One-sentence summary of “Second Chance: for Your Money, Your Life and Our World”: At a time when the financial system prints money in tremendous amounts, saving money in a bank account is meaningless: Therefore, we must adapt and use new methods.
By Robert Kiyosaki, 2015, 382 pages Original title: “Second Chance: For Your Money, Your Life and Our World”
Note: this review is a guest review written by Hugues Herrmann from the blog, www.lessecretsdubusiness.fr.
Chronicle and summary of “Second Chance: For Your Money, Your Life and Our World”:
Part 1: The Past
Introduction to Part 1
Author Robert Kiyosaki describes how, while buying a coffee in a Starbucks, he meets a friend who works behind the counter. The latter explains to him that he still has his managerial position but that he took a second part-time job in order to be able to finance a second master’s degree at the university, convinced that this is the only way to find a good job. Because of the education costs in the United States, he and his son are in debt for decades to come.
Chapter 1: Why the Rich Don’t Work for Money
Some of the statements in “ Rich Dad Poor Dad ” had been ridiculed at the time of the book’s release, including the one that explained that our principal residence is not an asset but a liability. Unfortunately, the real estate crisis of 2008 proved that this was true, as the millions of Americans who lost their homes learned the hard way. To protect ourselves, it is important to increase our financial intelligence, because in our information society, knowledge is the new currency.
Of course, many developed countries spend large sums of money on education, but not on financial education. The reason is probably that those who control money don’t want knowledge to be shared, because knowledge is power. It is important to understand that the monetary system seeks to keep us poor, through inflation and taxes. Thus, most people get ripped off because they don’t know how to differentiate an asset from a liability.
The rich can be divided into two types. Those of the first, the true rich, continue to enrich themselves, because most of their income comes from the return of their capital. The others are getting poorer because they are highly dependent on their jobs.
A whole generation is currently sacrificed: people falling into heavy debt for their studies in order to find jobs afterwards that are often paid less than 20 years ago.
As Georges Orwell put it: “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.
Chapter 2: The Man Who Could Predict the Future
Robert Kiyosaki describes how author R. Buckminster Fuller deeply inspired him. In 1981, he decides to spend a week studying with him because he wants to learn to predict the future in order to make more money. The following years, he studied a considerable amount of his books. In 1984, he believes it is time to give meaning to his life. He sells his business and spends the next two years wandering, surviving with very little money. As he arrives in Australia, he finds his way: he will spend the rest of his life teaching as many people as possible how to become rich. Ten years later, while Kiyosaki is financially independent, he creates the Rich Dad Company, whose goal is to teach financial education.
Chapter 3: What Can I do?
Fuller was convinced that the human species was an experiment conducted by a higher power, which had put us on the “Spaceship Earth” to observe how we would evolve. This higher being also wanted all humans to become rich. He also believed in the existence of general principles, laws that would govern our world. He found 50 of them before his death. One of them is “The more people I serve, the more effective I become”. Being generous is a good start to becoming rich.
In one of his books, Fuller also recommends that everyone take control of their education, claiming that classical education turns geniuses into underachievers.
Chapter 4: What Is Theft?
Fuller thought that humanity was still in a dark age and a prison without fences that would be based on misinformation and ignorance. Robert Kiyosaki decided to engage in a crusade against the lack of financial education, which he sees as an injustice almost as serious as the historical black discrimination in the United States. The good news is that you can never learn less. We can only learn more.
Citing Fuller, he says the overwhelming commitment to steady employment is almost a new form of slavery. To free oneself, one must start by using the power of words. Rather than saying, “I can’t afford that,” you have to ask yourself, “How can I afford it?” In the same way, it is necessary to be able to distinguish an asset from a liability. An asset brings in money while a liability loses money. A principal residence is not an asset but a liability. It’s very simple: knowledge is power.
A large number of American universities were founded by businessmen. However, their goal was not to train entrepreneurs and people like them. On the contrary, they wanted to make students their future employees. Their objective was to have, upon leaving the university, obedient people whom they could exploit.
In the United States, the economic situation is very bad compared to what it was a few years ago. The number of people surviving on food stamps has dramatically shot up, and the middle class is slowly disappearing. The social security deficit is growing at an alarming rate, so much so that the government will be faced with a difficult choice at some point. Many countries around the word aren’t doing much better. Those who want to get through it will have to do it on their own, without relying on the state.
Taxes are a way for those who have power to steal money from workers in order to redistribute it to their friends: the military-industrial complex that gets richer as soon as the government decides to increase military spending, to wage war or to launch major projects. The government has also made sure that taxes do not hurt the richest. While employees and the self-employed pay respectively 40% and 60% of taxes, business owners and those who live on investments (real estate or in stocks), give only 20% and 0% (author’s note: these figures relate to the United States).
If tomorrow one of us goes bankrupt, the government will offer us no help. On the other hand, if a big bank is in bad shape, the losses will be borne by the government, with the money it takes from the middle classes. Of course, the benefits will not be shared.
Robert Kiyosaki recommends against investing money in a fund for retirement. The reason is that even when they are insured, the insurance company will, generally speaking, be unable to save the fund if it ever goes bankrupt.
Predicting when the next crisis will take place could not be any simpler. the more you hear in the media about “growth”, the more likely it is that a crash will happen quickly, and you must then protect yourself.
Chapter 5: The Next Crash
In 1972, when Nixon stopped backing the dollar with gold, all those who had their savings in cash became much poorer because it lost a lot in value due to inflation. In 2007, in the United States, many of those who took their principal residence for an asset found themselves in great difficulty when they could no longer pay their mortgage. If the author’s prediction is correct, many of the rich who have their money in the stock market will soon find themselves very poor.
Fuller thought that the natural reaction of our leaders, when confronted with a problem, was to bury it and not settle it. The problem is that everything eventually emerges, and the situation becomes untenable.
For the human species to progress to a higher stage, everyone should learn to be cooperative and not more competitive. But it’s a long shot.
Today, if two kids cooperate at school, it’s called cheating. In this respect, a classroom is no different from prehistory. The sole goal is not for everyone to learn as much as possible. No, the only thing that matters is to beat others. And the only thing that matters to parents is how their child is ranked in relation to their peers. If two companies cooperate instead of fighting each other, it is a violation of monopoly laws. In politics, if Republicans and Democrats ally, it is treason. Fortunately, counter-examples exist. In Marine Corps training (soldiers in the US Navy), cohesion and team spirit within a group are more important to the grade than beating other groups.
Chapter 6: How Much Is a Quadrillion?
We all know that there are problems for our financial future, but very few of us are able to detect them. Indeed, our Information Age is an invisible era. Trying to hang on to a steady job all your life at a time when robots are about to replace us in many jobs makes no sense.
The problem is that our leaders are about as blind as us. When they propose to create more jobs, to invest in infrastructure, to teach more math and science in school and to encourage young people to go further with their studies, they propose solutions of the Industrial Age to solve problems of the Information Age. If the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, it is because the rich have understood that we are in an Information Age, while the latter still believe to be in the Industrial Age.
Chapter 7: How to See the Invisible
Fuller was so suspicious of the power of words that he was completely silent for two years, until he was sure he could use them effectively. The big difference between the rich and the poor is the words they use. The latter talk about jobs, career and pay, while the former discuss income, real estate investment and business creation. If you understand the words assets and liabilities, you are much more likely to become rich. A good exercise is to take the time to write all your assets and liabilities on a sheet of paper. Then, ask yourself: if I stop working, how long can I continue to maintain my lifestyle? You probably wonder if getting rich is that easy. It is not easy, but it’s very simple. Of course, this change of mentality must lead to concrete actions.
As the saying goes: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing”. Unfortunately, this is often the case. Kiyosaki was one of the only people who dared to tell people that their principal residence was a liability, and everyone made fun of him at the time. The real estate crisis of 2008 showed who was right. Fortunately, the truth is starting to emerge because more and more people are taking action, like Richard Duncan and Chris Martenson.
Part 2: The Present
Introduction to Part 2
Why do governments continue to print money when it leads to a crisis? It’s madness; I know it and you know it. So, what do you do in a world ruled by madness? How do you save your own skin and money?
Chapter 8: Before and After
There is a difference between the inside and the outside. It’s easy to paint a run-down house to make it look new, but it’s nonetheless about to collapse. Likewise, to change from being poor to being rich, one has to make an inner transformation. See all these people who win the lottery and who are on the street three years later: it’s because they just repainted the house without actually renovating it.
Challenge to become rich
The main challenge to become rich is above all to transform one’s state of mind. Economic crises are caused by people who are poor on the inside but who want to be rich: all those middle-class people who have borrowed too much money to buy beautiful houses have some responsibility for the real estate crash. There is no harm in adopting the way of life of someone rich: the problem is when one does not have the money to pay for it.
The book Second Chance aims to perform an inner transformation, a spiritual metamorphosis. For starters, when people are struggling financially, you have to be sympathetic, but do not feel sorry for them. In fact, if you feel sorry, you are unconsciously saying that these people don’t have what it takes to become rich. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach him how to fish, he eats for a lifetime”. Rather than giving money to the poor, teach them how to fish for money. Government assistance programs are pseudo good ideas because they keep people in poverty.
Likewise, offering their children all the material goods that they desire risks giving them the wrong mentality, which will make them poor. Donald Trump, to educate his children, taught them early on the value of money by forcing them to earn the money they needed to get what they wanted.
Bounce back quickly after a failure
It is important to learn how to bounce back quickly after a failure and to know how to turn the page. In the neighborhood where the author lives, 6% of people committed suicide after the crisis of 2008.Yes, you read correctly (note: this is an estimate of Robert Kiyosaki, who does not give statistical sources to support this information). You can always get past a rough patch. In ten years, Kiyosaki went from a situation where he had no savings to owning 52 apartments, with an income of about $ 100,000 a year (knowing that the dollar was worth much more at that time).
There are three types of savings: primary, secondary and tertiary savings. Tertiary savings include money you put into the bank, stocks and investment funds. Secondary savings include real estate and owning a business that you control (a person who owns a bakery has secondary savings, while one who owns shares in a large group has tertiary savings). Primary savings are based on commodities: gold, oil, diamonds, etc. If you want to protect yourself in the next crash, avoid tertiary savings at all costs. Gold and silver have the advantage in that they cannot be printed on demand by governments, unlike liquid currency.
To become rich quickly, there are two main methods: starting a business or investing in real estate. It takes time to find out which method suits you best, or perhaps you think you can do both. It is important to choose a path that interests you, and that you become an expert in it. As Kiyosaki’s rich dad said: “Find the money game you love and play to win”.
Part 3: The Future
“When money becomes waste, knowledge is then the new currency”
Introduction to Part 3
In parts 1 and 2, the question was answered: “Does it make sense to go to school and learn so little about money? In addition, the average salary of young graduates has dropped by 15% in 10 years, and many students have to go into debt to finance their studies. And in order to destroy the ruling class, Vladimir Lenin had advised to crush it in a vice between taxation and inflation. The various American presidents, even Reagan, the anti-Communist, followed Lenin to the letter. The American dream is slowly becoming the Marxist dream. Meanwhile, the rich are using debt to become richer. Indeed, by getting rich through debt, you evade taxes. And so, it is the middle class who pays.
In the 1970s, one could expect interest rates on their bank account of 15%. Today, it’s around 1%. Just as you should not consume outdated products, do not use outdated ideas from the1970s, such as “putting your money in the bank is advantageous”.
Chapter 9: The Opposite of “Going to School”
As Robert Kiyosaki was returning from the Vietnam War, he sought advice on what to do. Poor dad recommended that he follow an MBA (Master of Business Administration) while rich dad advised him to follow a seminar in real estate. The logic is the opposite: with an MBA, you intend to be an employee within a large company, while the purpose of the seminar was not to present a good diploma to impress employers, but to be financially independent to no longer have to knock on employer doors in order to live. Robert Kiyosaki first decided to follow both pieces of advice: an MBA and the seminar in real estate alongside. He quickly realized that the MBA was useless for his goals, and therefore, he decided to only do the seminar. Traditional education teaches to work for money, while financial education teaches to acquire assets that produce money.
Chapter 10: The Opposite of “Don’t Make Mistakes”
“Mistakes are a bad thing only when they are not allowed”– Fuller
At the end of the three-day real estate investment seminar, the teacher announced, “Now your education begins.” He gave students, as homework, to write an analysis of 100 properties for sale, and to find the ones that could be rare gems. This experience allowed the author to start acquiring assets very efficiently and finding very good deals. He crossed the line between middle class and rich class.
At school, we learn that making mistakes is a sign of stupidity. That’s why a lot of people are always scared to get started, for fear that it will not go well. In the MBA courses, Robert Kiyosaki saw that they were taught to give a single correct answer and avoid the slightest mistake. Conversely, the seminar made them learn from mistakes. This is called practice.
Chapter 11: The Opposite of “Get Good Grades”
Many people, with the crisis, go backto college, thinking that this is the only way out. In 2012, for the first time in the United States, the unemployment rate for university graduates rose from that of those who had just completed high school.
The school grading system evaluates humans as robots. There are about two skills needed to be academically good: analytical skills and linguistic competence. The problem is that the human species is not made up of robots. In addition to mental intelligence, the only thing needed to succeed in school is physical intelligence (think of professional dancers or golfers), emotional intelligence (the ability to influence others), and spiritual intelligence (to what extent does the person have a vision and purpose for their life).
Chapter 12: The Opposite of “Get a Good Job”
“Too much specialization leads to extinction”– Fuller
50 years ago, everyone’s dream was to work in a big company for their entire life. Today, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. The problem is that the education in the universities makes its students specialists, while an entrepreneur is a generalist. As a result, many entrepreneurs fail because they lack business skills, which are not taught, even in business school.
To grow your business, you have to delegate all operational tasks to specialists. For example, give accounting to an accountant. If you want to do everything yourself, your business will never grow, and you will have to work 70 hours a week forever.
Chapter 13: The Opposite of “Get Out of Debt”
Many experts recommend eliminating absolutely any debt. But, in reality, it’s a little more complicated than that. Be very careful to distinguish between good and bad debt: good debt is for investment, while bad debt is for you to consume more. In short, the government debt is bad debt because it is used to pay current expenses. Furthermore, today’s children will be sacrificed because of our negligence.
The author, to build his fortune, went into debt to buy real estate that he rented out. He used the money of others to invest. What is interesting is that the return on investment is then infinite, since you invest 0 euros from your pocket to buy an apartment that earns you profits. In addition, the more you practice this method, the more competent you are, and the more likely you are to do outstanding business.
Chapter 14: The Opposite of “Live Below Your Means”
“God wants us all to be rich”– Fuller
Many financial advisers recommend living below one’s means. In reality, much of the middle-class lives beyond its means. Many people who have beautiful cars, live in a beautiful house and take a vacation in the most beautiful places, are only a few thousand euros from bankruptcy. So, what do you do? List on a piece of paper everything you want to have, be it a dream house or a car. Then, write the assets that you will acquire, which will allow you to afford the items on your list. Look at this list every day.
Chapter 15: The Opposite of “Don’t Cheat”
At school, giving help to people who need it is called cheating. Conversely, to be rich, it is good to be helped by specialists: the goal is not to be smarter than others, but to share knowledge. Solving problems often requires competent people in very different fields.
Chapter 16: The Opposite of “The Rich Are Greedy”
Many people are convinced that the rich are greedy. Some are, but most of them did not become rich like that. People who become rich out of greed for money are corrupt politicians and CEOs who have been parachuted at the head of a company and have ruined it with their incompetence. However, many people have achieved wealth through generosity: Walt Disney Henry Ford. Sergey Brin. The lack of financial education makes some people greedy.
Chapter 17: The Opposite of “Investing is Risky”
The majority think that investing is risky. Moreover, the financial authorities want you to think that. When you learned to walk, you spent your time falling. Now, it’s a natural act. Investment is exactly like learning to walk. Take control of your education, the choice of people who advise you, and your time, and everything will be okay.
On US dollars, it is written, “In God We Trust”. However, it’s doubtful that God still believes in the dollar, after the federal bank had fun playing the printing press.
Chapter 18: The Opposite of “Save Money”
Earlier in Second Chance, you wondered: “Why save money when the government prints money?”. There is another investment to avoid: funds. Simply put, you take 100% risk and reap 30% of the profits. You might not know that, and the reason is very simple. Financial elites control what you study so that you are ignorant and give them your money. Steve Jobs dropped out of college in order to learn what he wanted to.
Chapter 19: The Opposite of “An Emergency is Bad”
The problem in the world is that too many people have a passive attitude, waiting for the government to come and solve all their problems. Our challenge right now is to determine who will build the future. Be aware that in every crisis there are always very good opportunities.
Book critique of “Second Chance: for Your Money, Your Life and Our World”:
Second Chance is a very interesting book that fully expands the concepts mentioned in Rich Dad Poor Dad. Of course, you may not agree with the political message of the book (there is a conspiracy of power to steal your money), but the advice given to protect oneself in financial crises is nonetheless extremely relevant. Robert Kiyosaki gives a way forward that is extremely simple, and at our hand.
When you read this book carefully, you often ask the question: “But why isn’t all this advice taught at school and known to everyone?”.
Personally, I think it would be nice if the school system provided us with financial literacy that allowed us to make the choice between the life of an employee and that of an entrepreneur. Starting in life with Kiyosaki’s instruction but also that of his detractors would allow each person to make their choices as a mature adult. Too many people find themselves as employees by default.
- Very captivating style.
- Good balance between theory and practical tips.
- Gives a great deal of motivation to move forward in life.
- The conceptsof Second Chance are poorly organized, and the structure is very muddled.
- In some passages, Kiyosaki talks a lot of politics, which isn’t exactly relevant in a book about making money.
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