Julie Lim, Ariel Newell, Jesus Vazquez
March 19, 2019
"Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki is not your average finance book. This book simply does more than list out rules on how to be rich, but rather is a book that shares financial insight through Kiyosaki's personal experiences. Kiyosaki focuses on two main characters in this book - his rich dad and his poor dad. His rich dad was not his actual biological dad, but was his childhood best friend's dad that taught him valuable lessons in life about how to become rich. His poor dad was his biological father that focused more on the importance of school, rather than being a risk-taking entrepreneur. Both of the dads teach Kiyosaki how to achieve success, but both in very different approaches. Nonetheless, both of his dads helped shape his thoughts about money and investing. Throughout the book, Kiyosaki compares both his rich and poor dad's principles, beliefs, ideas, values, and financial practices. This book is broken down into multiple chapters that discuss a series of different financial topics. Kiyosaki breaks down each chapter in the ways where it will be easy for the reader to understand by discussing his personal experience, providing advice from both his rich and poor dad, sharing knowledgeable quotes or information about the topic, allowing the readers to reflect on the chapter by having discussion questions, and providing a chapter summary as a review for what was just read. This book allows readers to gain valuable financial knowledge by reflecting on their own financial decisions. Kiyosaki does not exactly list bullet points on how to be rich, but rather gives readers a chance to build their own foundation of financial success through sharing his own personal experience and lessons learned from both his rich and poor dad. Kiyosaki expresses that although money is one form of power, financial education is one thing that will make you rich.
Before Kiyosaki begins to share the different lessons throughout the book, he talks about how it all began. Kiyosaki shares that his childhood best friend, Mike, and him tried to get rich by starting a counterfeit nickel making company. The reason for their actions is because when they were nine years old they weren't invited to a classmate's beach house because they were "poor kids" in an affluent school. Mike's father, "rich dad," ran many successful businesses so Kiyosaki and Mike went to him for advice. Rich dad taught the boys a lesson by making them work at his grocery store for hardly any pay. This led Kiyosaki to complain, which then led to him to perform free labor. Rich dad explained to Kiyosaki and Mike that this was all for a good reason and to teach them a moral lesson; a lesson to escape the "rat race" and have people put money in your pocket, rather than working your whole life to put a little money in your pocket, and a lot of money in someone else's pocket.
The first major lesson that Kiyosaki shares is that The Rich Don't Work For Money. In this chapter, Kiyosaki talks about how many people play it "safe" because that is what they are comfortable doing, and were taught that taking risks was not a good thing. The poor and the middle class are always working for money because they have this "routine" of doing what they feel comfortable doing. This causes the poor and middle class to constantly work for money. Kiyosaki shares that fear and greed cause ignorance and poverty. "It's fear that keeps most people working at a job: the fear of not paying their bills, the fear of being fired, the fear of not having enough money, and the fear of starting over." In addition, Kiyosaki stresses the importance that the opportunities in life come and go, which is why they must be recognized immediately. Because most people are too busy seeking money and security, they don't recognize the opportunities that will bring them money. The quote that stood out to me and supported the main lesson that Kiyosaki was trying to share was "A job is really just a short-term solution to a long-term problem." This quote stood out to me because many people spend their whole life working for money, when they don't realize that they can do things to make money work for them.
The second major lesson is Why Teach Financial Literacy? In this chapter, it is a flash forward to Mike and Kiyosaki three and a half decades later. Mike now took control of his father's large business and made improvements to it using the knowledge and advice that his dad gave him. As for Kiyosaki, he shares that he was able to retire before the age of 50. Kiyosaki shares a conversation he had with his friends about a variety of investments and money schemes, such as the stock crash, great depression, etc. which led up to the main idea he was trying to share - be financially literate. Kiyosaki states, "If you want to be rich, you need to be financially literate." Kiyosaki discusses how the schooling system doesn't provide us with a strong foundation about financial aspects, which is why we are finding ourselves deep in debt. The most important thing to know is the difference between an asset and a liability, and to only buy assets. With this simple knowledge, the word debt would not be in our vocabulary. Kiyosaki illustrates the difference between an asset and liability through a series of drawings for each class - the poor, the middle, and the rich. An asset puts money into your pocket, while a liability takes money out of your pocket. The quote that provided me with an "AHA" moment read, "Intelligence solves problems and produces money. Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone." People spend their whole lives learning how to work hard for money, but not how to make money work hard for them. The overall takeaway from this chapter was once you understand the difference between an asset and a liability, you become richer.
The third major lesson is titled Mind Your Own Business. In this chapter Kiyosaki is trying to explain that if one wants to become financially self-sufficient, they should mind their own business. This meaning that individuals should strive to become their own boss, rather than focusing on their employer's business. Kiyosaki shares the idea of being one's boss by using a McDonalds example. McDonalds is the largest, single owner of real estate in the world, owning some of the most valuable intersections and street corners globally because the owner understood the business of real estate. Kiyosaki explains that minding your business doesn't mean starting a company, but having your business revolve around your asset column, rather than your income column. Kiyosaki continues to share the ideas about building assets, which are things with value - stocks, bonds, mutual funds, income-producing real estate, notes, etc. He advises to acquire assets that you love, then build on those, which will in turn give you the luxuries from the income generated by the assets.
The fourth major lesson is about The History of Taxes and the Power of Corporations. Kiyosaki explains in this chapter that the biggest secret of the rich is to invest money. He encourages his readers to take legal tax loopholes and train their financial IQ. He tells his readers "businesses [make] make decent money, set up a corporation". This example helps his readers understand how important the corporation system is to financial success. Taking advantage of the system legally will allow for financial prosperity. Education is key in this chapter as he continues to bring up overtime throughout the book.
The fifth major lesson is titled The Rich Invent Money. This chapter discusses how the rich make money. According to him the rich do not work for money they make money work for them. The rich in this chapter seize opportunity to invest. "Great opportunities are not seen with your eyes, they are seen with your mind." Kiyosaki explains that in order to have a large amount of money, one must be a visionary and optimistic. He encourages his readers at the end of the chapter by saying, "In the real world, it's not the smart who get ahead, but the bold." Fear will make you poor so go forth and take chances the payout will be better in return.
The sixth major lesson is titled Work To Learn - Don't Work For Money. The objective of this chapter is to inform the readers that focusing only on a job won't make you wealthy. He believes that rich people have lots of knowledge in various things that leads to wealthy success. According to the author, "J.O.B is an acronym for just over broke." We can relate this back to the previous chapter about knowing financial IQ - the more you know about the law and investments you will never be broke because your money will continue to grow on its own. He continues on in the chapter explaining that, "Rich people work to learn and not for job security." Having skill and knowledge makes individuals a better asset and competitive. Everything you spend time doing is an investment which is why he encourages the audience to invest in what they can learn and gain from the experience. No job will ever make you wealthy, but what makes a man wealthy is the skills they take from it.
The seventh major lesson that Kiyosaki teaches us through his book is Overcoming Obstacles. As Kiyosaki states, "The primary difference between a rich person and a poor person is how they manage fear." Kiyosaki also mentions that there are five main reasons or obstacles that could hold a financially literate person back from becoming financially independent. These obstacles include fear, cynicism, laziness, bad habits, and arrogance. The concept of fear and why it's considered to be an obstacle according to Kiyosaki is because fear keeps you worried and inside your head which interferes and blocks one's proper way of thinking. Cynicism is a form of self-doubt, laziness is the one obstacle we all struggle in that stops from us from moving forward, bad habits distract all of us from our goals, and arrogance is what is unknown to us. Kiyosaki provides an example of arrogance by stating "Every time I've been arrogant, I lost money because I believed that what I didn't know wasn't important." As we can see, there are many obstacles that will impede us from awakening our financial genius, but we should never let them completely stop us from our goals rather we should let them motivate us and drive us forward.
The eighth major lesson is in regards to Getting Started. Kiyosaki starts this lesson by stating that he believes that each an every single one of us has a "financial genius" within us; however this "genius" is asleep due to the fact that our school system teaches us to learn a profession to make money instead of making our money work for us. As he continues with this lesson, Kiyosaki gives us 10 steps that are sure to develop and awaken your "financial genius." The first step is to "find a reason GREATER than reality" and by this he means that we as individuals need to have a reason or a purpose in life. As Kiyosaki states this reason or purpose can be made up of things that we want and also of things that we do not want. The next step is to MAKE DAILY CHOICES. This steps reminds us to focus on what is important and look into our spending habits. Kiyosaki encourages us to invest first in our education before we go out and invest in other things, such as real estate and other things, because being educated in them will help in the process of making future decisions. Step 3 of awakening your financial genius is to choose your friends carefully. This is especially important because these friends will keep you motivate you and support you through your mission of finally awakening your "financial genius." Step 4 talks about mastering a formula and after learning a new one, but specifically formulas that will help you make money and be successful. Step 5 is to pay yourself first, or to put in different terms allocate a certain percentage of your paycheck into a savings account or investing account. Step 6 is to pay ur brokers well. Step 7 would be to be an indian giver. Step 8 is to use the money you receive from assets to buy luxuries or what Kiyosaki is the power of focus. Step 9 is to choose heroes. This helps in keeping you you motivated and trying to be just like them and inspiring us to be better than we are. Finally step 10 is to "teach and you shall receive." In essence this 10 step guide, if followed, should guide you into unlocking your true potential, thus converting you into that "financial genius that Kiyosaki seems to mention a lot in this book.
After the 10 steps of awakening your true genius, Kiyosaki concludes with a list of things he does in his daily life that got him where he is today. Some of the things he mentions is to stop doing what you are doing if it is not working, and look for something that does work. He then follows the list declaring to look for new investing ideas that will further your knowledge. In addition to the list of things he does and encourages us to do is find someone who has done what you want to do leading us to be successful. Take classes, read, and attend seminars falls next on Kiyosaki's list of things that he does. Following, is to make lots of offers to whatever it is that you are buying. In addition, Kiyosaki suggests us to shop for bargains in all markets. Look for people who want to buy first. Then look for someone who wants to sell." and "think big" are also included within Kiyosaki's list. Finally, Kiyosaki mentions to learn from history, and reminds us that action always beats in-action. This list provides me with valuable feedback on things I should be doing with my life in order to become the person I have always wanted to be, with the goal in mind of making money work for me and not the other way around.
Every book aims to teach lessons. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" did not just teach one lesson, but throughout the book there were themes that were very apparent. One of the most visible themes being that financial intelligence is the most important asset. Kiyosaki shares the importance and stresses the importance of understanding the difference between an asset and a liability. Being able to differentiate between an asset and a liability, and applying those lessons he shared throughout the book, will be what will bring oneself financial success. In addition, in order to be wealthy, one must be their own boss. Being your own boss means that fear, doubt, and arrogance are not allowed to stop oneself from pursuing what they want. These three things are what stops most people from pursuing what they want. Kiyosaki shares the importance of oneself aiming to own the system by doing so themselves - even if that means being a risky, but knowledgeable entrepreneur. Kiyosaki shared that being an employee for someone else doesn't allow other possibilities and restricts initiative to do something more. The overall aim of this financial book was to provide insight on the importance of being your own boss - which includes understanding the system, the history of taxes and corporation, financial literacy, and most importantly, understanding yourself and the kind of life you want to create for yourself - whether that be being rich in knowledge or being trapped in what Kiyosaki calls the rat race.
"I have never been interested in learning about financial problems or being financially literate, which is why I find myself always saying things such as, "I wish I wasn't so poor, I'm waiting for my next paycheck, I should probably start saving, etc." These quotes that I find myself saying frequently are the quotes that Kiyosaki shares in his book about what the financially illiterate people say. Throughout the book I found myself reading what Kiyosaki would share and ask myself, "I wonder where I would be if I actually did this or that." There were many "AHA" moments that I read over, but one thing that Kiyosaki shared was that many people find themselves buying luxury items when they can't afford it. Many people try to live above their means of living which is why they are always struggling, in debt, or living on paycheck to paycheck. This really made me reflect, because I find myself buying luxury items when in reality I can't actually afford those items without having a trail of debt afterwards. For example, I recently bought a Louis Vuitton. A Louis Vuitton is a high-class luxury handbag. I had about $3000 in my savings account at the time of the purchase. In my mind, it was totally affordable to me because the total cost of the purchase was $1890, and I would have a sufficient amount of money remaining in my bank account post purchase. This is where I went totally wrong. I didn't understand that the purpose of a savings account is to save for future purchases that will actually bring me income; something Kiyosaki would call an asset. In my mind, I bought the luxury item I dreamt of having one day, and knowing that I purchased it in my young-adult stage with a minimum wage paying job, made me feel good. It made me feel good until I realized I could never actually get myself to use the purse. I wanted to keep it on display, but I know that simply defeats the purpose of having a nice purse. I had just invested so much money into the purse that I was scared to use it because I didn't want it to get dirty or ruined. To this day the purse is simply a display item that I have in my room. I am now using a thrifted purse that I got for less than $20 and I turned my savings account into a checkings account. Yes, that's right. I had reached an all time low in my bank account that my bank turned my savings account into a second checkings account because I didn't have the sufficient amount of money in it that they desired. My biggest takeaway from the book was don't buy things, make things buy you. Overall, this book was more than just a quick read for extra credit. This book has taught me many lessons that will be beneficial to me and my future financial status. It has inspired me in more ways that I thought; that being that it has given me the chance to reflect on my spending habits, to try and understand financial literature, and to be my own girl boss." -Julie
"I have always had a strange relationship with money, I love it, but it just doesn't love me. I have been working since I was fifteen years old. For the most part of my young adult life I was working two to three at the same time. When I was fifteen I thought that by now I would have large hefty number to show for it right. Wrong, when I say "money doesn't love me" what I mean is that I spend it. I tend to come up with something that I need to buy or have to pay such as rent, my first car, car registrations, a ticket, The list is endless I am really bad when it comes to saving. What I tend to do is save for a short term goal and not a long term lifestyle. I will find a job hustle until I save the amount of money I need and then two weeks later my account says zero and I'm in a new job interview with a new shiny jackpot number. What this book has taught me is that I shouldn't be working for the gratification of cash. It has taught me that I should be working for skills and invest my money wisely. If I knew this back when I was fifteen I could have probably owned a island by now." - Ariel
"After reading this book I feel like it woke up my mind up and reminded me of the importance of focusing in the important things in life regardless if they seem like difficult tasks or even annoying because this will keep me and my goals moving forward allowing me to get a step closer to where I want to be. Not only has Kiyosaki got me thinking, but he has me looking forward to all the things I will be doing with my life and even got me considering investing into stocks. Kiyosaki has a really easy way of putting things into words and definitely someone to look up to as a guide and motivator to being successful. One of the biggest things I got from this book is to pay yourself first. I was never a true believer of having a savings account but Kiyosaki has shown me that it is really important to make a separate account apart from your checkings, in order to have money for investments that will make your money work for you or in other words continue to compound and make you more money." -Jesus
Kiyosaki, Robert T. Rich Dad Poor Dad. Plata, 2017.