Rich Dad, Poor Dad – What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!
On my latest visit to section 332.024 at the local library I came across Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and since it was labeled as “The #1 New York Times Bestseller” I decided to grab a copy and check it out – no pun intended.
I’m not sure how I feel about this book yet. That’s not true, I know exactly how I feel. Read on.
When I first started reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I was a little intrigued by the first few chapters, but as I kept reading I started to feel more and more annoyed by Robert Kiyosaki. The book has some good points, but at times it also made me feel like I was sitting through a sales pitch. No, I don’t want to buy a time-share Robert. He actually doesn’t say you should buy time-shares, I just felt like he was constantly trying to sell me something.
But before I tell you why Kiyosaki rubs me the wrong way, let me break down a few things about his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad Review
Kiyosaki starts by explaining how he grew up in Hawaii in the 50s and how he had two dads – a rich dad and a poor dad. At first I thought how liberal and ahead of its time Hawaii was, but then he goes on to explain that his poor dad was his real father, an educator who worked hard all his life and who was poor (according to Kiyosaki) and his rich dad was his friend’s Mike’s business oriented father.
At 9 years old, Kiyosaki decided he wasn’t going to follow his poor dad’s financial advice to study hard so he can get a good job – which sounds like good advice to me – and instead follow the advice of his rich dad to not work for money, but have money work for you – which is also good advice.
The first chapter is a good read, which introduces the main idea of how we should change our perspective about money.
Kiyosaki and his friend Mike decided to ask Mike’s dad (Rich Dad) to teach them about money. Rich Dad agrees, but he decides that the best way for them to learn is by first making them go through a series of tests or life lessons that really didn’t make too much sense to me.
Rich Dad then goes on to teach them six valuable lessons about money.
The Six Lessons
1. The Rich Don’t Work for Money – This lesson boils down to saying that instead of working for money, have money work for you.
2. Why Teach Financial Literacy? – This is where he explains the difference between an asset and a liability. An asset is something that puts money in your pocket and a liability is something that takes money out of your pocket. Based on this, he says that having a house is a liability – to which I disagree – but the main lesson of having more assets than liabilities is a solid one.
However, this is when he started selling his whole Cash Flow system. But if you want that free ticket to Disney, you have to sit through the time-share presentation. Or do you?
3. Mind Your Own Business – Again, his advice of having your own business instead of working for somebody else is a good one. He also stresses the fact that you should spend most of your time acquiring assets or at least learning how to acquire assets.
4. The History of Taxes and The Power of Corporations – This chapter talks about Incorporating your home business so you’re able to write off a few expenses, which might be a good idea. However, he also talks about some tax dodges, which seem more like tax delays.
I’m not a tax expert but it seems like you either have to hold some assets until you die or will be hit with a big tax bill later.
5. The Rich Invent Money – This is where he completely lost me. He claims that you can just borrow money from a friend, go to the court house and find an awesome deal on a piece of real state, sell it within a few weeks and pay back your friend and make a profit for yourself at the same time.
He starts the book by saying this is not a “get rich quick” book, but he then says how you can make $40,000 in 5 hours by buying and selling real state. He also continues with his sales pitch of his CASHFLOW game.
6. Work To Learn – Don’t Work For Money – While I agree that we should strive to learn as much as possible and this includes sometimes working for little or no money, I don’t agree with the way he describes people that work for money.
Kiyosaki compares working people to hamsters. It gives me the impression that he looks down on people who decide to go to school and get a degree and/or a specialization.
This is the second part of the book where I thought he was going to give concrete examples on how to apply the lessons learned, but he just mentions a few self-help tips about overcoming obstacles, some vague tips on getting started, and encouraging you to take action. Not bad tips, but they’re just not tied together well with the rest of the book and are a little weak.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is not a bad book per se; it has some good lessons and it makes us take a different view on how we should approach money. But he doesn’t really dig into each lesson and instead talks a lot about how working people are like hamsters and how they are wasting their time working for a living.
His tone is somewhat offensive and it made me put the book down a couple of times. Kiyosaki and his Rich Dad come across as the type of people who look down on people who don’t have the desire to be as rich as possible.
It is one thing to advise people and encourage them to make better financial decisions so they don’t have to work forever, but that’s very different than pretty much insinuating that they are fools for working for somebody else.
Maybe some people like Kiyosaki’s style of putting people down to make himself look like some kind of genius, but I’m not one of those people. What’s in Rich Dad, Poor Dad is not even a new idea that Kiyosaki came up with.
Should you buy this book? Probably not.
If you can find it in your local library and decide you want to read it then knock yourself out, but there are better books out there that will give you the same information without making you feel like you’re a fool or a hamster if you decide to work a 9-5.
Kiyosaki also puts too much emphasis on acquiring real state, which is probably not a bad idea, but he talks about it like is the easiest thing in the world to do.
Or maybe I’m missing something. After all, this book is a best seller. But yet again, so was The Secret.
If you liked this book, please tell me what I am missing.