Li Ka-Shing teaches you how to buy a car & house in 5 years


Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing shares some of his money wisdom, outlining an inspirational five-year plan to improve one’s lot in life


This article is translated from the original Chinese by Edmund Ng at CeoConnectz.

Suppose your monthly income is only RMB 2,000, you can live well. I can help you put money into five sets of funds. The first $600, second $400, third $300, fourth $200, fifth $500.

The first set of funds is used for living expenses. It’s a simple way of living and you can only be assigned to less than twenty dollars a day. A daily breakfast of vermicelli, an egg and a cup of milk. For lunch just have a simple set lunch, a snack and a fruit. For dinner go to your kitchen and cook your own meals that consist of two vegetables dishes and a glass of milk before bedtime. For one month the food cost is probably $500-$600. When you are young, the body will not have too many problems for a few years with this way of living.

Second set of funds: To make friends, expand your interpersonal circle. This will make you well off. Your phone bills can be budgeted at RMB 100. You can buy your friends 2 lunches a month, each at $150. Who should you buy lunch for? Always remember to buy lunch for people who are more knowledgeable than you, richer than you or people who have helped you in your career. Make sure you do that every month. After one year, your circle of friends should have generated tremendous value for you. Your reputation, influence, added value will be clearly recognized. You’ll also enhance your image of being good and generous.

Third set of funds: To learn. Monthly spend about RMB 50 to RMB 100 to buy books. Because you don’t have a lot of money, you should pay attention to learning. When you buy the books, read them carefully and learn the lessons and strategies that is being taught in the book. Each book, after reading them, put them into your own language to tell the stories. Sharing with others can improve your credibility and enhance the affinity. Also save up $200 per month to attend a training course. When you have higher income or additional savings, try to participate in more advanced training. When you participate in good training, not only do you learn good knowledge, you also get to meet like-minded friends who are not easy to come by.

Also Read: He is GREE Ventures’ Morpheus. Say Hello to Kuan Hsu

Fourth set of funds: Use it for holidays overseas. Reward yourself by traveling at least once a year. Continue to grow from the experience of life. Stay in youth hostels to save cost. In a few years you would have travelled to many countries and have different experiences. Use that experience to recharge yourself so that you’ll continually have passion in your work.

Fifth set of funds: Invest. Save the $500 in your bank and grow it as your initial startup capital. The capital can then be used to do a small business. Small business is safe. Go to wholesalers and look for products to sell. Even if you lose money, you will not lose too much money. However, when you start earning money, it will boost your confidence and courage and have a whole new learning experience of running a small business. Earn more and you can then begin to buy long-term investment plans and get long-term security on your financial wealth being of yourself and your families. So that no matter what happens, there will be adequate funds and the quality of life will not decline.

Well, after struggling for a year and if your second year salary is still RMB 2,000, then that means you have not grown as a person. You should be really ashamed of yourself. Do yourself a favour and go to the supermarket and buy the hardest tofu. Take it and smash it on your head because you deserve that.

If your monthly income is at RMB 3,000, you must still work very hard. You must try to find a part time job. It will be great to find part time sales jobs. Doing sales is challenging, but it is the fastest way for you to acquire the art of selling and this is a very deep skill that you will be able to carry it for the rest of your career. All successful entrepreneurs are good sales people. They have the ability to sell their dream and visions. You’ll also meet many people that will be of value to you in the later part of your career. Once you’re in sales, you will also learn what sells and what not. Use the sensitivity of detecting market sentiments as a platform for running your business and in the identification of product winners in the future.

Try to buy minimal clothes and shoes. You can buy them all you want when you’re rich. Save your money and buy some gift for your loved ones and tell them your plans and your financial goals. Tell them why you are so thrifty. Tell them your efforts, direction and your dreams.

Also Read: Who’s afraid of the big bad fintech wolf?

Businessmen everywhere need help. Offer yourself to do part time for any kind of opportunities. This will help to hone your will and improve your  skills. You will start to develop eloquence and soon, you’ll be closer to your financial goals. By the second year, your income should be increased to at least RMB 5,000. Minimum it should be RMB 3,000, otherwise you would not be able to keep up with inflation.

No matter how much you earn, always remember to divide it into five parts proportionately. Always make yourself useful. Increase your investment in networking. When you increase your social investment, expand your network of contacts, your income also grows proportionately. Increase your investment in learning, strengthen your self confidence, increase investment in holidays, expand your horizons and increase investment in the future, and that will ultimately increase your income.

Maintain this balance and gradually you will begin to have a lot of surplus. This is a virtuous circle of life plans. Your body will start to get better and better as you get more nutrition and care. Friends will be aplenty and you will start to make more valuable connections at the same time. You will then have the conditions to participate in very high-end training and eventually you’ll be exposed to bigger projects, bigger opportunities. Soon, you will be able to gradually realize your various dreams, the need to buy your own house, car, and to prepare an adequate education fund for your child’s future.

Life can be designed. Career can be planned. Happiness can be prepared. You should start planning now. When you are poor, spend less time at home and more time outside. When you are rich, stay at home more and less outside. This is the art of living. When you are poor, spend money on others. When you’re rich, spend money on yourself. Many people are doing the opposite.

When you are poor, be good to others. Don’t be calculative. When you are rich, you must learn to let others be good to you. You have to learn to be good to yourself better. When you are poor, you have to throw yourself out in the open and let people make good use of you. When you are rich, you have to conserve yourself well and don’t let people easily make use of you. These are the intricate ways of life that many people don’t understand.

When you are poor, spend money so that people can see it. When you are rich, do not show off. Just silently spend the money on yourself. When you are poor, you must be generous. When you are rich, you must not be seen as a spendthrift. Your life would have come full circle and reach its basics. There will be tranquility at this stage.

Also Read: PlayMoolah launches new iOS app to teach children smart money management

There is nothing wrong with being young. You do not need to be afraid of being poor. You need to know how to invest in yourself and increase your wisdom and stature. You need to know what is important in life and what is worth investing in. You also need to know what you should avoid and not spend your money on. This is the essence of discipline. Try to avoid spending money on clothing, but buy a selective number of items that have class. Try to eat less outside. If you were to eat outside, do make sure you buy lunches or dinners and foot the bill. When buying people dinner, make sure you buy dinners for people who have bigger dreams than you, and work harder than you.

Once your livelihood is no longer an issue, use the remainder of your money to pursue your dreams. Spread your wings and dare to dream! Make sure you live an extraordinary life!

Famous theory from Harvard: The difference of a person’s fate is decided from what a person spends in his free time between 20:00 to 22:00 . Use these two hours to learn, think and participate in meaningful lectures or discussion. If you persist for several years, success will come knocking on your doors.

No matter how much you earn, remember to split your salary into five parts. Take care of your body so that it will still be in good shape. Invest in your social circle so that you will constantly meet new people where you can learn new knowledge from. Expanding your network will also have an important impact in how much you earn eventually. Travel every year and expand your horizons. Also keep abreast with the latest developments in the industry. If you follow this plan diligently, you will soon see big surplus in your funds.

Whatever happened in the past is over. Do not dwell on past mistakes. There’s no point crying over spilt milk. Everybody makes mistakes. It’s what you learn from the mistakes, and promising yourself not to repeat those mistakes that matters. When you miss opportunities, don’t dwell on it, as there are always new opportunities on the horizon.

Being able to smile when being slightly misunderstood is good upbringing. When you’re wronged and you smile with calmness, it is generosity. When you’re being taken advantage of and you can smile, you’re being open-minded. When you are helpless and you can do a philosophical smile, you’re in a calm state. When you’re in distress and you can laugh out loud, you’re being generous. When you’re looked down and you can calmly smile, you’re being confident. When you’re being jilted in relationships and you can smile it off, you’re being suave.

There are many people who are struggling to make ends meet. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. There are lessons for all to learn from Li Ka Shing.

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  • seth

    Monthly rent costs anybody??? the Lowest on average, 1200 Yuan for a single bedroom outside city center… Great advice…

  • Al

    seth, assuming u’ve read the entire article, all u manage to take away from it is.. rent??

  • Shi Bob

    nah, just live in a youth hostel lol

  • koay

    so all you need to do for a month is just to eat, nothing else? in china people sleep by the roadsides and go to work, meetings and find friends by foot?

  • Bob

    I guess this is tailored to the Chinese that are most likely living with their parents if they are not married and established yet. But yeah seriously that’s a big oversight to anyone not living with their parents.

  • Elaine Huang

    Not sure about China, but I do agree with you that exorbitant rent is something most youngsters might have to deal with, should they be required to live apart from their parents. Thankfully, I found great landlords who were willing to give a huge discount.

  • dun

    hi seth, the beauty of learning is not about acquiring the knowledge word by word but to analyse the meaning and improvise so that they can be used practically..

  • samwize

    Maybe try to look for a job that is within walking distance, and save 2 hours every day to increase your knowledge.

    Figure it out yourself.

  • Jairus Bondoc

    just 5 years elaine then u’ll be my angel investor. hahaha!

  • Bennedict

    Everyone here is so focused on the rent and criticising this from a theoretical perspective, a priori. Rather than spewing cos of the omission of a rent component, why not view the 2000 as simply an arbitrary means to which Mr Li is trying to impart some simple but effective ways to save and invest, with all else equal. Way to go toward having a big picture mentality guys. geez.

  • kut

    Yeah, i know how you would obtain the huge discount

  • Elaine Huang

    … how? Pray tell, because all I know is that they’re kind-hearted people.

  • Capitalisme Destroyer

    So when we rich, we don’t have to help the poor? No wonder…

  • ;D

    It’s a choice. His hard earned money.Stop being pathetic

  • Josh

    Thank you e27, this is a very refreshing article. A breath of fresh air to be wise and pragmatic among the hype of get rich and successful “motivational” and “NLP” talks.

  • Stevo

    Well what Mr Lee trying to tell us that whatever you do just don’t spend all the money on one thing…….and I think divide it in to 5 parts is not a bad idea tho……. as I my self always spend too much of my income on shopping and cars……. never save much….even tho I’m living with my aunt……so all I wanna to say Thx to Mr Lee for great advice.

  • Chris

    This part is pretty poorly translated. Basically he’s saying you need to focus on securing your hard-earned fortune and not let others steal or scam it away from you.

  • Jt

    It’s hard to smile when you’ve been taken advantage of and when you’ve been wrong. It might prove the other person right. I say stand up for your rights.

  • Fransisco TS

    “Try to buy minimal clothes and shoes. You can buy them all you want when you’re rich.”

    And the question is.. When do we become rich? I can decide I am rich now. That means I can buy clothes right away, can’t I?

  • TheAshish

    This advise is mainly geared to young people starting out their professional lives. That’s the key. Don’t over-complicate it by thinking about rent, helping poor, and etc.

  • andy

    all the things mr lee said is hard for people to do. but when you really can do the way he said, example smile when you had beed taken advantage of, spend and save the money you should etc.. think by that time maybe all of us will lead a better life than now regardless rich or poor. at least a very least is that we can go holiday once a year which not all of us can do that now. which means a holiday n not juz to the country next door for a 1 or 2 day trip.
    hope all of us can sucess or have a better in 5 years..

  • bgh


  • ffffff
  • myu

    i pretty much am a thrifty spender, but my wife thinks i am outright cheap.
    She doesn’t believe in save now and spend later, cuz by then shes too old for the beautiful clothes.
    I don’t do these social things that lee has said. That is because I barely have enough for food after paying the bills and the mortgage. My wife doesn’t work. She take’s care of one child. However, that one child is already too much for her to handle that she is requesting to go back to China to hire a cheap nanny or otherwise cutoff her breastmilk because she thinks breast feeding is the main cultrip of causing her to unable to tend to the child alone.
    I blame China’s one child policy for spoiling today’s kids. I blame the whole China’s era during the 1960s thus causing her mom to be a complete dumbass and a stubborn person. Her intelligence goes as far as the information that she is “allowed” to receive over the television and newspaper. You cannot possibly imagine how stupid her mom is.
    The whole China is goddamn doomed because of the lack of free knowledge that crosses over to the China border, at least in the 60s. And now China is led by a bunch of post-cultrural revolution adults who are outright stubborn and retarded. Its doomed i tell you.

  • annie

    $300 for books… why not go to the library? or on internet many courses are free coursera open university etc.

  • mark

    maybe mr li is trying to sell us books like kiyosaki

  • Willie Booker

    He forgets to mention, leech off a rich uncle and marry a cousin, which is how he got his seed capital. In other words, if you’re smart but have no capital, seduce some girl from a rich family.

  • myu

    whether the father in law would give you money is totally another story. My father in law didn’t and he would rather see his daughter suffer in poverty.

  • Willie Booker

    Well, then that’s why he’s Li Kai Shing, and you’re not. He obviously knows how to sell himself and to manipulate people. If his father in law wasn’t going to support his daughter Li wouldn’t have married her. Li Ka Shing hardly married his wife for love, he married her because he saw potential gain in it. But obviously when he gives advice, he’s not going to say “seduce some rich guy’s daughter” even though that’s exactly what he did. That sort of advice would make him look bad. Had he not had the capital injection from his father in law his rise up the ladder would have been a lot slower, especially with the way he’s advising.

  • hayashi


  • amatulic

    Summary: Allocate your income into 5 buckets: 30% living expenses, 20% networking, 15% self-education, 10% overseas travel, and 25% investment.

    This is fine as far as it goes, but I am skeptical about the advice on the way Li Ka-Shing recommends to go about networking.

    Basically he says, “Collect friends who are more successful, by buying them lunch to ingratiate yourself to them, to make them feel they owe you something.” This probably works in China where any gift is considered a debt by the recipient. This advice wouldn’t work as well in the west. Yes, networking is important. You generally don’t do it by “buying” your network, however.

    Also, the 15% of the budget for education should probably be applied to learning a foreign language, if a Chinese citizen is going to spend 10% of income on overseas travel outside of Asia.

  • cantstandstupidity

    Pls learn the good advice, why speculate on his personal life. this negativity will get u nowhere.

  • Alex

    He was jokingly referring to you being a female, and them (probably) being men.

  • Willie Booker

    I read his advice, I agree with most of it. Basically don’t spend a lot of money, learn how to sell oneself, make lots of friends and network. I’m just saying it’s not exactly the way he did it himself. He took an even smarter route which is seduce a rich man’s daughter. I’m not speculating on anything, Li Ka-Shing’s personal life isn’t exactly a big secret, all you have to do is do a bit of research to find out how he started his business, which was seed capital from his uncle. If anything it shows how smart and cunning he is, not really negative at all, just depends on your moral perspective.
    It’s just that it doesn’t come off as good publicity. Just look at everything the man does, it’s all calculated. Even his donations, most of them are for buildings which will be named after him, even the ones overseas, always Li Ka Shing “whatever building”. It’s to immortalize his name and to give him good publicity. Someone like Mark Zuckerberg gave away 1 billion USD last year, but you won’t see buildings in his name, he’s not doing things to enhance his reputation.

  • Killuminati

    With huge shopping malls or a new Apple & Samsung products or high-cost of mobile internet connection or a new Mitsubishi Mirage or Michael Kors or Casio Gshock or Nike’s or Diamond Peel promo or a Miley Cyrus album or “me-too” hairstyle or a new LED TV’s or your baby’s Stokke stroller or high-end diapers or milk supplements or just the high cost of private hospitals & medications and all other etc. etc. things this modern days are offering which are HARD TO RESIST for most people, this is not gonna happen.

  • amy mat piah

    Agreed, after full of hectic month, with this small amount of salary, u just cannot divide into 5, if u have kids to support, u have to divide into 6, if u have parent depend on your financial, u must devide into 7, at the end of the day, your money are just not for you.

  • Fraggleroc

    Can I say that Li Ka Shing is a tool? Oops, I did it again…

  • confused

    Sorry – a cup of tea is already going to cost you rmb 10 easily in the city or mashing a teabag at home rmb 1 – how are you going to live on 600 a month? Nevermind rent n transport…

  • JustbeingMyself

    All that he mentioned is optional for us to apply…but honestly, i can only agree on the general part…split your income and use it wisely, save a targeted amount of money not just for invest, but to help in some emergency situation. In detail, for those who really don’t make much money, ya, the rent and all those basics really count…the economy and basic living cost these days has change in the manner that some of Li’s teaching can’t really help us…

    If you can’t follow exactly what he said, just use your own plan with a backup plan, it’s your own life, happy or not, you control it yourself, .

  • gourry

    The trick to greatness is to make others think your great. Same thing as terrorist leaders and motivational speakers. It’s a pyramid scheme of making others think they can do it by charging them to listen to you.

  • CK Neo

    Actually, I think buying lunch is more of a courtesy when someone more experienced and knowledgeable than you passes on knowledge to you during the lunch.

  • daya

    for me and husband, we put the fifth part become the first, invest first, then consume for the rest. yes, it may be extreme, but it works.

  • Shirley

    It seems no residuals wt least another portionr emergency use. And the contents of the article has not indicate the way to buy car and house in five years…

  • zodiacfml

    These are good, serious advice. I can’t find fault in any.
    I should improve on spending on others though.

  • ernie

    I spent based on my income with priority of putting more money in my savings. If I feel that my income for house expenses is getting small, I try to supplement my income thru small business.

  • charlie

    damn right willie,ive got a friend whose a drug user and came from average family.suddenly,he ,anage to buy a 2 door mazda and a honda crvbthanks to his father in law who gave him capital to start rubber business

  • Alex

    I don’t get the maths behind the yearly overseas trips. You’d be lucky to afford the airfare alone with 1200rmb.

  • wie

    Nice agree with the way

  • Anonymox

    Well maybe the point is to go back to your parents ? and cut that killing monthly rent

  • Leon Chan

    Just so you know, in every Chinese family’s home, there is ALWAYS room for their children.

  • Michelle

    A billionairs advice to other billionairs….

  • kimek

    so where are the proportion for travelling (fuel, toll etc) and monthly house rent ??? pergi kerja naik basikal, duduk bawah jambatan ka? bullshit.

  • MYNG

    RMB in china, but i guess for us student in Malaysia, you forgot about the student loan. Anyway, tips and road are for weaker, I don’t need to be taught step-by-step. Anyhow, thanks for the advice though.

  • lampa

    If a beggar say the same thing as per stated Mr Lee Kah Sing. .it will become a bullshit.

    So anything come out from a billionaire will become a good advice.

    Here the things guy. Pls wake up!!! RM2000 – car loan – a room – GF = eat shit.

    My advice is dream big. Work hard and be humble. Thats all.


  • sohai


  • johnla

    Dude, you married her.

  • Rach

    If after 1 year you still earn 2000 RMB then you have not grown as a person ???? If that is all it means to grow as a human being then this guy is one tunnel visioned freak.

  • justsaying

    Li ka shing must be an infilial son ~

  • Yuna

    I totally agree..-and I wonder what he will get out of giving this advice since his so calculative. We should make real friends with everyone not just spend on the rich and forget about your poor same level friends.

  • Jae Park

    I don’t like how this article treats making friends as a business rather than what is truly is. As a non-Chinese Asian person, this is what I dislike about Chinese culture. They tend to try to be-friend those who are ‘important’ or ‘useful in the future’ for their self-benefit. They see friendships as connections to further their own career, rather than being a friend to someone for pure simple reasons. Not all Chinese people are like this, but a lot can be.

    If you don’t believe me, look at these words:
    “You can buy your friends 2 lunches a month, each at $150. Who should you buy lunch for? Always remember to buy lunch for people who are more knowledgeable than you, richer than you or people who have helped you in your career.”

    Your social life shouldn’t be based on what the other person can do for you in the future.

  • miss kh

    You should add on, when you are rich dont forget about the poor. Donate and dont show off about your donation. Its good to spend on yourself but its also better to spend on someone who need it. The idea bout giving should not stop when you are rich, but everyone must participate in it. Ty :)

  • ?????

    Suppose your monthly income is only RMB 2,000, you can live well. … By the second year, your income should be … [m]inimum … RMB 3,000, otherwise you would not be able to keep up with inflation.

    Yikes! I wish I’d bought Chinese inflation-indexed bonds before the rate of inflation was 50%.

  • the yellow king

    I read some comments below saying the Lee oversaw that nowadays young people have much difficulty to pay rent. it is true, and I’m not trying to deny it. It’s just I think people miss the point of Lee’s speech. It’s about what people should spend their money on. we don’t have to divide our income exactly like what lee said. depending on our own situation, we can decide the amount of the income we can afford to put it into these five sets of funds. e.g. if you have a family to support, you can totally give only 5 % of the income to travel expenses, it does not have to be overseas trips, it could be a family trip to a zoo or something like that…

  • heehar


  • Edward Wong

    Burned! Nice comeback! ;)

  • Ben Totanes

    The “friends” portion should be divided into two: 1) Expanding personal friendships and 2) Business Networking

  • MarkS

    Bloomberg started his career by buying brokers cups of coffee to get a little face time. It definitely works in the West.

  • Guest

    The secret is out! To get rich you must volunteer to be taken advantage of by the rich and powerful. No complaining though, but instead smile and keep on with your desperate and futile climb to fortune. I’m sure those whom you are at the mercy of will one day be grateful. Oh, and girls, that means prostitution for y’all.

  • butterscotch

    The advice is for the young people starting out in life. Not for the married with kids.

  • Janet Miller

    Great article – and one way to invest in your living environment is to invest in an air purifier

  • mrthohoa

    Great. thank u

  • orgasmikksole

    good read.

  • iknowwhaturthinkin

    Don’t think it’s any different in america, I know way too many people who just don’t give a shit about world affairs or current events, unless it has to do directly with their well being and comfort. It’s honestly fucked.

  • DaveBr

    Love this article..although i’ve been heard about Mr. Li for a long time, this is the 1st time i learn a money wisdom directly from Mr.Li (I believe Mr.Edmund Ng makes this article based on interview with Mr.Li). Definitely will apply the Mr.Li’s positive ways and will throw away the Mr.Li’s principles which i don’t really agree..(like Mr.Li’s ways in making friends, to me family & friends is my top priority, sometimes what i give to the family & friends can’t be measured with money).

  • MajorT

    ah, he didn’t write this. fake.

  • Mr. Rogers

    Li Ka-shing is an opportunist; he saw opportunities, did his research, and followed through. Leeching off a rich uncle doesn’t make one to be the richest man in Asia without the innate ability to bring it. You’re focusing too much on minor details. Try to see the bigger picture, then maybe you’ll be worth 0.01% of his worth: about $2.8 million (he’s net worth is $28.8 billion). Perhaps, if you were the rich Chinese uncle, will you allow you’re daughter to marry a nobody? Seduction has nothing to do with arranged marriages. You should probably heed his advise of reading more for personal growth.

  • MTAEddie

    Child support takes my first and second set of funds… yet the wife has a BMW, while I take the bus everywhere… I need to move to China… and get a bicycle

  • Mr. Rogers

    Ummm, did it occur to you that there are contextual significance? Probably not.
    1. His generation is different.
    2. He lives in China.
    What I’m trying to get at is that: you’re American. Chances are, his advise wasn’t catered to your American way of living.

  • alee

    my first set and fifth, i spend it on my car and house, the forth goes for my investment. second use for living expenses, and the third i did save for holiday every year. I been working for three years now and went to three different countries each year for holiday.

    This year I move to my next goal, starting up business. hopefully everything goes well.

  • Willie Booker

    Maybe you should learn how to read period. Like how I already mentioned I agree with all his points, how he knows how to sell himself and manipulate people, and how he would have made it anyway, but the capital injection by his uncle speeded up his rise up the ladder a lot faster.

  • OngSer Chin

    Mr Li has not set aside money for apt rental, electricity …rental is not a small money.

  • anayu

    For me it is applicable for those who are single (no kid to think about) , still living with their parents who are financially stable (of course they don’t share much of their income) they can easily achieve a well-off road of life. But it made me realize the 5 important matters of life: 1. invest for your future; 2. avoid too much material things; 3. be generous enough; 4. wear your smile; and to 5. have FAITH within you. Every article/speeches has its advantages and disadvantages and also with the resource speaker. Life is not perfect as to people are. Drop the negatives and pick the right ones. But in the end you can always pick a lesson from it that you can apply in your daily living and share it to others. :-)

  • mampirdoang

    how rich are you?

  • Bún Thiu

    When you are poor, you have to throw yourself out in the open and let people make good use of you. When you are rich, you have to conserve yourself well and don’t let people easily make use of you.

  • Zeeshan Mazhar

    hahaha, good one willie

  • Natetronn

    “Suppose your monthly income is only RMB 2,000, you can live well.” = “Suppose your monthly income is only USD 328.74, you can live well.” and right there this article doesn’t make sense to me. Please tell me “RMD 2,000″ is a typo!?

  • Dr. Simon

    Its a perfect advise for the young ones. for some reason, he may not have followed those tips on his way up, but those tips are the “Ideal” ways you will teach a student. but of course there are few short cuts that nobody will tell us, its for you to discover, and it depends if u have the guts to take that short cut. the short cuts can be dirty, illegal, painful…. if you succeed to the top then evrybody praises you, but if u fail everybody curse.

  • Dr. Simson

    the statement .. , When you are poor, be good to others. Don’t be calculative… when u r poor, you have to throw yourself out in the open and let people make good use of you. The rich like these two statements so they can take advantage of the poor. Why will u let yourself be utilized by rich people for their own benefit alone. Majority of rich businessman refuse to hire smart people, they want dumb ones that can work for them like slaves and not calculative.

  • Apoorva

    He forgot to mention another essential ‘part’ viz. donate 5 -10% of your salary

  • lili

    I agree with you.. I also disagree with Li’s option about if we’re poor we should help other. I think we should help other who needed whether we are poor or rich.

  • Ace Morales Carpio

    it just mention how much to spend and save,contrary to that how much the minimum wage earner can save and spend if your living to a country with full of greed,..maybe you need to be a politician,businessman/woman or high ranking executive…or to be a dreamer with less expectation….

  • Phil

    Seriously, there are so many successful people of your generation. I understand the gap between rich and poor but you sound middle class… single income… wife, child, mortgage, etc. Many people still can’t afford to even get a loan for a house. It’s not as bad as it sounds. The children are spoiled to some degree… I agree with that. But the economical implications of the one child policy has allowed China to prosper and has helped in achieving the goals of the past Chinese visionary leaders. And the world has a whole has been able to benefit. This has supported increased jobs all over China and the world, and continues to be a factor in financial and economical terms.

    Don’t forget that RMB 2000 is the equivalent of peanuts compared to the USA. Expenditure and living standards is also less than the USA. So why are you complaining so much? So much negativity for a country that has provided you with the ability to leave it for the life you choose to live.

    Finally, you can’t expect the preservation of Chinese culture – that is distinct from any other culture – if you’re bombarded with the negative influences of American or Western pop culture. That’s what a holiday is for. To experience unique places and the local culture.

    Not trying to argue down your dilemma(s), but you should stay positive. and stop generalizing today’s mainland leaders. Real progress continues to be made.

  • Bob

    guys… hate to break it to you, but this article id a dud.

  • Ainsley Micallef

    If you want business success then spending time with people you want to learn from is wise.

    If I talked business with my non businessy friends they’d fall asleep. So meeting with successful people will help you learn faster.

    People carry on as if being a social climber is bad. So long as you’re ethical/ecological about it then I don’t see the problem … no-one gets a promotion by being an arsehole to the boss …

    I found this article is incredibly insightful.

  • Mayura

    There’s a typical Chinese saying “?????????” roughly translated as “one who stays near vermilion gets stained red, and one who stays near ink gets stained black”. The gist is if you mix with the bad company, you end up becoming like one of them.

    Most successful people I know mix with the “right” people who helped them to ascend the career ladders faster. It does not mean that they “apple polished” their way through. They were already diligent and intelligent people to begin with. The networks only act as a catalyst to enable them to advance further.

    If you are uncomfortable with what the article preaches, that’s really your freedom not to follow. After all, how can everyone be successful entrepreneurs? We still need those worker bees at the bottom of the hierarchy anyway.

  • Mayura

    Because during his generation, there was NO internet and library books genre was scarce. Also, even today, there are several backward countries which are still very lacking in terms of access to educational materials. Not everyone has the privilege to internet and libraries. YES, FYI, there ARE people living in extreme poverty out there.

    p.s. Seriously, the literacy rate of people are much higher nowadays but their common sense is close to zero.

  • Mayura

    Car loan – Unless your job requires you to be mobile, it is not a necessity.
    Room – You could rent nearer to your workplace or to the closest bus/train station so that you can commute to work. You can save by not having a car this way either.
    GF – Again, this is not a necessity.

    At the end of day, it depends on how you manage your finances. I know people earning RM10k each month and their spendings can be double of that racking up excessive credit card bills. Once they lost their income (due to sickness, retrenchments), they end up living poorer than ever.

    By the way, as far as I know, RM2k is an entry level graduate salary in Malaysia. If you are young, you could put more ambition by learning the right skills to get promoted or leave to another company that offers better career progression. There is also the option to leave your comfort zone to another country that pays higher for the same work you are doing.

  • Mayura

    The question you should ask her is; how much financial freedom she and her husband would have when they reach retirement? One should not look at short term wealth alone.

  • Jae Park

    It’s nice for your friends to be intelligent but you don’t need to actively look for those characteristics and try to be-friend those who are incredibly successful.

    I know how valuable connections are, I work in the legal world. However, connections shouldn’t be the goal of you be-friending someone. That’s simply being superficial.

    I treat human beings like human beings, and not as stepping stones for my career like your logic. I work incredibly hard and I’m successful because of my own strength, not from trying to use others. People like you are the bottom-feeders of society, trying to leech the success off of people like me. Just because I want to meet genuine people and try to make REAL friendships doesn’t mean I would lose to you in terms of success.

    Your post makes me think you are incredibly condescending in real life. People like you are not who I want to meet, or work with. You can be successful without trying to use people.

  • Mayura

    Your post is a real joke. You made it sound like people who know how to find the right connections do not put in effort in working and producing results. In fact, I believe you are the condescending and arrogant one here in assuming that as long as someone lives and works the way you do, that is the most noble thing.

  • Emmanuel

    Whatever income you get, first you need to give 10% of income to God as tithes. All glory to God. Without God, we are nothing. All these riches are just materialistic. When you go heaven, we can’t bring the house or car. When you seek God, all these things will be added to you. So don’t worry and be happy.

  • frank

    Hey dumb ass, this guy is from Hong Kong where the one child policy is exempt. I’m guessing you’re just a dumb racist ass hat who married your Chinese wife to satisfy your sick Asiaphile fantasies.

  • John

    Where is the charity??

  • Asira

    This is doable. Plus, take it from a successful man. He sure have same level of sacrifices. ITS EITHER YOU MAKE MONEY OR YOU MAKE EXCUSES. Just choose one :)

  • Fiona1933

    Yes, this is horrible advice but explains why so many rich Chinese are just unbearable people. Case in point: I’ve just been working for a rich family and the mother, being a pretty woman who clearly married for money, treated me like dirt. One day, it was freezing and my feet were so cold on the uncarpeted floors I asked for a pair of slippers (which you are just given when you come in in ‘lesser’ homes). The maid went to get me a pair, opened a cupboard, there were dozens of new warm fluffy ones, but just before she gave me them, she said: “I’d better ask ma’am” and went away…poor woman came back bright red and holding at arm’s length, I couldn’t believe it, a mismatched, that is not-a-pair, of really filthy open rubber slippers used by the maids to step on the dirty outside roof area.
    Just a slap in the face.

  • Fiona1933

    I really agree with this. Calculating. Actually, my hero is this Thai businessman who was a mega-millionaire and lost it all in the crash of 97. He ended up with his wife, a little flat, and some bread and ham. So he made some sandwiches and, get this, took them to the plaza outside a mighty building he actually used to own and stood there to sell them to his former (open-mouthed) employees.
    When you think of the Wall Street guys who will pitch themselves from a window when they lose their Ferrari…what humility this guy had and what endurance to pick himself up like that.
    I wish I could remember that guy’s name.
    Speaking of names, just realized your’s sounded familiar and looked up to see it looking at me from my bookshelf!

  • Billy

    To Emmanuel:
    Pls give 100% of your income to god instead. Becos god is your everything and what belongs to you also belongs to god as he is the one whom gave it to you in the 1st place. So pls give back 100% of your income to god.

  • kcscdf

    Its impossible to keep doing what this li ka shing is saying when you’re married,already have kids and have huge financial commitments at hand. Your hands shall be tight. However,i do believe in the part where life long learning is essential to help one to improve and excel in what they do or passionate in. At the end of the day, your stature still determines where you stand in life and what you see value in. Getting rich like LKS may not solve your woes

  • Alvin Sim

    Jae Park,

    I understand your apparent sentiments towards the paragraph in contention the article about “befriending” people based on influence, intelligence, affluence. Understand that this could have been an translated interview that left room for misconstruction.

    While I agree with you entirely that one should “treat human beings like human beings, and not as stepping stones for my career like your logic”, I think you have completely misunderstood the point of the article – not everything written has to be taken at face value.

    Buying someone else “lunch” who’s smarter than you can refer to people you’ve befriended at networking sessions, tea parties etc. Granted these “smarter, richer, powerful” people are earnestly trying to help, I don’t see what the problem is. That isn’t mutually exclusive with “treating human being like human beings” and choosing to buy other less “helpful” people meals.

    Following your comment on what you’ve observed of chinese culture and what “a lot of them can be”, I think you’re terribly misinformed of the world in general – do let me know of any other group of ambitious, self-respecting people in any culture that doesn’t exhibit any semblance of this characteristic in contention. I’m not sure what “chinese” people you’ve had the pleasure of interacting with but I assure you being diligent and hardworking consist of proactively getting to know the right people.

    As for your “holier-than-thou” attitude & your “my success is of my own doing” mindset, Get off your fucking pedestal & rethink how others have contributed to your success.

  • Sexy Harry

    It does not ‘go to god.’ I am not aware that god has a bank account, nor any use for human money. It goes into religious institutions, run by humans who manage large incomes given by the gullible who somehow think such reimbursements count towards their place in some celestial firmament.
    Tithes go to greedy, rich, corrupt, manipulative humans, not to god.

  • ruoyu

    umm why did u marry her Mr. wisdom? why did you get married at all… why haven’t you been able to hav positive effect on your and i repeat your family? i honestly think the level of 7intellegence between a couple can’t be that vast otherwise how can you make a decent conversation …..
    older people tend to adapt changes more slowly in some eyes stubborn, we need to be patient with them cos one day we will find the world is moving too fast for us and outsmarted by the younger genetation.
    my two cents worth.

  • ruoyu

    hi five !

  • two.cents

    im so sorry to hear that Fiona! not everyone is like that. i am worried about Chinas future, just imagine the kids that brought up by these women…i actually think most decent chinese with etiquette are Overseas

  • Listen up

    myu you really know nothing about China. Your views are just one sided from your own personal discontentment with your wife and in-laws behaviour. Pls do not generalized the whole greater china, bcoz of your own in ability to cope with life. China at present is considered one of the most fasting growing economies in the world and its expected to take over the USA in near future. If you play your cards right over in china your can expect vastly huge returns.

  • reena

    I still think something is missing. You should also not forget to invest something for your health like setting some amount of money for enrolling in the gym, buying vitamins, vegetables and fruits (healthy stuff are more expensive in my place than fast foods and ordinary foods). Because even though you have lots of money in the end, it will all be sucked up by your sickness (treatments, therapy, etc). Or let’s say even though your money is way more than enough for your treatments, you will still miss the chance of enjoying your hard-earned money because you are unhealthy and sick.

  • Ying

    Hey buddy, I know it can get stressful at times, like any other part of the world. Maybe this article could give you a clue what went wrong in your situation.


  • ihateamericans

    It’s all because selfishness existed in western culture. Everyone thinks of benefits before relationships between people; Everyone thinks of themselves, but not the others. That’s what is happening in western societies.

  • sandy

    Not all Chinese is like that. But many of them yes, especially if they have name and wealth. They really careful with their circle and help each other very much. One of the key of their success as some people said. It’s hard to see your point of view (to not use people) because it’s on their root of thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I am in the same thinking like you, but what I am trying to say is that using people behaviour is like tradition. I am half chinese, my grandpa and grandma were cousin, they got married just to keep all the wealth running in the family.

  • Yves lu

    It does not matter if the capital came from his uncle. That is an idea. It takes an idea to make a money. :)

  • yves lu

    People who are connected to the real rich man who originally makes the money are the one who are unbearable and greedy. Because they do not know how to value the money.

  • Yves lu

    it is not the rich guy who is unbearable that genuinely makes the money. It is the people around them such as relatives and daughters, sons

  • Yves Lu

    It does not matter if Li ka Shing got his seed capital from his rich uncle. Because it takes an idea to make a money. His entrepreneurial mindset made him rich.

  • Yves Lu

    Rich people admit they do not know everything. Poor people pretend they know everything. Rich people have a good learning attitude. They are a life-long learners. What will profit a man if he talks about other people? Just adapt his advice. Nothing will harm you.

  • Yves lu

    continue to grow and improve ourselves.

  • Yves lu

    It simply because your wife does not work. She must not know the hardwork of money. Just find time to discuss the financial mindset and principles for her.

  • Yves Lu

    Do not misinterpret of using others. It is not the term being used here.People around us could be the channel of blessings to us. No man will prosper and be alive alone..

  • Yves lu

    Take it as a positive outlook not for a negative outlook.

  • Yves Lu

    i agree with you. Birds who are the same flock together. If a person wants to be successful, he should also get along with the successful people. If you mingle with a broke person, you will probably be a broke also. You tend to adapt the person’s characteristics and visions in life that you mingle with.

  • mx111

    American only think about themselves but nobody else. This is “me” thinking is so noxious and selfish. If you try to buy friends lunch, they will think you are weird in USA cuz everybody go dutch in here.

  • mx111

    That is in China, they use RMB…

  • b22

    What kind of logic is it?

  • Red


    It is a fake story which has been denied by Mr Li Ka Shing

  • gwhosubex

    you didn’t screen your wife while dating for stuff like this?

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  • martingal

    People think I’m cheap at such a young age of 20 living in the Philippines and started working at my first job just around May of 2014. This is indeed a good read for me and I will try to abide by these virtuous statements of his. I love it!

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  • Lee Yna

    Li Ka Shing – richest man in Asia –

  • j

    Seek Jesus and HE will solve all of your problems, nothing else will. God Bless.

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  • Kevin

    Okay, Li-Ka shing didn’t exactly grew his empire or his own wealth by exactly how he portrays it in this speech, and yes, he might of done some cunning things…. however, let’s just take what his article has written and just go learn from there…. it does sound wise.

  • Prathan Udomkaewkanjana

    If you only go out eating with someone better than you. In the end, you will be eating alone.

  • Kevin

    Actually, honestly, i don’t get where was his thought if rent is ridiculous though?