In the past weeks I have done few things of major interest for anyone but myself, which is the prime reason for the lack of my aticles on this blog. Except, of course, that I read like a beast and consequently my excessively large brain carries even more amazing amounts of knowledge than before. Knowledge, that I am willing to share – for a price that is (your time).
Robert T. Kiyosaki has become a bit of a celebrity, following his series of get-rich quick books, amply named Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In his books Kiyosaki explains how the rich think, as opposed to the middle-class and poor, who never get anywhere financially and die in debt. His formula is simple, too simple perhaps. Kiyosaki’s main arguments are:
1) sending your children to good schools to get good education, followed by a university degree, is not sufficient for financial success. Good jobs create more money, money which is usually ill spent, excessively taxed and lost in ventures which create no successive money – consequently good jobs do not differentiate the financially successful from the financially retarded. That is caused by the lack of investment and financial education given in schools. To be successful in life, school education is no longer satisfactory.
2) the poor and the middle-class are all players in a ‘rat race’ – a race that has been transcended by the rich. That means that the poor seek jobs for financial security, yet the more they get paid, the more everything costs them. They fall in debt, usually for the majority of their lives. They pick up liabilities instead of assets, mainly due to insufficient financial knowledge, and lose even more money as a consequence. The trick of the rich is to build one’s assets (things that produce more money than they cost – eg. renting houses, buying stocks, bonds) so that they pay off one’s expenses and liabilities – thus money coming in from outside one’s day-to-day job will pay for everything, leaving one with excess money to do with as one pleases. That is what escaping the ‘rat race’ means.
It is quite sad that I had to read the whole book to be left with these ideas, while for the reader of this blog, those two short paragraphs suffice. The ideas in the book are fairly accurate as far as I am aware, they do give a good explanation for the seemingly irrational decision-making processes of the indebted people of America and Western Europe. The book also offers a way to escape this world of indebtedness and over-taxation, but it fails to give any firm ideas on how exactly to do it. The idea of more kinds of education is equally interesting.
What will bother most potential readers is the style in which the book is written. The author repeats himself on more points than one, forcing the reader’s brain to submission. Many personal stories from Kiyosaki’s life are meant to make the story more believable and to help carry across the main ideas. Instead, they infuriate the more intelligent reader.
All in all, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is not a great book, but the ideas that it carries are worth noticing. It seems a sad fact to me that a book like this will not help the world get richer or more successful. But it will make Mr. Kiyosaki richer for sure, it already has done just that. And isn’t it a shame that a book with such horrible pink cover ever became a bestseller?