Friday, 23 September 2011

September Book Review

Unfair Advantage - The Power of Financial Education by Robert Kiyosaki

If you follow my tweets @newydd105 you will know by now I am a big fan of Robert Kiyosaki. I was introduced by a friend to his books in 1999 and have read every book written since. Unfair Advantage has all I have come to expect from Robert and more.

It covers the traditional information such as building assets; defining what is an asset and liability; gives examples of the investments that Robert has completed and how you can do the same. It also has updated information on the different types of investor which was originally covered in 'Cashflow Quadrant' the second book in Robert's Rich Dad, Poor Dad series.

In my own life I have treated the different investor levels as my personal version of a promotion each time I have moved up from one level to the next. The rewards have been greater investor knowledge, more confidence, better lifestyle and increased cashflow and net worth. The expansion of investor levels in 'Unfair Advantage' has given me more challenges to expand my personal growth and financial understanding over the coming years.

Each book contains historical information which helps put into perspective where we stand economically today.  'Unfair Advantage' looks at the current topic of bank bailouts.  It was fascinating reading about the number of bank bailouts that have taken place since 1971.  Each time the bailouts are bigger and bigger but really only became public knowledge following the credit crunch of 2008.  As I write this we are on the verge of yet more bailouts which could eclipse those of 2008.

In my tweets and blogs I have advised of the coming financial storm.  the storm is brewing and it is a storm so great and powerful it will make the Great Depression of the 1930's seem inconsequential. The aftermath of the storm will affect millions of people.  'Unfair Advantage' is your chance to learn how to get some protection against the disaster about to engulf all our lives.

Unfair Advantage - The Power of Financial Education by Robert Kiyosaki is available in paperback or as a kindle download.  The kindle version is available using the link on the right of this page. If you don't own a kindle, free apps are available for computers, ipads and ipods from Amazon books using the same link.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Action Man Needed!!

Three weeks ago I had a flood in one of my rental properties caused by faulty workmanship done under a Government Grant Scheme.

An Engineer was required to assess the damage and do an official report.  He was quickly on the scene, within a couple of hours, a 12+ page report was completed.  He informed me that the installation had just run out of the installers guarantee but was still covered under the scheme's guarantee.  It should take a couple of days for his report to go through the appropriate channels and work would then commence to make the house habitable again.

Three weeks later, nothing has happened except I've run up my telephone bill with daily calls and being passed from one organisation to the other each refusing to accept responsibility and do any work.  The gist of the problem being that EAGA, the company running the scheme for the government lost the contract in March and say they don't have any funding available to honour the guarantee.  The new company, NEST, who took over the management contract in April insist EAGA has been paid and therefore it is not their responsibility.

Yesterday, I decided on a new tact.  Find a person who could apply pressure in the right place.

My first call was to Torfaen Council. ( A few years ago they had approached me to start using grant funding. Their problem that all this money had been put in place for landlords to upgrade their properties but no landlords were using the funding.  As I was the largest private landlord in Torfaen they wanted to show they were supporting landlords and encouraging the use of the grants.) While the female operator empathised she could only give me NEST's phone number.

My second call was to NEST and again I was told  EAGA were responsible and I should try being more forceful with them. As if I haven't given them a hard time over the last 3 weeks. The female operator empathised and suggested I contact my MP.

My third call was to the Welsh Assembly where I was finally put through to David. Off came my business woman hat and on went the helpless female hat. David listened to my sob story. 'Well, the buck stops here' he said. 'I'll ring you back within 2 hours'.

Two hours went by - nothing.  Three hours - nothing. Four hours - nothing. Five hours later and my phone is ringing non stop. NEST, EAGA, British Gas, the installation company all eager to get my property rentable again.

In 3 weeks David is the first male I have spoken to apart from the Engineer. Although he didn't manage the two hours timeframe he got action within a day. Is he good at his job? I don't know but how refreshing to talk to someone who would take action and not try fobbing me off.