The book that sparked a movement – a cult, really – and is still cited as the number one resource for learning how to amass wealth. Kiyosaki describes the lessons he learned from young age by his two father figures. His father – the poor Dad – was a teacher, highly educated and holding a well-paid job with the government, who struggled to pay his bills. His friend Mike’s father – the rich Dad – dropped out of school and owned several companies.
So, how do you get rich? Buy assets first, then pay your bills. The rest of the book merely elaborates on this simple principle.
But if it is that simple, why aren’t more people rich? Because it is not obvious, what is an asset, and what is a liability (so invest in your financial education). It is hard to spot great investments (so invest in your network). And it’s hard to not pay anybody else first (so form a company to buy assets with pre-tax money).
Each chapter of Rich Dad, Poor Dad consists of four parts. First, Kiyosaki recites tales from his youth, and what his titular Dads taught him. This is followed by a very exhaustive summary, narrated in third person. Then, the reader is asked to think about some quotes from the chapter (“What was Robert saying, and why?”), and finally we get some questions to discuss how the lessons learned did or will affect our lives. At first I found this structure almost insultingly patronizing. But I soon realized how this structure supports learning, and frankly would like to see it if more often.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad has steered some controversy, for all the right reasons. Kiyosaki writes about tax avoidance, insider information and taking unfair advantages, always on legal territory, but definitely in an amoral fashion. Also, the story is mostly fiction.
So, should you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad? The answer is yes. You definitely should. You may not agree with everything you read (I certainly did not), you may not be able to apply everything, but it will be a thought-provoking experience.
- Buy assets, not liabilities.
- Educate yourself and seek the support of people who know how to do what you want to do.
- Pay yourself first, no matter what.
Robert Kiyosaki is an author, businessman and investor, most famous for his Rich Dad series comprising books, a board game and very pricy seminars. His websites are richdad.com, richdadcoaching.com and probably countless more. He also proved to be a very controversial person with a history of bankruptcy, fraud investigations, lawsuits, and other niceties.
Plata Publishing; Anniversary edition, Updated (11. April 2017)