How recent college graduates can cope: ignore 'the negative messages'
May 8, 2012 1:30 PM
"The Psychology of Wealth" by Charles Richards
"The Psychology of Wealth" author Charles Richards: "[Defeat] does not have to be their story even though they are starting their careers at one of the most challenging times in history."
By Tim Grant Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The author of a new book on prosperity has a message for soon-to-be graduates being bombarded with doom and gloom messages about the topsy-turvy world they are facing: Disregard the bad news.
"Their challenge is to not take in the negative messages," said Charles Richards, author of "The Psychology of Wealth: Understand Your Relationship With Money and Achieve Prosperity."
"[Defeat] does not have to be their story even though they are starting their careers at one of the most challenging times in history," he said. "They have to consider what they want to manifest in their lives in terms of goals and financial success. What you focus on is what you will get."
The same message, he said, could apply to everyone. His book offers a sociological and psychological perspective of wealth in America that encourages readers to re-evaluate their way of looking at wealth and what it means.
Mr. Richards is a doctor of clinical psychology and a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in San Diego who has spent hundreds of hours researching the roles that wealth plays in people's lives.
The book explores the benefits and pitfalls of various forms of credit and debt, steering readers away from the trappings of revolving credit toward debt that promotes goals and creates a feeling of accomplishment when paid.
"Some will say all debt is bad and you should never take it on, but that thinking is not practical," Mr. Richards said. "Debt, strategically used, is what built this nation. The problem with debt today is we use it to indulge our impulse to consume.
"I wouldn't have a doctorate in clinical psychology today if it weren't for student debt. It's not about good or bad. Debt is a practical tool one can use to achieve financial and career goals."
His central theme is built around the idea that wealth is a state of consciousness, not necessarily the numbers on a bank balance sheet.
In his book, Mr. Richards points out that some people live in constant fear of running out of money even when they have plenty of it. Others feel really affluent regardless of the size of their bank accounts. The difference between them could be their relationship with money itself.
"It's about the fulfillment of purpose in your life," he said. "There are lots of people with lots of money but are not very happy. There's no wealth there."