Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki – Book Review

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” isn’t a step-by-step guide to becoming financially sound, get rich, or even help you in balancing your checkbook. This isn’t that type of book. If you go into it thinking this is what you are going to get, you will be in for disappointment.

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” is about financial philosophy. It examines and then challenges conventional wisdom passed down through generations about matters of wealth, education, and attitudes relating to money. The argument is presented in the form of Kiyosaki’s “Poor Dad” (his actual father) who is set as an example of the traditional way of thinking vs. Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad” (his friend’s father) who is a financially wealthy man who takes Kiyosaki under his wing as a child and teaches him about generating wealth and escaping from the Rat Race, which the majority of people are subjected to on a daily basis.

The lessons contained within the book are not revolutionary or groundbreaking. You can find similar information in other personal finance books. What this book does have going for it is a certain underlying motivational aspect to it. If you are someone who has been afraid of your finances, leaves it to other people to handle them, or needs a basic lesson in economics, this book does an excellent job persuading the reader to take a more active role in their financial situation.

Where this book falters is in the extra padding. It could have been a much shorter book had Kiyosaki not reiterated his points ad nauseam. Chapter after chapter, Kiyosaki repeats the same points written in different ways without adding more to the overall concept of his ideas. Too many words without any substance to them.

Also, there are some blanket statements which he makes that don’t sit quite right with reality. Kiyosaki tells the reader to use corporations to their advantage to avoid taxation but doesn’t elaborate on how exactly one should do so. Do I open an LLC, S Corp, Partnership? How does this help a normal person? Kiyosaki offers no explanation.

Kiyosaki’s portrayal of the working man/woman is abysmal, if not downright belittling and arrogant. Real estate is where Kiyosaki made his money. He lists multiple examples within the book. Apparently, none of the properties he’s ever owned has needed to be painted, needed a plumber, electrician, or carpenter. He says these people “exploit themselves” for a paycheck. “Job” is an acronym for “Just Over Broke”. While I understand it helps to illustrate the point of the book, it speaks down readers who are most likely in these trades.

Overall the basic ideas in this book can serve as a motivational step in the right direction for someone who is looking into making a change to their financial situation. It presents a different way of thinking which might help some readers or turn them off. I strongly suspect that depending upon political leanings, different people will get different impressions from this book.

Just don’t expect any practical advice here.

7 thoughts on “Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki – Book Review

  1. He also mentions few very helpful practical tips that you don’t mention at all. The condescension is just a style of writing. Its hard to go against social norms while make sure all readers are not offended.

    Instead of bagging on how he hurt your feelings, you could criticize his actual advice.

    You don’t even mention:

    1) Mind your own business
    2) Understanding cashflow
    3) financial literacy and how its not taught at schools
    4) home ownership is a liability not an asset
    5) buy assets.

    You also mention his advice is generic and can be found in other sources, but you never actually recommend any other books, articles, or blogs.

    Anyway, I think you should do the book more justice in your review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t say my feelings were hurt. I also wasn’t offended either. I certainly understand the justification for using this type of writing style to evoke or draw out emotions from the reader. It doesn’t mean I have to like it. It’s meant as a wake up call to the reader but I think it falls flat in Kiyosaki’s case.

      There are much better ways to address the audience and get your point across without resorting to making blanket statements about the majority of the working class calling them all suckers and exploited.

      I don’t mention his “actual advice” because I addressed it earlier in the review when I said none of it was revolutionary or groundbreaking. I would sound rather silly if I started mentioning his ideas as if they were. Generate passive income? Understanding assets and liabilities? Buy assets? This can be found on most personal finance blogs, books, and articles with a simple Google search.

      Like I said above, for a beginner in personal finance who might not have a clue on where to start, this book might be a good start. Otherwise, the information isn’t practical in the sense of presenting information and advice which one could put into action immediately. Its a book of financial philosophy, mostly theory, with some anecdotes and charts dumped in to make it appear as if its evidence,

      I do agree with Kiyosaki on financial literacy not being taught in schools or by parents. I mean, come on, schools (at least the public school I attended) don’t even teach us how to do our taxes despite everyone having to file them for the rest of their lives, balance a budget, make out a check, teach about credit or interest rates, home loans, ect. Because of this, bad habits get passed down through the generations leading to cycles of poverty for the poor and middle class. The rich pass down good habits to their children (along with a nice financial cushion) so they’re most likely to stay above water.

      As for recommending books with practical advice, I suggest “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi, as a starting point. It’s rather basic but it contains advice which someone looking to fix their financial situation or learn more about personal finance can put into motion chapter to chapter. It doesn’t resort to talking down to the reader for the purpose of style either. It uses self-deprecating humor instead to get it’s point across.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with some of your points and disagree with others. I agree that he kind of repeats the same points over and over again, but I don’t really agree that his portrayal of the working man/woman is arrogant. I think based on the entire book, you are meant to assume he is able to cover those expenses because he has been smart with his money, not that they just don’t exist.

    I preferred The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley to this book. It’s pretty similar in that it’s focused on financial philosophy rather than “how to get rich”.

    Rachel

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  3. Robert’s books have helped a lot of people learn to think about earning money in a whole new way.

    His two main messages are that passive and/or residual income is the best type of income to earn and the way to earn it is with a business system.

    In his second book CASHFLOW QUADRANT he writes about different types of business systems that can be used by anyone who wants to build a life time residual income.

    I was totally inspired by his books and think his messages should be taught all over the world.

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    1. While I cannot deny the popularity of his books and his empire built around these concepts, my review of the book is only based around the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book. If other books provide more of a framework, I wouldn’t know about them because I’m not a fan of Robert’s delivery or the tone of his message.

      Unfortunately, I felt the book lacked in concrete financial advice for beginners. It preached a philosophy but offered no practical solutions for implementing a system to help obtain the passive/residual income.

      I cited a book in another comment about Ramit Sethi’s “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” as a book which offers solid financial advice for beginners and offers a financial philosophy which does not speak down to the blue-collar workforce and isn’t as long winded.

      Additionally, I would recommend Dave Ramsey’s financial philosophies over Robert’s too. Ramsey provides a step-by-step methodology for improving personal finance while also hammering away on his “No debt” philosophy.

      In the end, the road to financial responsibility and independence is one with a lot of different theories, advice, and methods. Not everyone is a one-size fits all. The tone and delivery which someone presents their message is a major influence on how the audience receives it. Robert’s doesn’t do it for me.

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      1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, RichDad PoorDad was written 23 years ago and Robert has wrote over 30 books since then.
        Robert had also been a financial educator for 10 years before writing RichDad PoorDad so the book was written to help his students of the time relay the message he was teaching at that time.
        I don’t think the book was putting any down, I think it was trying to elevate the thinking of the reader.
        Thanks for your reply, always good to see a blogger who replys to comments.
        Have a super wonderful day.

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