above, when an individual, community or a nation has a high disease rate, absenteeism is high, productivity lowers and income/wealth created also diminishes. Apart from the misery, discomfort and death that results from disease, it is also a major cause of poverty in societies. Being well does not only help the individual to work and gain riches; it also helps society, so inversely being diseased is critical leading to poverty. Furthermore, apathy is among the causes of poverty.

Not caring or having interest in becoming rich becomes a contributory factor to one’s failure. If the current generation cares about the wellbeing of the future generation, they will do enough savings or contribute towards investment in the present times in anticipation of future benefit. Lastly, high dependency as stated earlier is another factor contributing to poverty. With one individual being successful or rich in the society, his obligation to supplying the needs of the rest of the family members eventually reduces his saving and in most occasions makes him poor.

A nation whose working population records a lower rate compared to its population which is dependent is likely to be termed as a poor country and same is a family with a limited number of the working class as compared to the number who are dependent. The opposite of these factors causing poverty are the factors that promote an individual to become successful and rich.

Being successful isn’t limited to being educated alone; various factors including habitual savings, sound investment, early marriage, inheritance, good health and many others may contribute to being successful. In as much as, you can’t force a wealthy person in the family to die and bequeath his properties to you through inheritance demands you contribute the little amount earned to savings and if possible have enough knowledge about a business venture and invest your funds into it with the expectation of making higher returns from such a venture. And this is adoptable by the rich and poor. You can maintain your success with continued investment if you are rich already. Even recently, the middle class are becoming poorer.

This requires you make it a point to save/invest to maintain and increase your riches because you can’t work for your employer all your life. The factors listed above may lead to poverty if the current wealth is spent without investing them to sustain/replace what is spent or to increase what is available currently. Remember, riches doesn’t come by itself, it comes by sustenance and growth.

Writer: Emmanuel De-graft Quarshie