Monday, 21 December 2009

Rich Dad Poor Dad, If You are not Rich, Find out Why and Learn Robert Kiyosaki's Secrets to Wealth

imagesRich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. It was a New York Times best seller and the most famous book by the author. The first time I read it was in May 2008, I read it again this year and even decided to write a review to remind me of the golden rules of the rich.

I started to read the Rich Dad series in 2007 with Rich Dad's Cash Flow Quadrants, since then I have bought 14 books from the Rich Dad's series and his advisor's books. Personally I do not like to read the same book twice, but Rich Dad books are exceptional, I have read many of them twice, and every time I read it I always pick up something new or spot something I did not realise at first reading or have already forgotten. I am a big fan of Rich Dad and I rated this book five stars at Amazon.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad book is very inspirational and one of the best mindset books you can ever read; he combined stories and also used simple English to make it easy to understand. There are lots of people in this world who are much richer than Robert Kiyosaki, however, there are not many people willing to share the secrets of the rich and teach you how to build wealth. I truly admire and respect Robert Kiyosaki's generosity and courage to share his wealth secrets with the world and his determination to educate people for their financial intelligence and the well-being of humanity.

Robert Kiyosaki had two dads; one rich one and one poor one. The poor dad was his real dad; he was highly educated with a PH.D, and once was the head of state education of Hawaii, however he struggled financially for his entire life. Rich dad was Robert Kiyosaki's best friend's dad who started mentoring him when he was a child and had a massive influence on his life and wealth building.

Rich dad never finished the eighth grade, however, he owned substantial real estates, investments and he owned businesses and later became one of the richest men in Hawaii. Rich dad died leaving tens of million of dollars to his family, charities and his church , while his poor dad left bills to be paid. Robert Kiyosaki's decision to listen and follow his rich dad's guide and advice has ultimately made him rich and shaped who he finally became.

Poor dad often said “The love of money is the root of all evil”, while rich dad said “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” Poor dad often said to Robert Kiyosaki “Go to school, study hard, get a degree and find a good job”; he believed in hard work and loyalty. However, Rich dad often said to Robert Kiyosaki “Mind your own business”, “Invest and build your own assets and create jobs”; he believed in working smart and always said work to learn rather than work for money. Poor dad believed his house was his biggest asset, while rich dad taught Robert Kiyosaki your house is a liability to you and an asset to your bank.

richAs you can see Robert Kiyosaki's Rich dad had a completely different mindset compared to his poor dad, that's why they saw the world and money in a different way. Most of us are too familiar with poor dad's philosophy and that is why most of us are not rich. Robert Kiyosaki said our mindset is our most important asset and that is why it's very important for us to financially educate ourselves first in order to become rich.

Lesson # 1 The Rich Don't Work for Money, They have Their Money Work for them. When Robert Kiyosaki was nine years old, he already had a strong desire to get rich. His best friend Mike and himself then decided to ask Mike's dad to teach them how to become rich and their journey began. At first they worked for 10 cents per hour for rich dad and then later they worked for him for free. Rich dad told them “The poor and middle class work for money, but the rich have money work for them.”

Lesson #2 Why Teach Financial Literacy? Rich Dad said the most important and only rule in getting rich is that you must know the difference between an asset and a liability and buy assets.
He said that most people struggle financially because they do not know the difference between an asset and a liability. The rich acquire assets and the poor and middle class acquire liabilities, but they think they are assets. To simplify, an asset is something that puts money in your pocket, and a liability is something that takes money out of your pocket.

Rich dad also said that in order to get rich, we have to read and understand numbers and he drew diagrams of the cash flow pattern of an asset and of a liability. Most people do not get financially ahead, because they do not understand cash flow, and do not know how to have their money work for them. Rich dad said in order to be rich and maintain your wealth, you must know how to read numbers and be financially literate in words as well as in numbers.

Lesson # 3 Mind Your Own Business. This means to build and keep your asset column strong.

Lesson #4 The History of Taxes and the Power of Corporations. Tax is the biggest secret of the rich, this is because the rich use their corporations to earn, spend and then pay taxes, while middle and poor class people earn, pay taxes and then spend. According to rich dad, tax is the single biggest expense for most people, however, the rich know about and use the tax laws to become richer and richer.

Lesson #5 The Rich Invent Money. Financial intelligence requires various skills including the ability to read numbers, understand the investment strategy of money making money, the supply and demand of the market and the laws and regulations. Opportunities are everywhere, but if you do not develop your financial intelligence you will not able to identify them.

Lesson#6 Work to Learn – Don't Work for Money. Rich dad said do not specialise in one thing, but learn a lot of different things, what he means is that you should generalise in order to learn all the different aspects of a business. Rich dad also advised Robert Kiyosaki that he must work to learn skills not work for money.

Rich Dad books have had a life changing impact on me and this book is no different. Like his Poor Dad, I believed in excellent education, getting a good job and then climbing the corporate ladder. I thought the only way to get rich was to get promoted to higher positions in a big corporation or run my own company. Until I read Rich Dad's book series, I had no idea that the chances of getting rich just being an employee are very slim and I realised what was wrong with the way I thought.

As Rich Dad said whether you like it or not the laws are written by the rich and for the rich, if you want to get rich you must use the same laws that the rich use. I did not know that tax laws are one of the biggest reasons why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Even at business school, I learned nothing about money, investment and wealth management.

After reading his book, I realised that I need to acquire and create assets and learn to make my money work for me. This book has completely changed my mindset and helped me to think outside the box. As it is such a brilliant book I also bought it for other members of my family and have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Rich Dad's Guide to Investing: Learn Robert Kiyosaki Ways to Invest, Build Assets to Create Wealth

guideRobert Kiyosaki is the most influential person in financial education in the world, he educates people to become multi-millionaires and to be rich. Money working for money is the philosophy of the rich and wealthy and that's how all the greatest wealth has been created. Rich Dad's Guide to Investing is another excellent book regarding this subject and I rated this book five stars at Amazon.

If you have read Rich Dad books you are aware of his famous four cash flow quadrants; Left Quadrant: E: Employees and S: Self Employed; Right Quadrant: B: Business Owners and I: Investors. Robert Kiyosaki says that the right quadrant is the area of wealth where all the wealthiest people are operating from. In order to become truly wealthy it is necessary to create assets, (own businesses) build a system as a business owner and acquire assets ( as investor) with your business.

He says that most investors never get very rich as they invest individually rather than investing as a business. Rich Dad said his business buys assets with pre-tax dollars, while private investors buy assets with after-tax dollars. Rich Dad said we need knowledge and experience to become an insider investor to be able to invest in where the rich invest in which is not available to the middle and poor classes.

When it comes to money and investing you have the following three choices 1) To be secure, 2) To be comfortable 3) To be rich. Rich Dad says that when it comes to money the 90/10 rule applies and this is due to the fact that 90% of people choose comfort and security over being rich. Rich dad said there are only two kinds of money problems; one problem is not enough money. The other problem is too much money, which type of money problem do you want?

Investing is confusing as it is a very large subject and what most people call investing is not really investing. It is very important to write down your financial plan and be clear what you really want in your life and where you are going. If you have a good plan and stick to it, all you need is a little discipline and do not be obsessed with get rich quick schemes. Rich Dad said investing is not risky, being financially uneducated is risky. You need to take control over yourself and need to be financially educated and gain experience to become a successful insider investor.

If you want to be a rich investor you need to learn how to read financial statements. Rich dad said “ The income statement and balance sheet are like a magic carpet”. The best investment opportunities come from understanding accounting, the tax code, business law and corporate law, in these invisible realms where the real investors shop for the biggest investment bargains.

How to Build a Strong Business? According to Rich Dad, the B-I (Business owner and Investor) Triangle is the key to great wealth. This comprises of the mission, the team, leadership, cash flow communications, systems and legal management and product.

robertRich Dad said that product is the least important part of the B-I triangle. I personally disagree with this; if we look at some of the most respected and successful corporations in the world such as Microsoft, Google, Sony, Apple, Samsung, LG, Mercedes, BMW they produce some of the best and most exclusive products in the world.

Rich Dad mentioned about McDonalds hamburgers that we can make better hamburgers than them, but no one is as successful as McDonalds. However, as the founder of McDonalds, Ray Kroc said, his company is in real estate business not the hamburger business. McDonalds and Coca Cola have been successful, but personally I hardly ever eat in McDonalds or drink coke as those foods are associated with junk food that causes obesity and general health problems to the public.

The ultimate investors create assets that are worth billions dollars, people such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have made their fortunes in the traditional way like Ford and Rockefeller did. They built companies and sold shares in their companies to the public, they worked hard to become selling shareholders rather than buying shareholders. In other words, by being selling shareholders, they printed (invented) their own money – legally; this is the biggest secret of the ultra rich and the ultimate formula for wealth!

Rich dad believed in giving back and he knew the most important law of money “Give and you shall receive”. He was a generous man who donated his money to churches, his favourite charities and even after his death his foundation has continued to earn and donate money to good causes.

Rich Dad's Guide to Investing concludes that You Do Not Need Money to Make Money! Rich Dad said “ You can choose to live in a world of not enough money or too much money. That choice is up to you.”

There are lots of people in this world who are much richer than Robert Kiyosaki, however not many of them share the secrets of how they became rich or teach you how to create wealth. I gained great information about wealth building for just the cost of this book; this is another wonderful book that I will recommend to my family and friends and I truly respect Robert Kiyosaki's generosity and willingness to share many of his valuable lessons, knowledge and secrets with the world.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Richest Man in Babylon, Learn the Secrets of Rich and the Laws of Wealth Building Part One of Three

This is one of the best money books I have ever read, and a golden book that you must read if you want to become rich. I am very surprised and amazed the legendary city of Babylon had such a wise man who had extremely valuable ideas about wealth creation, money making ideas, property investment and other investment ideas in such an ancient time.
The richest man in Babylon city was called Arkad, he was famed for his great wealth, liberality and generosity. One day, his poor friends who had the same masters and played together when they were young came to his house and asked him the SECRET of becoming rich.

His poor friends could not understand why they all worked hard, but Arkand turned out to be the richest man in Babylon enjoying many luxuries, while they were barely able to make ends meet. Arkad replied that they had failed to learn the laws that govern the building of wealth or else they did not observe them. Arkad agreed to tell them the secret of wealth and started with the following story...

Like most people and as with his poor friends, when he started out Arkad was a broken young man. He was a labourer who worked hard to carve clay tablets to make a living. However when he was young he realised the power of wealth and all the good things, happiness and possibilities that wealth could bring to him. So he declared to himself that he would claim his share of the good things of life, rather than stand by and enviously watching others enjoy.

This strong DESIRE for great wealth separated him from his poor friends. If you have Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, you know that desire is the first and one of the thirteen steps to riches. In real life the main reason many people never become rich is that they never seek and desire wealth in the first place.

As Arkad desired wealth, when opportunity arrived he grabbed it immediately. One day the rich money lender came to the shop and asked Arkad to complete his task within two days. However it was a lot of work and he could not finish it on time. When the rich money lender came back he was angry, however Arkad asked him the secret of becoming rich in return for a quick completion, the next day. So they made a deal; when the rich money lender came back again the next day the task was completed as Arkad worked hard over night.

Arkad was quite disappointed when the rich money lender told him the secret. Because he only said A PART OF ALL YOU EARN IS YOURS TO KEEP! In another word is PAY YOURSELF FIRST! He asked Arkad to pay himself first no matter how little he earns and it should not be less than one tenth of his income. Your expenses are other people's income and it is foolish to pay others first and leave yourself with nothing.

The rich money lender also advised Arkad what you save also must earn for you in order to acquire great abundance. This is the idea of save and invest; if you just save and do not invest your money wisely, you are unlikely to become rich. This is the wealth philosophy of money making money.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Richest Man in Babylon, Learn the Secrets of Rich and the Laws of Wealth Building Part Two of Three

After the rich money lender became Arkad's mentor, he worked hard, resisted the temptation of spending and paid himself 10% of all his earnings. Then he gave his saved money to a bricker to buy jewellery from overseas so he could sell these for higher price in Babylon. A year later, when the rich money lender came to the shop he enquired about Arkad's progress. Arkad told him the story, but his mentor said to him his savings would be gone.
Arkad was told that he should not trust the knowledge of a brick maker about jewels, but instead should have gone to a jewellery merchant. You must invest your money with someone who is competent and experienced in their field in order to make your money multiply. It happened exactly as the rich money lender said, the brick maker was sold coloured glass instead of jewels and Arkad lost all his savings. However he did not give up, as his mentor had taught, he planted another wealth seed.
When the rich money lender returned a year later, Arkad was doing quite well, he lent his saved money to a trusted shield maker and got regular rental fees. However, he then spent this money on fine wine, food and clothes, his mentor said, he should acquire a army of golden slaves first, and then he can enjoy many rich banquets without regret.
Two years later when the rich money lender returned, he was satisfied with Arkad's progress. Arkad followed his instructions to learn to live on less money, then sought advice from wise men who were competent through their own experience and learned to make gold work for him. The rich money lender told Arkad that he was competent and fit for a responsible position and asked him to look after his lands as his sons were only think of spending. The rich money lender made Arkad his parter and as Arkad mastered the three laws of handling wealth he prospered. When his mentor died Arkad inherited shares he left for him.
Arkad's poor friends were puzzled and asked if the secret was that simple and all men did it, how would there be enough wealth to go around. Arkad replied “Wealth grows wherever men exert energy” “wealth grows in magical ways, no man can ever predict its limits”. He advised his poor friends to say themselves everyday A PART OF ALL YOU EARN IS YOURS TO KEEP!
When the king of Babylon realised that most of the city's wealth was concentrated with just a few wealthy people and most of his citizens were poor he invited The Richest Man in Babylon – Arkad, to teach his secret of acquiring wealth to all his citizens. Generous Arkad was happy to teach his secret and he taught his knowledge to a school of teachers, so that they could teach to the rest of the citizens. The following are the SEVEN REMEDIES FOR A LEAN PURSE that he taught to the people of Babylon:
Remedy 1: Start fattening your purse.
Remedy 2: Control your expenditures.
Remedy 3: Make your gold multiply.
Remedy 4: Guard your treasures from loss
Remedy 5: Make your home a profitable investment
Remedy 6: Ensure a future income.
At the end Arkad encouraged his students that there is more gold in Babylon, than they can dream of and there is abundance for all and encouraged them to take action to acquire them. Action will lead you forward to the success you desire and men of action are favoured by good luck.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Richest Man in Babylon, Learn the Secrets of Rich and the Laws of Wealth Building Part Three of Three

The Five Laws of Gold

1.Gold comes gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.

2.Gold labours diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds profitable employment for it, multiplying as the flocks of the field.

3.Gold clings to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.

4.Gold slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep.

5.Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemes or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desire in investment.

After reading this book, it reminded me of Rich Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, I have read most of the Rich Dad book series and realised he followed and mastered the laws of handling wealth. In one of the books from his Rich Dad, he recommended us to read “The Richest Man in Babylon” and asked us to Pay Yourself First!

Robert Kiyosaki also followed Arkad's Seven Remedies for a Lean Purse. When he was broke, he still paid himself first and used his savings invested in property and own businesses. He also advised us to control our expenses and advised us not to buy DooDads. He also advised us that savers are the losers and we must turn our earned income into passive or portfolio income, let your gold multiply.

In his book Rich Dad's Increase Your Financial IQ he wrote we should focus on making more money and on increasing our financial IQ to increase our earning abilities and ensure future passive income; he also wrote about how we can protect our money.

Robert Kiyosaki knows about the Five Laws of Gold as he advised us that we must take advice from wise and competent experts rather than listening to hot tips and free advice from family, friends and relatives. He uses competent stock brokers who make him rich, but not poor. I still remember his “Bentley Account”, how he bought his Bentley car without reducing a single cent from his bank account.

Robert Kiyosaki also advised us to invest to win, not lose or break even or be obsessed with get rich quick schemes. Like Arkad, the Richest Man in Babylon, Rich Dad, Robert Kiyosaki is a great example of someone who has mastered the law of wealth and the golden rules of becoming rich!

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I rated it five stars at Amazon. I'm personally following the recommendations made by The Richest Man in Babylon - pay myself first and invest my savings so that my money works hard for me and I always keep in mind the Five Laws of Gold.

After reading the Rich Dad's Series, I have decided to make Rich Dad, Robert Kiyosaki my mentor, (a wise man who is competent in his field for helping you to become rich) because his books have changed my mindset and have been a tremendous influence in my life.

I strongly recommend you to read The Richest Man in Babylon the book that can change your life and you will find out the laws of wealth and gold to find a richer and more fulfilling life.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Top Gardening Tips2, Learn How to Do Flower, Lawn & Plant Gardening to Maintain A Blossoming Garden

Continued from part one
2. Feed Plant Food : give plant food once in every one or two weeks from spring to summer,; this is very important. Flowers are like humans, they need nutrition to grow and produce buds during the flowering season. If you do this they tend to flower longer, bigger with more flowers and that helps keep your garden more colourful. I use Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed All Purpose Plant Food from B&Q and the results are very good. Please make sure that you feed different plant the right food, for example - acid lovers such as Hydrangea.

3. Spray: If the leaves become yellow and full of holes, you need to buy some spray to kill the bugs and other insects. Yellow bugs loves lilies and they love to make lots of holes on your lily's leaves.

4.I use various treatments to kill slugs, snails and ants: Sprinkle some slug pellets or ant-killing tablets or power around your plant to keep them away from your flowers and plants. Slugs especially like Dahlia type plants and ants love Peony buds. Ant also like to farm Aphids, keeping away the bugs predators and helping them to spread.

5.Take off any dead flowers and leaves: when the flowers are finished, cut them off, this helps new buds to come out and saves the nutrition for new ones.

6.For Peonies and lilies: In late autumn cut off all the leaves when they are dry and dying and only leave the roots. It will help the roots come back strongly next spring.

7. Flower baskets and pots: they need more care than garden plants,as the nutrition from the basket soil is limited. You need to water them at least once a day and need to take off the dead buds regularly. In very hot weather you must increase the watering to stop them drying out. You can buy special soils that better at retaining moisture.

8.Lawns: To have a green, thick and weed-free lawn, you need to buy Lawn Feeder that kills weeds and gives the lawn the nutrition it needs to grow.

1.Spread evenly out just before any rain, so it can be very well soaked with rain. Repeat this 4- 5 times a year from spring to summer and you will have a fabulous and lovely lawn.

2.Make sure you buy quite good quality, once we bought both a cheap one and an expensive one from B&Q, we tested the cheap product on one half of the lawn and the expensive one on the other half, and interestingly we had very different results. Where the expensive lawn feeder was spread had longer,thicker grass and a healthier looking lawn compared to the patchy and shorter lawn where the cheap product was spread.

3.Make sure you cut your grass regularly to have a thicker lawn. When it's a hot summer's day make sure not to cut it too short, unless you have a water feeder, otherwise the roots will get burnt. Make sure not to cut it too short during the winter time, in case frost kills the roots.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it will spread out over the year and you won't feel that it's very much work when you see the results of your labour. If you love gardening it's an enjoyment to work in the garden admiring your beautiful flowers and breathing fresh air. Remember with your care and attention you will be rewarded with a longer lasting, more glamorous garden that helps you to improve your living environment, health and quality of life.

If you are interested in organic vegetable gardening please Click Here!

Check My YouTube Video Shannon's Beautiful Garden

The end.

Top Gardening Tips1, Learn How to Grow & Maintain A Beautiful, Healthy & Long Lasting Rose Garden

When I was born I was an ugly duckling, my mother wished for me to grow up and become a beautiful swan and therefore gave me a name called Yanhua. I have both Chinese and Korean connections and in both languages this name means beautiful flower. When I first came to Ireland and the UK, lots of people were curious to know the meaning of my name. This name is difficult to pronounce and remember for most westerners, so they call me by my English name - Shannon.

I may have grown up to be a beautiful swan (Sorry, for not being modest!) compared to an ugly duck, however, maybe because of my name, Yanhua, I have fallen in love with flowers and I feel that I have a special connection with flowers. Whether they are indoor plants in my house or in the front and back gardens, they tend to do very well. Of course the main reason is that I pay special attention and care to them and I feel they can feel it too. As a reward, my flowers tend to blossom longer, are bigger with more flowers and are healthier; all of that provides me with a beautiful garden and green living space.

Flowers and plants are just like any relationships in your life; if you pay special attention, care and put efforts to them they will reward you handsomely, but if you ignore them they tend to die or do poorly. The following tips are from many years of my own experience that worked well in my gardening:

1.Roses: I have 22 different types of roses in my garden, they are absolutely beautiful and it's one of my favourites. They flower many times from May to late autumn and I love its variety, fragrances and different styles. I have Silver Jubilee, Paul's Scarlet, the climbing rose, Special Anniversary, Twist, Arthur Bell, Remember Me, Jackie Carter, David Austin and many more...

1).You can prune your roses in late autumn after flowering is over, but I have found March to be the best month for pruning roses. Make sure you cut the rose bush down to 6- 8 inches from the rose union. If the bush is too tall, the nutrition tends not to go up high and therefore the plant will produce less flowers. It also looks ugly as a tall bush with just a few flowers on top of it. Make sure that you cut off branches from the inner side of the bush, so air can circulate. Also cut off any suckers that do not produce any buds.

2). Feed Plant Food
regularly (follow the instructions on the fertiliser container) to keep up nutrition from spring to late summer. This helps your roses flower bigger, longer and produce more buds.

3).Rose Clear: roses attract lots of greenfly and the leaves can get spots and fungus. Rose Clear (an insecticide and fungicide) is an excellent solution to all of these problems and it works really well.

4). After the flower's are finished, make sure you cut them off regularly, known as dead-heading, this will help new buds coming up and the nutrition won't be wasted on producing seeds. This is very important to keep a long lasting rose garden.

If you are interested in organic vegetable gardening please Click Here!

Check My YouTube Video Shannon's Beautiful Garden

To be continued.

Friday, 24 July 2009

A Fun Day at the Blackwater Country Show in Essex

It was on Sunday, 14 June 2009, the Blackwater Country Show in Essex was held not too far away from where I live. It was a warm, sunny early summer's day; my husband and I were eager to go out to get some fresh air. So it was the perfect event for us to enjoy the weekend.

When we drove there, there were already thousands of people enjoying the show. The fair is an annual charitable event to raise money to support Essex Air Ambulance and therefore the cost of the tickets and a percentage of anything bought within the event is then contributed to our local Air Ambulance service.

There were 26 events and shows as well as many stands of local people who were selling home made stuff. There is a big lake within the venue and people were enjoying some sailing and taking steam boat trips . There was a stall selling roast hog in a bun, sheepdog display, Newfoundland dog demo, Olde English Battle re-enactment, Falconry Demonstrations, Clydesdales horses and much more. The sheepdogs were even used to round up ducks and turkeys!!

Owls: for as little as 50p I was able to hold an Owl on my arm for a few minutes and was able to stroke her.

Archery: We also tried archery, shooting a swine flu rubber pig with a white mask on. There was also a large rubber dinosaur to shoot at but the pig looked more dangerous!!! I didn't get to try to the clay pigeon shooting as the queue was too big.

It was a really fun day, and a great day out for a family. We could see there were lots of children and both adults and children enjoyed the day. I also felt happy as all the money we were spending helped contribute to our local community for a better life.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Rich Dad – Robert Kiyosaki, My Ultimate Wealth Creation Mentor Part Three of Three

Then how about the stock market? The stock market has slumped and millions have lost more than half of their pensions last year! Did you know that we can make money when stocks go up as well as down, you may have heard of Hedge Fund companies. George Soros, the billionaire investor and author made more than $1billion in 2008, (the year of the worst recession since the great depression in 1930s) while other prestigious companies went bankrupt? Some people may have heard of black Monday on October 1987, the day of the stock market crash, but it was one of the best days for some professional traders like James B. Rogers, who made millions on a single day.

How about businesses? Microsoft was started during a recession and has become one of the most successful companies to date. Facebook was valued at $10billion in 2009 compared to $3.8 billion in 2008, an increase in value of 263%, compare this to the industrial giants, two of the “Big Three”- Chrysler and General Motors recently filed for bankruptcy. So it is entirely up to you to decide whether you want to see opportunities or disaster.

I also found discipline and self belief are very important to keep my goals and visions alive in this global recession and to keep my spirit up when we have all the negative media coverage. I can honestly say this recession has slowed me down and I have encountered obstacles and problems on the way. However it is too naïve to expect everything to go smoothly, just as you expected and planned. It's also helpful to read inspirational books and go to seminars to keep your spirit up.

Along the way I have also read books from the following people who have inspired me and gave me valuable knowledge. Brian Tracy, Anthony Robbins, Robert Allen, Napoleon Hill, George Clason and many more. Their wisdom, knowledge and courage often inspires me towards my goals and dreams. Life is not a bed of roses and these books act like torches to brighten my road.

It's also a good idea to attend seminars to meet like minded people. I love to attend wealth creation, personal development and business seminars, as this helps me to learn how to leverage other people's money, experience and knowledge. In addition to property seminars, I have also attended many other paid and free seminars and met and listened to millionaires from all different backgrounds many of whom started with nothing or were deeply in debt. Their stories are inspiring and I have also gained the necessary skills and knowledge that will benefit my personal development.

In addition to property investment, I'm also developing my internet business and improving my trading skills. I love and am passionate about what I do and I know these are also important success factors whatever you do. I'm also still proud of my MBA, because it has given me so much confidence and the knowledge that I gained from this course has given me an edge that will be very useful for running my businesses.

The good news is that we can operate in several cash flow quadrants at the same time to generate multiple streams of income. As Rich Dad said, every one one of us has the potential to become rich. You do not need money to become rich, but your brain, your most important asset, can make you rich. It is not how much resources you have, it is your resourcefulness that makes all the difference.

Since the time that I wrote down my goals to become financially free and become a millionaire, I also wrote down my financial plan, as without a plan my goals would be destined to fail. Opportunities are everywhere and our determination to succeed is the most important factor. I will never give up my dream, I will continuously take action and learn more by attending seminars and by reading books that increase my financial IQ and effectiveness. Persistence and positive attitude are other important character traits and I believe the law of attraction.

The end

I'm interested in sharing your stories of Rich Dad and perhaps any of your life stories... Shannon

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Rich Dad – Robert Kiyosaki, My Ultimate Wealth Creation Mentor Part Two of Three

Brian Tracy, one of world's most inspirational speaker and author once said that every one of us should write down a goal to become a millionaire and he claims it has become even easier due to the internet and technology development. He also said that if you want to become a lawyer you study law, if you want to become an accountant you study accounting and if you want to become a millionaire you should study money and rich people. So why not study rich and successful people, who have already been there?

Personally, I believe Robert Kiyosaki is the best financial educator in the world, Robert and his books have inspired and influenced millions of people around the globe and helped them become rich. I decided to make him my mentor, despite the fact I have never met or spoke to him in my life. They say if you want to be rich, just copy the formula used by rich people, so I decided to copy his formula for my journey. All his books are written based on his own experience of building his multimillion fortune, he went broke several times, once even ending up homeless, but he never gave up and went on to build his own businesses, invested in real estate and other businesses.

So what else have I learned from him? Well, just read what he said,
“Your house is a liability to you not an asset”,
“Investing is not risky, being uneducated (referring to financial education) is risky”,
Poor Dad said: “Go to school, get a degree, find a good job and save for retirement” Rich Dad said: “Build your assets and invest wisely, the most important words in business are cash flow and leverage; your brain is your most important asset”,
“It does not take money to make money”,
“People who want to become millionaires go to seminars and people who want to become good employees go to universities”,
“JOB stands for Just Over Broke”,
“Mind your own business, people stay poor or in the middle class because they mind other people's business rather than minding their own”,
The importance of cash flow quadrants and which quadrants you want to generate your cash from and a lot more...

I know it takes time to build wealth, as Robert and his wife took almost 9 years to retire financially free, but I believe this can be a lot shorter due to advances in internet, technology and because you can learn and leverage other people's success, experience and knowledge to your advantage. I knew just reading his books would not be enough and I needed to take action as this is the dividing line between winners and losers. I have taken my important first step by reading his books and I have also attended paid seminars to educate myself. I decided to invest in property and purchased my first investment property in late 2007; I am buying more properties this year. I love the Chinese saying “A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.”

For some people it sounds crazy, my God! The average property price has dropped more than 20% since the peak price in 2007! For some people this is a great opportunity, for other people this is a disaster. Remember the Chinese word crisis is comprised of danger (危) and opportunity( 机), winners see the opportunities while losers see disaster. Rich dad said recession is a window of opportunity to increase your property portfolio and his fortunes were made because of this. We may all have the experience where something happened to you that you at first thought was a disaster but as time went by actually later turned out be one of the luckiest thing ever happened to you in your life.

The truth is that the professional property investors never purchase properties at market value, but below market value of between 10%- 40% or even more. In property you make money when you buy, not when you sell. Rich dad taught me that we should purchase an investment property for monthly positive cash flow, but not rely on capital growth. Any capital growth should be treated as a bonus. This will help you to do well regardless of up and down markets. I listened to his advice and it has paid off, one of my buy to let properties has a monthly rental income that covers 675% of my mortgage, the lender only requires 125%, the current recession has helped me to generate bigger cash flow as the Bank of England base rate has decreased to a record low of 0.5%

While amateurs and financially uneducated property investors go bust or get into deep trouble in the current down-turn, the true property investors thrive and are quietly increasing their property portfolio. Most of these amateurs either bought properties at market or over-market values or with negative cash flow each month as they expected the market to continue to go up for capital growth. Warren Buffet, the most successful billionaire investor once said, “when the tide goes out, you will find out who has been swimming naked.”

Everything has a cycle, a boom won't last forever and neither does a bust, the key is to understand the cycle and use this to your advantage. When the vast majority of the public wake up and are trying to jump in to buy properties, the professionals are already way ahead of the game. So how do we spot opportunities and see the future? History repeats itself and we all can learn from history, others and our own previous experience by financially educating ourselves.

To be continued...
I'm interested in sharing your stories of Rich Dad and perhaps any of your life stories... Shannon

Rich Dad – Robert Kiyosaki, My Ultimate Wealth Creation Mentor, Part One of Three

I first listened to Rich Dad, Poor Dad 2: Cash Flow Quadrant - Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom(rated 5 stars by readers in Amazon) by Robert Kiyosaki in early 2007 and then bought his New York Times best seller, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Since then I have read and listened to 12 Rich Dad or his advisor's books and CDs and I will be buying more of his books in the future. Despite the fact that I have spent less than £80 on his books the value that I got from his books is definitely and massively more than what I paid for my Master of Business Administration (MBA) course, which cost me around £8,000 in 2002.

The value that I got from his inspirational books is tremendous and priceless; he taught be how to think outside the box and completely changed my mindset. My MBA taught me nothing about money and investment, while Robert Kiyosaki's books taught me everything about wealth, money and the power of leverage. I have learned the truth about the rich, why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. I realised that unless I change my cash flow quadrants, just being an employee will never be enough for me and I would never be able to achieve what I really wanted in my life.

I found the golden key to my financial freedom, wealth and success and the lifestyle that I have been dreaming of from the Rich Dad books. I learned that we are all capable of and deserve more than what employers are paying us and the truth is your employer will never pay you the worth of your real capability. Most people retire poor because they do not have the knowledge and necessary financial education to secure their financial future. I always thought becoming financially free and being rich was impossible for me, it sounded and felt like a goal that was too out of reach for me. Rich Dad taught me that everything is possible and I, not my boss, needed to secure my own financial future and I must certainly not depend on the government to look after me when I retire. Our financial future is on our hands, we should control our own destiny, but not by others.

I also realised if I want to be rich and successful I would have to do things differently from the crowd as if you do the same thing as most people do then you end up getting what most people have. The truth is only 1% of people retire rich and the remaining 99% retire poor (relative to the rich) after working hard their entire lives. Why? Rich Dad gave me the answer to this question. I agree with multi-millionaire Bradley Sugars, he said “ the difference in your income from today compared to in 5 years are the people you meet and the books you read”.

Most of us grow up in a society and family background that encourages you to go to university, get a good degree and then find a good job as the best way to secure your financial future; a typical Poor Dad's obsolete idea according to Rich Dad. That's why I did my MBA, but the Rich Dad series told me a different story. Before reading his books I never knew why I was struggling and been unable to achieve my dream lifestyle, despite the fact I was working extremely hard, received one of the highest academic qualifications and am able to speak four important languages fluently.

At school our intelligence is measured by our grades and degrees, but in real life our success is measured by our financial status. Who is crazy enough to argue that they are more successful than Bill Gates, the richest man on this planet but who is also a Harvard university drop out? Can you imagine our life without the all the software of Windows.

In fact, some of the most successful businessmen are people who have never gotten a university degree, including multi-billionaire Sir Richard Branson, the computer billionaire Michael Dell who was a University of Texas drop out and the celebrity millionaire- Sir Alan Sugar. They are some of the most successful business owners and investors in the world; before reading all the Rich Dad books I had no real clue as to how they could become so rich and successful. According to Rich Dad's cash flow quadrants (left quadrants: employee, self employed; right quadrants: business owner, investor) these people are all operating from the right quadrants.

To be continued...
I'm interested in sharing your stories of Rich Dad and perhaps any of your life stories... Shannon

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Visit Hampton Court Palace, Gardens in London UK and Learn the History of Henry 8th and His Wives

After visiting Hever Castle, we decided to visit Surrey, one of the wealthiest regions in the UK. Hampton Court Palace is located within M25 in Surrey next to the River Thames to the south west of London.

I googled and found out that Hampton Court Palace is a good place to visit; The English King Henry VIII (1491- 1547)was crowned there and it was his residential Palace where his six wives lived 500 years ago. So why not continue our journey to find out a little bit more about the history of this controversial king...

The Palace architecture looks magnificent and impressive from the outside with classic design and you can see that even the chimneys were uniquely carved. The Palace is surrounded by several very well maintained gardens, both large and small and each with its own characteristics and purposes. There are fountains, ponds, flowers, trees, lawns and even the river Thames flows around the Palace. There is also a maze that claims to be the most famous in Europe, children and adults were really enjoying it.

Inside, it's not the most glorious and best maintained Apartments, however you will be very impressed with the classic wall and ceiling paintings, pictures and antiques.It seems Henry's Women's Apartments were most popular, because there were such a long queue waiting to get in we decided to give up on that part. Maybe they were trying to find out Henry 8th secrets to attract women?...

Obviously the English King Hentry 8th love stories and his marriages with six wives have been huge interests to the public and getting lots of attention from the tourists. Henry 8th was a very controversial King due to his marriages, he had struggles with the Catholic churches and the Pope from Vatican in Rome.

There was also some activities where people dressed in Royal clothes to entertain the audience. If you want to see the whole Hampton Court Palace and gardens you'd be advised to start your day early. We were not impressed by the audio guides as it confused us and the signs telling you where each section started are not very well posted. However we loved different styles of gardens as these are uniquely designed and tells its own stories.

As with Hever castle there was some falconry. They would line a load of kids up in two long lines and then get the falcon to fly low from one end to the other between the two lines. There was also a famous astronomical clock in the main courtyard but we did not know which part of the audio had its history.

It was another historic place to visit and we enjoyed the gardens as well as the Palace, we brought our own picnic and had a good lie down to enjoy the fabulous sunshine and beautiful gardens. This was another memorable day and money well spent.

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Visit the Historic Hever Castle in Kent UK, the Garden of England and Enjoy the Spectacular Gardens

It was a bank holiday weekend in the UK and the weather was beautiful and sunny. My husband and I decided to visit Tonbridge Castle in Kent as we couldn't bear to waste such a marvellous day staying inside. Kent is called the Garden of England and as we were admiring the beautiful country scenery while we were driving we could understand how it got this title.

When we drove to a roundabout in Kent just off the M25, our satellite navigation system started to act up and we got lost. We drove around the same area again and again at least three times and then we suddenly found a sign pointing the direction to Hever Castle. We decided to give up on our original plan and visit Hever Castle instead.

It was almost 4 o'clock in the afternoon, but there was still a big queue of people to get into the castle, it seems the castle is very popular and it was open till 6pm. The castle is set in beautiful and spectacular surroundings and has many gardens, fountains and beautiful water features as well as a small maze and a moat.

By visiting the Castle we learned that Henry VIII(1491- 1547) , the king of England's second wife's family as well as his fourth wife lived there before (obviously not all at the same time). Henry VIII is popularly known for his political struggles with Rome and is infamous for his ruthlessness and six marriages. He divorced his first wife, beheaded his second wife, his third wife died, he divorced his fourth wife, beheaded the fifth wife and the sixth wife survived.

We then visited the Italian Garden, which was awarded Garden of the Year in 1995. It's a spectacular garden with ponds, exotic plants and flowers, fountains and Roman classic architecture. The garden was followed by an island and a large fabulous lake where you can hire a boat for some romantic rowing. There is also a section where you could try your hand at some archery but we were too late for that so go early if you want to practice being Robin Hood.

We were so glad that we got lost and had this mysterious tour to Hever Castle that we had never planned to visit or even heard of. We had a fantastic day and as we were quite late to arrive, we were not able to see all the sites, we are planning to visit there again when more of the rose bushes should be in bloom. We were also fascinated about the lake, and as my husband use to be in a rowing team during his college time, he of course wants to show off his boating skills to me!

It is definitely recommendable to friends, families,or anyone who simply wants to escape to the countryside for fresh air, enjoy walking through some beautiful gardens and along the lake side to enjoy a fabulous weekend. It is also suitable for overseas visitors who want to visit an historical site and to enjoy the spectacular English countryside.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Meeting Dolf De Roos, the Multi Millionaire Property Investor in London (21 May Thursday)

I went to the Property Investors Network (PIN) in London last night in the Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch. This is a monthly meeting hosted by Simon Zutshi who owns a multi-million property portfolio and internet businesses as well as providing property seminars and mentoring courses in the UK. Dolf De Roos is one of the world's most successful multi-millionaire property investors and is a Rich Dad (Robert Kiyosaki) advisor. He was invited to give a short presentation . He is also a famous author having published 14 books including the New York Times best seller Real Estate Riches, this is one of the best property books that I have ever read. I was so excited, as this was my first time meeting him.

Dolf is a world class speaker, he also speaks at the Trump University which was founded by Donald Trump. Even though his speech was short (one and a quarter hours) I found it interesting and fascinating. You can tell he is a very experienced and serious investor, but he was also very witty and told some jokes that were relevant and made everyone laugh. It was a fantastic evening and I can safely say that my money and time were well spent; I was inspired by his positive attitude considering the current global financial meltdown.

Dolf claimed that now is the best time to purchase properties and he believes that property is still the best investment vehicle.....ever, because YOU WORK ONCE AND GET PAID FOREVER. He said we can still make money in the up and down market as long as we get a good deal in the first place with a positive cash flow each month. He predicted that UK property prices will go up for the following reasons:

  1. The UK population is still growing, he suggested to invest in the areas that have potential population growth.

  2. Inflation, is another major factor that drives house prices up.

He advised us to research and invest in the areas that will have higher growth than the national average and also said that properties near the sea, water fronts or beside lakes have proved to have consistently better growth potential. For commercial property he advised us to invest in an empty property having already lined up tenants beforehand who are ready to move in. Then with the tenants moved in, the value of your property could double or treble, this is a much better option compared to tenanted commercial properties which are very expensive.

I have found that most highly successful business people always have one thing in common; when most people panic and get scared, that is when they see opportunities. Did you know that in Chinese the character for “crisis” comprises of danger () and opportunities(). Take some recent examples: Warren Buffett, the most successful investor and second richest man after Bill Gates on this planet has never been so busy. Since last year he has acquired more companies than he did in 2007 which is when everywhere was booming. Donald Trump, the celebrity billionaire recently purchased a prestigious golf course for cash near the capital in Washington DC, citing that he would never have been able to buy it 2 years ago, because it was not available.

After the presentation I got Dolf 's signature on my copy of his book that I purchased last year, he wrote “Shannon, Successful Investing! Dolf De Roos”, I also took a few pictures with him, so check them out! What a fantastic and productive evening!!!

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