The Fourth Doll

Sage - a wise old man
sage (wise old man), presented a prince with a set of three small dolls. As you would have thought, the prince was not amused. “Am I a girl that you give me dolls?”, he asked.

“This is a gift for a future king,” said the sage. “If you look carefully, you’ll see a hole in the ear of each doll.” The sage handed him a piece of string.

“Pass it through each doll.”, he said.

Intrigued, the prince picked up the first doll and put the string into the ear. It came out from the other ear. “This is one type of person,” said the sage, “whatever you tell him, comes out from the other ear. He doesn’t retain anything.”

The prince put the string into the second doll. It came out from the mouth. “This is the second type of person,” said the sage, “whatever you tell him, he tells everybody else.”

The prince picked up the third doll and repeated the process. The string did not come out. “This is the third type of person,” said the sage, “whatever you tell him is locked up within him. It never comes out.”

“What is the best type of person then?”, asked the prince.

The sage handed him a fourth doll. When the prince put the string into the doll, it came out from the other ear.

“Do it again.”, said the sage.

The prince repeated the process. This time the string came out from the mouth. When he put the string on the third time, it did not come out at all!

“This is the best type of person,” said the sage. “To be trustworthy, a man must know when not to listen, when to remain silent and when to speak out.”

In personal finance, there are also these kinds of dolls that exist. Be thankful if you just know them, and not actually be them.

The first doll is the person who keeps on hearing advises that he should start spending less, be a little practical and save-up for his retirement but refuses to and keeps on his mindless splurges anyway.

The second doll is quite similar to a determined fool who wishes to start doing something great, such as investing or running his own business. However, his inaction always puts his thoughts into wishful thinking up to this very day. Be ready to be blown away by his brilliance and confidence as he talks about running a business he never had or how great his investment was without making one. (ssshh...he might be reading this, too!)

The third doll can be considered great, if not for his selfishness or irrational fear. Good: he does what he learns. Bad: he does not want to share what he knows about money; or is afraid of being ridiculed by his used-to-be lunch-outs-and-Starbucks buddies.

The fourth doll, needless to say, is the best one. Restating what the sage said to the prince, “To be truly rich, a man must know whom to listen, when to remain silent and when to share.

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  1. I love the story. I hope I can have the qualities of the fourth doll as my friends. Kakaunti lang kasi talaga yung mga kaibigan ko na financial literate e. Ako naman nakikita ko ang sarili ko sa 3rd doll pero going 4th na rin kasi nag iipon na ko now and I am building my emergency fund. Baby steps muna sa simula. Hehe.

    1. Hi Cindy, thanks for dropping by! :D Yes, let's help spread financial literacy! Baby steps are better than NO steps at all. Consistency is the key! ^_^

  2. Hi po. Bakit di po ako makapag-send ng message sa contact section nyo? Im already subscribed dito sa blog mo po. Im very interested grabe, mindblowing talaga. Ilang days nako nagbabasa basa dito at masasabi kong convinced ako. Sana mabasa mo tong comment ko. Thanks.

    1. Hi Alex,

      Sorry if you're having trouble sending your message using the Contact Page. You can email me directly @ instead. Salamat sa pag-subscribe at pagbabasa. Hope to hear from you soon! ^_^

  3. I can relate with the third doll. Minsan, kasi nahihirapan akong sabihan ang mga friends ko when it comes to investing. Siguro, dahil mas malalaki ang sahod nila kaya they seldom listen whenever I try to open about investments in stocks. Hopefully, kapag lumago na portfolio ko, magiging 4th doll na ako. Para may hawak na akong proof sa kanila na malaki ang nawala at mawawala sa kanila if they don't learn how to manage their finances.

  4. That's actually very interesting.
    Something missing from the fourth type: Not only does it listen, learn, and speak, it also behaves according to the great things it learned.
    I used to be like the third doll... then people saw what I was doing (checking investments and reading books at work)... and then I became like the fourth.

    We should add a fifth doll:
    It's exactly like the fourth... but the string turns into books and blog posts (it runs on Android!).

    1. Hi Ray,

      That'd be nice! Thanks for the addition, only that it should have an iOS version as well for our Apple friends out there :D Cheers!

  5. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.


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