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Using the "Hand Plan"

(Note: Although this plan is copyrighted, you may use it in teaching as long as you give credit to J. Steve Miller and Legacy Educational Resources. If you use it in a handout or Website, please write: "Copyright July, 2007 by J. Steve Miller and Legacy Educational Resources www.character-education.info ." Not for resale without permission.)


After writing the first draft of my money management book, some readers recommended that I distill it into a simple, memorable plan, an elevator speech that I could pass on in less than two minutes. So how do you sum up over 200 pages of intensely researched information? 


It came to me all at once one morning, as I sketched out the "hand plan." (I can't take credit for being the first to use the hand for a "handy" mnemonic device. I first came across it in religious literature to teach the doctrine of soteriology.) The secrets to financial success have been with you all along, on your hand! I believe every principle of finance I teach could be categorized under each of these six points. Amazingly, the order of principles from thumb to  pinky and handshake flows  beautifully!


Catch a vision! (Thumbs up) Most aim at nothing...and hit it every time. Warren Buffett (the second wealthiest man in America) caught his financial vision in elementary school and never let it go. A long-range goal transforms accumulating wealth into a fun game.

firstFinger Work hard! (Finger pointing at you like a foreman) Most millionaires say they work harder than most people. Buffett and Sam Walton (founder of Walmart) began early with paper routes and odd jobs.
middleFinger Get Wisdom! (Central Finger) This includes sharpening your skills and growing in knowledge. If you're the most skilled in your trade, you'll likely be the best paid and least likely to be fired during a recession. Buffett read over 100 business books by his high school graduation. 
ringFinger Commit Yourself to Live Wayyy Beneath Your Means! (Ring Finger) Many millionaires work the same jobs that average people work, but have learned to live cheaply so they can save and invest. 
pinky Invest Regularly! (Pinky) It may be small, but investing $20 a week starting early in life can multiply to millions.
So what is it all for? To buy bigger toys? To impress people?
hand HELP OTHERS! (Lend a Hand) The fun of having money goes beyond having more things. Money allows us to help others in need and make a difference in the world. Buffett always planned on giving it all away. Many studies show that giving people are happier people.