Howdy readers! I’d like to say thanks for your support to my returning readers! It really does give me more motivation and determination to write for you guys and gals. I haven’t always been good with money as I recounted during the last post about how I came into budgeting. I (somewhat fortunately) had a catalyst to begin my financial education. It all started when I was pretty much unemployed and one day thinking about life. I remember thinking that I am graduated and “is this the end of learning?”. You see, I’ve always been fond of learning new things (being a nerd and all). And while the education system supported that, once we came out to the “real world” who’s going to take charge of learning?
As luck would have it, I went out and bought “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. Before that, I’ve only heard of it and that it was good but never really anything beyond that. That being said, I pretty much devoured the book in the span of a week. This left me pretty hungry for more information (because the book itself was quite general in terms of actionable plans). Thus, my journey (and interest) in learning about personal finance and investing began!
Financial education through books
I have since transitioned between books and online resources but the foundation of my financial education began with good old paperbacks. I like the feel and smell of the books which were a plus! Here I recommend 5 + 1 books to check out if you haven’t already! They aren’t in any way “set in stone”, mind you. Different people will probably get different effects from the same media.
I always call this the book that started it all. And for me it really did! Without exaggerating, I felt this book opened my eyes to see things as assets and liabilities, good and bad debt, and the mentality rich people have compared to the “poor and middle class”. This book talks about the importance of financial education and, as examples, Kiyosaki uses his biological and highly educated “Poor Dad” and his (technically his friend’s) money and street-smart “Rich Dad”. Kiyosaki absolutely loves real estate as his investment vehicle of choice. So take it with a pinch of salt because I took his words seriously in the beginning before realising application was different in my context. It’s a good read and the book is not thick at all. Easy to digest and definitely my No.1 recommendation for financial newbies!
Whilst hungry for more, obviously I looked for other books by Kiyosaki. Turns out this was the “sequel” to Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In this book, Kiyosaki talks about the concept of the “cashflow quadrant”. You can see the quadrant on the book image here: it’s split into Employee, Self-employed, Investor and Business owner. An interesting take on financial independence through starting a business or investing. If Rich Dad, Poor Dad was the foundation, you could take Cashflow Quadrant as the frame of your financial hut.
This is the last book from Kiyosaki, I promise! I actually bought this one along with Cashflow Quadrant because “why make 2 separate purchases”, right? This “guide” isn’t really a guide at all. It was more like philosophy of what the rich invest in: Education, Experience and Excess Cash. I think this was a pretty good “closing” to learning from him because some of the subsequent books I bought weren’t as insightful.
Remember when I almost joined a money cult? T. Harv Eker was the guy who started it! Really, it wasn’t a “cult”; I (with help from my then-girlfriend) just termed it like that. Coincidentally, I learned the most valuable budgeting lesson from him; you know, breaking down into manageable percentages and so on. Anyway, this book was basically condensed from the whole “free” 3-day event I attended. Everything they talked about was in this book; how everyone has a “blueprint” and how we should live within our means but expand that said means. This book teaches you how to condition your mindset and psychology.
Truth be told, I only recently finished this book after about a year. I only read a few chapters of it while doing boring cardio at the gym so I didn’t prioritise on finishing it. The book talks about the concept of personal financial status as “lanes” on a road; sidewalk, slow lane and fast lane. DeMarco emphasises on the concept of being the producer rather than the consumer. I found his writing style somehow “talking down” to the readers though; and even jabbing at other “financial gurus” while he’s also doing the same thing. Nonetheless, I believe this book is great for people who are interested in starting a business or doing freelance; basically things that leverage on your strengths to make money.
OK, I’ll come clean. This is a bonus because there are lots of people who recommend this book to me if I ever mentioned one of the 5 above. I have this book already but I haven’t started it yet. When I finish it, I’ll update and let you guys know. But there must be a reason that people who talk about financial education recommend it though, right?
Financial education has to start somewhere. It could be discovering this blog, even! But usually it will begin with books and in modern times: Google. The books I have listed are ones that have built my foundation and allowed me take steps this far. And like our typical systematic education, it doesn’t end there though. So the next question is “How do we continue?” and that’s basically up to you! Find a topic you want to expand and explore then go for it!
Good luck, readers! Also if you have any recommendations or favourite books you wanna share, do comment below!
If you want to be financially-free, you need to become a different person than you are today and let go of whatever has held you back in the past.
– Robert Kiyosaki