Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Opinion

Colleges in Oman should have a book review session

It’s important to have sessions about books that would prepare Omani students to be competitive in the job market.

By Mohammed Anwar Al Balushi

info@thearabianstories.com

Friday, October 22, 2021

People have written many books on money for the purpose of making people think about making money in a more positive light. Speaking personally, the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki was the first financial book that made an impression on me and inspired me to refer to it often. The Psychology of Money is the second.

This 247-page book by Morgan Housel titled “The Psychology of Money” is a completely different type of book that discusses money and the importance of it. I read it online from www.scribd.com. It is the second book that has given me a new perspective on money. There are 20 chapters in this book, and each one looks like a new adventure. In addition to citing various other writers and books, the author also offers real life case studies. 

In a chapter, “Never Enough,” the author uses the example of Gupta (Indian by birth) who wishes to become a billionaire. Due to the insider trading, he finally went to prison. Basically, the author wants to say that “How much enough is enough?”. 

Housel stated that, “To grasp why people bury themselves in debt you don’t need to study interest rates; you need to study the history of greed, insecurity, and optimism. To get why investors sell out at the bottom of a bear market you don’t need to study the math of expected future returns; you need to think about the agony of looking at your family and wondering if your investments are imperiling their future”. Thus, the book insists that you should read history before trying to become wealthy. There’s a reason behind that; to understand what happens and why. The book examines the 1929 crash on the New York Stock Exchange as well as its economic implications.

One of the lessons the author teaches us in this book is “Ferraris don’t generate respect”, which means that, people buy big houses and luxury and fancy cars because they want respect and admiration from others. Their mistake is not realizing that people do not admire the person with the fancy house or car; their admiration for the object makes them want to possess it. Impressing others by buying impressive items is a fool’s errand – these things can’t be purchased. 

The other lesson from the book is that the psychology of money is all about behavior “soft skills” and not “technical skills”. Here, Housel gave the example of Ronald James Read, who was a gas station attendant and died in 2014. Several publications covered his story afterward, including the donation of USD 1.2 million to  Brooks Memorial Library and USD 4.8 million to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Despite not earning a huge amount of income, Read invested his money wisely and voicelessly with compound interest; therefore, the author mentions this story in this chapter. 

The other interesting and beneficial lesson from the book is “Being rich vs. wealthy”, where it says that, if you’re rich, you have a high current income. But being wealthy is something different – wealth is not visible. It’s the money that you have that’s not spent. Being rich is for short time but being wealthy can provide you freedom, time and possessions in the future. 

These books have prompted me to think about having sessions about books that would prepare Omani students to be competitive in the job market as well as to become entrepreneurs.

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