In this corner of FT world, I’ll review the business, real estate, and personal development books that I’ve come across thus far. From the Holy Grail of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” to lesser known, but equally impactful titles, here, you’ll find a snippet of my humble opinion.
First, a little housekeeping!
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Book Review Criteria
As much as I love the time-honored method of Eeny Meeny, I’ve devised a simple rating system, by which I’ll rank these titles.
Books are rated on a scale from 1 – 7, with seven being the most helpful, relevant, advanced, etc. Factors I consider are:
- Ease of read (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
- Relevance in today’s economy (not relevant, extremely current)
- Practicality (super realistic vs. a bunch of hooey)
I will rate each category anywhere from 1 to 7, and average the three categories, to arrive at a final rating. The highest score in this system is a 7, and the lowest is a 1. These aren't necessarily ranked from best to worst - disregard the order in which they appear!
The book has a narrative-style storyline, which makes it very easy to read through. I'm not the type to plow through a book in one sitting (I admire you guys!), so it took me a few sessions to complete it. It is 336 pages, so not a 'quick read', but you won't feel like you're wading through mud when you're reading it.
Relevance - 5
The recurring theme of the book is that one should invest more than spend. It's personal finance 101, but a good reminder to us all. Kiyosaki makes the point clear that earning a high income is simply not enough on its own, to secure financial independence. It is becoming increasingly more relevant as Americans in particular struggle with overspending, as we live in a mega-consumerism society.
Practicality - 4
I rated the realism slightly lower because, while the book clearly drives home the point of invest vs. earn/save, it lacks in providing concrete steps to do just that, in my opinion. A few times throughout the book, he mentions the importance of investing in income-producing assets (such as real estate) so I'll give him that. He didn't write this book as a specific "how to" guide, but it can be a little dangerous for those who have a tendency to excitedly "take action" after reading a motivating book like this one.
Overall Rating - 5.3
The Richest Man in Babylon
Ease of Read - 7
This title also scores highly for its readability. It features a series of stories relayed in a parable-esque format. They reminded me a little of Aesop's Fables. Cover to cover is 144 pages, but it didn't feel nearly that long.
Relevance - 7
One of the ideas carried out through the stories is that of paying yourself first. This is by far one of the most popular pieces of personal financial advice today, and for good reason. Automatically setting aside funds for yourself and your investments creates habits that lead to financial success. I think this book is a great reminder of the importance of building a healthy financial foundation.
Practicality - 7
Again, no problems here. Though the lessons are presented as entertaining stories, it isn't hard to understand their messages. One of those life lessons that really stuck with me is to not let other people's problems become my problem. There are nuggets of wisdom all throughout the book.
Overall Rating - 7.0
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
Another personal finance classic, this book is written to address literally everyone - from poor to rich, and everything in between. As such, the writing style makes the read relatively straightforward. This book is 210 pages long, so it took some time to work through, but I didn't get tired of reading this, as I have with other titles.
Relevance - 7
T. Harv Eker makes it a point to reinforce the 'money and success blueprint' that each of us has. He begins to pull back the layers a little bit, introducing us to the idea that the our individual psychology behind money will directly influence the way money flows in and out of our lives. Some have a money blueprint that causes them to spend money when they're sad or frustrated. Others have a blueprint that causes them to save every penny, which can lead to deep-seated fears and controlling tendencies. If people understood why they make the money/health/career/relationship decisions they do, there would be a lot more clarity in this world. Because this clarity is much-needed today, I consider this book highly relevant, and think it will be for some time.
Practicality - 5
This category ranks a little low for me, only because the book didn't delve as deeply into the neuroscience of decision-making as I would've liked. He introduced the concept to get the reader thinking about it, and began to elaborate, but didn't really carry the torch all of the way, in that regard. I understood the gist of what he was conveying, but the lack of detail made the book feel a little like I was at a motivational 'first night free' seminar.
Overall Rating - 6.0
(More reviews coming soon!)
Agree or disagree? Have a specific title you'd like for me to review? I want to hear from you! Leave a comment below!
Happy reading 🙂