Thursday, February 20, 2014

Book Review: Rich Dad's CASHFLOW Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Anyone who is familiar with my reading interests may very well know that motivational book and tapes aren’t my passion. This is because I’m convinced they achieve no useful purpose other than giving people what I term a ‘feel good’ effect. A friend once aptly captured in my view what best represents what these motivational speakers do saying they are just selling hope – and a false hope at that – to a desperate people. So you can imagine my surprise when this same friend strongly recommended I read a book by an author I’ve always perceived a motivational speaker. Ye the conviction with which my friend spoke and the evidence of the benefits he’d been reaping by applying the lessons he’d learned from the author was compelling indeed so I decided to take him at his word to read the book and boy, what an insightful read it’s been!

Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant, the sequel to Robert T. Kiyosaki’s best seller Rich Dad Poor Dad, is my second encounter with the author having read the first in the series sometime in the past while I was still in school. The book to my surprise didn’t fit my preconceived notion of a typical motivational book as it was very realistic in tone and down-to-earth in its practicability.

The author takes time to introduce the reader to the four parts of the cashflow quadrant i.e. E for Employee and S for Self-Employed on the left side of the quadrant with B for Business Owner and I for Investor on the right side while expounding on the pros and cons of each part. Though he doesn’t quite come clear on which part of the quadrant is best (as he assures the reader that no part is without its risks and gains), it wasn’t difficult to deduce that he favored the right side of the quadrant over the left side and even on the right side, the author favored the I over the B. Here, I often felt the author was playing fast and loose with his analysis and frustratingly so. I also found certain portions of the book to be needlessly repetitive almost to the point of being boring.

However, unlike your typical motivational book where readers are psychologically induced into a transient optimistic mood with the aim of jolting readers to action (often prematurely), the author advocates taking what he calls “baby steps” instead of giant leaps when venturing into a new quadrant. He underscored the importance of extensive and continuous education and knowledge acquisition with adequate experience because certain rules that may have been effective in one quadrant may prove ineffectual to one’s loss in another quadrant.

The author also shares many pithy quotes from his Rich Dad urging what may very well be unorthodox advice among motivational speakers such as “be prepared to be disappointed” because “only fools expect everything to go the way they want.” He observes that “just as we learn from our mistakes, we gain character from our disappointments” and that inevitably, “losing is part of winning.”

The crux of the whole book for me was succinctly expressed under the section he sub-titled BE˃DO˃HAVE where he teaches readers to spend more time acquiring the right attitude required to achieve the desired end instead of hastily seeking a shortcut by doing what one thinks will achieve a desired end. The end result of such impulsive action he noted is usually a burnout causing one to abandon one’s dreams even before one has truly started.

Cashflow Quadrant was a real eye-opener and I recommend it to all especially the financially naïve and for new business owners. May be it’s time I heeded the advice of the author to “mind my own business.” 

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