Rich Dad Poor Dad Review: The Good and the Bad

Want to know more about the book Rich Dad Poor Dad before reading it? This top-rated publication is full of lessons about money and the differences between rich and poor people.

These differences are not always what you’d think they would be, either. A read that challenges expectations and what society says will make you rich; this book is both fascinating and unique.

It is not without its downsides; there are pros and cons. But it may be a great place to begin learning about money.

Reading this review can help you figure out if this book is right for you. Check out the details below.

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The Story

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a study of author Robert Kiyosaki’s life experiences and how they relate to money. Kiyosaki grew up in Hawaii and began to make observations about money at quite a young age.

Though he did not come from money and his family was not wealthy, he ended up going to school with the rich kids because of zoning. Kiyosaki had a friend whose father owned quite a few businesses and was wealthy, though he lived a very normal life that wasn’t flashy.

Intrigued, Kiyosaki and his friend asked the friend’s father, “Rich Dad,” to teach them about wealth. Rich Dad taught the boys about money using real-life experiences instead of books or theoretical knowledge. He began teaching them in elementary school and continued to teach them through high school. 

The “Poor Dad” referred to in the book is Kiyosaki’s own father. He was a by-the-book sort of person who did all the conventionally correct things that people are supposed to do when they want to be successful.

College, degrees, and a government job. But unfortunately, he did not have practical financial sense and was not wealthy. Rather than working for himself, he chose to work for other people and didn’t take calculated risks that could have paid off. 

While Poor Dad was never successful with money, he did encourage Kiyosaki in his education. Meanwhile, Rich Dad bought assets and grew his business empire.

Comparing how these two men lived their lives allows the reader to determine what actually works with money and what doesn’t.

How Did Rich Dad Poor Dad Make His Money?

Rich Dad owned businesses in Hawaii. Kiyosaki’s Poor Dad worked for the government.

Kiyosaki himself is an author and has started businesses. He’s also an investor, mostly with real estate. 

Is the Book Really That Good?

It’s an excellent book for beginners that want to know more about finance. Of course, people that are already reasonably financially savvy will probably still learn something.

If you are interested in growing wealth and want to read something in story form, this is a great read. While it doesn’t include every step necessary to gain wealth, it brings up many important points. It’s an inspiring book that many have benefited from.

Is Rich Dad Poor Dad Worth Reading?

This is absolutely a worthwhile read. It will increase your knowledge about money and make you think differently about success. It’s also written in a story form that makes it simple to understand.

Since Kiyosaki started off learning about money as a child, he teaches from that perspective at the beginning of the book, using simple terms. It’s helpful if you’re new to finance.

What Does Rich Dad Poor Dad Teach You?

Several important points are brought up in this book. Some of them are unique compared to what is usually taught about money, but the perspective is worth hearing. I’ll talk in detail about each one.

1. Don’t be an employee.

Kiyosaki begins by discussing his first job as a young boy and what he learned from his Rich Dad when he first began to earn money. While being an employee is where most people start, Kiyosaki discusses the merits of not working for someone else. 

An employee is always making money for their employer. When you’re an employee, you can always lose your job, and your employer always decides your pay rate.

It is a bit of an unstable situation if you think about it. Because of these points, being an employee is not a good long-term strategy.

While it may be necessary to help pay bills, it is a cycle to eventually try and break free from. Becoming a business owner or making your money work for you offers you a lot more options.

2. Don’t trade time for money.

People with an employee mindset will also trade their time for money. This isn’t a great strategy because you only have so much time. And it’s better to make your money work for you, regardless of what you happen to be doing.

When you go to work for an hourly or salary amount, you trade 40 hours a week for money. But when you own the business or company, or your money comes from investments and assets, your money will make more money even if you aren’t working.

This is preferable because then you can focus on other things instead of having enough money to survive.

3. Know the asset vs. liability rule.

Wealthy people spend their money on assets, which are things that make you money. Sometimes people don’t understand assets and liabilities.

Liabilities cost you money rather than making you money. To become wealthy, you want to have lots of assets, a low number of liabilities, and a lot of income from your assets. This is a great way to gain wealth.

It may take some time, though, and you have to recognize what qualifies as an asset. Which is one of the biggest problems, according to Kiyosaki. 

4. Rich know how to spend, so they don’t pay taxes.

This book talks about the people who pay the most in taxes – the middle class. The wealthy class finds ways to not overpay in taxes, unlike the middle class.

Because of this, they keep more of their money. Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad taught him about taxes and how to keep as much of his own money as possible.

It’s an interesting topic that is not usually understood, so hearing the author’s perspective is worth it. 

5. Work to better your skills, not for money.

Rich Dad Poor Dad encourages people to learn as much as possible. It’s essential to gain new skills as often as you can.

You don’t know what you might need and how you could benefit your income and yourself in the future from those skills. Kiyosaki stresses the importance of working in many different fields to find out more about them.

Rather than getting good at one thing, he chose to become good at many things, as his Rich Dad suggested. This can help you to become rich later. 

6. Have a mindset to succeed even if it takes you out of your comfort zone.

Kiyosaki discusses how we can all choose the way that we think. This is extremely helpful when it comes to money and success.

He also discusses how we should not be afraid of failing but instead use failure to fuel success. A running theme throughout this read is resilience and being able to use your brain to create success. 

7. Have financial IQ.

Kiyosaki believes that being smart about financial matters is key to success. He thinks financial IQ can help you throughout your life.

Kiyosaki thinks that time and your brain are some of the best things you have, and you should use them well. The more prepared you are to handle money, the better off you’ll be.

It’s important to be creative and to learn from as many people and sources as possible. 

Is Rich Dad Poor Dad Good Advice?

Yes. For the most part, this read offers an excellent perspective on becoming wealthy, and it is worth your time to check it out.

The author does focus a lot on real estate instead of stocks, though. So there may be some differences in preference for some readers.

It’s up to each person to do their own research about investing and money management. Of course, there may be points in the book that each person will agree or disagree with.

Rich Dad Poor Dad Criticism

While you can find a lot of good information in this book, it is not without its downsides. Since this book has been around for some time and is popular, there are many differences of opinion.

Some people may like this book more than others, but it may be worth reading just to form an opinion about it. 

The first thing that could be considered a downside is that this book is really a self-help book. While Kiyosaki discusses many situations about finance, a lot of the writing reminds you that it is up to you to be successful or not.

He gives some practical advice, but some of it can be a bit self-help-focused. Not everyone will view this as a bad thing, but it’s something to be aware of.

Another con for this book is the advice may be considered simplistic to some. It isn’t all concrete and easy to follow.

But some might argue that we make finance too complicated, and that’s why people struggle in the first place. So perhaps a simple approach is better, even if you have to form your own opinions about how to implement ideas along the way.

Some people also question if Robert Kiyosaki was rich before he wrote this book. It is a best-seller, and it’s easy to wonder if this is what made him a success.

Kiyosaki discusses this on his own website, explaining that he and his wife were financially independent in 1994. The book was published in 1997.

He does not claim to have been incredibly wealthy when they reached financial independence. Still, they were able to live off of their investments, which would make them a success in the eyes of most at that point. So some would consider them rich, which is a relative term.

Last, there are some questions about the stories in the book being accurate. And there is some confusing information out there about the truth of the stories in the book.

Kiyosaki claimed that Rich Dad is real but did not want to be identified. Kiyosaki did, in fact, reveal the identity of Rich Dad after some time.

But since there are, or were, some questions about the truth of the stories and characters, can the information be trusted? I still say yes, because regardless of whether the storytelling aspect is correct, most of the information is still worth hearing.

Is Rich Dad Poor Dad Outdated?

Overall, this book is not outdated. Some of the prices for real estate are a bit outdated because the author bought it over thirty years ago.

But you can easily translate this to today’s numbers and what real estate would cost now. The information and concepts can still be applied today and are still helpful.

Rich Dad Poor Dad has inspired millions of people to understand money better, but do your own research about what it teaches.

There are a lot of readers who love this book, and it has helped many understand finance better. There are many positive points and most people will find it worth their time.

But, as with anything, there may be certain concepts you disagree with, or you may find that it is not for you. There is controversy about the author and the story itself, though many still think the advice is excellent.

Always do your own research about what financial books teach to decide what you believe and what you will do with your own money. Reading a book is a great way to take in new ideas, and you can decide which ones to use and which to ignore.

Overall, this is a good money book for most, and it teaches a lot about life, as well. I’d recommend reading this whenever you have the time; there are a lot of timeless concepts and great things to think about.  

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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