I Tokmoh, therefore I am

April 14, 2008

[Book] Why We Want You to Be Rich

A while back, I’ve posted about the price of counting your blessing, and as anyone can see, living in poverty is difficult, and it can only get more difficult.

The govt recently announced about revising RON rating for our fuel, then, Azlano, the Proton Design’s manager, just posted about the rising medical bill, mee price has just increased et cetera. It’s really easy to blame the govt, but in the meantime, what can we do to cope with the rising cost of living? “Change our lifestyle?” What a poor advice by our future PM……

Never mind him, this is my suggestion: get this book. Nao.

To live a fulfilling life, it can only be achievable when you can afford to get what you want in life. Life is so much more meaningful if you can wake up seeing your dream car is in your garage, you can stay in a home that you dream of, you can visit every country that you wish to visit, dine in the most exclusive and prestigious restaurant, cooked by famous reputable chefs that you admire.

However, the rich people have always been under heavy bombardment, especially more so in Malaysia. I believe, if I were to ask any man on the street “what do you think of rich people”, their typical reaction will be:

  • AP king
  • Corrupt
  • Greedy
  • Materialistic
  • Selfish

And so on, you get the idea.

These people do have a point, and I agree that they can be true. But they can also choose to remain ignorant.

The truth is, there are actually a number of kind and responsible rich people too, who’d share their secret, and more so in the Information Age. This book is one of it, and this book is, as the title implied, why those 2 financial guru want the people from the middle class and poor to become rich too.

One thing in common about both author: they’ve been through the best and the worst of life that money can offer. Yes, today Donald Trump is a billionaire, but little do people remember a time when he used to walk around New York street with his daughter pointing at a random beggar and said “he’s a billion dollar richer than me.” Robert T Kiyosaki, well known for his best-selling Rich Dad Poor Dad book, went bankrupt twice before he finally became a millionaire again. This, certainly made them all the more credible to say that life is better when you’re rich than if you’re poor.

In this book, they share their opinions about the challenges coming in the Information Age. The war in Middle East has triggered the rise in prices of oil worldwide, many “baby boomers” will retire in 2010, the change in pension plan in the US with the 401k plan, the stock market crash et cetera. Scary? No, it’s inevitable, so treat it more like a warning for us to be prepared, very much in a way if you’ve heard there’s tsunami coming ahead. It’s a disaster, it’s unavoidable, it’s a fact, and so it’s only a matter of how one reacts to it.

They agree that these challenges will affect little for the rich, while the ones most affected will be the poor and middle class. The poor will find it even harder to survive, while the middle class will risk losing their jobs. This is because of the advent of internet, Information Age’s most powerful tool. Internet has enabled outsourcing, eg people in the US to hire workers from let’s say, Pakistan for just USD50/week. Surely, that Pakistani wouldn’t mind that pay, which may be considered a lot in his country, but in US? That spells disaster for the Americans, and this scenario applies to any country. More so since China and India is fast rising as the world economic giants. One scary fact Donald Trump notices: 2 years ago, the first Starbucks opened in China. Today, there are more Starbucks in China than in US. TWO YEARS. ONLY. The shift in economic giant power will have an effect to the rest of the world (including Malaysia obviously), and so it is best for us to be prepared for that time to come.

What does it take to be rich then? There are many ways, it can be winning lottery, winning in competition, accepting bribery, marry the Prime Minister’s daughter, but are these the recommended ways to become rich?

For the majority, the answer is no, unless if you’re one of those lucky ones. Keyword: lucky. These ways require luck, it is a shortcut, and thus, one would miss many important lessons of what it takes to become a rich person.

Kiyosaki-sama once wrote (in a different book) about being in a tv show, where the host told him about the craze for being rich the fast way (eg. Americal Idol, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Amazing Race etc), and he discourage it and said there’s more ways to becoming rich too. It didn’t please the host, and she then sarcastically attacked him by asking whether his books are about how to get rich the “slow way?” His answer, is a gem that I treasure in my heart whenever I think anything about money: “It’s about the price of becoming rich.”

Yes, becoming rich has a price. Those who aren’t willing to pay it, will only realise their wealth disappear as quickly as they earn it. What is the price of becoming rich?

Read the book then. Yohohoho.

I love this book because it’s rather light-reading material, suitable for leisure read anytime for anyone (yes, even for teens). That means it’s practical enough for anyone to be able to understand it, and then apply. Generally, it is more to do with WHY rather than HOW, which is what most financial advice book lack to address. The WHY is very much needed for Malaysians to change their attitude towards the rich people. True rich people are ones who’re financially intelligent, and it may not be reflected through what house they’re living in, what car they drive, because they usually know how to “measure the shirt on their body”. On the contrary, the ones who look like they’re rich with Rolexes, Guccis, Pradas, BMWs are mostly living their life in the financial red line, as in just like a car engine. They’re usually just a paycheck or two away from becoming broke.

See how desperate some people can be just to pretend that they’re rich? These people are dishonest with themselves, the lack of money is what makes them want to show off even more for people to see and think that they’re rich. Their foolishness and lack of financial understanding is what caused them to prostitute their values (honesty and respect to oneself) in order to satisfy their ego. And give the real rich people a bad image. The real rich people are wealthy people, which according to Kiyosaki-sama , is measured by time. Wealth, is about how long you can sustain yourself. Those posers with high expense lifestyle have an income that’s too small to sustain their lifestyle long enough. That, is why they’ll go broke if they slip. And probably suicide too.

It is all the more dangerous for politicians. Their integrity is at stake. If they believe their integrity is only as valuable as RM10 million, then sadly, they’re financially idiots then for risking something priceless which can devastate the rest of their life. It has been all right in the past here in Malaysia thanks to our “tak apa” attitude of the leaders, in fact, it has spread so much that rich people are probably more hated than mat rempit, but thankfully, their time is almost up. MAKKAL SAKTHI!!

Sceptics would think that the new political landscape will eventually be the ‘same old, same old,’ and I do feel there are signs of such. Reading “My ADUN” almost everyday (when are they going to interview Hannah Yeoh-chan~~?!?!), I do can see how the Opposition MPs can be prone to give in to corruption, judging by how most of them believe living modestly is the way of life. Unless they’re all as religiously strong as Mahatma Gandhi or like those Buddhist monks, the temptation of having millions can be too good to let go, if they’re either financially or spiritually weak.

While in the past the people perceives the rich become so by “receiving fish”, the new political landscape should change it so that the rich do become rich because they’ve been “taught how to fish.” That is more honorable and ethical, which would make Donald J Trump and Robert T Kiyosaki proud.


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