Nov 15, 2009

Rich is a Religion by Mark Stevens: A review

Though almost put off by the title of the book, (I hope you have known me to be an atheist) its tagline “Breaking the timeless code to wealth” induced me to skim through the book at least. I presumed it to be another book about get-rich-quick-schemes that preach you to death but was pleasantly surprised to find it a bit different. The book focuses on shifting your attitude towards money rather than telling you how to earn money. Though lying in the similar patterns of teachings of Robert T. Kiyosaki, Mark Stevens here does a decent job of presenting the code and breaking it.

Like Kiyosaki, the author advices you to invest in appreciable assets and not depend on monthly paychecks to run your life. He also suggests not owning things that own you by making you work and earn just to maintain them. It’s desirable to save and invest your earnings in things that appreciate or things that generate you wealth. The author goes on saying that material possessions don’t make wealth and has done a good job of proving his points by providing examples of many millionaires and billionaires as well as failures. Examples include Warren Buffett, Sam Walton, Norman Mailer, Bill Gates, Bill Simon, author’s own father and his neighbor. The stories are well illustrated and enjoyable.

According to Stevens, the basic tenets of Rich is a religion is the need to respect money and handle it with discipline and a sense of fiduciary control avoiding the view of money of just something to spend and impress others. He recommends eschewing the undue risk towards a person’s home, family and livelihood and learning the techniques of smart management i.e. “making money while you sleep”.

Overall, an enjoyable and worthwhile read (175 pages) that helps you shift your paradigm regarding money and wealth. The author doesn’t promise to make you rich but the principles expressed are universal and make sense which will help you at least live better financially.

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