719 of 746 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2004
When he isn't engaged in his nearly incessant showboating, Kiyosaki actually gets down to some practical, all be it general, guidance on how to think about money:
* Probably the greatest insight is how to think about assets and liabilities. A million accountants scream in anguish, but a primary residence, with a large mortgage, high taxes and high fixed costs to top it off, is not an "asset" for Kiyosaki because it doesn't produce a positive cash flow. Instead, he lists several items, such as rental property, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, business partnerships with limited involvement, promissory notes and royalties (p. 89), that generate money and should be invested in.
* Don't get into large debt positions for non-necessities. Buy your luxury items for cash (p. 176). This is part of any sound financial planning and is taken to its logical endpoint by the authors of "The Millionaire Next Door."
* Watch out for the tax effect of your sales of real estate. In this sense, the book is out of date, since the tax laws were changed in the late 90s to permit up to $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for married couples) from the sale of a primary residence be exempt from federal tax, under certain circumstances. No longer must you rely on the 1031 "trading up" provision he describes, at least not exclusively.
* Fear can be utilized as a great motivator to act, as opposed to fear causing you to be a deer in the headlights of life.
However, before we all run off to leverage real estate to become gentlepeople of leisure, let's try to remember a few things.
* This book is written for one reason: to be earn the author money. Kiyosaki is even somewhat up-front about it, noting that royalties are one of the best assets for a person to have (p. 89). Therefore, you should be skeptical -- not cynical but merely skeptical -- about the advice he gives.
* For every Kiyosaki there's a multiple of people who crashed and burned in stock and real estate speculation, and the difference between the author and those people is due in some measure to chance.
* It is much easier to invest in undervalued, illiquid assets in downturns when you're already sitting on a pile of cash.
* Dropping our current jobs to do Kiyosaki's kind of analysis and investing does not make sense for most of us. After all, our jobs are, in Kiyosaki's sense, an "asset" because they generate positive cash flow.
* The principle of "paying yourself first" (p. 172) is not something to be applied inflexibly. Kiyosaki is giving everyone advice from a position that may not be applicable to everyone (p. 176). Yes, the idea of saving a portion of your income is a good idea, even an outstanding idea. But stiffing the tax man and your creditors is not, and unless you operate a business or are engaged in a profession where you can rapidly earn extra cash, it's not a good idea to try to scare yourself into coming up with a brilliant plan to pay them off. You might wind up with a solution like George Segal and Jane Fonda in "Fun With Dick and Jane."
* Beware the author's personal biases. If he truly believed that America is "on the course" to collapsing because the difference between the haves and have-nots is widening (p. 48), he'd be investing in foreign real estate, in gold and would hold a lot of money in cash. He's not. In fact, he does the exact opposite. He bets on American's long-term stability by purchasing real estate.
* The author casually talks about extremely risky investments, such as $5,000 investments returning $1,000,000, as if these were almost ordinary (p. 78). That's highly misleading. He does mention in the book that out of ten limited investments, a preponderance of his business investments "go nowhere" or completely fail, but that should be highlighted when those stratospheric returns are mentioned.
Overall, Kiyosaki has some good advice. However, do not think that you are likely to duplicate his personal experience to success. If you look at how he made his money, he essentially got rich holding real estate in the 70s, in Hawaii, as well as being one of the state's best salesmen. He was at the right place at the right time, with a particular important skill. He then had sufficient money in the 80s and 90s to be able to invest in real estate in the economic downturns. So his position does not correspond to most of ours.
3,831 of 4,217 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2000
I know this book was a best-seller and has a 4.5 star average on Amazon. This does not make it good, and I will explain why.
First, most people focus on his inspiration and pointing out that you need to save money instead of spending it. To put it bluntly, "Duh." To be more constructive, there are much better books on this subject - for instance, "Your Money or Your Life." It's easy to spout platitudes about why you should save, but Kiyosaki doesn't tell you how.
Second, his real estate advice. Kiyosaki emphasizes making money in real estate, since it seems clear that is how he made his fortune. But he does a terrible job explaining that as well. People have lost fortunes in real estate; Donald Trump went from being a billionaire to losing most of his empire. It isn't easy. Kiyosaki himself says that winners learn from their failures; where are his failures?
Perhaps he should refer people to other books about real estate, but one of the books he recommends was written by a man who had a half-million dollars in tax liens filed against him and declared bankruptcy - all before "Rich Dad" was written. That isn't exactly the kind of advice I was looking for!
Third, experts in the fields he talks about generally agree that his advice is bad. A review by an experienced real estate professional is here: [...] His advice on making money via IPOs is completely wrong; you can't invest that little money so close to the IPO filing for such a large discount. It just isn't done that way.
Fourth, his emphasis on making money. I like money, don't get me wrong. Like most people reading this review, I'd like to be a millionaire. But, I think, there is an underlying current of meanness in Kiyosaki's book. The way his "rich dad" kept people waiting and intimidated them with his power, the way Kiyosaki himself resented being left out of the parties held by the "rich kids." It's disturbing.
Fifth, for all the talk about spending less, Kiyosaki clearly lives up the high life (or claims to.) Rolex watches (why?), Porsches (again, why?)... all these are types of liabilities, which he spends most of the book saying you should avoid. It's flash, which I think ties into his rejection as a 'poor' child, and also meant to impress the reader by letting them think that, someday, they too will be able to show off their wealth.
Most millionaire's aren't this way. "The Millionaire Next Door", which cannot be recommended highly enough, has interviews with real millionaires who live modestly - in fact, probably living on less than you are - and yet they accumulated their fortunes through hard work. (Real estate and owning your own business qualifies as hard work!) It is a much more educational book, but is also more inspiring to see people like yourself who did make it.
Summary: this book has some decent information in it (but there are better books), is inspirational at points (but inspirational books are a dime a dozen!), and didn't really do squat for me.
190 of 205 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2005
I bouoght this book earlier tonite and read it in a few hours. It is an easy read. Fun. Enjoyable and educational. It made me realize that I threw away many years of commonality, of doing what felt good. What Uncle George and Aunt Martha and cousin Billy and brother Jim told me was the right thing to do, but really wasn't.
I am now setting up a plan of action to go into real estate, the Rich Dad way. Yeah, I know everybody thinks that the real estate game is over and that is because like me they are getting the wrong information from the wrong people. How in the world can you expect people making $50,000-$75,000 year, chained to their employers coat tails to tell you how to become financially independent and earn over $100,000 a year? It doesn't make sense.
This book was very enlightening for me. I highly recommend it. Regarding my real estate plans, I'll let you know how I make out!
1,055 of 1,164 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2005
For the most part, it seems that people either love or hate the book and now having read it, I think I understand why. Most likely it seems that it depends on your personal situation and knowledge prior to reading the book.
I think that if you were someone who was just making ends meet, using all of your salary to support your lifestyle (in Kiyosakian parlance, buying "liabilities") and doing little to save and invest (buying "assets"), I can see that this book might serve as a wake up call and can inspire and motivate people to look for ways to possibly change their situation. Furthermore, the book's various claims, (however misleading or unrealistic as I point out below) plays right into such people's desires to learn the "secret of success" of the rich that if only they knew, they could quit (or abandon their plans) to go to school, quit their jobs and just invest and live off of investments the rest of their lives without working.
OTOH, if like many of us, you were making a good salary WORKING but spending responsibly (i.e. limiting "liabilities) and meanwhile trying to invest aggressively as much as we know how to do based on our unique circumstances and preferences (buying "assets"), the book really provides no substance and stretches credibility. For us, you don't need inspiration and what specific info the book provides is either dated, incorrect, or misleading. Also for many of us, we didn't read it realizing ahead of time that it was entirely a motivational book rather than a "methods" book since the title alludes to "methods" that that rich possess that we of humbler backgrounds lack.
This book makes fantastic claims. There is a quick and easy "secret of success" that "the rich" (always treated as a monolithic group) know and the rest of us don't; this "secret information" is far more important than hard work, getting a good education, investing wisely, or any traditional method to become rich and successful; and if you only learn "the secret" (translation: buy Kiyosaki's book) you, too, will be rich.
According to Kiyosaki, "the rich" become rich by using three different strategies: 1). They form and own corporations, thus paying less taxes than people who get their income as employees. 2). They invest in real estate in certain "secret" ways that let them earn a lot of money with little risk or tax liability; 3). They use tips from friends for insider's trading to make a killing in the stock market. Kiyosaki's advice, in essence, is to suggest to the reader to emulate "the rich" by using the same tax-avoidance strategies, real-estate schemes, and insider's trading "they" supposedly use to get rich.
There are only two tiny problems with Kiyosaki's advice. First of all, these "secret strategies" are NOT the way the rich actually make money; it is rather the LAYMAN'S IMPRESSION of how the rich make money, an impression based mainly on numerous TV shows and movies which portray "the rich" in this way. As the (excellent) book "the millionaire next door" shows, this description bears no more relation to how the rich actually make money than James Bond films have to actual espionage work.
Second, not surprisingly, the "strategies" Kiyosaki proposes could work only in the movies - where, of course, the government and police are all in the millionaire's pocket, and let him "get away with it". If you actually try them in the real world, you will be laughed at, waste your time and money, get audited by the IRS, or worse.
For example, in reality, coroprations are *not* good tax shelters. In reality, you *cannot* deduct your personal expenses as "business expenses", or have your corporation give you "tax-free gifts" such as trips to Hawai or Rolex watches, as Kiyosaki claims. Doing so would get you audited and stiffly fined (or worse.) Also, in reality, "insider's trading" is a felony which could land you in jail. Finally, in reality, Koyisaki's real-estate advice is either illegal (as in his claim of using his cat as a "business partner"), immoral (as in getting "good deals" from unsophisticated sellers, apparently based on the principle of "it is immoral to let a sucker keep his money"), or doesn't work in the real world (such as his claims that he offered 275K for a 450K building and "they agreed to 300K", or that a bank agreed to take 50K instead of 60K for property he bought "simply because it was a cashier's check.")...This book, in summary, paints a fantasy picture of the world, and gives "financial advice" that will make you a laughing stock at best and put you in jail for insider's trading or tax evasion at worse.
If you have dreams of being the next Gates, Trump, etc, I'd say go for it. But don't give up your day job just yet based on Kiyosaki's fantasy notions because the real world doesn't work that way. The bottom line is that whether you work hard at a profession as an employee or whether you work hard to invest and build businesses, you will need to work. It is safe to say that while a few people will be able to invest and build businesses and live off of their assets without working, many of us won't be able to pull it off. There's nothing wrong with trying but don't do it with the mistaken notion that you'll automatically be better off than if you kept your job and invested carefully over a lifetime because you probably won't be.
715 of 787 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2002
I just purchased Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Retire Young, Retire Rich and Rich Dad's guide to investing. I also have the tapes from RD, PD, CFQ, and RDGTI. These excellent programs by RTK have already made a profound change in my personal and financial life. They are a must for anyone who wants success.Two others are Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind.
1,007 of 1,111 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2002
Where do you learn about money? School? No! Too busy memerizing war dates. Parents? Possibly, but not likely.If you dislike this book you have probably bought into the Great American Lie of go to school, get a job and after 40 years you get a gold watch. And you are in rat race my friend.I have a gold watch already. It says to Barry Kaufman the greatest guy in the world from Barry Kaufman the greatest guy in the world. I didn't have to wait 40 years for mine or sell my soul to corporate America for a little cup of soup (called wages)I also suggest reading Who Stole the American Dream, Wave 4 and Turner, Turner, Turner: The King of Network Marketing.
132 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2004
I spent 15 years working for a department store chain. The company transferred me 27 times after I enrolled in their management trainee program. It took awhile, but I realized that I would never reach my goals or have control in my life as long as I stayed with this company.
During the time I was being transferred, I was able to create many business contacts and fortunately found an opportunity with a network marketing company. I also began to invest in real estate rental properties and accumulated some profitable investments.
After reading Rich Dad Poor Dad a few years ago, I realized that it was time to leave the corporate world and start my own business.
I agree with the concepts in this book. You must have your own business. You must be self reliant. No employer will ever take care of you as well as you will.
158 of 170 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2003
I have read a lot of the other financial books that teach frugality, cut up your credit cards and so on and lived by those principles and was able to amass some savings and investments.I also used to follow the normal way of investing which is to listen to your broker.Recently and against the advice of others, I started to apply the RDPD advice. I use my credit cards, I kept my day job while starting a business in my spare time. I am learning how to invest and am prepared when I go to financial people like brokers. I have also found a ton of tax deductions that I didn't know about before which my tax preparer didn't know because they go to school to fill out tax forms.I highly recommend RD/PD to help you get on the path to financial freedom.As for the 1 star bashers, there must be a reason why they repeatedly pst the same nonsense and unfortunately it has nothing to do with helping you. I wonder what their net worth is?
394 of 432 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2003
I first heard of this book when J.P. Morgan on the cover of the Wall Street Journal referred to Rich Dad Poor Dad as a "must read for millionaires."
Most people know by now that this is the true story of Kiyosaki's two fathers, one, his real dad had a high income but was poor. The other, his friends dad, but Kiyosaki's mentor and Rich Dad.
Kiyosaki learned that income alone does not create wealth as he learned from his "Poor Dad." Seeking financial freedom, Kiyosaki learned from his "Rich Dad" the keys to wealth.
Kiyosaki went on to amass a fortune and lost it. But remembering the lesson taught from his "Rich Dad", started over and amassed yet another fortune and retired at age 47.
The book will tell you some things you don't want to hear like a house is not an asset, 401 (k)s and so called "safe" investments are not quite so safe. That there is no such thing as job security and the world is full of "bullies" who will tell you how much money you can make, when and how many vacations you can take, lunch breaks etc.
Kiyosaki's "Poor Dad" was fired at age 50 and learning from this, Kiyosaki tells us that the only real security and freedom is in being your own boss.
Kiyosaki goes on to say that both of his dads were "honest, good, honorable men" but his poor dad, although a hard worker was weak and consequently ended up broke.
Interesting is that Kiyosaki pledges his first book, "If you want to Be Rich and Happy, Don't Go To School?" to his poor dad.Goes to show that Kiyosaki has class and truely loved his Poor but real dad.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is an excellent book. The main message is to take responsibility for your life. You are either a master of money or a slave to it.
In addition to Rich Dad Poor Dad, I also recommend "Cash Flow Quadrant", "Rich Dad's Success Stories", "The Millionaire Next Door" and "More Wealth Without Risk."
813 of 897 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2003
This book is definitely not for Harvard graduates. Typical Harvard graduates are too busy updating their resumes and pounding the pavement trying to find a j-o-b just like the one they just got downsized from to benefit from a book like this.On the other hand, for people who are willing to be changed; are sick and tired of the rat race; tired of paying for somebodyelse's dreams; tired of having their boss determine how many sick days they deserve or how many vacation days they can take will enjoy and benefit from this book. I also recommend Loopholes of the Rich and The Business School for People who like helping people.Slams at network marketing people by 1 star reviewers are predictable and stale. Question 1 stars: How is your lifestyle? What kind of car do you drive? Where do you go to vacation? How much did you pay in taxes last year?The investment advice is also right on. Just talk to all of the people who are losing money following conventionable advice.A house is an asset? Yes, if you are the bank. If you want to turn a house into an asset, it's very simple, do what banks do and become a real estate investor.As for that website that keeps getting mentioned here, if it really was that good there would be no need to repeatedly mention it here would there?RDPD is a OUTSTANDING book. I highly recommend it.My motto is: I'll do today what others won't so I can do tommorrow what others can't.The recipe is simple; just follow Kiyosaki's advice.