As I mentioned in another post, The Best Books to Help Improve Your Life, I may do more of these book reviews, but will do them 5 at a time. Well, surprise! Here’s 5 more book reviews available for browsing in our humble blog. These vary from business, finance, and real estate investing books, so in some form or another, it is about money & earning it!
This particular edition, I decided to focus the reviews on Robert Kiyosaki’s Books. Why? Because Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad book” has been an integral part of my life. It was actually the first personal finance book that I ever picked up when I was around 16 to learn about money and how to make money work for me.
Of course, I thought that meant that I needed to buy real estate (something a 16 year old can’t afford at the time), but it led me to dream and think about money more as a concept than as a currency. It was my first foray into financial education, and I thought I’ll give his other books a try. In this post, I discuss books published by Kiyosaki’s company (Rich Dad) and why you should probably read it, and also why you shouldn’t.
Note that future book reviews will be limited to only 3 per post. 5 per post is getting a bit too wordy and long 🙂
Other book review-related links:
- The Book Page (all of our non-fiction book reviews in one page)
- The Best Books to Help Improve Your Life (Four Hour Work Week,
- 2016 Graphic Novel Book Reviews
Rich Dad Book Reviews (2017 Edition)
1. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
I picked up this book when I was younger: when I was starting out in university or doing my part time at my call center job. I don’t recall why I picked up this book, but I remember that I had just started working and it felt that I was spending a lot more money than what I was earning. Since I had a bit of downtime in my call center job, I decided to Google how to earn more money online and found a lot of resources to help me out, and one of them was this book.
Let’s just say this book kind of changed my life. It was the first non-fiction personal finance book I picked up, and it was told as a study of contrasts between Kiyosaki’s Rich dad & Poor dad (I later found out much of this was embellished and not really based on any true events). Regardless if the story was good or not, the underlying meaning of the book stuck with me and that was: being an employee is not going to make me rich. What will make me rich will be other streams of income, and Kiyosaki mentioned how he built his through real estate.
While I was living in the Philippines at the time, I decided to concentrate more on saving. My mom always used to say I should save, but without me knowing what I’m saving for it was pretty hard to think about why I was doing it when I had no use for saving at the time. Now I knew and found more direction in my life! In most of the people interviewed on the BiggerPockets podcast, when they were asked which book changes their life the most, they mostly answered Rich Dad Poor Dad, which is quite funny and shows you the vast influence of this book.
Why You Should Read This Book
Peer-pressure. No, seriously, you have to pick it up because it was written in such a way that you can relate to it and it will give you a chance to look differently at the 9-5 grind, or what Kiyosaki calls the rat race. It gives a whole lot meaning to working for yourself instead of working for other people. We’re not discouraging employment, we’re just encouraging that there are other sources of income out there, and you just have to supplement your employment income with something else to churn out projects that may earn more income. It’s an endless cycle. The more streams of income you have, the faster you’ll get to Financial Independence!
2. Rich Dad’s Retire Young Retire Rich – Robert Kiyosaki
Another Kiyosaki book on the list. I think I’m on a roll! I picked this book up on a whim from the local library (where else) because I was on the lookout for something that would help us become FI in the fastest time possible. Apparently it’s the fourth or fifth book in the Rich Dad series.
Why You Should Read This Book
While the book was not written perfectly, it definitely had some good points to it – like changing your mindset and making your context bigger and changing your way of thinking. These books are mostly about changing your mindset; anything else that you get out of the book is a plus and should be taken as lessons at your discretion. While I won’t exactly do everything that he is suggesting in the books, it’s still a nice wake up call and a stepping stone to open up further topics to read and learn more about. After all, investing in your financial education just takes up your time, as long as you don’t pay for gurus who charge insane amounts of money for seminars that you can pick up with books and research anyway.
3. Rich Dad’s Increase Your Financial IQ – Robert Kiyosaki
I picked up this book because I was on a Rich Dad binge! This one is actually from the library too. The premise is that you should increase your knowledge about finance so you can start investing and gain more knowledge about financial products.
Why you should NOT read this book
Finished this book quite quickly – I ended up trying to not to toss the book away because it felt like I was reading some kind of cheap, self-published book instead of something from the Rich Dad series: written by Kiyosaki too, no doubt. There were also too many anecdotes, so I ended up skimming more than half the book instead of reading it. I was sick and tired of reading the same anecdotes – mainly because I already read too many Rich Dad books within a certain period of time. Probably time to move on to other books.
Typographical and grammatical errors were plentiful in the book, and it definitely feels that the book was rushed. I wouldn’t bother picking this book up and paying money for it. Save it for a rainy day and if you do feel compelled to get it, please get it from the library so it’s only your time that you feel like you’ve wasted, and not your money too.
We’ll move on to another book because I can’t be bothered writing a more comprehensive review about this book except to just avoid it by all means and it feels like it was just written to sell more books.
4. Loopholes of Real Estate – Garrett Sutton
Since Peter and I want to invest in more real estate properties, I got this as a whim from the library after hearing it as a suggestion from an episode of the Bigger Pockets podcast.
The book describes taxes and various loopholes of real estate to help you cover yourself as an investor. While the book is mostly written with examples and light legalese, you will be able to grasp the concepts fairly well.
We learned about homesteads and that Florida, being the state where we live, is one of the more generous places when it comes to covering homeowners. Our homestead also lowers our property tax bill, something that is always great if you are on your way to Financial Independence.
We also learned about 1031 exchanges, and other various ways to write off things on your tax return to lower your tax payable for the small real estate business that we’re running.
One thing that we hadn’t taken into consideration before reading the book was about limited partnerships and limited liability companies. We will definitely set one up soon as we acquire more properties!
Of course, some of these loopholes aren’t as good as reading The Wealthy Accountant’s blog – which is more full of information than this book will ever give you.
Why you should read this book
This is one of those Rich Dad books that I thought was more substance and less fluff. As a warning, you will definitely get duds and fluff the more you read Rich Dad books and feel as if they are recycling some of the core content from the more known and first published books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Cashflow Quadrant.
If you are interested in real estate investing, then this book may be of great help, especially as you get to know more about tax implications (i.e. writing off expenses to lower your taxes).
5. Stock Market Cash Flow – Andy Tanner
This is one of the worst business/finance related book I have ever read. Nothing but fluff all the way! The author rambles on about his dead college basketball career more than providing information to his readers. Seriously, if you want to become financially independent, stay away from this book. He dumbed down income, expense, assets, liabilities and owner’s equity to such a level that I skipped that part altogether (note: I am an accountant by profession so I cringe at reading that part because I felt like it might mislead people who don’t know accounting per se) Note: If you want to know more about assets, liabilities, income, expenses and owner’s equity, skip this book and read Rich Dad for a dummies version.
Why you should NOT read this book
Will you learn about stock market investing as the title implies? Skip to more than half of the book and he’ll try to teach you the fundamental and technical investing basics. Good luck trying to understand his examples, but it may be all right if you’re a beginner.
What I do like about the book is that he emphasizes focusing on cash flow if you are trying to become Financially Independent. Appreciation is good, but at the end of the day, it does not put food on your table, cash flow does. So it gave me more focus on cash flow instead of market appreciation.
To be honest, the title is a bit misleading. When the author says stock market cash flow, he means buying and selling options to earn cash flow. Definitely not something you would want to foray into if you are just beginning into your world of investing. Options is not for the novice investor (index tracked mutual funds are ok though), and can be deemed as a bit of a gamble sometimes if you don’t understand a company’s financial statements or where you think their business is heading.
I am not a proponent of options, but am a buy and hold type of investor. If you are on your path to FI, and you have some spare money that you are okay losing (high risk, high rewards), then by all means, go buy options 🙂 That’s just me though.
You’ll know books published by the Rich Dad company by the colors and the font they are presented in the bookstore. From the 5 I’ve reviewed above, it seems that only 3 made the cut of books that you should read.
A common factor across all 5 books is the fluff factor. The authors seem to find a way to try and sell the Rich Dad way of thinking, which may entice you to buy into one of their overpriced financial seminars/education series. If you’re reading a book penned by Robert Kiyosaki himself, you may see a lot of stories (not sure if it’s real or not) about how his rich dad taught him all these lessons about money and business while his poor dad worked away at his job, and how he grew his business when he had nothing left. I guess it is the drama factor that lures other people into reading his books.
Beware of the stories that seem endless, the grammatical and the typographical errors in some, as well as rambling… lots and lots of rambling in these books. Don’t waste your time if you come across these sections in the book. Just turn the page and move on.
In essence, these books have their own lessons to teach you. It’s up to you to identify and discover which parts of the books are helpful for you and will teach you valuable lessons as you try to make your way to financial independence.