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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.
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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.
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on November 24, 2009
This is NOT the real "Rich Dad - Poor Dad" book. Just look at the photos I posted of it and you'll see the real size. It's only 2 3/4" by 3 1/4" in size! It does NOT contain all the text that the original book does. It's a rip off!
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on May 7, 2005
Kiyosaki very effectively communicates a sociopath personality with a singular focus on wealth as sole determinant of a person's success. His only useful advice is that to be wealthy, one should buy money producing "assets" and not buy money draining "liabilities". I agree that this is a good mindset to have but now that you know it just from reading this review, you don't need to spend hours suffering through the book. As for examples of "assets", he touts real estate and basically says that you "only" need to go and buy houses that some idiot is selling well below market price, and then sell them. To tell you the truth, I did go looking for houses selling well below market price, but didn't manage to find any.

Kiyosaki writes of a fairy tale land that exists only in seminars. His books are completely fictional. I've decided that next time I will just invest in one of Bobby's companies, where he is in charge of finding these mythical properties, and I am more than happy to pay him a commission of 50% of profits for doing so. Unfortunately I haven't seen one mentioned.

Robert Kiyosaki does not own any real estate companies. In fact searches of titles show he hardly even owns any real estate. He has no substantial holding in any listed company at all. Prior to the Rich Dad books becoming such successes he was pretty much penniless.

He is a total fraud who never made any money at all with investments, his sole source of income is his "Rich Dad" franchise, book royalties and seminars. He started out his career by lying about his wealth, now the true believers are willing to throw so much money at him to hear him speak that he now has real wealth, but he knows little in the way of wealth creation itself.

The great Robert Kiyosaki has mastered the technique of selling pipe dreams and persuading people to spend more money on his other products and seminars down to a fine art form. You'll note that while he never shares anything really useful, he does dangle you the promise that finally one day he'll release the "secret" of how you will one day make money without hard work and without having money in the first place. But alas, the "secret" turns out to be to con people into believing you have the "secret" and persuading them to pay you money to learn this "secret" that you actually never had to begin with.

If you wanted to read a book about Robert Kiyosaki's actual wealth creation methods it would be entitled Creating Wealth Through Writing Wealth Creation Books and putting on expensive seminars with a real estate flavor."
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on March 3, 2011
In this book, Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter encourage tax evasion via vehicle of corporation (spend all your pre-tax corporate money any way you see fit and then let the government tax you on the remaining pennies), corporate malfeasance by the old radical conservative attitude of "eat the poor because they will waste their money if you pay them above poverty level", disregard for labor laws. The author praises his "rich dad" who not only takes advantage of everyone he hires, including the woman he calls "like a mother to him", paying them all below minimum wage or nothing at all, as well as firing any employee who'd notify the authorities of this criminal mistreatment.

Sure, rich dad talks a good talk about making sure to be legally getting rich, but his actions speak louder than words, as he gleefully and ruthlessly takes advantage of children paying them next to nothing, oblivious or irreverent to and of existing child labor laws. He is consistently rude toward anyone who's not rich, and calls the author's own birth father "a lazy thief", since Kyiosaki's dead works for the government. The author is fine with all of that, rejecting his real father simply because he struggled financially and was never rich, though his father was always there for him in whatever way he could, tried to teach him honesty and diligence in work, all these values conservatives want us to learn but seldom practice themselves.

The book is so radically conservative it makes Sean Shammity look like James Stewart by comparison. The subtitle of the book is "What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money-That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!" and for a good reason. The middle class and the poor simply would not want their children to grow up selfish, law-breaking and greedy narcissists Kiyosaki's "rich dad" wanted him to be, plain and simple. The overall message of the book is: get rich or you're nothing, get rich so that you can get away with anything in this country, as the rich often do and then get rewarded for their immorality with Republican-pushed, undeserved, tax cuts. It screams of wanton desire to make everyone else your slave.

Is it all bad? No. The author's economic and accounting lessons are actually very helpful to an extent that we all learn to tell a liability from an asset (thus the 2 stars). However, that I could have easily learned from accounting or economics books. If you are a radical conservative you'll love this book. But if you have any concern and compassion for your fellow, you'll read it and donate it at your local Salvation Army, which is exactly what I am going to do with it. Salvage if not garbage.
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on June 16, 2011
Read during two extended trips in a waiting room. The financial advice mixes obvious facts with nonsense, which can be confirmed in the Jonathan Clements review in the Wall Street Journal ("Rich Men, Poor Advice: Their Book Is Hot, But Their Financial Tips Aren't") or the Rob Walker overview in Slate ("If I Were a Rich Dad: Why millions buy Rich Dad, Poor Dad's nonsense").

Of more concern to me was the moral bile. The whole lesson of the book is that rich people should be idolized, poor people are ignorant, the government is stupid and out to get you, and if you work for a living you're a fool. Rich dad brags about underpaying his employees and then blames them for their own low wages. In setting up the poor dad as a loser and the rich dad as a hero, he includes the following nonsense:

"Poor people are more greedy than rich people."

"Don't listen to poor people."

"People with low self-esteem can never be rich."

"For example, [poor dad] would say, 'The love of money is the root of all evil.' [Rich dad], 'The lack of money is the root of all evil.'"

"My poor dad would also say, 'I'm not interested in money,' or 'Money doesn't matter.' My rich dad always said, 'Money is power.'"
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on January 12, 2016
I give this book three stars based on the motivational content it contains. The book is VERY light on concrete advice.

While I agree with Mr. Kiyosaki's premise that poor people (and middle class) have a particular mindset I disagree with his notion that anyone can become rich. In all the examples he gives, he seems to discount:

1) Timing
2) Natural ability
3) Luck

EVERY successful person I've ever heard talk about becoming successful says the same thing: If I can do it, so can you. The truth is: No you can't. Can you make your life better? Yes. Can EVERY person turn $5000 into $2 million? Nope. Proof: If it were easy, everyone would be millionaires.

Other examples that would be in the same vein:

1) Lebron James saying everyone can be a professional basketball player, all they have to do is practice.
2) Paul McCartney telling everyone they can be rock stars, all they have to do is learn the guitar and take some songwriting courses.
3) Bill Gates telling everyone all they need to do is start a super-successful software company.

Mr. Kiyosaki apparently has a talent not everyone possesses. It's the x-factor that all successful business people seem to have. Can SOME of it be learned, yes, but a lot of it is in their generic makeup: their drive, their energy level, their passion for business, etc.

I'm kind of surprised at all the 5-star ratings. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone to be honest.

After reading the book I have some advice of my own: Pursue happiness. Money is only one component of happiness that most people seem to be obsessed with. How's your relationship with your Wife and kids? How's your health? Do you enjoy what you do every day? How's your relationship with God? How's your mental health (emotions)? You might just get a bigger life boost by "fixing" one of these other areas than just mindlessly trying to get more money because you think that will validate you as a person. Just a thought.
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on August 7, 2017
View pictures below. The fact that there is information that completely contradicts itself is ridiculous. This makes the question the integrity of the author. How is this book the "#1 finance book of all time?". I'll more than likely not read any further and would like a refund.
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on February 27, 2010
One thing I saw as a big problem with this book is that it largely does not address _why_ you should listen to him. He does say that he wants to make money to stay out of the "rat race", but that does not translate into being Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Donald Trump, which are people he says we should strive to study and emulate. Robert is presenting this book from the paradigm that money is the goal in and of itself. Why should you try to be rich? Because then you'll be rich! A circular argument that he feebly defends by equating being excessively rich to not being in the rat race. To him, being taught from a young age by his rich dad, he sees richness as an obvious premise to life, but he fails to adequately defend this paradigm that underlies the entire book.

Robert constantly criticizes poor people, and people who don't make the decision to be rich. He criticizes people who realize that to do what he does, they would have to do things they feel are destructive, or too risky. While I don't think he ever states it explicitly, he does constantly equate a person's worth (as a person) to their balance sheet. This is the justification he uses for BLAME THE VICTIM (below). It doesn't make sense to see punishing poorness with job insecurity, inadequate medical care, etc etc, unless you see poorness as being worthy of punishment. I don't remember him using the word punishment, but he does express that this is a deserved negative consequence. He could defend this by saying that poorness is merely a reflection of worth, not that they are punished _for_ being poor, but that they are punished _with_ being poor (ie poorness _is_ the punishment), that would still be a misdirection. According to his book, the poor are poor because they don't generate assets, they generate liabilities. They put their money in the expense column before the income column. Is this worthy of punishment? Why is struggling to put food on the table a legitimate punishment for behaving in ways that aren't monetarily conducive? In other words, the money system is self-referential. You have money because you are good at making money. You lose money because you are good at losing money.

If we take monetary worth to be an indicator of anything other than one's ability to succeed at making money, then we are deluding ourselves. Worthwhile behaviour does not translate into money, detrimental behaviour does not translate into poorness. Slavery ended about 150 years ago, plantation owners were upset because slavery is free labour, a very profitable way to behave even though it abuses a huge portion of our society. And many people who produce value for our society are poor, consider open source authors and teachers, for example. Money and lack thereof cannot be equated to true worth or value to the society. In an anecdote from the book, he points out that he is a "best-selling author", because he understands sales and marketing, while a woman he meets with is a "best-writing author" who can't sell any books. In this example, her admittedly good writing doesn't generate money, while his book does. So in this case, money did not select the better book, but rather the better marketed book. So clearly we cannot take money as equivalent to inherent worth.

Robert admits that the poor are victims, he talks about it constantly, calls it the rat race, talks about the many ways they are taken advantage of, such as with taxes. He admits the reason for this is their lack of financial literacy, they are doing what they are taught to do, and says this can be perpetuated throughout many generations. He says their schools and parents and society teach them to behave the way they do which places them into this poor and middle class brackets where they are the victims. They think going to school, getting a job, having a family, buying a house will make them rich, but it just puts them at the bottom, in debt, living paycheck to paycheck. So they are victims because they were trained to be victims. He constantly talks about mindset (one thing I agree strongly with him about), suggesting that a major part of becoming rich is the decision to be rich. To think like rich people do (for a criticism of this, see CAPITALISM IS A ZERO SUM GAME, below). Something these people do not do, because they were taught to think like poor and middle class people do. Then he proceeds to blame them for being poor. Says that they are poor because they are afraid, ignorant, and indecisive. He sees capitalism (as most capitalists do) as a system of rewards and punishments for selecting people and ideas with the best value and worth.

But how can he justify punishing the poor for being the way they have been taught to be? He had a "rich dad" to teach him the ropes, and while he did initiate that relationship, the vast majority of people do not have such a mentor, cannot initiate such a mentor (ie he grew up in a rich neighborhood, so while he capitalized on opportunity to find a rich dad, that opportunity itself is not available to most people, and becomes decreasingly probable the poorer one's parents are).

Also, the most pervasive influence is society and culture, an image and worldview set in large part by magazines, movies, television, music, etc. Areas marketing people use to influence people into thinking and in turn behaving in the ways they desire. This marketing is purchased by the rich. They establish the behaviour that is causing the problem. If all the poor and middle class are excessive consumers, then the rich make money. So they encourage this mindset. They establish norms, the people on television live a certain lifestyle, this lifestyle is then associated with a certain group / bracket of people, even though that group / bracket cannot afford to live that lifestyle. The people see that, think that they are supposed to have those things and live that way, and so they do. They go into debt, not even realizing they are living outside their means. The poor / middle class mindset is thus not just taught from parents with the mindset to their children, but also from the rich in order to make greater profits at their expense.

Robert gives many examples of things he has done, and has seen others do (see OVER-RELIANCE ON ANECDOTE). These things largely result in exploiting poor people. For example, he waits for people to go bankrupt, or have banks foreclose on their property, and looks for houses that have been on the market long enough that he can offer significantly less than they are worth. In other words, he has trained himself to spot desperate people, and then capitalize on their desperation. He justifies this by saying that he is providing a service, or something of value, something beneficial, as evidenced in that these people pay him money. If he wasn't doing something good, they wouldn't have sold him a $70k property for $5k that he turns around and sells for $60k. But the reason they go along with this is not because he is providing something valuable, but rather, because their situation is so desperate that they have no choice. They are forced to take the offer, because they don't have any other options. He is not providing a service, he is exploiting the desperate. As analogy, if someone is desperately poor, they may feel forced to sell their organs for money. Thus we outlaw selling of organs, to prevent this exploitation. But if it were not outlawed, then his reasoning would imply that purchasing cheap organs off of desperately poor people is beneficial, to them, because otherwise they wouldn't have made the sale. Turning around and selling them for hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who will die if they don't get them is not extortion, but service, because otherwise they wouldn't have made the purchase.

Because he justifies what he does by using their evaluation of the value of his deal, he also must ignore some of his foundational points in the book about how terrible these people are at evaluating the merit of such deals, as talked about in BLAME THE VICTIM.

This book is heavy with anecdotes intended to illustrate the points. Most of the anecdotes are personal experiences, and most of them deal with real-estate. This may seem pragmatic, but I think it hides serious problems. If the theory behind his points is wrong, then the anecdotes make it seem right. He believes that everyone can do the things he does (and to be fair, I agree with that), but his examples are mostly himself. If you did not have his experience with international law from piloting ships, leadership from the military, sales and confidence from selling xerox machines, knowledge from attending conferences and school, then your chances of replicating his success would be drastically reduced. His anecdotes are very heavily real-estate based, but that market has been largely tapped out. I can't help but wonder if he would still be "broke" (which he distinguishes from "poor") if not for having that wave to ride. He says his rich dad started teaching him when he was 9, but that he didn't become "[financially] free" until he was 47. If he had all these advantages and all this capability, then why did it take so long? The anecdotes don't address this, they get the reader excited and make his points seem valid, while sweeping potential issues under the rug.

He claims to be selling financial wisdom, the lessons his rich dad taught him. He presents this as a laudable thing to do, he'll educate people about how to make money, and then they will be better capable of making money, making their lives better. So it seems like he is providing something valuable. But this is myopic, we cannot all be winners. There are a finite number of dollars, for every one that I acquire, that is one fewer that anyone else can acquire, thus capitalism is a zero-sum game. For every winner, there is a loser. Actually, with the way it works in practice, for every winner, there are about a thousand losers. In other words, if we all learned to think and act like he does, then no one could get ahead, and his lessons would be pointless. There could be no rich people if there were no poor people, so by adopting practices to make himself rich, he is adopting practices to make others poor. His model for how to get ahead is a model for how to put others behind, directly contradicting many of the justifications he gives for adopting his views and practices. He wants to help educate us to become rich, but this goal cannot be attained (if everyone is rich, then no one is rich).

It was marketed to me as a book about business, or at the very least, a book about wise financial thinking. But running a business is almost never talked about, instead he focuses on investment. If you have seen his chart of the four different groups of people who make up the world of business (not in "Rich Dad Poor Dad", but you can find it on the covers of several other books in this series, such as "Rich Dad's CASHFLOW Quadrant"), he breaks it into employees, self-employed, big business owner, and investor. This book focuses almost exclusively on the investor category. Even then, it is more about mindset than practices. One thing is sure, he spends very little time talking about how to own a business, it is all about choosing to own assets. (ie he would say that you shouldn't own and run a business at all because that is a job. Instead unless you have someone else running it for you, because then it is a passive income, and you can spend your time looking for other investments)

This book is aimed at eager capitalists, people who get excited about money, people who want to make money, people who want to start businesses, people who feel trapped in the "rat race", people who consider themselves savvy and intelligent and don't understand why they are not rich. Through marketing, it also pretends to be for parents concerned their children will wind up in the rat race like they are, but this is mostly cursory. So what does it give these people? What can they get from this book? What is Robert trying to convey? You might say it gives them hope, or a dream. I think it mostly just gets them excited, makes them revel in their financial desires, makes them feel that these desires are achievable, and that reading the book is helping them achieve them, somehow.

But, if you've looked at the people it is marketed to, you'll notice that they are mostly people who do not want to be poor, or who feel trapped or unhappy in some way. The book equates poor and middle class and rat race with extremely undesirable positions, and imparts that you should be getting out of them. This, in itself, builds the foundation of discontentment that the dreams rely on. That you can get to a better place than you are. In other words, you are not in as good of a place as you _should_ be. Once you are sold on this, it turns that "should" into a "can", and you are inspired. But you wouldn't need this inspiration if you didn't feel that you were in a bad place, a feeling the book goes to great lengths to ensure you experience. It manufactures discontentment, and markets it as the American Dream. Is the dream attainable? If you can truly learn to think like Robert does, then it is more likely to be attainable, sure. But it sets no paths to follow (see summary below), no set of steps. You'll be in the same position when you finish as when you started, you'll just feel more desperate that things aren't happening.

If you think about money _all_of_the_time_; critically analyze what others and yourself are doing to be successful and unsuccessful; constantly look for money making opportunities; and strive to make money making decisions, then you will become rich.
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on January 20, 2010
Although the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad distinguishes assets from liabilities, I found it a bit difficult to figure out how somebody with only money enough to survive can acquire assets. He says a house is a liability, then suggests you go out and purchases real estate. And if your house is a liability, as he claims, what is an apartment you are living in which belongs to your landlord?

I suppose the idea is that you should invest -- but stock market investment proved to be a good way to go broke in recent years. And bank savings lose value every day as inflation eats the dollar. It's nice if you have a crystal ball. Maybe careful study will teach us which way to jump, but it's quite likely that many of the people who took the risks that Kiyosaki so recommends wound up bankrupt and answering phones at a call center or working in car-washes.

Sure, Ray Kroc made a bundle by taking risks. But for every Ray Kroc there are ten thousand guys who took similar risks and ended up broke.

Maybe what we need is a better definition of wealth. It is true that bank statements and brokerage statements document wealth, but in an inflationary economy and an economy where the stock market is tanking, are the dollars represented in these accounts actually assets?

Another thing I found off-putting is the author's disdain for the wisdom of his biological father, who apparently has a fairly good life despite lack of a big brokerage/real estate account. Not only is this disrespectful, it ignores the fact that not all wealth is measured in dollar amounts. Seriously: Lois McMaster Bujold says: "All wealth is ultimately biological." If you defer or avoid having children, for example, you may have more dollars in the bank, but are you actually better off? If you spend 20 hours a day tracking your various businesses, and end with a heart condition from lack of sleep, are you really wealthy? Those hospital bills can really cut into your bank balance!

Kiyosaki also has a deeply ingrained reactionary streak. I suspect had he lived in Victorian days, he might have argued that three-year-old starving orphans had made some earlier mistake, possibly at age two, that caused their penury.

There is wisdom here; I might even suggest my financially naive son read this book. But I'd also want to discuss it with him critically. A paid-off home IS an asset, even though you have to pay taxes and upkeep, because you can't live in hotel rooms and ditches. And a going-nowhere business is a liability.

And family is an asset. Even Poor Dad, who gets such short shrift here.

But read it. A library copy. Books, after all, are not free.
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