on 2 January 2002
In order to enjoy this book, you'd best put your "capitalist pig" head on. The first sixty pages assume that the best thing you can do from the age of nine is apply yourself to making money. Play baseball? Baseball is for wimps. It's wasting precious time that you could be using applying your brain to thinking up money making schemes. It all started to irritate me, because there clearly is more to life than earning money - but then you wouldn't really be buying this book without wanting to earn a bit more dosh, would you? I'm glad I stuck with it, however, as he does temper this attitude as the book progresses.
You cannot argue with one Kiyosaki's opinions. Our (and the American) education system just does not teach you how to deal with personal finance. If it did, Barclaycard would be in receivership. Understand the value of a pound and make it work for you - it shouldn't be such a distasteful subject. Kiyosaki offers some basic common sense approaches that you could apply in order to make your money work better, but he often qualifies advice by stating the approach may not be right for you. Therefore step one could be Learn to Understand Yourself and Your Motivations. Once you've done that, apply your mind to making money if it interests and excites you. If it doesn't, fair enough. Perhaps the process will help you discover what actually does make you tick.
For those interested in making a stack, then the advice is again about learning. Choose who and what you learn from - teachers, friends, books, tapes, seminars. Look for new approaches. Find people who want to buy and sell something to them. Try to make your profit when you buy, not when you sell. Investigate stocks, real estate, whatever. Find people who can do a good job for you and reward them well. I especially liked his advice that you'll only receive when you learn how to give, and as the book progressed Kiyosaki seemed to "lighten up" a bit more and came across a bit more human. In the later chapters he relates a lot more personal anecdotes and pithy tales about the upsides and downsides of trying to make money. It's not all a bed of roses, but it shouldn't be life or death either. Making money is just a challenge, and you should enjoy it. If you're successful, you can reap the rewards, even if that's choosing to donate it to other people or causes.
In summary, the book is an easy and likeable read. I'm sure most people will get something out it on their road to understanding. Will this book make you rich? Of course not. The only thing that will do that, as the book constantly reminds you, is you, your brain and the action you take.
on 22 January 2007
The best thing about this book is that the central message is very clear. Rich people put their money into ASSETS (items which grow in value/ generate income - e.g. stocks, shares, real-estate), whereas worse-off people tend to spend money on LIABILITIES (things that either depreciate or cost money to maintain - e.g. cars, clothes.... and your own house). So far, so good. The non-rich also waste money by (a) unnecessarily paying too much tax and (b) running up debts on credit (he says its OK to buy the flashy car/ boat etc., but only AFTER you've made money from investing in assets).
However my problem is that the practical advice is very US-centred, in particular some of the tax-avoidance techniques he proposes which are simply NOT legal in the UK (e.g. putting your holiday down as a legitimate business expense if you own your own company... I wish!). I would welcome a UK version of the book. On balance the style is engaging if repetitive (as with many US self-help books). A useful way to start you thinking differently, but I would have liked some more specific recommendations on where to go/ what to do to get started with some of the investment ideas he suggests.
on 19 August 2005
This book is a valuable read for anyone interested in escaping from the 'rat race'. Rather that offer a manual of techniques the author tries to encourage readers to seek financial intelligence. He points out that the education system is lacking when it comes to teaching students how to manage money and illustrates the benefits of taking the time to learn about basic accounting terms.
The author goes on to discuss the mindset and mentality of the rich and what sets them apart from the 'poor and middle class'. He also explains that the best money-making tool we have is our mind and suggests that we need to train our brain to spot opportunuties that would normally pass us by. He clearly shows why the rat race exists and encourages the reader to make changes which will break the 'work-earn-pay' cycle.
The book is written in the form of a story of the author's childhood. It is very easy to read and you don't need to be a financial wizard to understand the theories. There are a few example of the author's dealings which require a little more attention. This may be partly due to the author's American origins and the reference to the American financial and tax systems.
You will not get quick rich from buying this book but it might just change your life. It's certainly changed my attitude towards my financial affairs and has encouraged me to pay much more attention to the financial implications of my lifestyle. Many of the suggestions appear to be common sense but I know from expensive experience that the easiest answers are sometimes the hardest to find.
on 11 September 2006
Robert Kiyosaki has produced a very readable book explaining many of the fundamental differences between wealthy and poor people. He makes very good use of repetition to ensure that his points are firmly `sent home'. Although this can be annoying at times, particularly when concepts are already familiar to the reader, it's easy to skip over the repetition and move on to the new concepts.
It is a simple book to read, and requires no particular financial or academic background. However, the concepts introduced are very powerful, and, if taken to heart, life changing. The book traces the author's life from the age of 9, comparing the financial teaching that he received from his own, highly academically intelligent, real dad, and that of his friend's, financially intelligent, dad. Having experienced first hand the teaching and upbringing resulting from both of the dads, he is able to reflect on how they differ and how these differences have a profound effect on financial wealth.
The book is written from an American perspective, but the concepts and ideas are universally applicable, certainly in all Western societies. It explains how the poor and middle-class pay much more in taxes than the rich and how most people, including many of our advisors, do not understand the difference between assets and liabilities. He makes good use of simple diagrams to explain the relationship between income, expenditure, assets and liabilities.
RK firmly believes in education, but also believes that the education system does not teach financial intelligence. This book, and indeed all of the books in the Rich Dad Poor Dad series, is about filling this gap in the system, and trying to help people who want to be helped, out of the rut of a `safe secure job' into the freedom of real wealth.
I think almost everyone will benefit from reading this book, whether still at school, or later in life wondering why they seem to be still poor after working hard all their life, and everyone else in-between!
on 28 July 2003
In this short book Robert Kiyosaki distinguishes between the typical cash flows of the 'rich' and those of the poor and middle classes. He goes into some detail as to how they achieve this and how you can achieve it yourself; simply by ensuring that you live well within your means and consistently build on your assets.
For such an easy read it touches on some deep concepts that one doesn't generally think about too deeply. Some great one liners inside to remember, along the lines of "Time is your most precious asset" with regard to compound interest, and "listening is more important than talking, which the majority of people don't understand. If God intended you to talk all the time then he wouldn't have given you 1 mouth and 2 ears" with regard to ones need to learn from those who are greater than oneself.
Unfortunately he does come across rather badly due to his high self-confidence from making his millions... he seems to have had a poor relationship with his real father (referred to as 'poor dad')- painting him in a negative shade throughout, and he occasionally comes across as fairly arrogant when talking about the middle classes and 'poor'... he somehow manages to bestow an image of utter stupidity upon anyone who doesn't own acres of land and real estate, and anyone who works for a living (if everyone was 'rich' and let out real estate instead of working, then who would rent the real estate or produce any goods to consume?).
This attitude of his all helps to hammer in the flowing theme of why one should not be financially dependant though, which is probably why it is a best-seller.
The other downer, in my opinion, is the way he talks about investment gains. The most consistently prolific investment returns, of 13% per annum before inflation consistently since 1919 has been in the stock market... Kiyosaki projects the image that making 100% investment wins is extremely easy... just buy a tech stock and sell it in a few months down the line for a big mark up, or buy property in an area with a depressed housing market and sell for twice the price in a few years, or even buy government bonds with 16% yields. He talks about the rich losing in order to win, but not once does he mention a losing venture of his, which would have made a nice balance. He encourages readers to have an unbalanced portfolio and not to worry about risk if you want to make any real money. This prolifically successful image he projects of himself will not be a reality for most and I would urge readers to take heed... just look at what happened to tech stocks soon after the book was written.
In conclusion I would say that this is an excellent book for anyone who is struggling with the concepts of cash flow... a wonderful read for the youngsters of today... Listed above are some flaws, but the positives hugely outweigh the negatives and I would recommend this book to anyone with a wallet or a dream of early retirement. A good read!
on 1 July 2009
[Written in 2008]
Most of the first half of this book looks at the decline of pension funds from final salary to contribution-based, with uncertain final amount, not generally inflation linked. No wonder people worry. (There's an appendix listing US laws dealing with pensions). This part is powerfully strengthened by peoples' awareness of frauds in big business, and pension selling, which must make the readers very aware of the fragility of their futures. Kiyosaki doesn't talk of frauds, but of incompetence - though perhaps he's just being polite or harder to sue.
The second half is to do with mortgage-based investments and also with psyching people up to get involved with this for themselves. There's no doubt quite a few people have made money by buying up, on mortgages, houses (and businesses) and getting income and capital appreciation.
Can this last? It's hard to say: population pressure must increase demand for housing; therefore there must be continuing scope for renting property. Money now is easy to manufacture (for governments) and there's no sign that inflation will slow. On the other hand, property needs maintenance; renting voids can occur; incomes may plummet; all that's needed is high interest or some form of tax on property to put a stop....
Kiyosaki historically is on strong ground as regards real estate. But he's cautious - he wrote somewhere he'd only buy one in a hundred properties he 'analyses'.
Tips on investigating real estate - housing, leisure, retail, whatever - and financing schemes might be helpful. But he says little on all this beyond claiming he's done it. However, it is possible these sections might set readers on an entrepreneurial path.
His writing style is a mixture of probably spurious biography (two dads - one perhaps based on a Hawaiian Conrad Hilton type) plus Bible-like parables; in this way, quotations can be attributed to others, and almost any conclusion can be hinted at. He uses the 'ark' metaphor - you too can be an individual like Noah, plan ahead with your odd scheme, and ride the coming financial storm while, presumably, others drown.
A good anti-Kiyosaki site is [...] though Reed gets furious over Kiyosaki's naval and military claims which surely are rather irrelevant. So what is it about this book? - Or rather these books - their repetitive catchpenny nature convinces me Reed is right about Kiyosaki's lack of great wealth; why bother to promote a board game and have seminars otherwise?
Many rich people made their money in banal ways - a start in publishing is a good example: Robert Maxwell (learned societies' yearbooks, Branson (Tubular Bells), Felix Dennis (mags that sell - basically ad vehicles), porn publishers. Most rich people invent nothing. Musicians and singers can make fortunes. It certainly looks as though anyone can do it. Or buying up houses - the small town I live in reputedly has several people who bought up houses over many years when they were absurdly cheap. Reed explodes over Kiyosaki's claim that you employ people cleverer than you - part of his anti-education idea. And yet this seems perfectly true - Maxwell wasn't learned, Branson had no knowledge of music or aircraft. One attraction of Kiyosaki is he's noticed this. Presumably a serious real estate person might employ a planner, architects, builders, specialists in utilities, designers and so on, and yet keep control - after all Trump does something like this. Many other rich people got there by obscure loopholes: I'm told a man holding the ground lease (?) on a school claimed the entire area when it was demolished, making $200M equivalent. Some strike oil and are legally allowed title to it. I remember being told in South Africa that opportunities there are greater in computers because there's less competition - and so (I was told) graduates end up being employed by school-leavers. Despite Kiyosaki, employees can do well - in the UK at least the public sector has index-linked pensions, the ultimate income generating asset. Some people are good at contracts - Branson is stated to work out exit details to make the best advantage of his contractees. Some make money through government - lucrative contracts, subsidies, financial deals hidden from taxpayers. The most successful property speculators are probably those with guarantee state money - 'Private Finance Initiatives' as they are called in the UK, and suppliers of housing to fake asylum seekers where the rent goes direct to the landlords.
Most people are aware of this sort of thing in a confused and undetailed way - TV and so on does little to enlighten them. Kiyosaki in his way is part of this. He circles the subject matter, throws in some technicalities, and tantalises; and many readers respond. In my opinion however Kiyosaki never even begins to fix on the multiple central secrets and mysteries of money making.
on 10 March 2008
If you've never had the common sense to work hard, spend your income within a budget, reduce your debt and save your money in assets, which generate cash in return (making your savings work for you), then this book is for you. Mr Kiyosaki explains how the rich instinctively know these principles and teach them to their kids, whereas the middle class work only to pay bills and keep up with the rat race. Kiyosaki contrasts these attitudes to money using the examples of his poor but highly educated father and his best friend's father, Rich Dad, who was barely educated but rich. Much of his explanation of how to save, budget and invest is good, common sense. There, that's as much praise as I will give Mr Kiyosaki's book.
The author spends the remainder of the book deriding education and gloating over how special he is; how he learnt marketing at Xerox, bought and sold houses, became wealthy and retired at the grand old age of 45. Most of this is harmless twaddle. However, Kiyosaki's thinly-disguised disdain for knowledge - in today's increasingly knowledge-based economy - is unforgivable.
In a world that is increasingly driven by advances in computing, internet technology, biotechnology and knowledge, Mr Kiyosaki's focus on money for money's sake (at the expense of education) is questionable. Yes, money is very important (who would deny that?) but the knowledge and management skill to generate that wealth is equally important.
Let's break down the success of Rich Dad: he was a self-made man, the boss of his own company, which made garments. Not high-tech work but very important alll the same. This model of enterprise is vital and important today, especially in the Third World, but pales in comparison with the success of knowledge-based companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft, who have created wealth and productivity unprecented in human history.
I suspect that "rich dad", who Kiyosaki lionizes so much in the book, is a product of his fecund imagination. If Rich Dad did exist, then Mr Kiyosaki's real (poor) dad must be ashamed and disgusted. Imagine reading your son's book in which he - your son - claims that you (dad) are a complete loser. To rub salt into the wound, your son also states that the uneducated father of his best friend was his childhood hero. That must have broken his poor father's heart.
We cannot all be entrepreneurs; capital without the necessary knowledge and skill to drive economic growth is useless. We need the combination of both in a fast-changing world. That Mr Kiyosaki chose to ignore knowledge in this equation is almost criminal. By deriding the education of his "poor dad", Mr Kiyosaki lost the plot - and my approval. This book deserves only 2 stars.
on 28 March 2002
I had heard about this book and decided to do some research of my own, sure enough there are about equal amounts of people who either like his views or see them as complete rubbish.
I find that the basis behind the book is good, the idea of "paying yourself first", not relying on your job to provide for you, buying assets that will make money rather than buying things that make more bills for you. This is surely common sense and Robert spends a long time on this. While he does go into detail, he spends an astonishing amount of time before he gets to the point.
The majority of this book centres around how he (supposedly) makes his money but I found it a bit unfair, unnerving almost, the way he went about it.
The book is written in a gloating fashion, "My assets bought me my porsche" I found this a bit like rubbing peoples faces in the fact he had a lot more money than we the readers (and the fact youve bought this book means your helping him buy the next one).
I like the way he explains the difference between incomings and outgoings in his diagrams, but again this book is written for an american audience so about 1/3 of his book will not apply here in good old blighty.
Some of his statements about education too I find disturbing, he almost recommends dropping out of school and learning about money in order to be better off. I find this irresponsible and dangerous. I certainly would not want my son to read any of this material.
If you, like me are looking at a way of clearing your debts and getting yourself steady in order to start saving or investing, there are better, simpler books on the market. My personal recommendations are: The Richest man in Babylon by George Clayson, or the Motley Fools "How to invest when you dont have any money" these are much better books geared more to our UK market and are more likely to help you on the way to a secure financial future.
on 30 November 2010
This is an interesting read although it is very much out of date today (2010).
It basically tries to show how clever and unscrupulous people can get rich while 'ordinary' people never realize the opportunities they have. However, it is a little simplistic and the concepts explained in the book can only be viable as long as there are 'sharks' and 'dead-heads' willing to play the 'game'. The book shows a very American and capitalistic view of making one's way in life (entirely based on the personal experience of the author) and is not necessarily a useful or appropriate example for others (especially young people) to follow today. Presumably, the author would not write the same kind of stuff today, since much of what he preaches is the very downfall of many Americans today, i.e 'trying to make a fast buck'. Nonetheless, the book is still a worthwhile read (but hardly worth buying) and some of the points (about 10%) which the author makes are worth retaining for the future. The book is not particularly well written and the author often repeats himself. The contribution of the so-called 'co-author' seems to be totally superfluous.
on 24 July 2003
This was the first finance book I read just under a year ago. I was a few months into my first job and was wondering what to do with my money. At the time I liked it however I have since read a lot more books about different fincancial areas etc. I would say this.
-/+ Many of the books this recommends in the course of the text are better than this. Often having read them I felt the author wasn't really a finacial genius he just knew how to outline the main points of some other good books
+ He is right in that we aren't taught about finances properly in school and I found his assets and liabilities info quite good. If I ever have kids I will make sure they are more financially literate than I was, but, money really isn't everything despite what he says.
- Often the book is used as a sales pitch for his other products and its difficult to see past this as he is very good at appealing to the reader by telling you, you are a superstar the whole time followed by 'so try my other product'. Its a good pep talk at times
- When you read his 2nd book you find out he was bankrupt. It strikes me as odd given that Rich Dad educated him from such a young age he should have been bankrupt I know we all make mistakes but...
- If you look at the series which has now grown to loads of books and games the book ratings on Amazon are progressively deteriorating. I know that doesn't mean much for this book in particular but I think it says something.
- The author seems to contradict himself at times. I've read many articles about him on the net. He claims the investment strategy he favours is taking startups to market and then getting out. Yet in other things I've read he says he doesn't know enough about the stock market to give advice. In one article he says to put your money in mutual funds in another he's said to avoid mutual funds. Look on the net for stuff about him.
- His property claims are a bit too american orientated and given the state of the British property market price wise and structurally (not pun intended ; ) ) its unlikely your average person can expect to perform such wheeling and dealing and pick up bargains like he does.
- I think he makes you think you can make mega bucks year on year and appeals to our more unsavoury sides such as greed and over self confidence. Even Warren Buffet the worlds greatest investor only aims for 15% a year growth.
I'm sorry for being negative so why 3 stars. Well I guess it got me thinking about my finances, which, has lead me on a better financial path, although I think its my other readings that were more beneficial. I bought the 2nd book but then things seemed too good to be true and I found him repeating himself the whole time. There is some good advice in there and its a good read but there's also a lot of psychology in order to make the whole thing appealing and I'd be careful not to get carried away.