Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: The Chinese Way to Wealth and Prosperity

Author: Michael Justin Lee 
Title of the Book: "The Chinese Way to Wealth and Prosperity" 
Year of Publication: 2012 
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: McGraw-Hill 
Number of Pages: 207 
Price: SGD 30.98 
ISBN: 978-0-07-178872-4

All the while I thought that the secret of the Chinese for prosperity is feng sui. But Michael Justin Lee debunked my belief with his vivid analysis of what the Chinese are doing to make money. Of course, he is an authority on this being of Chinese decent himself.   

In the book, he emphasized the importance given by the Chinese people towards education as influenced by Confucius. As a first step he said that you can make money by educating yourself. He proved this by providing data on incomes of people with different levels of educational attainment.

He also delved on the role of guanxi or networking in Chinese culture and how it helped them become prosperous. According to him, it is this networking that made Facebook a stunning success.

He encourages us not to take too much debt citing the example of the hardships America is facing today because of its too much debt.

He also encourage the readers to invest in real estate as what the Chinese are fond of doing. According to him, land in China is almost sacred that it is the last thing a person will sell. Citing another example, when the real estate market in the US collapsed, Chinese businessmen rushed to America to buy properties.

He cited the examples of elderly Chinese who defer gratification so that they have something to leave for their children and children's children.

However, he cautioned the reader not to emulate the bad habits of Chinese such as addiction to gambling.

On the whole, the book is very insightful that no doubt the Chinese model is worth emulating for.


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