71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2004
I bought this book primarily because of the tagline - What the rich teach their kids etc. The notion of a secret society out there is always appealing, and finding out the secrets... Well
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.
80 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2004
This book is great for those who are ready to think differently about money, namely, rather than having to work hard for money, have money to work hard for you (paraphrased from the book). Major points of this book are:
* thoughts produce reality (in this case, your financial reality)
* increase in financial knowledge is necessary to increase financial intelligence
* ways to increase financial intelligence
The author heavily promotes the game he created, "Cashflow", for those who wish to increase their financial intelligence. He also has a website, [...] 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).
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2004
The author challenges us to re-think our financial priorities and the way we define assets and liabilities - i.e. houses, cars and golf clubs are NOT assets in that they suck money out of us rather than generate a revenue stream for us.
In fact the whole message of the book could be summarized by saying, "start early and put money aside into investments that will eventually generate enough revenue for you to retire".
The writing is very average, the book is quite repetitive, and the author comes across as pathologically obsessed with money and annoyingly ego-centric. In fact, he appears to have thought about very little in his life other than golf and making money, ever since he was a kid. And in pursuit of making money he chose (as he has a right to do) to forgo a lot of fun things along the way such as baseball as a kid (too busy working for free for "Rich Dad") and having kids (I'm guessing here - but it's clear this guy would see kids as a financial liability - and you can't have that dragging you down).
It's fine for him to make his own choices but he portrays working class people (which includes most of us) as pitiful, lazy, scared and generally pathetic failures who are all very unhappy. He genuinely seems to believe that we can't possibly be enjoying life because we're not financially independent like him. I felt sad for him.
The title refers to the fact that his biological father worked at a job (professor) his whole life while a friend's Dad (the Rich Dad, here) taught him how to invest and get out of the "rat race". That's all fine, but despite the fact that his biological father seems to have been a decent Dad the author essentially disparages him and drags him through the mud throughout the book. That's a very ingratious way to treat someone who brought you into this world and provided you with food, shelter, clothing and a decent home. In fact, the author seems to loathe his father for no other reason than he was not rich.
The author's loathing also extends to humanity in general. He loathes and feels sorry for just about everyone who isn't him - including his so-called "friends". He gives several examples that start out "I have a friend who ..." and invariably end with the author explaining why his friend is a short-sighted idiot with no vision who wouldn't take his advice.
He makes some good points about how we should view money and prepare for financial independence. But he came across as so shallow, arrogant, ingratious and condescending - that he left me wondering whether obsessing over financial independence comes with a huge hidden cost that he is incapable of recognizing.
Note: In all fairness I must mention that there were a few paragraphs that talked about giving money to charities, but they weren't very convincing in the overall scheme of things.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2004
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.)
His "rich dad" is the man he wishes were his dad; an 8th grade dropout with (we are told)a reputation for selfishness and exploiting his workers. Reputation is apparently something you should be willing to live without in order to be rich. His employees hate him and, apparently, frequently curse him. This apparently amuses Rich Dad - one more sign of how powerful and cool he is? Rich Dad teaches the author that power means playing petty power trips, intimidating vendors & employees, making people wait in the waiting room, etc.
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".
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2003
Book lacks any real substance and is misleading. The author seems to be making all his money on books, not real estate. I suggest checking out the web site of John T. Reed (the url is his name) for the truth on Kiyosaki.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2006
An invaluable starting point for anyone that is truly serious about attaining financial freedom. The lessons are the basic principles that seperate the wealthy and everyone else and provide the foundation for sound financial decisions. Don't expect to become wealthy after reading this book... that is not the purpose. Kiyosaki's goal with this book was to simply share information that most people take for granted and don't have the discipline to apply. For all those that criticize this book - you have really missed the point. The fact is that the for the most part, the wealthy do not really do anything remarkable - there is no secret to wealth and success. It is little differences in choices that seperate the wealthy and the middleclass. If you are serious about success, read his other books, and keep reading anything you can get your hands on. You will soon realize there is no magic bullet, no secret technique, but rather a clear vision, a detailed plan based on knowledge, and the courage to take action.
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2004
Kiyosaki says he made a lot of money in real estate. Apparently this is not true. He has made the bulk of his money selling his books and giving motivational speeches. His first book became a best seller only when the Amway corporation recommended it to its distributers.
Rich Dad Poor Dad led me into the multi-level marketing nightmare. Fortunately, I didn't stay in very long, but I would never have gotten involved in the first place if I hadn't been looking for a way to get my 'money to work for me', instead of 'working for money'.
It also turns out that the successful people in Quixtar (formerly Amway) apparently make most of their money on the motivational tapes and rallys that they 'recommend strongly' to their 'Independent Business Owners' (IBOs).
So, it's a vicious circle. I got involved in Quixtar because of Kiyosaki's book, which claimed that you need to develop a residual income in order get rich (or even survive financially). The leading IBOs in Quixtar make most of their money on motivational tapes and rallys (although this is not what they tell you in their tapes and rallys). It turns out that Kiyosaki has made most of his money from his books and speeches (although this is not what he tells you in his books and speeches), and it also turns out that Kiyosaki's first book became successful only after Amway recommended it to its distributers. I'm not saying that 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' is devoid of any value, but if you buy this book, please read it with care - and realize that not everything Kiyosaki says is true. I am not happy that I bought this book and contributed further to Kiyosaki's misleading wealth. I feel like a big fool - like I walked straight into a trap!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2008
'"Study hard and get good grades and you will find a high-paying job with great benefits." his statement is true, but very often a job is not the only source of income. In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki explains the foundation of successful personal finance. He used a narrative approach to begin the book which makes it more readable.
There are a number of points that I quite agree. He points out a major failing in our current education system: it only teaches students the skills required by a profession and does not teach them about managing money (I imagine requiring everyone to take a course on personal finance would be very beneficial to the students and the economic as a whole). He recommends people to think in terms of cash flow; therefore he claims that owning a house would be a liability, not an asset.
This book received a lot of criticism. John Reed, a writer on real estate investing, built an entire webpage to criticize Kiyosaki. He points out that some parts in Kiyosaki's real estate investment examples are fictitious and misleading. He also questions the existence of his 'Rich Dad'. The book is almost not very condensed, it can shrink by 50% can still get the same message across.
Overall, Rich Dad Poor Dad contains sound advices that many people would benefit if they follow them. Kiyosaki may have used some frictional examples and simplifies the process of finding attractive investments, but his principles of sound financial discipline still stand.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2006
So I'm assuming that you purchased this book because you are interested in financial freedom.
Well, let me tell you this. Even an undergrad who has NOT reached financial freedom can see that the methods presented in this book is no more than overrated sales tactic to make the average Joe believe that making money is a piece of cake. For your interest, I have an educational and working background in finance, accounting and economics.
1. Buy only assets and avoid liabilities. Of course that makes perfect sense... right? No. By the author's definition of an asset (which is WRONG by any accounting or finance standard out there), it should only produce cash flows. Hence, a house would be a liability. Let's say -- like what is suggested by the author -- that we go be an entrepreneur and own a store. A store is definitely an asset because it produces postive cash flow. But what about the expenses? If expenses are involved, then it MUST be a liability according to the author. The pictorials in the book are also useless -- give it to any "financially literate" businessman and he'll just laugh at it. By the way, isn't the accounting equation: Assets = Liabilities + Equities? What happened to Equities?
2. I can't even believe how he went on to say that he makes money -- and hint that by not doing what he does is stupid -- by trading in small stocks and real estate by insider information. How exactly can you get insider information "legally"? The author constantly mentions how he "knows" that a stock would have a new product coming into the market. I highly question the ethical implications of this book.
3. If the author is so successful in identifying these real estate and small stock opportunities, then why would he share such valuable information to the readers out there by publishing a book? Clearly, he finds it more profitable to sell such ideas than to profit from the ideas. Interestingly, notice as well the author makes no mention of the failed investments that he has had.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2010
I thought this book was a good read.. Nothing technical in this book, it is merely a motivational book.
Most of what is said is very very common sense..
The book compares what the rich and poor would say for similar "motivational speech"... The whole books stays at a very high level, such as this:
- Rich dad said: buy more assets, stuff that grows your cash flow and buy less liabilities, stuff that lower your cash flow.
- Poor dad said: you don't more money. Assets are just things to manage..