Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rich Dad, Poor Dad - A Financial Education Primer - Book Review & Thoughts

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a great book that provides some great insight into a different way of financial thinking.  He uses personal stories to effectively get his point across.  I think this book would be a valuable read for the discerning young adult.  I qualified this with 'discerning' for a couple of reasons:
1. Mr. Kiyosaki uses examples of financial maneuvers that are specific to American tax law.  One needs to have an understanding of what is and isn't possible from a tax perspective with real-estate deals before considering some of the options mentioned in the book.
2. It is important to read carefully as the author does qualify a lot of his financial suggestions with saying that he had a lot of experience and guidance.  Mr. Kiyosaki is aggressive in his financial investing - meaning he is willing to accept a lot of understood risks.  If you don't understand all the risks around the investments you are making, then you probably should be calling them investments.  It ends up being more like gambling.  The author says this himself.

I totally agree with the author's philosophy on learning.  He talks about it throughout the book, and because of that, I highly recommend it.

Some questions for readers to consider:
Mr. Kiyosaki almost makes money sound like the 'end all be all' in the first chapter of his book - like learning the proper lessons about money is the most important thing.  Do you agree?  Do you think there are more important things?
After you've read the book, reflect on whether or not it has influenced your view of success.  Has it changed how you view or define success?  Do you agree with Mr. Kiyosaki's point of view in the book?  Do you think it's a balance point of view?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Soft Job Market Versus Acute Labour Shortage - What Students and Grads Need to Consider

Depending on where you look in the media, you can get some pretty contrasting views about the job market in Canada for young adults.  This article discusses how new grads are stressed because of a soft job market and rising tuition fees.  And yet, this article talks about how 30% of Canadian businesses are facing a labour shortage.

There are several interesting things to note about these articles.
  1. Geography is a huge consideration.  I'm assuming that these articles were written in different parts of the country.  The Soft Job Market article was probably written in Ontario.  The Acute Labour Shortage article was written in Calgary. 
    One definition for the word 'hunt' is the skillful tracking and acquisition of an elusive target. Whether you are hunting or fishing in the wild, one of the first things you have to do is get in a good location.  The Job Hunt isn't much different if you want to be successful.  You will likely stand a better chance of finding work if you are willing to consider a broader geography in your job search.
  2. While both articles have different points of view, they both tend to focus on the negative.  Is it worth reading media that focuses on problems and doesn't provide solutions?  I would argue media like that isn't even worth publishing. 
    Richard Bolles (author of the epic job hunting book What Color Is Your Parachute) encourages job hunters to be wary of the information they consume about jobs.  Its easy to get discouraged about finding a job if your ingesting information that is one sided.  Consider this: In July 2012 in the US 4,229,000 people found work. But, at the end of that month, there were still 3,664,000 job openings that remained unfilled.  For that same month, you may have also read in the paper that unemployment rose in 44 states.  Depending on the information you chose to read, you could believe that there is a plethora of opportunity in the job market, or you could feel hopeless that there are so many more people looking for work.  Try changing your perspective and look positively on your job search.
  3. Choose your course of study wisely.  Get an education plan together that makes sense based on current and future business and market conditions.
      Research job trends - where will the jobs be in the future - not just geographically, but in what business/industry sector?  The current world demand for natural resources has created fantastic opportunity for certain skilled trades.  The aging population in North America will continue to create and grow job demand in the health sector.
    Give more consideration to careers with opportunity for crossover.  For example,  all businesses/industries require accountants, information technology professionals, lawyers, security professionals, and project managers to stay viable and profitable.  Consequently, there tends to be more job openings and opportunities for these career types.
Check out these pages for more resources and information on Careers and Education for young adults.