- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Goldmann TB (2007)
- Language: German
- ISBN-10: 3442217784
- ISBN-13: 978-3442217786
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5,563 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rich Dad, Poor Dad (German) Paperback – 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
* 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 In this sense, the book is out of date, since the tax laws were changed in the late 90s to permit up to $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for married couples) from the sale of a primary residence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.
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.