Rich Dad Poor Dad

rich dad poor dad robert kiyosakiRich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not by Robert T. Kiyosaki, 3/5

Using simplistic diagrams and entertaining anecdotes, Kiyosaki preaches a financial message that is as appealing as it is suspiciously pat: don’t just work for money, make money work for you.  By this, I gather that he means to focus on acquiring income-producing assets instead of the more traditional approach of focusing on increasing your salary, only to spend it on ever-growing liabilities and expenses such as taxes, a too-big house, or expensive junk.  Additionally, Kiyosaki points out that it is the hardworking self-employed and 9-5 rat racers who are, unfairly, the ones most gouged by taxes (a point to which I can personally attest)–the passive income and strategically-formed corporations of the financially literate are much less susceptible to taxes.

That said, I am very suspicious (I could end the sentence there but I’ll continue) of the advice of someone who makes money partly by selling hyped-up books, games and seminars about making money.  It seems that there is an inherent conflict of interest or, at least, an unhealthy circularity similar to a career adviser whose own career is giving career advice.  However, Kiyosaki’s basic ideas seem sensible and I could imagine them successfully directing the energies of someone who has set their mind on working hard to become very rich.  (Of course, this is the kind of person who would likely become wealthy with or without the help of this book.)  People looking to get rich quick will be disappointed–Rich Dad Poor Dad is more philosophical than practically helpful.  I think its main value is to provide some context and an engaging introduction to Kiyosaki’s financial strategies.  I plan to read his other books, which will hopefully substantiate his claims with rather more technical information and fewer generalities.

[Why I read it: I think I read this once years and years ago, but it came up again recently because my brother is researching the idea of investing in rental properties and mentioned reading it.]

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