If you listen to or read podcasts or blogs from the financial sector, you will almost inevitably come across Rich Dad Poor Dad * by Robert T. Kiyosaki when reading book recommendations. In fact, many seem to have found their own financial education through this. For me, too, RDPD was one of the first financial education books. And I also have to admit that it had clearly strengthened my existing opinion about the need for financial literacy. So, it is almost a matter of course that I had not only heard the audiobook * once and was able to gain new knowledge the second and third time.
In this post, I would like to bring you my review and interpretation of Rich Dad Poor Dad closer. I am not anticipating any great surprise if I already write that the book is recommendable from my point of view. You can find out why I see it that way and what criticisms I have here:
Who is the author Robert T. Kiyosaki?
Kiyosaki was born in Hawaii in 1947 as an American of Japanese descent. His parents were well-educated middle-class academics. After school, he joined the US Marines, trained there as a pilot, and then took part in Vietnam’s combat missions as a helicopter pilot.
In his mid-twenties, he quit his military service and went to Xerox Corp., where he trained as a salesman and then worked there for a while.
In 1974 he made his first steps into self-employment and founded a real estate company. In 1984 he set up a seminar concept called Money & You, which he ran with business partners. In 1994 the company was liquidated.
In 1992 he published his first book with the provocative title If You Want to Be Rich and Happy, Don’t Go To School. In 1996/97, he founded Cashflow Technologies, Inc, which has been responsible for marketing the Rich Dad and Cashflow 101 brands for the following years.
In 1997 the book Rich Dad Poor Dad was published in English. To date, a total of 18 book titles have come onto the market, resulting in a total of 26 million units worldwide.
At the same time, Kiyosaki invested its money in other companies and real estate. Today, in addition to his work as an investor and book author, he is also a very popular speaker at major congresses worldwide.
Rich Dad Poor Dad – A little summary
The book tells the career of Robert T. Kiyosaki from a first-person perspective. Here he contrasts two characters, his educated but poor biological father with a doctorate and his uneducated (school education) rich father (that of his friend Mike), and lets them explain their respective points of view. By the term “poor,” Kiyosaki does mean the lower class and the middle class in particular.
His biological father was a teacher and later held a management position in the Ministry of Education. Although he had always earned well, he never made anything out of money, so he didn’t invest it but consumed it for his family and himself.
His wealthy father was an entrepreneur who worked in many fields and became the richest man in Hawaii. He had dropped out of school in the eighth grade and therefore had no high school education. But he knew a lot about financial education.
In various life stories, Kiyosaki looked at certain situations from his rich and poor father’s point of view, which taught him to become financially successful. Here the rich father acted as his trainer and mentor and his poor father mostly as a negative example in financial matters, whom he also valued and loved very much as a person and father.
Rich Dad Poor Dad – The key messages
In the following, I would like to take up a few key statements from the book and briefly sketch them in my words in order to get a better overview:
- The most important investment is in yourself. Financial education is essential if you want to get rich. Education in this area opens up options that you would otherwise not be able to take advantage of. There must also be no standstill here. If you stop learning, you will stop being rich.
- The poor work for money; the rich make money work for them. Kiyosaki states that the poor and the middle class are conditioned to finish school well and then learn a profession so that they are available for the job market. Here they work for the rich and help to increase money, of which they only get a very small share in the end. On the other hand, the rich do not exchange their labor for money but hire staff who can do the work better than they themselves. The creation of new values then creates wealth.
- The rich can better control fear and greed through discipline and know-how. The poor are driven by fear and greed. Fears waste lucrative opportunities, or greed for ever greater consumption leads to a life on the hamster wheel.
- The (later) rich are employed in order to learn how certain processes work. They use this newly acquired knowledge for their later company. The poor enter into such a relationship in order to make a living. They only educate themselves to get a better position in the company and not to apply the knowledge in their own investments.
- The rich protect their assets with company structures, which isolate their private assets from risks. This also serves to act in a tax-optimized manner. In proportion, the poor pay the highest tax rates, and they are always fully liable for all their wealth.
- The rich know the difference between assets and liabilities; the poor do not. For the poor, buying a home or a car is their greatest asset, but they aren’t because they keep costing money instead of making money. This misconception leads the poor to only accumulate liabilities that they may not. Drive into financial ruin or let them pedal forever in the hamster wheel.
Rich Dad Poor Dad – My conclusion
In my opinion, this book should not be understood as a great 1 to 1 guide to wealth. In my opinion, there is no such thing, even if some authors claim it of their books, and many readers are looking for them. Rather, this book offers a lot of food for thought in an entertaining way to realign your mindset. Right at the beginning, you really feel like reading / listening to it in one go.
Of course, advanced learners will already know most of the points because these are included in most financial education and mindset books. But because of the high entertainment value, it is also worth reading for them.
For beginners, however, it can be an eye-opener. You will certainly recognize yourself and your possibly incorrect attitude to money and finance in many scenes. That’s why you can put yourself in the book very well, especially if you approach the matter with an open mind.
In some places, it could come across as a little cocky or boastful if, for example, he talks about multi-million dollar deals in real estate, but I think that’s exactly the right approach. Kiyosaki names his successes and partly criticizes the reluctance of his companions. Without exactly these stories, the book would only be half as good. Generally speaking, anyone who perceives this as a boast should really put their mindset to the test.
If I can add one criticism at all, it is that the book reports very little of Kiyosaki’s failures, at least not in-depth I would have liked.
As an American, Kiyosaki wrote primarily for and about the American market. Not all points mentioned in the book can therefore be applied completely in Europe or Germany. This is especially the tax information and a few other little things like investing in government-secured mortgages.
I read/hear a lot of (audio) books on this topic, but rarely more than once. I listened to Rich Dad Poor Dad * three times in total. So that should say everything about my evaluation of the book. As already written, I find the book was well written and especially instructive and suitable for beginners.
Speaking of financial literacy, I think it’s extremely important. If you are also interested in the topic, I recommend my articles Financial Education is Essential and Five pieces of advice to my 20 years younger. Maybe you can take something with you there too.
How did you find the book review? You are welcome to send me feedback here in the comments, on Facebook, or by email. If you haven’t downloaded the book (if not yet download from our website), I hope you enjoy reading it.