“Retire Young, Retire Rich: How to Get Rich Quickly and Stay Rich Forever” by Robert T Kiyosaki with Sharon L Lechter

retire-young-retire-rich

I read ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ several years ago and I was greatly impressed. It presented a wholly new perspective on the accumulation of wealth. So I had great expectations of Kiyosaki’s ‘How to Get Rich Quickly and Stay Rich Forever’. I was a little disappointed. What’s most annoying is that there are umpteen repetitions. After reading this one, I don’t feel inclined to read the other books in the series.

The author’s focus on financial literacy is probably the most important aspect of the book. It is also a matter that does bear repetition. Some home-truths really need to be repeated – only then do they sink in. Kiyosaki reminds us that, “Saving money is slow. You can become rich by saving money, but the price is time… your lifetime.” He adds that, “Many people today are not in the same professions as their parents…….but when it comes to money, investing, and retirement, they do exactly the same things. When it comes to money, many people are still swinging their parents’ axe.” How true!

I like the way the author explains the principle of leverage making it ever so simple: ‘Doing more with less’. The examples he gives are illuminating. “In the beginning, animals could run faster than humans, but today humans can travel faster and further than animals because they created tools of leverage, such as bicycles, cars, trucks, trains and planes. In the beginning, birds could fly and humans could not. Today, humans fly higher, further and faster than any bird.”

Kiyosaki points out that Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Ted Turner, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison did not finish school. I can’t help wondering what the world would have been like if Edison had concentrated on making money rather than on conducting his experiments. Of the Wright brothers Kiyosaki says, “They are prime examples of people who studied because they wanted to learn and not for grades; they worked hard for free without guarantees, took risks intelligently, and pushed themselves and the world into another reality.” Such examples are bound to inspire and motivate – and they certainly add spice to the core message of this book.

The author also points out some simple facts that every investor ought to know from the start. “Out of ten investments, the odds are two to three will be bad, two to three will be good, and everything in the middle just lies around like a lazy dog.”

Overall Assessment: This book could have been written in 100 pages instead of 550. Then it would have been another masterpiece.

Retire Young, Retire Rich: How to Get Rich Quickly and Stay Rich Forever!
Author: Robert T Kiyosaki with Sharon L Lechter
Publisher: Warner Books
Publication Date:: 2002

Contributor: Pushpa Kurup lives in Trivandrum, India and works in the IT sector.

“The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

the-millionaire-next-door

It’s evident that extensive research has gone into the making of this masterpiece. Thomas J. Stanley studied wealthy individuals for decades before he co-authored this book along with William D. Danko. There are quite a few ‘get rich’ books on the market. This one is undoubtedly special.

The good news is that anyone with a decent job can accumulate a fortune over time. The bad news is that high income does not automatically translate into great wealth. What do the wealthy folks in America have in common? Have they merely inherited a fortune? Not so, say the authors. One thing they all have in common is frugality. We all know of Warren Buffet, but hey, there are dozens of others! And the rich are not who we think they are.

The authors state that affluent persons tend to answer ‘yes’ to three questions they were asked in routine surveys:

  1. Were your parents very frugal?
  2. Are you frugal?
  3. Is your spouse more frugal than you are?

“Most people will never become wealthy in one generation if they are married to people who are wasteful. A couple cannot accumulate wealth if one of its members is a hyper-consumer. This is especially true when one or both are trying to build a successful business. Few people can sustain profligate spending habits and simultaneously build wealth.” So high living is just not cool.

Tighten your belt folks! Take a deep breath. Do you really need that new Lamborghini?

You can also learn new ways of calculating what your net worth ought to be. “Multiply your age times your realized pre-tax annual household income from all sources except inheritances. Divide by ten. This, less any inherited wealth is what your net worth should be.” Check it out. Do you pass the test? No? Then buy another copy of the book and give it to your spouse.

Overall assessment: Wanna become rich? Try this one!

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy
AUTHORS: THOMAS J STANLEY & WILLIAM D DANKO
PUBLISHER: TAYLOR TRADE PUBLISHING
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2010

Contributor: Pushpa Kurup lives in Trivandrum, India and works in the IT sector.

“The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There are No Easy Answers” by Ben Horowitz

The Hard Thing about Hard Things

This is a must-read book for entrepreneurs, especially those who have wandered the streets looking for venture capital, struggling to manage all aspects of a company while barely being able to make ends meet. The book talks about hiring, management cultures, and styles, lay-offs, selling the company, partnerships, and every possible aspect involving startups.

Most entrepreneurs, especially those who have struggled, should be able to relate to every line in this book. It is very much a “guy’s book written for guys.” The direct in-your-face style makes this book hilarious in parts.

This is the only book that I have ever purchased thrice – first on my Kindle and two hard copies – the second hard copy was intended as a gift for a friend/entrepreneur.

The author, Ben Horowitz, founded Opsware and is now a leading investor based in Silicon Valley.

The Hard Thing about Hard Thing: Building a Business When There are No Easy Answers
Author: Ben Horowitz
Publisher: Harper Business
Publication Date: March 2014

Contributor: Pran Kurup is an author and entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone

The Everything Store

This is an excellent book for anyone interested in learning more about Amazon and its evolution. It is meticulously researched and gives you a good inside view of Amazon’s culture, Jeff Bezos style – his frugality and ruthlessness.

It is mind-boggling to imagine that a former investment banker (a non-techie) could have built a company with such cutting-edge products and services. It is an excellent book that captures the entrepreneurial spirit and business strategy vis-a-vis Amazon’s success story.

I read this book quite a while back but it remains very much in my memory because it is one of the better business books published in recent times. Hats off to the author, Brad Stone for this outstandoing book.

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
Author: Brad Stone
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: October 2013

Contributor: Pran Kurup is an author and entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area.