Since its publication in 1997, Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the following volumes in its series have been touted as books that help change the lives of readers, with easy to follow concepts, easy to read text, and pointers that help readers gain riches beyond their dreams.
As with any text, simply reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad will not make you an instant millionaire; however, it does present some thoughtful insight into the minds and mechanics behind wealth.
Who is Robert Kiyosaki ?
American business man and author Robert Kiyosaki is not without his own share of controversy. The business man and self-made millionaire is now in his 70s, and through the course of his career, has weathered several financial blunders and still remained prosperous.
Having grown up in Hawaii to a biological father who was a teacher and a mentor father figure who was a wealthy business owner, Mr. Kiyosaki applies real-life scenarios and experiences to provide insight into how money works.
About Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a first person tale, told from Mr. Kiyosaki’s point of view. The story begins when he is a young child, struggling to fit into his typically “rich” neighbourhood.
His close friend is also struggling to fit in, and together, they attempt a youthful hand at entrepreneurship. Their first attempts are dubious and comical; however, they soon are employed by the friend’s father, who is the Rich Dad figure in this tale.
Presented through a series of first person experiences and parables, Rich Dad, Poor Dad provides narrative examples to help teach the reader how to change their mindset regarding money, wealth, taxes, and responsibility.
The text is a faster, easy read, telling a simple tale of two boys learning from an adult mentor, and not cluttered with technical terms. As a first person narrative, the text tells a story, then allows the reader the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned from the tale.
Some versions of the book include study guides or supplemental reader materials to help flesh out a reader’s personal take on the text and lessons provided.
The Lessons to learn in Rich Dad, Poor Dad
There are several takeaways from this book. First, we learn the difference between Earned Income, Passive Income, and Portfolio Income, as well as the ability to evaluate investments, earnings, and tax liabilities as a whole package.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad teaches us that money does not come only from going to school, getting a job, and working hard, but from making intelligent choices when it comes to using the money that is earned.
The book also helps dissect the emotional content that humans and society put on money.
As Rich Dad points out, the two main emotions people have regarding money are fear and desire. They are afraid to live without money, but desire fancy things that require more and more money.
This book is very eye-opening in its honesty regarding the value people place on quantities of money, the ability to earn money, and how money is made. As the author points out early on, we are taught the value of money by our parents, so our point of view is always subject to the opinions of those around us, rather than objectively looking at the value of money, the potential of risk, and how to balance gains and losses.
Financial Education is the Key to Financial Freedom
Kiyosaki goes as far as to point out that financial knowledge is outlined by accounting, investing, understanding markets, and legal requirements, and should not be subject to emotions like fear and desire.
Kiyosaki is quite correct in pointing out that financial health is a topic that is ill-addressed around the world.
While basic mathematics and accounting are frequently taught in school, the subject of financial well-being is often a cultural, family, or personal topic. Therefore, topics like the management of cash flow, management of systems, and management of people are often overlooked in an academic setting, and for these lessons, this book is extremely eye-opening.
While some of the lessons may feel like they only apply to certain people with certain skills, there are many lessons that apply to anybody.
Kiyosaki warns readers against working harder than their money, against spending too frivolously, and about being afraid to make more money.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad does a great deal towards opening eyes about the social attitudes towards money, and what wealth means. This book argues that working smarter, not harder is the key towards wealth.