Book Title: Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
Author: Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
Date Published (Revised and updated edition): 2017
Robert Kiyosaki Background
To help put this book into perspective, I thought it would be useful to have a few life facts about Robert Kiyosaki and why he wrote this book.
Some key facts follow:
- Born: 8 April, 1947
- Birthplace: Hilo, Hawaii
- Occupation: American businessman and author
- Website: www.richdad.com
- Known for: Rich Dad Company and associated products/books particularly Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Kiyosaki’s company filed for bankruptcy in 2012).
Rich Dad Poor Dad Book Theme
Rich Dad Poor Dad was first published in 1997. The book, in the form of an allegory, describes Robert’s story of growing up with two dads – his real father (Poor Dad) and the father of his best friend (his rich dad) and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book debunks the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
The book has reportedly sold over 32 million copies in more than 51 languages across more than 109 countries, and been on the New York Times bestsellers list for over six years.
Robert Kiyosaki and his company have received a lot of criticism over the years; however, I will not focus on that here as I do feel there is still some valuable lessons to be gained from reading this book. As I always state, learning is a life-long journey. The more we read, watch and listen, the more we can absorb and be in a position to make our own powerful decisions.
The book is comprised of 6 key lessons and in the following summary, I will extract the essential takeaways:
Rich Dad Poor Dad Lesson 1 – The Rich Don’t Work For Money
- The poor and the middle-class work for money. The rich have money work for them.
- Poor Dad wanted him “to study hard, get good grades, so you can find a safe, secure job with a big company”
- Rich dad advises that it’s “fear that keeps most people working at a job: the fear of not paying their bills, the fear of being fired, the fear of not having enough money, and the fear of starting over. That’s the price of studying to learn a profession or trade – most people become a slave to money”
- Rich Dad advises that we get into a “pattern of get up, go to work, pay bills; get up, go to work, pay bills. People’s lives are forever controlled by two emotions: fear and greed – we join the Rat Race”
- So many people say, “Oh, I’m not interested in money”. Yet they’ll work at a job for eight hours a day.
Rich Dad Poor Dad Lesson 2 – Why Teach Financial Literacy?
- It’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep.
- Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities that they think are assets
- Rule #1: You must know the difference between an asset and a liability and buy assets – If you want to be rich, this is all you need to know. It is rule number one. It is the only rule
- An asset puts money in my pocket. A liability takes money out of my pocket
- The rich buy assets.
- The poor only have expenses.
- The middle class buy liabilities they think are assets.
- A person can be highly educated, professionally successful, and financially illiterate.
Rich Dad Poor Dad Lesson 3 – Mind Your Own Business
- The rich focus on their asset columns while everyone else focuses on their income statements
- McDonald’s is the largest single owner of real estate in the world, owning even more than the Catholic church. McDonald’s owns some of the most valuable intersections and street corners in America and around the globe
- Financial struggle is often the result of people working all their lives for someone else
- Keep expenses low, reduce liabilities, and diligently build a base of solid assets.
Rich Dad Poor Dad Lesson 4 – The History of Taxes and the Power of Corporations
- My rich dad just played the game smart and he did it through corporations the biggest secret of the rich
- If you work for money, you give the power to your employer. If money works for you, you keep the power and control it
- I remind people that financial IQ is made up of knowledge from four broad areas of expertise:
- Understanding markets
- The Law
- Tax advantages
- Protection from lawsuits
- As part of your overall financial strategy, I recommend that you learn about the protection that legal entities can provide for businesses and assets.
Rich Dad Poor Dad Lesson 5 – The Rich Invent Money
- Often in the real world, it’s not the smart who get ahead, but the bold
- The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. If it is trained well, it can create enormous wealth
- Personally, I use two main vehicles to achieve financial growth: real estate and small-cap stocks. I use real estate as my foundation
- Great opportunities are not seen with your eyes. They are seen with your mind.
Rich Dad Poor Dad Lesson 6 – Work to Learn—Don’t Work for Money
- Job security meant everything to my educated dad. Learning meant everything to my rich dad
- Job is an acronym for “Just Over Broke.”
- The main management skills needed for success are:
- Management of cash flow
- Management of systems
- Management of people.
In the final chapter of the Rich Dad Poor Dad book, Robert provides 10 steps as a “process to develop your God-given powers”:
- Find a reason greater than reality: the power of spirit
- Make daily choices: the power of choice
- Choose friends carefully: the power of association
- Master a formula and then learn a new one: the power of learning quickly
- Pay yourself first: the power of self-discipline
- Pay your brokers well: the power of good advice
- Be an Indian giver: the power of getting something for nothing
- Use assets to buy luxuries: the power of focus
- Choose heroes: the power of myth
- Teach and you shall receive: the power of giving.
Closing thoughts: Learn to have money work hard for you, and your life will be easier and happier. Today, don’t play it safe. Play it smart.
If you enjoyed this book review, you would also enjoy my review of “The Market Wizards : Conversations with America’s Top Traders“.
Read, learn, enjoy, be persistent and take action!