Who Took My Money – Robert Kiyosaki Audio book
People either love Kiyosaki or think he’s a charlatan. This isn’t his best book but its a solid addition to the series. I’d rank 3rd below “Rich dad, Poor Dad” and “Cashflow Quadrant”. More than in any other of his books he gets into HOW to get rich. But this isn’t the best part of the book. The best part is the first part which explains why 401Ks can be lousy investments.
I started contributing to a a tax deferred annuity seven years ago. I noticed that seven years late there is LESS money in it than I contributed to it. Ditto for my pension fund. Kiyosaki goes over the reasons 401Ks and similar deferred accounts may not be good investments:
1) They aren’t guaranteed.
2) a 5% or 10% return is actually pretty lousy.
3) 401Ks are TAX DEFERRED, which means you actually pay MORE taxes when you retire, assuming you made money.
Kiyosaki then explains a phenomenon which even his detractors have to admit is true: people tend to think 401Ks and mutual funds are SAFER investments than business and real estate. Try going to your bank and asking for a 100k loan to buy a piece of income-producing real estate. If you have good credit the answer will likely be “yes”. Now try borrowing 100k to buy a mutual fund. The bank’s answer will be laughter. That’s because mutual funds are DANGEROUS!
Kiyosaki’s answer is to start your own business, use the proceeds to invest in income producing real estate and invest the cash flow into paper and other assets. This is the same as what Warren Buffet does. It’s not easy but in the long run its safer and potentially more profitable.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to stop contributing to a 401K. Especially novice investors in their early 20s. But for people who already own their own business or a piece of income producing real estate, this book gives you a lot more options.
Another fascinating thing he points out that’s true: workers stealing money from themselves. I’ve been reading the financial pages for this week (June 6, 2005) and read the news that GM will lay off 25,000 workers. The stock, of course, jumped up in anticipation of higher earnings. A large number of those workers probably have some of their 401K money invested in GM. So their retirement money will be determined by the stock going up, BUT THAT NECESSITATES FIRING WORKERS! Who took their money? THEY TOOK THEIR OWN MONEY! That’s a problem with profit sharing I haven’t heard anyone but Kiyosaki articulate. But if you think about it, it’s probably true.
Lastly, even some of positive reviews for this book say that Kiyosaki advocates purchasing real estate. This isn’t entirely accurate. He advocates starting a part time business and trying to grow it and THEN investing cash flow into INCOME PRODUCING real estate. The current real estate mania is being fueled by speculators who are trying to “flip” properties. That’s not investing! And Kiyosaki doesn’t condone it. He’s talking about buying houses than can be rented and will produce a few hundred dollars cash flow above and beyond their expenses. He warns not to bank on appreciation. That’s just an added bonus.
So read this book with an open mind. Although the prose style is simple, it can make (or save) you a lot of money. It did for me.
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