Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Should spending on a college education be viewed as consumption or as an investment.

Beauty shot image of "The Education of Millionaires", "It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late" book by author Michael Ellsberg
The Education of Millionaires
I just read The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late; by Michael Ellsberg.
The book raises the question of whether spending on a college education should be viewed as consumption or as an investment. It argues that for many, especially many taking the liberal path, it is no more than a very expensive way  to party for five years. Mr. Ellsberg then goes to drive the age-old idea that the street is a better way to learn.  Now that he refers to a street education from the perspective of a dedicated and hungry entrepreneur.
This book left me divided. At the beginning, it was painfully difficult to bear. The author comes across as pompous and preachy. It lectures extensively but fails to structure a logical argument with supporting evidence. I almost stopped reading it.
Thankfully, I was able to work through the first sections. What followed was much better in content and form. Surprisingly, considering the start, the book delivers quite a bit of value. While I do not agree with every little point made, I am happy to try to understand the author's position. Besides, I thing that at a higher level the ideas are very good.
Sadly, the book reverted to its original state towards the very end. But I guess that what matters is the content and not the form.
My gut feeling is that Mr. Ellsberg's ambitions for this book were larger than what is possible for a book its size. Maybe that explains the almost forced form. In any case, the book offers plenty of value to be simply dismissed.
It is not one of the best books for me. Nonetheless, it should be read.

Book Title: The Education of Millionaires
Book Subtitle: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late
Author: Michael Ellsberg
Publisher: Hardcover 

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