Rich Dad Poor Dad Review
Probably the greatest insight is how to think about assets and liabilities. A million accountants scream in anguish, but a primary residence, with a large mortgage, high taxes and high fixed costs to top it off, is not an “asset” for Kiyosaki because it doesn’t produce a positive cash flow. Instead, he lists several items, such as rental property, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, business partnerships with limited involvement, promissory notes and royalties (p. 89), that generate money and should be invested in.
- Don’t get into large debt positions for non-necessities. Buy your luxury items for cash (p. 176). This is part of any sound financial planning and is taken to its logical endpoint by the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door.”
- Watch out for the tax effect of your sales of real estate. In this sense, the book is out of date, since the tax laws were changed in the late 90s to permit up to $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for married couples) from the sale of a primary residence be exempt from federal tax, under certain circumstances. No longer must you rely on the 1031 “trading up” provision he describes, at least not exclusively.
- Fear can be utilized as a great motivator to act, as opposed to fear causing you to be a deer in the headlights of life.
However, before we all run off to leverage real estate to become gentle people of leisure, let’s try to remember a few things.
- There are two concepts in this book that are worth something.
- The first is the simple definition of financial independence: you must have income sources (not counting your job) equal to your expenses. (Actually, you need more, because the unexpected always happens.)
- The second concept is simply that if you’re eager to get ahead, then what you learn on the job will be more important than what you earn.
- If you get these two things, you can toss the rest of the book. All the real information on all the pertinent subjects are covered in much more detail elsewhere; mostly what the rest of this book is pontificating re: his philosophies toward money, education, and what makes a loser vs. a winner. It’s his attitude that he is selling. He offers an attractive combination of scorn, pompousness, hope, appeal to greed, and justification
- The biggest problem I have with the book is that this guy himself has no recognition of what he has given up. He doesn’t understand the concept of ‘opportunity cost’ at all. This book is really no more than a passionate argument that his values are right and other values are dumb.
For instance, after he defines wealth as income > expenses, he says, “you can’t be too rich”. Then he describes how he quit a job he loved (flying) to master sales.
- IMO rich is good *only* insofar as it allows you to pursue your true goals and desires. This guy seems to me to have it reversed; his goals and desires serve his desire for wealth instead of vice versa. Ironically, he keeps saying, “I don’t work for money, money works for me!” – have you ever been a salesperson? Is there any more servile job? Even a waitress doesn’t have to coax the customer to buy something. It’s all about what the other guy wants; it’s all about being pleasing to other people, and serving them.
- Also, in another sense, it is entirely possible to be “too rich”; brazen selfishness of the sort this guy defends begets enemies, and history is littered with unapologetic greed causing chains of events that bring down wealth and power. One does not have to be a passionate believer in karma to be a little wary of anyone who thinks morals are for idiots and losers. (Like his real dad.)
Quite frankly, he neither sounds like someone I’d want to be, nor does he sound like a particularly well-adjusted person. Certainly not very *happy* (which is no doubt why he’s so good at defending and justifying his questionable practices).
Poor Dad, on the other hand, is the author’s own real father. The author showers so much contempt on his unfortunate father that I started imagining this book was written to get a last word in against a dead father who steadfastly refused to ‘see reason’. The reason I start thinking this is because the father, as described by the author, claimed he “loves teaching” (the author absolutely insists that this just means his father was too dumb to figure out he could have made more money elsewhere) and obviously values education. The author, on the other hand, sees value only in “financial literacy”, and describes himself challenging teachers (as in, what has this got to do with earning money? – a question guaranteed to seriously wound any parent who values education).
Personally, I think the author comes across as quite ignorant-sounding, especially when he’s talking about politics and history and the like. (At some points so does his Rich Dad, IMO).
I also think that when he openly pities the poor idiotic girl who envies him his bestseller status, & he tries to explain to her about how to learn to hype – spend a few years mastering sales and advertising etc., and she walks away – well, it seems pretty clear to me that *he* is the one who just doesn’t ‘get it’.
In the end, you get what you chase, what you prioritize. Everyone does. This guy seems continually astounded that anyone could value anything other than cash, and that seems to be the underlying theme of the book. To get Rich, you have to make money your focus, your goal – you must put it first, you must dedicate yourself to learning the games and strategies of wealth, you must stop thinking like everyone else and learn how to think like rich people.
If you want to think like a rich person, though, I wouldn’t recommend this particular rich person; I’d recommend someone a little less sleazy. Like maybe the guys who run Franklin Covey – I understand they’re rich as sin and can still talk about things like “integrity”.