Friday, November 21, 2014

Kevin O'Leary - Cold Hard Truth On Business, Money & Life - Book Review

The business autobiography of Kevin O'Leary aka Mr. Wonderful. He is an entrepreneur and star on the hit shows Dragon's Den (in Canada) and Shark Tank (U.S). Kevin O'Leary is from Canada. This book is the story of his money and personal journey.

Details about the Book
This book is very interesting, inspiring, and honest. The book has some useful advice at the end of each episode of O'Leary's life. The lessons learned if followed can be used to preserve capital and build wealth. The book is easy to read only being 245 pages. I do wish it was a bit longer. At the end of each chapter there is a question asked about the main theme of the chapter then points of advice that are helpful. If you are a fan of the hit shows Shark Tank and Dragon's Den you get insight on how each started. Overall the book has personal feel to it. I personally like the inside view on venture capitalism.

Kevin O'Leary's Story
I found O'Leary's story interesting and entertaining as he takes the reader through different times he was employee. He gives examples of why he couldn't be an employee and why he was destined to be an entrepreneur. He takes the reader though what it took to build his small business. The ups and downs he had on the way to selling his company to Mattel Inc. There is an interesting event in the book when Mattel the big toy company buys his small upcoming company and how the mind set of an founder and the mind set of a manager differ. The investing tip I learned from the book is big companies who have lost their founder don't always take the chances or risk to be super successful. Mattel took over his Learning company, they changed many things that were working to fit it into their system. The short of it was it didn't work and they lost tons of money with the transaction.

Kevin O'Leary details his mom's principles of aways investing in companies that pay a dividend. She also taught him never spend the principal only the interest. She proved this to him by heeding her own advice throughout her life, the proof was there when she passed away she was well off despite a modest income. His dad was a tragic story but O'Leary learned a valuable skill of selling from him.  

You always need a good team. Kevin O'Leary makes it clear he always is looking for people who think like himself to be successful. He has had good partnerships and teams in every business venture. His mom gave him the biggest lessons in his life but each person he teamed up with also were influential in his success and he gives credit to many people.

Rating 4 of 5
I think most people will learn something and be entertained by the story. Teaches some basic financial lessons. The only down side is it is short and for the sophisticated investor the book might not have new material.


  1. O'Leary is an interesting guy. He has a persona and a name brand that he pushes with Mr Wonderful on shark tank as the bad guy. Its making him money. Outside of that he does have some great ideas and I think wants to help people when off camera.

    1. I like that he is honest by giving advice to people even if it might not be what they want to hear but it will help them in the long run. Yea off camera he seems to be involved in many activities giving back to the community and environment with projects and charities.

  2. I am currently reading his third book , Cold Hard Truth of Family, Kids & Money. In this book he tells how he raised his kids about money. On each birthday as the kids were young he did something different. O'Leary talked about jobs he did that helped him appreciate the value of hard work. These jobs including planting trees, bricklaying and making bumpers. He lied about having bricklaying experience which was discovered when he started the job. The boss decided to keep him and started him off lugging 30 pound bricks for the bricklayers.
    He likes to fly first class now as his success with money as bought him freedom. His response in this book to his son who wants to fly first class, "You can, Trevor, when you pay for it". He basically showing his kids that they will have to "work" to have things in their lives.

    1. Hi IP, I like that approach with the kids the last line about the 1st class seat is priceless! It kinda sounds like what John D. Rockefeller did when I read his Biography.


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