Personal finance author and lecturer Robert T. Kiyosaki developed his unique economic perspective from two very different influences - his two fathers. This text lays out Kiyosaki's philosophy and his relationship with money.
The author heavily promotes the game he created, "Cashflow", for those who wish to increase their financial intelligence. He also has a website, www.richdad.com, which contains details of their coaching program. Naturally, I am interested, because I admit that I need to increase my financial intelligence. I have personally called them up in attempt to understand what is involved with the program. They have a screening process to see if the prospect is ready to be coached. The price tag is $2800 USD for 3 to 4 months coaching. When asked what the success rate is, the program administrator couldn't answer it straight - she said it depended on what each person meant by success. The program came with a warranty - called "no option for failure warranty". It was explained that the coach wouldn't let the student to be on their own before they are ready. How they determine the readiness was not given. The program administrator also said if I cannot pay the $2800 right now, it is best for me to "leverage it" on my credit card. The last straw came, when I asked whether I can call up 3 students to see what experiences they have gone through with the program. She told me in a pissed off, very cold tone of voice, that Robert Kiyosaki's reputation is good enough, and that she sensed I had too much fear in me (to proceed with the program). Then she used a pressure tactic: that people who fear too much analyze too much, and miss the opportunities that come to them. I told her, that I've made enough mistakes in the past that I do not wish to repeat. $2800USD is a lot of money, and I would like to check their references. Rather than giving me 3 names of people in my local area to call, she told me to get Robert Kiyosaki's other book, "Success Stories", to read about their testimonials (great money making scheme here).
I recommend Harry S. Dent's books for further education about finances (rather than using Robert Kiyosaki's programs and products - there's a lot of greed in their selling tactics, and I'm uncomfortable with that).
Naturally, since rich people are not actually a secret society, but only people who have money, I was disappointed. The book does not tell you the secrets and it cannot. I was also very much annoyed by the book, and therefore - here is a summary, which is probably more accurate than the back cover of what this book contains.
The things I liked:
- The book tells the getting rich story of the author, the path he took and where it got him. The story is told well, is inspiring, and the dramatization is adequate
- The book provides a decent reference for actual content, telling you which subjects to learn and pursue in order to increase your chances of becoming rich.
- The book is effective in convincing you that becoming rich is possible, and the authot is honest enough to admit that it takes time and that it is not easy.
The things I disliked:
- The book is repetetive. It appears as though the author did not have enough meat for a whole book, so he just hit the repeat button, instead of adding some meat to it. Or else, the author believes that by repeating statements they assume greater validity. Anyway, it's rather annoying.
- The book is lacking in actual content. After listing several topics that you should learn (marketing, accounting, etc.), I'd expect the author to at least provide primers on these subjects. However, he only recommends other books.
Most importantly, and here's a WARNING, the book pushes you to get rich for all the wrong reasons. The subtext of every other sentence is that being an employee sucks, that everyone (the rich, the government) is using and abusing you on a regular basis. That you are (assuming most readers, like most people are employees), in a nutshell - a sucker. This is intended to get you to do something about it, to get you to say - no more! This is a way to suggest that you should become the abuser instead of the abused.
I resent that. Being an employee is a viable life choice, that has its benefits as well as its shortcomings (even if it didn't work out for the author's real father). The same is true for being self-employed and an investor.
I believe that if Coca-Cola wants to motivate me to buy Cokes it should show that Coke is a good product, not that Pepsi is a bad one. And yet, there isn't a single sentence in the book that suggests that the author's life is any better now that he's rich. The fact that the rich kids didn't want to play with him when he was a child because he was poor, and that he felt like an outcast, is not solved and cannot be solved by having lots of money. The fact that he does not think highly of his real father, like most people do, because he wasn't financially savvy, is not changed by having lots of money.
I refuse to motivate myself by calling myself a sucker. I dislike the idea of someone manipulating people's frustration in order to sell books. It is a well-established fact that one of the things that separate successful people from others is their ability to motivate themselves. Motivating yourself by saying: I will no longer be a sucker, is a loser's motivation, not a successful person's motivation. Motivating yourself by saying: One day I will sail in my yacht into the ocean, and so forth - is the winner's way. Follow your dreams, and let them show you the way, not your frustration.
I will do what I can to become rich, but if I don't - so be it. Your life can be great with or without loads of money, and it can be horrible with or without loads of money.