Book Review: Rich Dad Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki)

In Book Reviews, Investing, Personal Finance by Runner InvestorLeave a Comment

This is a book review for Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. This book is considered a classic in the area of personal finance. Although it has been many years since Kiyosaki wrote this book, many people will easily put this book in their “Top 10 Personal Finance Books” lists.

So, what did I think about the book? What did I like? What were some things that I didn’t like about the book? Is it worth the purchase? What’s maybe one key takeaway from the book? Read on to find out!

Overall Impressions

Rich Dad Poor Dad is an easy read in the sense that you could probably get through the book in a couple of days. Kiyosaki’s writing style is simple, which I think makes this book an attractive read especially for those who are newer to personal finance. The simplicity is rooted in the fact that most of Kiyosaki’s lessons were learned from his “rich dad” at a young age. Just as his “rich dad” needed to have explained things in a way that is understandable to children, Kiyosaki passes on that favor to the reader by presenting even some of the more technical concepts in a simple way. Even though Kiyosaki admits continuing to learn things from “rich dad” well into his adulthood, the core fundamentals were ingrained at an early age.

The core of the book is six lessons that Kiyosaki’s “rich dad” taught him. Before I go any further, you might be wondering why both a “rich dad” and a “poor dad” are referenced. Briefly, “poor dad” is Kiyosaki’s biological father. “Rich dad” is the father of Kiyosaki’s childhood best friend. The lessons that Kiyosaki learned were from his “rich dad.”

Likes

1. Simplicity. Kiyosaki doesn’t introduce much in terms of technical terms and concepts, so that can be appreciated by those who are trying to learn more about personal finance and investing. Even when some technical terms are introduced, Kiyosaki is able to explain things in a way that is simple. I thought Kiyosaki did a good job of simply explaining the difference between an asset and a liability through a series of pictures. Even Kiyosaki will admit that those who are more technically inclined might disagree with the way “rich dad” taught, but it’s hard to argue with someone who is basically a legendary figure when it comes to personal finance and investing.

2. Storytelling. Kiyosaki has a knack for telling short stories that deliver the point he wants to get across to his readers. As each short story was told, I could easily visualize and imagine Kiyosaki’s childhood experiences in my head. Simply put, the storytelling enhanced each of the six lessons.

3. Inspiration. After reading this book, I remember feeling very inspired to start exercising my brain to think of ways to become rich. Kiyosaki does a good job of giving you just enough to start brainstorming ideas in your head. Since I am naturally very risk-averse, this book was an eye-opener because it encouraged me to think big. The concept of assets (rather than income) paying for expenses is a game-changing concept for me. I’m obviously far from that possibility right now, but it’s making my head swim with so many ideas on how to make money make money (and, no, that’s not a typo).

Dislikes

1. Very little specific direction. If you’re looking for specific direction in terms of what to invest in or how to invest, Kiyosaki actually doesn’t offer a whole lot of help in that regard. Kiyosaki does mention some generally recommended categories of assets, but not much more is really offered. To make matters worse, Kiyosaki generally glosses over some of his investment ideas that have made him rich in the past. However, those ideas typically come with the disclaimer that either he would not recommend the same move to others (usually because it would be too risky of a play for most people). If you’re looking for a step-by-step approach on how to get rich, this isn’t the book you’re looking for.

2. Tone in certain sections of the book. One can argue that Kiyosaki takes a bit of a boastful tone, especially towards the end of the book. I’m fairly certain that Kiyosaki doesn’t intend to brag about his successes. However, there is at least one instance where Kiyosaki seems to suggests that typical investors should not and cannot handle the risk exposure for certain investment vehicles that can build wealth. It basically sounds like this: “I’ve done this for a long time, so what I do isn’t considered risky. You, on the other hand, don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. So, stay away from it.” There is a bit of “do as I say, not as I do” talk sprinkled here and there towards the end of the book. Again, I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt.

Is It Worth The Buy?

I’m one the fence on this one. I think “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is certainly worth the read, but I don’t know if it’s really worth a buy to be on your bookshelf. I actually borrowed “Rich Dad Poor Dad” from the library.

Don’t get me wrong; this book is an absolute classic. There’s a reason why the book was a #1 New York Times bestseller. That fact, alone, is enough for most people to purchase the book. The reason I’m personally on the fence as to whether I’d buy this book is that I’d consider it a “one and done” book. And, it’s not like I mean that in a bad way, either. What I can appreciate about the way Kiyosaki writes is that he writes in a way that is easy to understand. Unlike some other personal finance books I have read, Kiyosaki tends to focus more on making sure his readers are able to think critically for themselves rather than coming up with a list or multi-step game plan of exact things to do. Basically, he inspires in a big picture kind of way so that the reader formulates his or her own game plan.

Some people might beg to differ, but I think this is a book that ultimately serves its purpose if it inspires you to incorporate a few big picture principles into your life. If you need a refresher on those big picture principles, there is absolutely no shame in buying the book and keeping it on the bookshelf for when you might actually need to revisit the book. Plus, I suppose the upside of owning the book is that you could lend it to others to read (such as your friends, family, etc.).

If There’s Only One Thing You Learn From The Book…

Your mind is ultimately your biggest asset. How you frame your perspective on money and personal finance could be the difference between comfortably rich and barely scraping by. The most memorable example Kiyosaki provides is that his “poor dad” would say, “I can’t afford it.” But, his “rich dad” would ask, “How can I afford it?” Kiyosaki argues that when a person says he or she can’t afford it, any motivation or pursuit that was there is now gone. It’s a dead end. When a dead end statement turns into a question, it exercises the mind.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

Have you read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki? What are your thoughts on the book?

Run. Invest. Learn. Celebrate. Repeat.

– Runner Investor

Leave a Comment