Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a must-read book for our generation. The storytelling approach draws you in so you’ll clearly see the contrast between two very different views on work, money and the future. The first view that Kiyosaki learned from his dad will sound familiar to most us: Study hard, get a good job with benefits, save money, and retire with a nest egg. That was his “poor dad.” He certainly loved his dad, but Kiyosaki came to realize that, while not intending to do so, his dad was teaching him to be poor.
Kiyosaki argues that we do not receive financial education from school or university. We tend to learn from our families, thus the subtitle of his book, “What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!” The middle class teach their kids to get a good education, get a high paying job, a house and a pension. They turn their financial future over to someone they hope is an expert. As it turns out, growing up, Kiyosaki had a “second dad,” his friend’s dad, who was wealthy. He taught Kiyosaki how to become wealthy. Instead of working for money, the rich teach their kids to have their money work for them. They teach them to be entrepreneurs, to run multiple businesses and to invest in assets which produce income for them. They are active investors who retain control of their investments.
The contrast between the rich dad and poor dad is quite clear when you look at how they viewed real estate. The poor dad believed that buying a house to live in was investing in an asset. But when you look at your monthly income and expenses, a house purchased with a mortgage is actually an expense. You’re making mortgage payments each month for 20 or 30 years. The rich dad taught Kiyosaki that an asset puts money into your pocket every month. So if you’re going to have a mortgage, it’s better to buy a house which you then rent out to someone else. That can generate positive cashflow for you. Even better if you can rent out the basement to one renter and the upper level to another renter so that the mortgage payment is covered and even more positive cashflow comes to you each month.
People in the financial services industry do not want Robert Kiyosaki to present what he presents in this book. They’re looking for people like the poor dad, not entrepreneurs who know that a real way to wealth is to develop their own real estate investment business. Whether you agree or disagree, this book challenges the common thinking and it’s thus worthy of a read. We all benefit from having our thinking challenged and when it’s being challenged on something as fundamental as money, career and future, it’s all the more valuable. I’ve read Rich Dad, Poor Dad again and again, and I would recommend you read it too.