Rich As a King

By Susan Polgar and Douglas Goldstern

Rich As a King
Rich As a King
Morgan James Publishing (2014)
277 pages
Reviewed by John Donaldson
RICH AS A KING by Susan Polgar and Douglas Goldstern is two books in one. The first work to incorporate chess strategies into creating personal financial success, it breaks new ground. This book starts with the presumption that the reader has only the most basic knowledge of finance, but rectifies this by systematically covering a large amount of ground in clear and easy to understand prose. RICH AS A KING easily covers what the average reader needs to know and more.

Throughout this book comparisons are made between chess and finance. Where they rang truest to this reviewer was in the final chapter, 64 Strategies to Make You Rich as a King. Tip number 45 is titled “How to react a killer attack.”

The authors write:

“Sometimes you will end up in a position where a stock you own drops, bonds default, or a divorce devastates your savings. Sometimes you’ll lose your job, get ripped off by a tenant, or need to support your family members who never bothered to save. Sometimes you’ll pay a deposit to a builder for an addition to your house and then he’ll vanish. And sometimes a hacker will steal your identity, ruin your credit score, and sell your credit card number to thieves. In these and similar situations you would lose. So...then what?”

They advise:

“Either you can sit around and bemoan your losses, or you can look at what happened, study your good and bad moves, and then get ready for the next match.”

The authors then go to cite examples of those who initially failed but then went on to achieve greatness – one being Bill Gates whose first company was the disaster Traf-O-Data.

Following on this in tip 46 they continue on the same theme with, “What to do when there’s nothing to do” advocating staying calm and taking a series of small but constructive steps rather than either freezing in the headlights and doing nothing or taking immediate emotion fueled actions. These are understandable behaviors but highly destructive to one’s portfolio.

Chess has similar situations where the ability to self-destruct is present. Anyone who has ever had a game suddenly turn around on them, where they are defending what was a winning position before they blundered, will know the feeling. So will anyone who has suddenly lost several games in a row. In both chess and finance it is important to have control of one's emotions.

Recommended for all those who want to improve their basic financial knowledge, particularly chessplayers who will find the comparisons between chess and finance helpful.