Rich Dad Poor Dad

A lot of people have read Robert Kiyosaki’s books (and he has a lot of them), but this is the one that started them all.

I think what endears people to Rich Dad Poor Dad is the story. It seems to me that whenever a non-fiction book teaches with stories, it does very well. So, if you’re going to write a non-fiction book, weave your info into a story.

Rich Dad Poor Dad is the story of Robert learning the habits of the rich from his best friend’s dad. Robert’s own dad was a highly paid, highly educated government official, but who ended up poor (this is his “poor dad”). His best friend’s dad was not highly educated, but he started lots of businesses, bought lots of real estate, and invested in stocks. He is “rich dad”.

Some lessons or themes that keep coming up:

*School prepares you for a job while financial education prepares you for better financial habits that lead to a more prosperous life

*The rich invest in ways that the poor and middle class do not

*The rich invest in assets that produce class flow, and then reinvest that cash flow into other assets

*The poor invest in liabilities, or things that take money out of their pockets

*The middle class tend to go to school, get a job, buy everything on credit, get raises, then buy bigger houses and nicer cars, under-save and under-invest, and then retire on less than what they should have.

*There are 3 kinds of income:
-Earned income (what you make when you’re there)
-Passive income (money that comes to you when you’re not there…that can come through businesses, real estate income, intellectual property, etc)
-Portfolio income (money that also comes when you’re not there…but specifically from stocks, mutual funds, and other such paper investments)

As it turns out, Robert didn’t go on to become a rich guy too soon into his adult years, like his best buddy did. Robert went into the Navy to learn how to sail ships, then to the Marines to fly helicopters in the Vietnam war. I might have the timeline wrong, but he he was a top-selling Xerox sales rep for several years. And then he went on to start a successful business importing/selling those Velcro nylon surfer wallets from the eighties. Remember those? After a few years, that business went bust.

Eventually he made the jump into buying assets…income producing real estate…and within 8 to 10 years, he and is wife retired. Then six months later he came out of retirement to start his financial education business…which includes his books, board games, tapes, seminars, etc. In reality, it sounds like he’s started a whole ton of other businesses too, but that’s what I’ve pieced together from other books of his that I’ve read. Notice that most of his activities center around passive income?

It’s a great and easy read and should shock you out of your usual way of looking at money. Another one of his books that I like a lot is one he didn’t even write by himself…aptly named “Success Stories”. It’s a collection stories by many of Robert’s students that have taken his advice and who started businesses or are collecting assets that produce cash flow.

There’s so much more that can be said, but it’s time for you to start the adventure of reading a new book. Try to think of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” as financial education; it will make the purchase that much easier to justify.

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