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Rich Dad Poor Dad Review

This book, shockingly ranked #1 on Amazon for Personal Finance, might as well have been called Rich Dad Poor Dad Hopelessly Deluded Author. It’s so far detached from real-life wealth generation, that you should probably confine all future Robert Kiyosaki works to the Fiction section. He clearly specialises in talking out of his arse.

It’s five years since I was first recommended Rich Dad Poor Dad, a bestseller that I have always treated with skepticism given the murky nature of Kiyosaki’s upselling regime that sits behind the brand.

After reading the book in two pained sittings, I can safely say that anybody who recommends this slice of warble as valuable literature in the field of personal finance, is out of his damn mind, and knows jack diddly squat about personal finance.

Before we even get to the plot, it has to be said that Kiyosaki is a terrible writer. His storytelling unravels in scenes that would not look out of place in a poorly scripted infomercial. This, of course, is no coincidence. The infomercial is a perfect match for Kiyosaki’s primitive take on wealth generation. The rich are a collective, and the poor are a suffering crowd. It’s in such simple terms that Rich Dad Poor Dad thrives.

It’s difficult to decipher the author’s exact message at times. But I think I’ve nailed it down to 3 key points:

1. Education is important, but always second to financial literacy. People turn out poor because they’re not taught financial literacy.

2. Real estate is a fastlane to wealth. Buy properties at discounted prices, flip them and bank the just rewards. He doesn’t give details on how to implement this ninja wisdom, or how to beat the market. He places the burden on ‘insider tips‘. Mmm, fruitful.

3. Pay yourself first. Even if the government comes knocking on your door, you deserve to be paid first. The best way to do this, in Kiyosaki’s opinion, is to hide under the umbrella of a corporation. The author fails to recognize the difference between business expenses and personal expenses. I’m sure at least some of his devoted readers will have taken the words to heart, used expense accounts to buy rolexes, and will have enjoyed the fist of the IRS lodged firmly up their arses ever since.

Early in the book, Robert explains how he and his best friend Mike became swept under the wing of Rich Dad, a fatherly figure hated by his employees but blessed with the secret of knowing how to generate immense wealth. What could it possibly be?

The boys, at this point, are only 9 years old. Rich Dad puts them to work every Saturday, paying a pathetic 30 cents for their time. One day Robert snaps and can’t take it any longer. “You said you’d teach me the secret of wealth! All you’re doing is forcing me to bust my guts for nothing!

At this point, Rich Dad launches in to a mind-bending interpretation that he has actually done the boys a favour. He’s proven that the rat race is no way to spend a life.

Note: I’m pretty sure exploiting child labour in the manner of Rich Dad is considered illegal, even in America. Somehow, the madness only escalates.

What follows is a laughably contrived debate between alleged moneybags entrepreneur and inquisitive 9 year old Kiyosaki. I don’t remember how savvy I was at 9 years old, but I’d be amazed if I was able to remember even a fraction of the investment ‘wisdom’ that Rich Dad throws in the face of this kid. It’s clear that the encounter is entirely fictional and designed to portray a conversation between Rich Dad and the reader. But what does it say about the lessons to be learned that Kiyosaki has cast the audience as a hapless 9 year old child?

Just like that, Robert sets off on his adventure in search of riches and fame. Well, I suspect he achieved one before the other.

I could find only one bright spot in the entire book. It arrives out of the blue when Kiyosaki expresses the importance of investing in assets rather than liabilities. This is basic financial footing. Don’t spend more money than you bring home. Invest extra money in assets, and stay out of debt. I can see how the big reveal – Kiyosaki calls it the only rule of wealth that matters – might bring clarity and a sense of direction to those who have been doing it wrong. But for everybody else, it should be common sense.

Kiyosaki explains very little about where to invest money, nor what makes a good asset. But he does launch in to a tirade about the importance of paying yourself first. The argument can be summed up best with this stroke of genius:

When I occasionally come up short. I still pay myself first. I let the creditors and even the government scream.

Perhaps I’m missing something, but if this doesn’t tick the right boxes for ‘catastrophic financial tip of the year’, then I don’t know what will. More tellingly, it goes against every sound cashflow suggestion that he squeaks in to the first few chapters, removing any hint of a saving grace from the diatribe to follow.

How can you truly appreciate the importance of assets vs liabilities when you’re continuously battering your credit rating by refusing to stump up cash for your bills and debts?

Kiyosaki argues that it doesn’t matter. Paying yourself first is ideal, no matter how loudly the government screams, because even if you don’t have the money in your bank account, the over-commitment will inspire and motivate you in to making ends meet. It’ll force you to grow as a businessman. What?! No really, what the fuck? Does he have the slightest Scooby what he is ranting on about?

One could argue that attempting to blood financial wisdom from a Kiyosaki sales device is like watching a SmackDown divas’ pillow-fight in the hope of extreme pornography. Expectations need to be met by reality. Yet I was still left wondering how such a half-baked cocktail of metaphors and generalizations could ever be met with widespread acclaim. Then it tweaked. The Warrior Forum flashed before my eyes, and normality was restored. Common sense looks like genius when it’s viewed from a cesspit of stupidity.

Do yourself a favour. Don’t buy Rich Dad Poor Dad.

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About the author

Finch
Finch

Hi, I’m Finch. A 26 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who makes a lot of money from the Internet.

  • http://teamtutorials.com spyderman4g63

    ” The Warrior Forum flashed before my eyes, and normality was restored. Common sense looks like genius when it’s viewed from a cesspit of stupidity.”

    That’s all I needed to know.

  • http://www.customerexperiencelabs.com usability testing

    i think the book is HORRIBLE. I had a lot of friends that read it. most of them could *not* articulate anything clear. he (Kyosaki) is one of those guys that can talk for hour s and hours and people think he’s saying something meaningful and then when you ask them to give you a summary they can’t say anything clearly! he has a point about investing in assets not debt but most people interpret that to mean to buy property which is what he used to seem to be recommending. is he still saying the same thing since the housing crash?

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    Yep, I resisted taking a pot shot at his advice for the post-crash era, but it makes for another hammer blow to the coffin.

    It amazes me that he’s sold 28 million books. And worries me too.

  • http://- Justin

    Such a true review of a very over hyped book. Reading this book caused me to spend thousands of pounds on dodgy courses and seminars that didn’t work.

    My estimate is that Kiyosaki is no more a professional invester than he is just a self publicised marketer who has made a fortune out of giving people a load of bollocks.

    Just like those other ‘Gurus’ i was stupid enough to hand my hard earned over to, who preached Kiyosaki’s work as the bible of ‘financial intelligence’

    I think at the end of the day anyone can get out there and make as much money as they wish but you’ve got to get off your arse and do it.

    Cheers for the post.

  • dapo

    I love everything you’ve written up until this article Finch. I even agree with the last paragraph of this article but in all, i think you missed the point of the entire book.

    I would do up counter-arguments but tbh cldnt be bothered right now, all I’ll leave you with is that his books, especially the Rich Dad Poor Dad, are meant to be “eye-openers”/inspiration and not specific financial advice. Its up to the individual to invest in him/herself to get their money affairs in order which is a huge part of what I understood reading his books.

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    I’m generally okay with authors using their work as eye-openers, or as inspiration to get us off our arses. But this goes about it in all the wrong ways. People can be inspired by just about any story of wealth generation. But if the story is irrational fictional nonsense, then I don’t think it makes sense to hold the work in any esteem.

    In terms of inspiration, there are much better books available that provide not only inspiration but solid financial principles.

    Kiyosaki’s only solid tip in the entire book is to invest in assets. If he’d published a paragraph, I’d have no problem. But he published a book. And when you judge the book by all its contents, the rest of the material completely blows away 99% of his credibility.

  • http://twentypeople.com Roman

    Fully agree, I read it when I just couldn’t believe how popular it was and it wouldn’t go away, people kept recommending it. And then, reading, I realized, wait a second, this is what might just differentiate a lot of us here in Europe from the US (I’ve spent plenty of time on both sides). Americans really love to read this stuff, it’s inspirational, it’s making the quest for achieving your (financial freedom, i.e. millionaire) dreams so much more OK to become the center of your act, be a nobody, turn into somebody by outsmarting everyone else with a secret… It’s a very special kind of fiction that would never work with certain people a generation before us in Europe, the younger ones are picking it up though…

  • Brandon T

    Yes, the conversations involving the 9 year old are probably false. The purpose of the book isn’t a history lesson, it’s financial acumen.

    If I recall, another key point is don’t be a follower. Wealth happens from doing things that most aren’t doing. ie: don’t buy a stock that everyone is buying. That’s called buying high selling low. YES, once heard, it appears to be “common sense”. But if you look at what people tend to do, they do the exact opposite.

    Yes, I felt what I was reading was common sense, but can you say you practice everything that you read which screamed common sense? The challenge is actually doing it. RDPD tends to make people want to get off their “arse” and finally do what appears to be common sense. And for that it’s loved.

    If you can’t understand how being between a rock and a hard place can make you “hustle” more in order to come out on top, I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe a psychology class? It makes perfect sense to me, and probably the millions of people whom say they love the book.

  • http://hbo.com stringerbell

    Hey everyone! Don’t buy this book! But in case you do: here’s a referral link.

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    So are you suggesting when you have bills to pay, and the government demanding taxes, you should neglect your responsibilities as mere motivation to “hustle more”? See how long it lasts. Is there any point in even attempting to develop assets when you can just adopt the attitude that liabilities are whimsical commitments to be honoured when it suits you?

    That might make sense to you, but it seems pretty ridiculous to me.

    I understand perfectly clearly how ‘hustling’ becomes a greater priority when you’re in a hard place. But to continue overspending and racking up debt isn’t a sensible move. It’s the exact opposite of financial literacy, which Kiyosaki claims to promote.

  • Sal Sa

    I read the book and the following two many years ago. Over the last decade my companies generated over 30 millions. Last year we started a new business and within four months it makes 100k/month. And at age nine, kids do remember profound memories. Hack, I remember some from when I was 3!

    My point is, I know a little about success and finances, not so much and certainly not an expect or one to give you advice. Now to the book and my own humble opinion, its a good lesson, easy read. No, it’s not going to teach you much about specifics and that’s OK. If the reader gets the point of liabilities vs. assets and building cashflow than that lesson would be far more valuable than years in a university or whatever other degree you may get these days. And no, for me it never had to do with Real Estate as the lessons could apply to other areas, such as the web. And lastly, if anything, reading your article sounds like the perfect link-bait. I didn’t bother checking, but did you add an affiliate link to the book’s link at the bottom? I think you should!

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    Isn’t that better than “OMG you guys, this book is so awesome, go buy!” …when I haven’t even read it?

    Honest opinions are what referral marketing needs. If people choose to go and buy the shit anyway, that’s on their heads.

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    Ha, I did. Good linkbait indeed!

  • Brandon T

    Firstly, one should not put themself in a position where they cannot meet their debts. Kiyosaki does not promote ignoring liabilities.

    Kiyosaki DOES promote not accruing liabilities. If you don’t have them, you don’t have to worry about paying them.

    And to that end, “overspending” refers to acruing assets, not buying cars or other “liabilities”.

    If you are accruing a “true asset”, that means it is revenue generating. Which means all by itself it will pay for the liabilities which could not be avoided, maybe some of which were not already accounted for.

    In short, IF there are liabilities outstanding, additional assets can may for them, and continue paying in the future. If you spend on the liability, instead of a possible asset, you spend the money never to hear from it again. An asset is a gift that keeps on giving… and when it doesn’t, you get rid of it.

    (yes, at some point you pay the liabilities. This is not a never ending cycle of buying assets. The point is to put your mind in the proper state of thinking. It’s best summed up as “pay yourself first”. If you pay liabilities first, that’s all you’ll ever do. You’ll end up selling assets just to pay liabilities. One must always try to the death, to keep assets (paying yourself) far more numerous than liabilities)

  • Junkers

    This review was a fart, not even a brain fart.

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    The problem I have with the book is that you just explained the process better than the author could in 200 pages.

    There are moments where he seems to be on the money with assets vs liabilities, but he then contradicts himself or dampens his own points. I sometimes feel like the people defending the book know more about financial literacy than he does.

  • http://gregstoll.dyndns.org Greg

    Yeah, I had a similar reaction when I read the book (see http://gregstoll.livejournal.com/308608.html) – there’s a little bit of goodness but it’s mostly pretty bad…

  • http://www.123exchanges.com Leon Nguyen

    The purpose of the rich dad poor dad series is to teach the poor how to take on risk instead of just being normal. If you want to become rich, which is the purpose of the book, you must go out and experience the lessons yourself. Make mistakes and learn from them. The book encourages people to go beyond what they’re capable of. Create ideas, start a company, and build wealth through good liabilities (not them bad ones). Of course every author lies in every single book. But their goal is to make a point simple as possible that’s a reason why they create fictional stories. I believe what Robert is trying to explain is mostly true in the world we’re living in today. Those who take risks and accept failures will achieve faster in the long run than those who don’t.

  • Internet Scam Artist

    I think Rich Dad Quadrant is much better.

  • Rooney

    It is a good book. It will not satisfy all angles and expectations you read it from.

    And in any case, throwing in an affiliate link to something you have such problem with is something that goes lower than writing a book in any case.

  • Allon

    Just a few points to counter the arguments in your post:

    #1 kiyosaki stresses heavily the importance of financial literacy throughout the book and gives a lot of visual diagrams to help readers comprehend. I think the point is that most people are completely financially illiterate and not taught these principals in formal education. So I guess it is being viewed from a “a cesspit of “stupidity” but people need help.

    #2 What I took from the whole “pay yourself first” point is to hold on to your money as long as possible and make that money work for you before paying down debt. i.e. I now wait the full 30 days to pay my credit card bill so I can earn interest on that money.

    #3 The best thing I took from the book is Kiyosaki’s definition of ‘wealth’. To be wealthy is to be able to have enough income generating assets in order to support a lifestyle that you’re comfortable with….all while not having to hold a ‘traditional’ job. That’s the point at which you achieve true wealth. That point resonated with me. You don’t need to have a yacht to be ‘wealthy’.

    Anyway, that being said, Kiyosaki is, plain and simple, a salesman. He’s got a catchy title and it worked. I’ll agree hes not the greatest “writer” or story teller but that’s not the point. I think he has an anecdote in the book about a novelist he consulted that couldn’t sell her book and he suggested that she take a course in sales and she was in shock. “Why would I take a sales course!” was her response. This is another point I took from the book. It’s all about sales: sell yourself, your product, anything.

  • Allon

    I think you can give a negative review (as in you would not recommend reading) with a referral link but if you tell people “Do Not Buy” with a referral link. That’s over the line. Not cool but I’m sure Kiyosaki would say he’s taught you well!

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    I don’t see what difference it makes. Many people complain when bloggers review products dishonestly to get their commission. I’ve given my reasons why they shouldn’t buy it, but the option is there if they decide otherwise. Why shouldn’t I get paid if they do? It’s my blog, my writing and my opinion.

    I think you’re detecting some kind of psychological sales trickery where there is none!

  • Jared Polivka

    I’ve got no problem with the fact that you included a referral link. Anyone who reads this post and still buys the book is either dimwitted or they are incredibly intelligent because they want to read it and form their own opinion.

    I read Rich Dad Poor Dad when I was 17 and took it as gospel. It definitely opened my eyes at that point in my life to thinking differently about assets and liabilities and the “rat race.” However, the book provides nothing more than that. I had know idea how start an entrepreneurial life. I should have been reading Paul Graham and programming instead.

    Kiyosaki’s book is full of general advice. He never mentions how to accrue enough capital to buy assets (usually costing over $50,000 on the low end). He doesn’t help people systematically think through making investments. He provides no practical advice on making wise real estate investments. As you said Finch, you only need a paragraph to explain the financial principles in this book. The 200+ pages is pure marketing genius/bullshit on Kiyosaki’s part and he’s rolling in dough because of it.

    Great review of an over hyped book. High five.

  • http://twitter.com/jn newjersey

    Kiyosaki reminds me of shoemoney!

  • http://www.lornefade.com Lorne Fade

    The best advice I took from RDPD way back when I read it was real estate investing, buying foreclosures and flipping for substantial returns. I took this advice to heart and invested in numerous properties in Arizona recently in what I believe is the bottoming out of the mortgage bubble as interest rates stabilize. Those properties have increased in value after just 6 months so I would deem it somewhat of a success and look forward to future gains.

    Nonetheless I would have to agree with you that most of the book is filler and aimed at the middle-lower class… Although I must digress, it does accomplish to sell to that target market famously. I think Jay-Z said it best… “I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars”

  • Jason

    Leon Nguyen said “build wealth through good liabilities (not them bad ones).”

    Perhaps the biggest nugget of wisdom in the book is something to the effect of:
    “An asset is something you invest in and earns a return. A liability is something you pay for and over time you have to keep paying for it. Rich people have lots of assets. Poor people have many liabilities. The Middle-class has liabilities that they _think are assets_”

    While it wasn’t apparent until recently, (and to many it still isn’t) your 30 yr mortgage is a liability, not an asset.

    Eliminate liabilities, increase assets. I don’t find the book a waste of time. If you already realize all the lessons in the book (education increases earning potential, you don’t have to be stuck in a dead end job all your life, etc) than good for you. Some people still don’t believe or understand how they can change their circumstances.

  • William

    I read this book a few months out of college and I essentially retired less than five years later. If I had not read it, I would likely still be working salaried jobs and putting myself in debt to fund a lifestyle that would impress my colleagues, friends and family. Was I ‘stupid’ before I read the book? You would say that. I would say that I was just normal with regard to how I looked at money. The book fixed some huge leaks and gave me a laser focus on acquiring income producing assets (the ‘income producing’ part you left out – which is such a glaring omission of such a central theme of the book that I question whether you really do have the ‘common sense’ that you claim).

    Things like:

    “Don’t spend more money than you bring home. Invest extra money in assets, and stay out of debt”

    is not seen by most people as the key to building wealth. Is it ‘common sense’ to many people? Sure, when you point it out to them they will say that. But if you were to ask people you think are smart how to build wealth very few of them would describe it as a slow gradual process of living lean and investing the maximum in income producing assets. They’ll talk about an increase in their earnings – which is worthless in the long run if they don’t understand the fundamentals this book teaches.

  • William

    “I should have been reading Paul Graham and programming instead.”

    No you should have seen it as a starting point, a foundation. Then you should have read those other books too.

  • http://cfxdesign.com Michael S

    Finch,

    You should stick to marketing because it’s obvious that book reviews are not your strong suit. The book is certainly poorly written and its “history of taxation” is laughable. However, there are principles at its core–which undoubtedly seem obvious to a 23 year-old of your caliber genius–that may not be common knowledge. Here’s a quick refresher since you likely glossed over Voltaire with the same superficiality as RDPD: Common sense is not so common. Furthermore, RDPD, unlike your views, is not gospel.

    You, a “marketer”, first bash Kiyosaki’s attempt to market his books and products. I see your ads and affiliate links on this very site and I find it shameful that you would try to make money off of your readers! Oh wait, I sense a connection developing there. Can you connect the dots? As in anything, your site will probably attract readers who solely come to read your condescending words. There are also those who will be like moths to a flame and substantially increase your ad revenue and affiliate earnings. If you really have a problem with Kiyosaki’s industry model then you’ll replace your ads and affiliate links with a simple Paypal button asking visitors to donate in an effort to recoup nothing more than your hosting costs.

    RDPD’s message is difficult to decipher, but you’re close. Kiyosaki espouses the belief that “education”, i.e., the education you get in school, is outdated and will not help you understand money or the world of finance. There are a myriad of successful businessmen who attended “proper schools”, although the number of successful entrepeneurs who attended the school of hard knocks may indicate that business acumen is not learned in the modern school system. This is Kiyosaki’s point. It’s great if you know what Tanzania’s chief export is, but the knowledge is useless because schools will never teach you how to leverage it. I recommend you reserve your final evaluation of this point until you’ve spent some time around children who attend American public schools.

    “Real estate is a fastlane to wealth”–there you go again. I’d love the page references that led you to this eloquent punchline. The first printing of this book was in 1997. Didn’t your school system teach you about contextual clues and history? Furthermore, a prudent reader (read: not you) just might conclude that real estate is a sound investment because it’s something everyone will always need. And if you can’t be expected to use a modicum of your own brain cells to devise a methodology for reaping the financial potential of that market then why should Kiyosaki have to walk you through it step-by-step? Now he has to lead the horse to water AND make it drink? Be realistic! The book is under $10!

    RDPD does a great job of elaborating the “pay yourself first” mentality although he never advocates shirking your liabilities. However, he does emphasize that if your liabilities always come first then you will never acquire enough assets to escape the rat race. Why use a chunk of cash to pay off credit card debt now–leaving you with empty pockets–when you can invest that cash into an asset which will enable you to pay the debt over time? When the debt is finally paid that asset will continue to generate income! In the first scenario you are debt free with no money and no assets. The second scenario takes longer and you will pay some interest, but in the end you’re debt free and still lining your pockets for the foreseeable future! If you need me to draw you a diagram then you obviously skipped over all the diagrams in his book.

    I won’t even dignify your insight into American child labor, except that I’m uncertain how this even bears on the book’s message and why it was such an emphasized point in your review.

    The debate between 9 year olds and Rich Dad is clearly fictionalized. Does that mean there’s nothing to be learned? Please don’t tell me you’re one of those people who takes the Bible or the Koran literally. Surely it’s possible for people to set aside the literal words of a book and absorb its teachings, right?

    I agree that the “bright spot” of “the importance of investing in assets rather than liabilities” should be common sense. Clearly it is not. If it was then Kiyosaki’s book wouldn’t have sold a single copy! Besides, look at the global economy. World leaders do not understand this very concept!

    You’re right in concluding that Kiyosaki explains little about where to invest money. Rather, he explains HOW to invest your money and how to think about personal finances overall. If you NEED to be told where to invest your money then I have a friend named Bernie who would be very interested in sitting down with you (when he is released from federal prison, that is).

    I agree that letting the government scream is not sound advice. This definitely should have been removed by the editor, although speaking from personal experience, the government can be rather patient. They would rather work something out over time than throw you in jail never to see a penny.

    If you can’t figure out how to appreciate assets vs liabilities without “battering your credit rating” then no book can help you. Kiyosaki advocates debt financing only if it produces income and only if that income exceeds the expense of the debt. That is simple math which actually is taught in schools.

    Certainly making ends meet needs to be a priorty and apocalyptic failure which results in moving into your car should not even be a remote possibility with your investment strategy. This may just be one of his hyperbolic tidbits you have to take with a grain of salt. His point is that people need to try and fail in order to succeed in the end. This accurately reflects the history of most successful businessmen. In theory, the human beings reading this book should be capable of making such a rational distinction while still taking to heart the positive, not-so-ridiculous messages. If you’re someone who cannot do that then you may consider avoiding reading altogether, since writings praised for the perfect infallibility of every message contained from start to finish are few and far between.

    Your post tags are interesting. “Rich dad poor dad contradictions”–are there books or ideologies out there that are 100% free of contradictions? “Rich dad poor dad hopelessly deluded child”–who’s hopelessly deluded, Kiyosaki or the person who buys his $10 book thinking it will turn them into a millionaire overnight? “Rich dad poor dad lies”–there are no patent lies in this book, only fictionalized advice which you’re free to disregard if your thinking is too rigid.

    The value in this book is what you can take away from it, which doesn’t necessarily mean you take every word as gospel. If you take away a mandate to buy his other books and attend his pricey seminars, then I have some snake oil guaranteed to cure what ails you, and people like me have made a fine living for millenia. On the other hand, it is possible to walk away with valuable insights and put them into practice while disregarding anything that sounds cooky or out of your comfort zone. If you need to know precisely how to become wealthy and have someone hold your hand then you sadly lack that trait present in most successful business minds: self-reliance. Taking these two interpretations into account, RDPD has something for everyone.

    So, you criticize Kiyosaki for treating his audience like 9 year old imbeciles. Then you proceed to review the book from that very same perspective (whilst including some delightfully mature and colorful language–I assume this was an attempt to outclass Kiyosaki’s humble writing style?). A 9 year old imbecile can’t make decisions for himself and needs to be shown exactly how to do things. A 9 year old imbecile can’t extract the lessons from a story because he takes the story literally. Finally, a 9 year old imbecile can’t make his own decisions about what advice to heed and what advice to disregard. It doesn’t take a 24 year old imbecile to realize that we’re not all 9 year old imbeciles. The next book you read should be something practical, along the lines of “how to make pragmatic analyses”. I shudder to think of the review.

    RDPD is not that miraculous $9.95 book that will pave the way step-by-step to a wealthy and financialy free future. It’s a book that sets forth a mindset which will be more likely to enable readers who apply that mindset to gain financial freedom. It takes time, there’s no guarantee, and it’s not for everyone.

    Do yourself a favor. Don’t buy Rich Dad Poor Dad expecting it to be your personal financial panacea. Buy it with the knowledge that, like any other book, it’s full of ideas you can either adopt or reject.

  • Allon

    It’s not psychological trickery. You’re trying to make money off of something you tell people not to do. That’s your choice but you lose trust. I’m sorry if you don’t see the hypocrisy in that. By the same token, I also think its OK for people to complain when bloggers review products dishonestly. Those bloggers also lose trust. I guess you get a pass as I see you’re an affiliate marketing guru but, I’m sorry, just doesn’t feel right to me.

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    “If you really have a problem with Kiyosaki’s industry model then you’ll replace your ads and affiliate links with a simple Paypal button asking visitors to donate in an effort to recoup nothing more than your hosting costs.”

    You see, that’s just such a weak argument. Kiyosaki’s model involves extravagantly priced events and continuous upsells hitting the wallets of the very people he claims to be educating – sometimes, apparently, for thousands of dollars. This blog is a collection of reviews, opinions and random thoughts free of charge to anybody who decides to read them. Where does your comparison stem from?

    I’m sorry but I don’t buy books expecting fastlanes to grand wealth. That’s a straw man argument and you know it. I simply expect what’s written to be of good quality, good faith and based on solid foundations for the readership that it’s aimed at. RDPD is not. It’s a poorly constructed pipe dream, with one small passage of good judgment, and it is widely criticized as such. This review is by no means a needle in the haystack.

    http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html – Read this for a much better example of describing the many fallacies in the book than I can attempt in a single review. Which was never my intention, by the way.

  • Michael Ar

    I have read your opinion and the site that you recommended: http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html. And i think, both of you have the same life situation because of the same way of thinking. At least, you are not able to live like Kiyosaki, you are a poor Finch with poor mindset.

  • Bob

    BTW, do you have permission from the author to publish parts of his book ? :)

    Yes I understand you I had a doubt on this book until I have read your blog. Thanks for proving my doubt. But I can’t say that this book totally useless. I have got many great ideas from this book.

  • Jake Lockley

    It’s strange, the takeaway I got from his book is to buy property that can be owned and rented for a profit, not to flip houses.

  • http://cfxdesign.com Michael S

    Calling an argument weak does not make it weak. Your “analysis” is that the man promotes himself. So what? Isn’t that what you do every time you tweet about your farts smell better than everyone else’s? Your readers and I are free to ignore you. Kiyosaki’s readers/followers are free to take the lessons they need to succeed–which, by the way, are all in the book–and skip the courses. There are suckers born every minute and there will always be someone willing to take advantage of the suckers. Kiyosaki even talks about this exact issue! Employees will work for scratch while the employers laugh their way to the bank. Some people become addicted to those courses, Kiyosaki’s or others’. Fault the man for trying to make money? You should be reading Marx and Engels if that’s your chief complaint.

    And you want to talk about “hitting the wallets of the very people he claims to be educating,” how about colleges and universities that don’t teach useful skills and just crank out graduates? Kiyosaki is no different from them. The scenarios are identical: if you’re determined to part with your money there will always be someone willing to give it a home.

    Your apology is accepted although I doubt its sincerity. If you want good quality then you may want to look into the works of millenia past. Personal finance is not literature. So take its “one small passage of good judgment”, use it to your advantage, and move on. You have to slam the whole book because it’s fictionalized and “poorly written” by your standards and because the man promotes himself. Should Ralph Lauren be ashamed to promote his brand on the clothes he sells?

    Finally, we arrive at the “everybody’s bashing him” argument. It takes more acumen (and balls) to see both sides of a coin and to go against the trend/group (again, another issue addressed in the book). So some other internet nobody keeps a rap sheet on Kiyosaki–so what? Does that mean his book should be burned and nobody should buy it? Come on.

    And I’m the one coming up with the straw men? Your debate skills could use some brushing up.

  • Chinese

    tl;dr sell books not houses

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    “Calling an argument weak does not make it weak.”

    No, but I guess that’s your opinion, isn’t it?

    “Your “analysis” is that the man promotes himself. So what? Isn’t that what you do every time you tweet about your farts smell better than everyone else’s?”

    Actually no, my analysis is that his takeaway advice is littered with contradictions, pipe dreams and dangerous ideas. ‘Paying yourself first’ being one of the biggest offenders (in the way that he describes).

    What good advice he does provide is generally very broad, and covered in much greater depth with less ambiguity, by better books than his.

    “Kiyosaki’s readers/followers are free to take the lessons they need to succeed–which, by the way, are all in the book–and skip the courses.”

    As far as I’m concerned, there’s absolutely nothing in this book that could prepare the average reader for the road to wealth, or the final destination that he implies. Nothing. Some good points about assets and liabilities aside, it’s purely motivational self-help blabber.

    “Some people become addicted to those courses, Kiyosaki’s or others’. Fault the man for trying to make money? You should be reading Marx and Engels if that’s your chief complaint.”

    No, I don’t fault him particularly as a salesman. The issue is his book. Is it a good book on personal finance? That’s the question. And no, it’s not. Regardless of the ridiculous upsells, the financial advice in the book just isn’t very good. And it’s certainly not cohesively presented. Perhaps he gets a pass for motivating readers, but this is the glossy packaging of a pipe dream in every sense.

    “how about colleges and universities that don’t teach useful skills and just crank out graduates? Kiyosaki is no different from them.”

    Wow, thanks for that. I guess I should see him in a positive light because he’s no worse? For your information, I also dislike the colleges and universities that pump out pointless degrees. I’ve published entire posts on the subject. I just think it’s sad that x% of his 28 million readers will go on to spend more money chasing extra carrot sticks of his wisdom when they could just read a better book, or you know, find the few tidbits of his useful advice online for free. It would only take 5 minutes.

    “Your apology is accepted although I doubt its sincerity.”

    Eh?

    “Personal finance is not literature. So take its “one small passage of good judgment”, use it to your advantage, and move on.”

    Again, you seem to be defending all books in a bid to save Kiyosaki. If a book has one small paragraph of good advice, should it be spoken in the same regard as others that provide excellent insight from front to back? No. Every book review is a judgment of the complete works. The entire concept of a book review falls apart if you lack the internal reasoning to separate the good, from the bad, from the downright ugly.

    “You have to slam the whole book because it’s fictionalized and “poorly written” by your standards and because the man promotes himself.”

    No, that’s bullshit. Go back and read the review again. I barely even mention that he promotes himself. Take your straw hat off and try again.

    “Should Ralph Lauren be ashamed to promote his brand on the clothes he sells?”

    Wow, now that’s some analogy you have there. Are you suggesting there’s RDPD apparel that can be bought? Sign me up!

    “So some other internet nobody keeps a rap sheet on Kiyosaki–so what? Does that mean his book should be burned and nobody should buy it? Come on..”

    An Internet Nobody with a rap sheet? You know, when you dismiss the fallacies of the book when they’re right under your nose, there’s really not much I can do to debate them with you. Calling somebody an Internet Nobody doesn’t make them an Internet Nobody, Michael. You taught me that.

  • http://frank.is Frank

    The writing was so terrible, I could barely get through the first few chapters. It didn’t even seem proofread, let alone edited. I can’t take a ‘writer’ like that seriously.

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    I agree. Any editor worth his salt would have at least fixed up the worst of the passages.

  • Nick

    Please do a review of the teen version of this book, the advice in it often contradicts the advice given in the adult book and is just as bad.

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    I wasn’t even aware there was one. I may have to give it a read…

  • gm

    Sorry Finch, you missed the entire point in the book. This review is all wrong.

    Or maybe you are not even considering that possibility?

    Whatever. Don’t care. Just wanted to tell you you are wrong on this.

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    You’re welcome. Feel free to post your own review and I’ll happily come and tell you how wrong you are too. Opinions are like that.

  • http://powerpointz.com Loui Smith

    Wow, you totally missed the point of the book.
    This book is not about techniques on how to deal in any market.
    It’s about how to think in terms of being productive with money in general.
    Geez, It worked very good for me. So you must be looking at it from the wrong perspective.

  • http://richarddingwall.name Richard Dingwall

    +1. As usual, the only people getting rich from books like this are the author

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    Even fans of the book struggle to agree on what the main point actually is.

    Is it ‘commit to assets rather than liabilities’?

    If so, fine. But the book should have been stripped down to about 15 pages.

    Is it ‘teach yourself financial literacy as a priority’?

    Once again, fine. But 3/4 of the book can be chopped to get the point across more effectively. Good authors manage this. Simply hiring a good editor would have achieved this.

    So, no matter what point the author is attempting to make, he hasn’t done it very well at all. How can he when his point is so open to interpretation? If he’d made a good point, it would have been obvious and not betrayed by ambiguities just several pages further in the book.

    Congratulations for taking a point and making it work for you. That’s a very flimsy argument for the credibility of the complete works though. Even The Bible had a couple of decent points, if you ignore the rest of the madness. I prefer to judge the work as a whole. And as a whole, I think it’s open to a lot of criticism.

    True fans of his work shouldn’t take that as a bad thing. If the book changed your life, that’s good for you. But one opinion hardly erases another. This was certainly not life-changing or even life-enhancing for me in the slightest.

  • Michael Kimsal

    I’d *really* like to meet up with people who are today a strong financial success *because* of their having read RDPD. I’ve known and met people in person who defended it – “it’s got good ideas”, “made me rethink financial issues”, etc. but none of them are even close to financial independent or generally even on strong footing.

    I’m pretty sure there may be a few, but in my own life, the people who protest most loudly that RDPD is good/solid/strong/useful are also anything but financially strong themselves. So perhaps they recognize good advice but don’t bother to use it?

    That may be, but there have to be *some* people out there who are financially strong today *specifically* because of the RDPD advice. I don’t even want to say they should *only* have read RDPD, but… I’d like to hear from people who had their first glimpse of financial advice (or those for whom the basics of assets vs liabilities in RDPD was revelatory at the time when they read it), and are now financially fit (millionaires, deca-millionaires, or even just hundred-thousandaires).

    Or maybe I’m being too generous?

  • http://www.stuartlangridge.com Stuart

    I have to agree on a number of points with Finch – most importantly for me, is that for an author that has sold millions of copies, the writing isn’t actually all that good. By now, reprint number 17,000 or whatever it must be, it is about time to have got that sorted out…

  • Wow

    Shame on you Finch for attempting to profit with a blatant affiliate link from such a poor piece of literature. To slate such a fantastic and motivational work of pure genuis is beyond the pale.
    In all seriousness, the vast majority of these comments confirm my skepticism about the survival of the human race . . .

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    Not sure if serious?

    I hope not, for your own sake.

  • Wow

    70% serious about 50% of the comment. I hope you can recognise that, for your own sake.

  • Samantha

    So which of you saying this is a horrible book, don’t read it, are millionaires? …………….That’s what I thought. You people are pathetic.

  • http://finchblogs.com Finch

    Even more pathetic is that argument.

    Stopping short of revealing my own finances, I’d bet that they’re in better shape than 99% of the people reading this book. But either way, that’s totally redundant.

    To say that somebody can’t judge a book without being a millionaire is pretty damn stupid.

  • xucrutao

    Well it was a best seller, he got loads of money from that book. The wealth secret’s: *drums sound* trick the dumbs. While we’re here discussing this piece of c*ap Kyosaki is enjoying at beach.

  • http://www.financialplannerprogram.com Financial Planner Certificate

    Well its surprising that Rich Dad Poor Dad is ranking #1 on Amazon. Although I have never loved this book and I agree on your views about this book, I still feel that keeping things simple and straight by Kiyoski has made this book success.

    His many statements seems to be weird and many looks common sense but still his words contain a good meaning altogether.

    Thanks!!

  • http://youronline.biz Jacko

    finch your wrong on this one. Rich Dad poor dad reveals concepts about money that so many people don’t understand. What is arbitrage? What is leverage?
    Rob K’s book helped make this clear to how many people?

  • http://luke-roxas.com jessica @ Luke Roxas

    Wow! This is my favorite book! You were right when you said that you should pay yourself first. You should be the one to reap first what you’ve sown.

    Blessings!

  • http://rudziinc.com Jonathan

    To be honest, I liked the book but I was still pretty young when I read it. I didn’t read the whole book but I got what I wanted out of it.

    Also, I believe it says somewhere that he may have contributed to the book but he didn’t actually write it. Someone took what he had written in a scattered fashion and tried to make it cohesive.

    I didn’t go into reading the book to find the answer to riches. I don’t expect that from any informational product. I went into it expecting to take something out of it and I did. If I would have read it recently, I definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed the book as much as I did when I first read it. Like you said, it ends up being common sense.

    I also don’t agree with his theory of investing in real estate will read to extreme wealth. Like anything there is that chance but there are far better forms of investments.

  • Andy

    Kyosaki’s books are good to teach young people the basics of the entrepreneurial mindset. Nothig more, nothing less. They don’t go into the details of making money but they somewhat teach you the right mindset.
    This is especially important for people who do not grow up in entrepreneurial/business households. School and middle class parents will never teach you anything else than “playing it safe” and… becoming middle class at best. His other book is “Cashflow Quadrant”. Love him or hate him, but I do recommend his books to get started. Buy them used if you will.

  • http://www.studentloancpa.com Student Loan CPA

    I thin Rich Dad Poor Dad is a great book. But it is also a horrible book. Neither opinion is particularly helpful. At the end of the day people will use it as they wish…depending on how well they understand it, and how well they understand its applicability to their lives.

  • Chris S.

    He doesn’t need it. You can critique books and quote from parts of them legally.

  • http://www.seedingprofits.com/ wilson

    I personally have read it and I don’t think there is any applicable tips. Basically, what this book about is to teach you the mindset to be a rich and successful person. I don’t really agree with all the words he said but at the very least, some points are definitely essential to become that.

  • Shenika

    This book is essentially mind set changer. It changes the perceptions on money, careers, life styles etc. People who have been full time career oriented will gradually start thinking of personal finances, investments and financial independence. I think it is great.

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