I finally read Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad, Poor Dad this week and wanted to share my fresh review. This is a true personal finance classic, but I had never quite gotten around to pulling it off the shelf and was glad to check it off my list. Here are my thoughts of Kiyosaki’s best-selling book.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki – Book Review
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Who it is for: This book is aimed at anyone who wants to hear a radically different philosophy on money, investing and personal finances than what the majority of people are raised with.
What I liked: I enjoyed the inspirational tone of the book, the focus on rethinking how we educate children about money, and the main theme of “minding your business”. There were some very strong high-level, philosophical principles for how to approach money in your life highlighted throughout the book.
What I didn’t like: Overall, I found Rich Dad, Poor Dad lacking in actionable knowledge and strategy. For a book that touted learning from other’s experiences, Kiyosaki gave little information on his actual strategies, asset allocation, or techniques to find high returning investments. I understand that Kiyosaki’s “rich dad” encouraged him to learn by doing his entire childhood, but the book does not pass those years of direct, hands-on learning down to his readers. I also found the writing very condescending and nonchalant about the true impacts of great financial risk on young families.
Main Takeaways in Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Rich Dad, Poor Dad was a quick personal finance read and, at many points in the book, I was motivated to change my life. However, most of the benefit of the book was found in principles and quotes as opposed to techniques I can easily start applying. As such, I have compiled my favorite quotes from the book. I believe these quotes are enough to give you the takeaways from Rich Dad, Poor Dad so you can focus on potentially more impactful personal finance books. (Try Millionaire Next Door if you haven’t read it before!
Mind your business.
Unless you are self-employed, Kiyosaki believes your business is not the job you do. Your business is how you are creating wealth for you and your family, creating assets that generate income for you all the time. So many people, myself included, commit endless time developing our careers and almost no time learning to invest and grow our savings (if we even have savings!). Some people don’t even know that there is such a thing as real passive income – assets that generate income without constant work for you! This re-framing is important because in a world where money is equated with greed and evil, it can be hard to remember that generating wealth for your family is a noble and personal goal.
‘I can’t afford it’ shut down your brain. It didn’t have to think anymore… ‘How can I afford it?’ opened up the brain. Forced it to think and search for answers.
I found this point most interesting for how you talk to your kids about money. Kiyosaki pointed out that when his poor dad told him “we can’t afford it” and “stop being selfish” it made him feel ashamed about money. When his rich dad asked him “How could you afford it?” it made him think of creative ways to make money to get what he wanted. Young brains are incredibly malleable and the words we use matter. Even if the answer is no, make sure you are empowering your children to provide for their own desires!
Money without financial knowledge is money soon gone.
Being financially responsible and successful is a lifestyle. You have to work hard at it and commit regular time to it. However, if you don’t want to take the time to learn about money and continually define your goals it probably isn’t worth committing the time to earning more money. Higher income will just mean higher expenses until you build a solid foundation of financial knowledge.
People who have money talk about money.
Money is a taboo subject in most of the world. Talking about money is associated with greed and bragging. But people who have money talk about money because they are interested and they want to learn about other’s successes and failures with money to build their knowledge bank. We need to remove the taboo that surrounds money if we ever want to make wealth accessible to all.
There is a difference between being poor and being broke. Broke is temporary. Poor is eternal.
Watch your thoughts. Your thoughts have a sneaky little tendency of becoming reality and thinking you are “always going to be poor” or “always going to be in debt” is a great way to talk yourself out of making changes. Learn, improve, grow, repeat.
Have you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad? Did you enjoy it? What did you learn from the book?