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Cold Hard Truth on FAMILY, KIDS & MONEY by Kevin O’Leary

Chances are you’re either a fan of Mr. Wonderful on Dragon’s Den, or you can’t stand him. Personally, I’ve always found Kevin O’Leary abrasive; he holds no bar in giving his opinion (you may almost think his brand “being hated” shadows another infamous reality show personality’s – Omarosa). He loves the attention and he seems to love getting into a fight. And, if you listen carefully you understand he has a one-track mind, and that is “to make more money”. 

“The truth is, a successful marriage is like a pizza pie, and love is only one slice. You can argue that love is an important slice, and I won’t disagree with you. But there are other slices, too, slices nobody wants to talk about in our rom-com-saturated world. If you know anything about me, it probably won’t surprise you to hear me stress the importance of money over romance.”
~ Kevin O’Leary

Even though, I don’t necessarily feel Kevin O’Leary shares my sensibilities, I must say how pleasantly surprised I was by his matter of fact, straight shooting advice in his third book Family, Kids & Money. It actually kept me hostage for an afternoon, curtailing my plans to take a nap.  

Some of Kevin’s advice may seem absurd. He doesn’t shy away from admitting he thinks arranged marriages have a place in this society. He talks about choosing a “mate” vs. choosing a “soulmate”, and believes that soulmates aren’t discovered, rather they are grown. No doubt, overcoming obstacles and accommodating goals as a couple is the brick and mortar of real partnership, and the key to financial stability and success, admits Kevin O’Leary. Just as the number one rule in real estate is “location, location, location”, the number one rule in relationships is “time, time, time”. Marriage should be viewed as a contract where two people come together to build a dynasty, one based on emotional closeness, but one that doesn’t exclude financial prudence.

Many people think they can build a family out of dreams and good intentions, but end up living below the poverty line. The book illustrates techniques on how to make sound financial choices whether you are starting a relationship or building a trust for your kids.

“When you reduce debt and protect your personal and business relationships, when you set financial targets and are responsible enough to meet them, you’re not only creating success in your lifetime – you’ve just set up your kids for success in the future as well.”   

With simple money mistakes and fixes, Kevin is able to say things that are sharp and ultimately meaningful.

         Money Mistake: The House, Boat or Vacation Property is in Your Name
           The Fix: All Assets should be jointly owned.

           Money Mistake: Your Partner Doesn’t Speak Your Money Language
           The Fix: Find someone who does

Cold Hard Truth on FAMILY, KIDS & MONEY will give you the building blocks to build a solid family dynasty. The book will help you understand why you have to separate money from your emotions, and will give you the tools to save your assets in times of trouble. Follow the 90/10 rule, where 90 cents of every dollar you earn goes towards paying debt, while the other 10 cents goes to your Secret 10. And if you don’t know how much money you have, calculating your 90-day number is a good place to start.

While Kevin O'Leary is not everyone's cup of tea, his latest book is a healing tonic for households drowning in debt unable to make the cold hard decisions surrounding family, kids and money.


  1. Disclaimer: I find Kevin O'Leary an obnoxious blowhard who really has no overriding philosophy apart from rent seeking to aid and abet his own objective: extract the surplus from others to himself even when the means are unscrupulous. Notwithstanding this preamble, your review dovetails on a topic that is coming to the fore again in an unequal world where stagnation is becoming the norm: what do people do with an inheritance? Do they marry for love or money?
    As Robin Harding wrote today: 'The aspiring young law student Rastignac has his choice set out for him with brutal simplicity in Balzac’s 1835 novel Father Goriot. He can work: “There’s a nice prospect for you! Ten years of drudgery straight away.” Or he can do otherwise: “There is but one way, marry a woman who has money.”'
    Harding concludes his article by reminding us of this: 'In the Balzac novel, the villainous Vautrin exhorts Rastignac to take the easy path: “You are at the crossway of the roads of life, my boy; choose your way.”'
    Perhaps O'Leary is today's Rastignac and his advice (however matter of fact) is realistic: in a world where inherited wealth is rising and for some people managing that wealth will be an alternative to working for a living that the rest of us must do, people must take financial matters with greater weighting than matters of the heart. The elite in society have usually married on the basis of families coming together and forging a stronger bond for future generations. Love is an afterthought.


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