domingo, 16 de octubre de 2011

Book Review - Rich Dad Poor Dad

As an entrepreneur, I'm a great believer in feeding the mind with relevant literature. And so with that in mind I take the time to review books which might help you in your quest for financial independence and success in your home based business.

Here I'm reviewing a book written in 1997 by Robert Kiyosaki called 'Rich Dad Poor Dad'.

The book is centered around the advice given by both his father and the entrepreneurial father of his friend Mike, and documents the contrast in approaches, and the attitudes towards, finances of these two patriarchs.

While Robert's father was an academic with conservative views on how to plan a career, Mike's dad had very different views and it's this polarity that makes for very interesting reading.

"Study hard, specialize in one skill, and get a good retirement pension!." was the advice of Robert's father, while Mike's dad's encouragement was, "Don't specialize, but learn a little bit about a lot of things, so that one day you can run your own business."

The book illustrates how the thinking of the 1950's, when a person could have a job for life, is still prevalent today, and Robert argues that this way of thinking has been rendered ineffective in the information driven world in which we live.

Robert's provocatively titled book caused quite a stir in America but has sold over 28 million copies.

While the author has many interesting things to share with the reader, some of his investment strategies are just as subject to the economic winds of change as any other. In one chapter he mentions property being his foundation for investing, the cash flow of which feeds his more speculative moves. While that may have been a sagacious move in the late 90's, the sub-prime disaster of the 'noughties' has shown that even property investing is vulnerable to economic ebbs and flows.

He goes on to laud those who invest in mutual funds saying that a "low-risk folio of investments is better than no portfolio." But tell that to the millions of people who have seen the value of their paper go the way of the worm recently.

Robert dishes up a lot of great principles and words of wisdom though - gleaned from his Rich Dad and its these points rather than his investment preferences that make this book worth considering for the aspiring entrepreneur.

Much of what he writes challenges the very culture of western academia and it's refreshing to see someone turn our ingrained career strategies on their heads and make a compelling case in favor of financial education in our schools.

And this thinking goes beyond school and launches head-long into our places of work;

"Don't go to work for what you can earn, but for what you can learn." he explains, supporting moving from job to job to gain experience over staying in the same job and becoming a specialist.

It's not surprising that his book has sold so many copies as it would appeal to the person who is questioning their career choices and considering starting their own home based business.

So to sum up; Rich Dad Poor Dad, is an easy read of 200 pages with some great principals for building wealth. But like anything else, you need to decide for yourself which investments suit you and suit the time you're living in.

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