Friday, November 28, 2008

Ten Roads to Riches by Ken Fisher

The Ten Roads To Riches the Ways The Wealthy Got There (And How You Can Too) by Ken Fisher with Lara Hoffmans

This book outlines ten different ways to become rich; start a company, become a CEO, ride along with the CEO (Charlie Munger rode along with Warren Buffet), become famous, marry into wealth, become a plaintiffs lawyer (sue people), manage other peoples money, become a land barron, invent things (songs, patents, books, intellectual property), and manage your wealth slowly and frugally. There is a chapter on each road along with an introduction and conclusion. The book is not rocket science but it is entertaining.

Ken Fisher is one of the richest people, he is on the Forbes 400 list and manages $45 billion in investments. He wrote this book because "he likes to write", not because he needs to make money. He should know a little bit about becoming rich.

I like the combination of humor, irony, and straightforwardness in this book. Ken Fisher said he had his lawyers go through the book twice to make sure he would not be sued for libel. He reminds us that not every way which people get rich is appealing to many people, a lot of people hate stock brokers, distrust plaintiffs lawyers (modern day pirates), and think it is tacky to seek out rich people to marry.

Each chapter also includes a section on how to not break the law and still make money. Carly Fiorina and Bill Lerach are two examples of how not to do this.

At the end of many chapters there is a reading list. I found two books that I plan to read, The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall and Beyond Entrepreneurship by James C. Collins and William C. Lazier. There is also a short bulleted list of the basic first steps you need to take down each path.

This book is not complicated. It is methodical and straightforward. There are no secret formulas, no complex charts, and no incredible promises. It is so real at times that it becomes darkly humorous. I can recommend this book for people who are interested in building wealth. It is currently on the New York Times bestseller list.

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