A wealthy woman wants your help to get even richer
Her surname might be familiar, because she is the wife of Robert Kiyosaki, the author of a popular investment book called “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” “Rich Woman,” as the title suggests, offers guidance for women who seek financial independence, although it reads more like a general introduction designed to awaken femine investment instincts. Ms. Kiyosaki does not go into minute details. Instead, she takes a more friendly approach by telling stories about herself and her college friends who recently had a reunion 20 years after their graduation.
Ms. Kiyosaki plays the role of investment guru in the book. Her friends have different stories to tell and most of them are unfamiliar with investments, just like many other woman. Ms. Kiyosaki offers reasons why women should be more interested in financial independence and gives readers the ABCs of investment management. Sometimes her friendly approach gets rather irritating as she includes some redundant details, such as those found at the beginning chapter 2 when we learn that, after some debate, she ordered two desserts to share with four friends.
If you’re looking for information on blue chip movements or whether the Vietnamese stock market is undervalued, this is not the book for you. This is designed to wake up naive women who think money grows in the wallets of their (hopefully rich) fathers, husbands or sons.
The translator, Kwon Sung-hee, who is also a reporter for an economic daily, adds some spice to the book specifically for the Korean palate. For example, Ms. Kiyosaki explains how she made a lot of money by buying 20 houses but that won’t work in Korea, as President Roh Moo-hyun’s administration imposes a heavy tax on real estate deals that involve more than one house. The translator, Ms. Kwon, explains this in an additional note, telling her Korean readers to be wary.
Most women still find it easier to talk about the latest Louis Vuitton bags rather than the price of Samsung Electronics stock. This suggests that there is a market for Mrs. Kiyosaki’s book, but she is not the first to promote financial indepence for women. In her 1928 polemic “A Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf wrote about a woman who was set free by an income of 500 pounds a month, thanks to her aunt’s legacy. Ms. Woolf wrote: “Therefore not merely do effort and labour cease, but also hatred and bitterness. I need not hate any man; he cannot hurt me. I need not flatter any man, he has nothing to give me.” It tells us much, after several decades, that there are still plenty of women who would rather buy a Chanel suit to look good to their boyfriend, instead of saving for an apartment as an investment in their financial freedom.
Still, don’t forget the inconvenient truth that Ms. Kiyosaki’s bankbook will be the only one to benefit if all you do is buy this book. As Ms. Kiyosaki herself says several times, you have to work hard to make money. Only then will your dream of freedom come true, only then will you liberate yourself from hideous morning subways and nitpicking bosses. Make money your slave, not the other way around, that’s the lesson in this book.
Publisher: Random House Korea
By Chun Su jin [firstname.lastname@example.org]