Book Review: The Millionaire Fastlane

Book Review: The Millionaire Fastlane

The Millionaire Fastlane is a book recommended in one of the Financial Forums I’m browsing around on facebook. And like the title of the book, I browsed the book and skim read as fast as I can too.

Well, in this fast phased world, very few have the luxury of time.. And while I still have that luxury (of time), I should take advantage of it and educate myself on my finances. As far as handling money, so far so good to the point that I’m bringing family members in my trips already (thank you piso fares and discount accommodations from friends).. but my greedy contentment level is not yet met specially that this freelancing life has it’s ups and downs.. as Steve Jobs said, stay hungry stay foolish.

Anyway, here’s some points to ponder from the book:

People retire in their 60s or 70s. Even at that age, they struggle to make ends meet and have to rely on bankrupted government programs just to survive. Others work well into their “golden years” just to maintain their lifestyle. Some never make it and work until death.

When a 20-year-old sells his Internet company for $30 million dollars, you read about it on a tech blog. The event is lauded and showcased for all to admire. Sidelined is the process—you didn’t hear about the long hours of coding the founder had to endure. You don’t hear about the cold dark days working in the garage.

Had someone gifted a Lamborghini to me (or any dream) when I was 16 years old, I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be where I am today. When someone grants you your desires without you exerting any effort, you effectively handicap process… There is no wisdom or personal growth gained in a journey that someone else does for you. The journey is yours.

Wealth isn’t as ambiguous as it may seem. The happiest moments in my life were when I felt
true wealth. And guess what? It wasn’t the day I bought my first Lamborghini. It wasn’t the day
I moved into a big house on a mountain or sold my company for millions. Wealth is not
authored by material possessions, money, or “stuff,” but by what I call the three fundamental
“F’s”…
1. Family (relationships)
2. Fitness (health)
3. Freedom (choice)

Corporate politics and job cuts invade Henry’s career, forcing him to work longer hours. He assumes other territories once covered by recently laid-off workers. Henry commutes two hours daily and is mandated to cover the entire Eastern seaboard. He’s either on the road, in a plane, or sleeping. The long hours have disturbing clarity:
Henry rarely “lives” at his dream home, and when he does, he spends it sleeping or recharging from the hustle of the workweek.

Normal is waking at 6 a.m., fighting traffic, and working eight hours. Normal is to slave at a job Monday through Friday, save 10%, and repeat for 50 years. Normal is to buy everything on credit. Normal is to believe the illusion that the stock market will make you rich. Normal is to believe that a faster car and a bigger house will make you happy. You’re conditioned to accept normal based on society’s already corrupted definition of wealth, and because of it, normal itself is corrupted. Normal is modern-day slavery.


people are poor all they have is money

Books to read while you travel part 2

Books to read while you travel part 2

So far this is a recap of what books I’ve featured last year. I never really got to read some of them fully, and some have been read a few years before and I just had the time to feature them on grasya.com

Reading a book is a great way to kill time when waiting in the bus, train, or for a flight.. or even when waiting for a tuktuk/tricycle/pedicab. Here are the books I reviewed last year that I recommend to you too:

 

Rich Dad Poor Dad

An excerpt of the book reminds me of someone – myself:

Schools focus on scholastic and professional skills, but not on financial skills. This explains how smart bankers, doctors, and accountants who earned excellent grades may struggle financially all of their lives.

So I also need to be reminded of this:

One dad recommended, “Study hard so you can find a good company to work for.” The other recommended, “Study hard so you can find a good company to buy.”

 


7 Habits of highly effective people – Stephen Covey

The book reminded me to not have a win/lose mentality, where I’m so focus on the goal that I loose sight of what is around me. There are people who are successful yet have broken families, broken hearts, broken spirit. There is a need to provide a space where everybody wins because that is how a peaceful society can be attained.


miss-fit
 


Mahabe Pagotan

I met the author, Brother Martin Francisco, in the mountains of Sierra Madre. The book features the geological foundation of Sierra Madre; ethnographic studies about the Dumagats conducted during the Spanish, American, Japanese, and Contemporary periods; and undertakings and issues on the forest protection in Bulacan. I never had a chance to read the book but if you’re into ethnographic studies, feel free to get a copy.

 


What is Mine is Yours

I will need to remind myself of this paragraph from the book:

“The more you participate in Collaborative Consumption, the more reputation capital you earn, and the more you earn, the more you can participate. For example, the better the review and feedback you receive, the more choices are made available to you, whether its places you can stay, home you can barter with, or who will lend money, tools or a car and so on. Reputation capital becomes a currency to build trust between strangers and helps manage our belief in the commons.”

 


what is mine is yours
Too bad I wasn’t able to finish it though. For those reading, you can give me this book as a present or trade it in for something.

 


Prout – An Economic Solution to Poverty in The Third World

I was reading this book when I was in a far flung place called Hetauda, Nepal. It was far flung but kids are healthy, very sweet and very kind. It was far flung, yet $10 can feed 8 people already.. almost perfect example of a self sustainable community.. except that I think the principal is a bit harsh to the kids.. and that the kids need access to the outside world.. to see killings and wars and kids being detained in the US, or know that child marriages exist.. wait there goes my cynical mind again.

A few excerpts:

“Faster travel today has increased the risk of accident, industrialization has resulted in environmental pollution and cancer and other diseases unheard of in the past; modern medicine quickly cures the malady but generates side effects requiring further treatment.”

“Even in the intellectual sphere, there is much available to keep the mind occupied, but people today suffer from emotional problems and neuroses that did not afflict them before.”

 


Karma Cola

Speaking of being cynical, this book stated –

“We discovered these places, Afghanistan, Nepal, Goa. Where we arrived everybody loved us. Now the whole damn world is on a trail we opened up, and the same people who loved us **** hate us.. there’s too many of them.. they are not in the same class as those of us who got here first.”

Geesh.. it’s supposed to be a work of fiction but reading it feels like it’s based on facts.

 


Exploring Psychology

Exploring Psychology is a thick book that I brought from my home to Chiang Mai last 2010…But before giving it away, I made sure to copy some snapshots that I found important to daily living. Here’s some:

“Belief perseverance – to cling to our beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. Belief perseverance often fuels social conflict.

Once you see a country as hostile, you are likely to interpret ambigous actions on their part as signifying their hostility.

IQ test was invented to predict academic performance, nothing else. If we wanted something that would predict life success, we’d have to invent another test completely.”


 

I’m looking forward to read more books this year.. Books as gifts for my mobile library project are highly appreciated too, thank you. ^_^

For those wondering, you can also check out the part 1 of what books to read in this blog. Feel free to browse around. How about you? What book have you read last year that you’d recommend to others too?

Book Review: The winner stands alone by Paulo Coelho

Book Review: The winner stands alone by Paulo Coelho

A couple of weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced one of his 2015 new year’s challenge – to read books regularly. Thus A year of Books facebook group was created.

I joined the book club just to be in.. :D

I’ve been reading books regularly anyways. So for this year, the first book that I’ve read is a book written by Paulo Coelho- The Winner Stands Alone. Thanks to Maria, a backpacker travel buddy from Colombia, for giving it to me as a Christmas present.


book review - the winner stands alone
To be honest, it’s the least favourite book by my favourite Author… in the book, characters do anything for money, power and fame. I guess its the violence that puts me off.. I was thinking if the book reflects the current society, then there must be some superclass out there that is just like Igor. Scary.

Paulo did went out of the box and this time, I really didn’t like it. Igor even used God to justify his scary means of killing people.. wait, that’s what religious extremists do when they kill people right? Omigosh, there’s really an Igor among us.

Anyway, it is said that the novel is a mirror image of the world we live in, where our commitment to luxury and success at any cost often prevents us from hearing what the heart actually desires. Here are some excerpts from the book:

“For the past few decades, we have lived in a culture that privileged fame, money, power.. and most people were led to believe that these were the real values to pursue.. What we don’t know is that, behind the scenes, the real manipulators remain anonymous”

“Fashion is merely a way of saying – I belong to your world. I’m wearing the same uniform as your army, so don’t shoot. Ever since groups of men and women started living together in caves, fashion has been the only language everyone understood, even for complete strangers. We dress the same way. I belong to your tribe. Let’s gang up on the weaklings as a way of surviving”

“The father works overtime to be able to buy his son the latest sneakers because if his son doesn’t have a pair, he’ll be ostracized at school. The wife weeps in silence because her friends have designer clothes and she has no money. Their adolescent children, instead of learning the real values of faith and hope, dream only of becoming singers and movie stars. Girls in provincial towns lose any real sense of themselves and start to think of going to the big city, prepared to do anything, absolutely anything, to get a particular piece of jewelry. A world that should be directed toward justice begins instead to focus on material things, which, in six months’ time, will be worthless and have to be replaced”

“Life sometimes separates people so that they can realize how much they mean to each other”

“The Cannes can be divided into two categories

a. The tanned, who spend the whole day in the sun and have necessary badge to gain entry to certain restricted areas of the Festival. They arrive back to their hotels to find several invitations awaiting them, most of which will be thrown in the bin.

b. The pale, who scurry from one gloomy office to the next, watching auditions, and either seeing some really good films that will be lost in the welter of other things on offer.”

Apparently, as much as I’d like to strut my dark brown skin, being tanned or dark has the reverse effects in Asia. Oh well.. For those who still wants to read the book, here’s the link. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you of the violence.


Book Review: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

I recently had time to read this book. Strikes me a bit because somehow it is true. There are people who have shown star quality in academics yet they struggle financially. And there are people who are like money and success magnet even if some of them do not really have a formal education. Example? Manny Pacquiao :P

Although, since it promotes capitalism, I still battle with the concept of letting other people work for you while you laz around your fancy possessions. I’m sure there’s a positive side behind this. I’ve highlighted some excerpts for you in case you wanted to buy the paperback and would like to know a preview of the book:

*****

Schools focus on scholastic and professional skills, but not on financial skills. This explains how smart bankers, doctors, and accountants who earned excellent grades may struggle financially all of their lives.

Today I often wonder what will soon happen when we have millions of people who need financial and medical assistance. They will be dependent upon their families or the government for financial support. What will happen when Medicare and Social Security run out of money?

My soon-to-be-rich dad would explain that by automatically saying the words “I can’t afford it,” your brain stops working. By asking the question “How can I afford it?” your brain is put to work. He did not mean that you should buy everything you want. He was fanatical about exercising your mind, the most powerful computer in the world.

One dad recommended, “Study hard so you can find a good company to work for.” The other recommended, “Study hard so you can find a good company to buy.”

The other created investments. One dad taught me how to write an impressive resumé so I could find a good job. The other taught me how to write strong business and financial plans so I could create jobs.

Most people want everyone else in the world to change but themselves.

“The pattern of get up, go to work, pay bills; get up, go to work, pay bills. People’s lives are forever controlled by two emotions: fear and greed. Offer them more money and they continue the cycle by increasing their spending. This is what I call the Rat Race.”

Rich dad went on to explain that the rich know that money is an illusion, truly like the carrot for the donkey. It’s only out of fear and greed that the illusion of money is held together by billions of people who believe that money is real. It’s not. Money is really made up. It is only because of the illusion of confidence and the ignorance of the masses that this house of cards stands.

Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep. We’ve all heard stories of lottery winners who are poor, then suddenly rich, and then poor again.

Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities that they think are assets

Today, I am constantly shocked at the number of people who pay more taxes, or take fewer deductions, simply because they are afraid of the government. I have friends who have had their businesses shut down and destroyed, only to find out it was a mistake on the part of the government.

The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. If it is trained well, it can create enormous wealth seemingly instantaneously. An untrained mind can also create extreme poverty that can crush a family for generations.

I am constantly shocked at how little talented people earn. I have met brilliant, highly educated people who earn less than $20,000 a year. A business consultant who specializes in the medical trade was telling me how many doctors, dentists, and chiropractors struggle financially.

Rich dad believed that the words “I can’t afford it” shut down your brain. “How can I afford it?” opens up possibilities, excitement, and dreams.

“There is gold everywhere. Most people are not trained to see it.”


So yeah, that’s why I’m going back to the mountains again… because I see gold in there too ;) Want to buy the book online? Click below:



Book Review: 7 Habits of highly effective people – Stephen Covey

I first read the book when I was a yuppie teaching in college. Guess that’s the reason why I was able to handle big babies that are bigger (and sometimes older) than me. When I left my teaching job and eventually transferred to a corporate working environment, I then gave the book to a coworker.. and have forgotten about it until I read an old diary I wrote when I left everything to stay in Tagaytay for a 6 month long retreat.

Anyway, here’s some notes that you might find useful too:

Independence
1. Be proactive
2. Begin with the end in mind
3. Put first things first

Interdependence
4. Think win/win
5. Seek first to understand, then be understood
6. Synergize

Continous Improvement
7. Sharpen the saw

Six Major Deposits
– understand the individual
– attending to the little things
– keeping commitments
– clarifying expectations
– showing personal integrity
– apologizing sincerely when you make a withdrawal

You can read more about the details on the book. This book reminds me to act rather than be acted upon.. I used to be a passive person, and sometimes I still am.. but people who achieved change did not wait for circumstances to be always on their favor.. They are focused on their goals and eventually achieve it.

Ok, if I can just fooOoocus. Wait, I’m hungry. What’s that on facebook? Darn Q$%@$^! ok, fine.




The book also reminded me to not have a win/lose mentality, where I’m so focus on the goal that I loose sight of what is around me. There are people who are successful yet have broken families, broken hearts, broken spirit. There is a need to provide a space where everybody wins because that is how a peaceful society can be attained.

Six Major Deposits stated by this book reminds me of the book “What is mine is yours“.. The book states that reputation capital becomes a currency to build trust between strangers. A concrete example is couchsurfing, where the more you earn feedbacks, the more people will let you in their houses. The universe somehow gives back..