Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter, C.P.A

     This book was given to me by Norman Garwood as a college graduation present.  When Norman gave me the book he was fairly quick to tell me that it is not necessarily a Christian personal finance book, which honestly made me a little more excited to start flipping through the pages.  Through reading many Christian finance books, blogs, and articles, I have found that many authors just recycle the same information.  There is nothing wrong with the advice of proclaimed Christian personal financial advisers, but I always enjoy gaining a new perspective.
     The book Rich Dad, Poor Dad is about what the rich teach their kids about money that the poor and middle class do not. Robert Kiyosaki grew up in a middle class family and, like most middle class families, talking about money was not a common conversation around the Kiyosaki house.  However, Mr. Kiyosaki's best friend Mike grew up a a wealthy family where financial matters were commonly discussed and taught.  As middle school kids, Robert and his friend Mike decided they wanted to become rich.  In an effort to gain an understanding of how to become rich they asked Mike's dad for advice. Mikes dad (rich dad) taught them six lessons that he said would lead them to become wealthy.  The six lessons taught in the book are as follows:

  1. The Rich Don't Work for Money: Instead of working for money, the rich make money work for them.  "Most people....go to school, learn a profession, have fun at their work, and earn lots of money.  One day they wake up with big money problems, and then they can't stop working. That's the price of only knowing how to work for money instead of studying how to have money work for you."  Mr. Kiyosaki  teaches that learning a profession is only part of the secret of becoming rich; the other half is a continuous study of how to use and invest money wisely to make it work for you.  
  2. Why Teach Financial Literacy?: "You must know the difference between an asset and a liability, and buy assets. If you want to be rich, this is all you need to know. It is rule number one."  Rich dad explains that something is only an asset if it generates income.  Working at a bank, I know that this is not the normal definition of an asset.  For example, on a financial statement automobiles are listed as assets.  Rich dad would say that an automobile is a liability because it costs money instead of generating income.  Kiyosaki summarizes the chapter by saying "The rich buy assets.  The poor only have expenses.  The middle class buys liabilities they think are assets."
  3. Mind Your Own Business: "A problem with school is that you often become what you study. So if you study, say, cooking, you become a chef......The mistake of becoming what you study is that too many people forget to mind their own business.  The purpose of this chapter is to remind readers to take the time to care for their own personal finances.  
  4. The History of Taxes and The Power of Corporations: A summary of this chapter is that the rich with corporations earn money, spend, and then pay taxes.  People who work for corporations earn money, pay taxes, and then spend what is left over.  
  5. The Rich Invent Money: There are two types of investors.  Those that purchased packaged deals. This type of safe investing is recommended for most people, including myself, who do not fully understand how to piece together a winning investment portfolio.  The second type of investor looks for creative opportunities, that are often not fully taken advantage of by the general population, in order to earn a greater reward for his or her money.  This type of investing is what the author is talking about when he says that the rich "invent" money.  
  6. Work to learn--Don't work for money: The author recognizes that we can not all start out with our "dream job."  Mr.  Kiyosaki suggests that people should use whatever career they are currently involved in to gain new insight and learn new skills that could be very beneficial in the future.  Most people work for multiple businesses during their working career, so "...why not seek to learn more than earn."  
Opinion: Rich Dad, Poor Dad was an easy read that brought forth some new ways of looking at personal finances.  Mr. Kiyosaki often puts down the idea of having a normal, stable career throughout the book.  I personally believe that having a normal career is a perfectly acceptable way of building wealth.  Owning a business is not for everyone, and could hurt many people more than it would help them financially.  I did enjoy the way that the author suggest that an employee views work (Lesson #6).  I also found Mr. Kiyosaki's idea of what constitutes an asset to be very educational (Lesson #2). I am glad that Norman got me this book and would recommend to people looking for an alternative view of personal finances.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Seeing God in Nature

Since today was Martin Luther King day I was off of work; however, Courtney had to be at work early. I woke up and read the Daily Bread while she ate breakfast. The key verse in the Daily Bread was Romans 1:20 which states "Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." The reading in the Daily Bread was about John Muir (1838-1914), who was a Scottish-born American naturalist. Muir is known by many to be the "Father of National Parks." In 1903 President Roosevelt accompanied Muir on a visit to Yosemite. Muir and Roosevelt camped in the park overnight and Muir conveyed to Roosevelt the importance of preserving God's creation. As I told Courtney this morning, I worship best when fly-fishing at Roaring River State Park. Seeing God's creation first-hand is mesmerizing, peaceful, and humbling all at the same time. Today I am going to take the time to look at God's nature for what it is, God's invisible attributes made visible. I am very thankful for people like John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, who cared enough about nature to set it aside for others to enjoy.

File:Muir and Roosevelt restored.jpg
Roosevelt and Muir