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Dear Internet, Print Me Some Money
Rich Dad Poor Dad Review

Dear Internet, Print Me Some Money

Internet Marketing is littered with enough false promises to make your eyes water. Ever since the turn of the millennium when Internet stocks created fortunes and lost them twice as fast, our industry has been riddled with high expectations, a circumspect grounding in reality, and far too much bullshit to keep a tab on.

My work has revolved around the Internet for my entire professional career. I advanced from designing websites, to assembling the code behind them, to selling ad space on them. Along the way, I’ve developed a keen eye for spotting opportunities on other websites. From primitive arbitrage, to site flipping opportunities, to abusing loopholes in ways that the webmaster never intended.

I’ve seen many moneymaking strategies crash and burn, whilst others have evolved with time. SEO, for example, requires a conservative and professional approach in 2012, with an ever-increasing number of bullets to dodge. It used to be easy. Why? Because nobody else was doing it.

Fast forward to 2008. Affiliate marketing had become perhaps the greatest wealth generator for idiots the digital landscape has ever known. Life was so simple. Find an offer to promote, upload an ad to Facebook, wait for approval, and bank the rich returns. Inevitably, the rest of the world caught on. And here we are now. Prices have never been higher, and so the degree of creativity necessary to succeed has risen. Thousands of novices want to become affiliate marketers, and yet the task gets harder with every passing day. They’re 4 years late to the party.

Affiliate marketers who made their millions in the big boom have been fast-tracked as experts on a subject that has detoured dramatically from its original path. Novices may look up to those experts, but the painted picture from the top is rarely anything but smoke and mirrors.

Nature has a time-honoured method of punishing good moneymaking strategies once they reach the public domain. If the strategy becomes common knowledge, or too exposed to unskilled buffoons, any benefit to be gained from the opportunity is lost. Of course, the strategy lives on in the imagination of the baying crowd. Many will happily pay to hear about the next magic button, the next get rich quick scheme, blissfully ignorant to the reality. As soon as lucrative information becomes public knowledge, it loses its value.

As an Internet Marketer, I see this happening time and time again. Legitimate moneymaking opportunities are born, profited from, and then swiftly rendered useless as a ‘guru’ leaks the techniques to the masses.

These gurus are rarely true exponents of the techniques they talk about. They are poorly skilled at making money with genuine enterprise, so they choose to sell the concept instead. Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. Their decision to teach ruins the opportunity for the true exponents, and it creates a glorious pipe dream for everybody else. Market law dictates that when a lucrative strategy becomes too easy and too popular, it fails.

In the stock market, wise investors know that a bull market is riddled with danger when Average Joe can be seen throwing his money at it – especially if he’s offering the same ‘hot tips’ to his neighbours and friends.

The same applies to just about every ‘easy’ strategy in Internet Marketing. Unless you’re the innovator, the strategy is guaranteed to be anything but easy by the time you’ve read about it in a PDF.

99% of information products are bullshit on this basis. The grander the promises, the further detached from reality they become.

One of the golden rules you have to ask before considering any information product is simply, “Why is the author giving this information away?

The bizopp market is constructed around some of the most illogical consumer decisions of all time.

If you honestly believe that a multi-millionaire is going to give you access to the blueprints of his success for $19.95, you’ve lost your bloody marbles. Why do people not ask “Why?

1. Why would a millionaire need to sell his blueprints?
2. How effective can those blueprints be if they’re on sale for $19.95?
3. If he really wanted to give back to help others, why charge at all?

Honestly, there are no exceptions. You will not find a single moneymaking strategy in the world that ticks all three boxes of easy, sustainable and profitable.

There are easy and profitable strategies… but they don’t last, and often require leaving your integrity at the door. If you’re an affiliate marketer, slinging acai berries to half of America was easy and profitable. But sustainable? Not with an FTC lawsuit wedged firmly up your arse.

Likewise, you’ll find plenty of easy and sustainable strategies… although I haven’t yet seen one that made anybody rich. Extreme couponing is an easy and sustainable strategy, but only if you value your time at close to nothing. Maybe a nuclear blast will bring profitability to your giant stash of Frosted Flakes, but failing that; good luck.

And then there’s the smart choice: profitable and sustainable strategies… the blueprint of all great businesses. Average Joe might not like to hear it, sitting at home in his underpants with $19.95 to invest, but these strategies are several galaxies detached from being easy. They require the creation of real-world value. And there you’ll find the only blueprint of wealth generation with a proven track record: adding value to the world.

If you can’t create value for somebody, somewhere; you don’t deserve your early retirement. That’s a contrasting view with the many ‘magic button’ infomercials; those that prosper when your sense of entitlement grows. They insist that success is your God given right; that the world is doing you wrong if it fails to deliver a Pina Colada on a crystal sandy beach.

Whatever your personal beliefs, or your own sense of entitlement, the market will not change. Anything that you can buy for $19.95 is readily available for the rest of the world to buy too. If you intend to become richer than the market average, you have to do more with the information than most of your neighbours and friends. Or better yet, blaze a completely new trail for others to copy.

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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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