By guest contributor Gerald Tay

I recently ran across this book titled How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold. I was immediately struck by the differences between the thoughts and actions of the “World Class” investor and the “Middle Class” investor.

In the book, Steve listed 21 ways that the wealthy think differently from average people, categorizing them as “World Class” and “Middle Class” thinkers. In this article, I will call the two investor groups the 99% and the 1%.

I’ll list nine of his 21 Rules here (you can read his book and educate yourself on the rest) and briefly explain the similarities on some of the rules in the arena of property investment.

1. The 99% have a lottery mentality. The 1% have an action mentality.

I hear the 99% say all the time: “Prices will sure go up. If I can simply invest on some ‘expert’ opinions I’ll be rich. If my big break would come in. If I could just win the lottery….” Until they realize that lottery is a tax on people who don’t know how to do math, they’ll never get it.

The 1% don’t expect anything to be given to them. If they want it, they go and get it themselves. The 99% stupidly play the lottery, buy stupid investments on hopes of capital gains, make stupid investment decisions sitting in front of the TV, and make stupid excuses.

2. The 99% think the road to riches is paved with formal education. The 1% believes in acquiring specific knowledge.

Universities are leftist indoctrination facilities. And they are full of deluded morons. You must educate yourself financially. You can learn anything you want to learn about on money and investments. Almost everything is on the internet, for free. If you want to learn about it the only thing stopping you is you. I will say it again: Everything you learn in school might be less useful if you want to be an entrepreneur/investor. It’s up to YOU to learn your craft.

3. The 99% would rather be entertained than educated. The 1% would rather be educated than entertained.

Television, magazines, celebrity websites, sports pages – the mark of the average. If you can’t learn or earn from it, burn it.

I spend my free time learning about global economics, world history, the history of money and government, doing intense property diligence, doing cash flow analysis, etc.

Rather than looking forward to weekends, playing Xbox and getting drunk, spend some hours investing in yourself. Join a course, read marketing or finance books, learn to invest, think of how you can provide others with value.

4. The 99% plays not to lose. The 1% swings for the fences.

You hear about property cooling measures and hot media reports. You often hear people rushing to queue up at property showrooms and seminars to buy that property because everyone is doing so and worrying that the price will go up further, and not doing so will make one look like a fool.

Who’s really the fool? Investing in property because “the price won’t go down” or “everyone is buying” are such crappy reasons. Unless of course, that’s your only reason? Then all the best in your investment.

5. The 99% believe the markets are driven by logic and strategy. The 1% knows they’re driven by emotion and greed.

Personally, I’ve no time for people who constantly talk about logic and strategy. I often hear these people say, “Price will go up because of limited land and MRT. Tell me about your strategic buy/hold/sell recommendations. Tell me specifically or a range, where prices will be in the next four years.”

I like logic. I deal with things logically. But, logic is only one part of the picture. If you look at everything logically, you aren’t looking at the big picture and I’ll tell you why. Most people in the world do not think logically, they think emotionally. When you speak to them logically, you are not getting through to them. But these “I’m so logical” types always assume that everyone else also thinks “logically”.

Logical thinking is only half the puzzle.

6. The 99% live beyond their means. The 1% live below theirs.

Why do the 99% always complain they’ve no money to invest?

One of the habits that are common between all wealthy people is that they live below their means. This means that they buy a small car when then can afford a medium sized car, then buy a medium sized car when they can afford a big car. They buy a big car when they can afford a small helicopter, and they buy the helicopter when they can afford the private jet. They don’t own expensive toys to boast to the world “I’ve arrived.”

When the 1% makes money, they plough the profits back to buy more investments that will put more ‘passive’ money into their pockets. The 99%, after making their profits will first think what bigger car to drive and which bigger house to live in.

When you’re rich, you can have a lot of stuff and still be rich enough to afford more stuff. When you’re middle class or working class, you cannot. If you live within your means, you’d be surprised by how much you ultimately have to invest when the opportunity comes to be financially free.

7. The 99% believe you need money to make money. The 1% use other people’s money.

I made my first bunch of money using only a LITTLE of my own money. The 1% makes money with NO money. If you want it bad enough, as in you are obsessed with it, you will get it. Even if you only have $12 to your name, it makes no difference. It’s the idea that makes money, NOT money to make money!

I can’t make money because I don’t have any money“. Sounds pretty stupid doesn’t it?

I have to make money because I don’t have any money” sounds much better.

8. The 99% love to be comfortable. The 1% find comfort in uncertainty.

The 99% often loves to buy properties from beautifully decorated property show rooms, sit in a nice air-con room and be served like a king by the property salesman.

The 1% love to rough it out in the hot sun, walk-the-ground, buy old resale properties the 99% will shun, convert them and offer massive value to tenants with extraordinary returns.

9. The 99% play it safe with money. The 1% know when to take risks.

What I have found is that when I take certain risks, the kind of risks that give others nausea, diarrhoea and anxiety for days, they tend to be a payoff for me.

Risks come from ignorance and zero control over the investment. The 99% only know how to invest in REITS, gamble in stocks, buy off-plan properties and let others manage their investments. They have a ‘Follow-the-Leader’ mentality, and will invest in something if only someone is also doing it.

Risks cannot be totally ignored but they can be managed well. The 1% follow a strict personal investment system and criteria. They will only invest when the investments meet those requirements. And they always have absolute control over their investments to manage risks.


If you want to be financially free, you’ve to get it yourself. No one gets anything for you or offers you a chance of becoming rich the free and easy way. You see, there’s a difference between a Hand-out and Help.

A Hand-out requires giving over and over without the receiver doing anything with what was given besides using it for their own leisure.

Help requires giving to someone else but this time the receiver uses what was given to gain ground and stand upright on their own two feet instead of relying on constant future hand-outs.

So don’t seek hand-outs, seek help for good financial education and you will find it. Once you do, try your best to make it work.

By guest contributor Gerald Tay, CEO of CREI Academy Group, who exposes widely-held property investment myths that have proven highly ineffective in creating wealth, and prevent a comfortable retirement for the ordinary investor.

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