Finance is an important part in life. Everyone wants to be financially independent. What should be done to be financially independent? What are the skills needed to be financially independent? Why there are so many poor people in world? Why middle-class remain middle-class? Such kind of questions must have arrived to many at various point in life. Finding answers to such questions is can be difficult. But there is a book on personal finance which discusses such questions and provide answers. The Book titled, Rich Dad Poor Dad, written by Robert T. Kyosaki is a worth read which provides answers to such questions and at the same time gives the other way of thinking. This post provides review of that book.
About the Author
Robert T. Kiyosaki is best known as the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad (1997). He was born on 8th April 1947 and is an American businessman and author. He is an entrepreneur, educator and investor who believes the world needs more entrepreneurs who will create jobs. With perspectives on money and investing that often contradict conventional wisdom, Robert Kiyosaki has earned an international reputation for straight talk, irreverence, and courage and has become a passionate and outspoken advocate for financial education.
His point of view is that “old” advice- go to college, get a good job, save money, get out of debt, invest for the long term, and diversify – has become obsolete advice in today’s fast-paced information age. His Rich Dad philosophies and messages challenge the status quo. His teachings encourage people to become financially educated and to take an active role in investing for their future.
He has authored several books. Some of his notable books includes:
- Cashflow Quadrant (2000)
- Rich Dad’s Before You Quit Your Job (2005)
- An unfair advantage (2011)
- FAKE: Fake Money, Fake Teachers, Fake Assets: How Lies Are Making the Poor and Middle Class Poorer (2019) etc.
About the Book
This book is considered one of the best books on personal finance. The book boldly advocates the need to have financial literacy. According to the author, people should be financially literate which in turn make them financially intelligent. Lack of financial intelligence is the main cause of poor or middle class to remain poor or middle class.
The book is written in the form of stories which Robert Kiyosaki learnt from his rich dad and poor dad. He considers his friend, Mike’s father, rich dad and his own dad, poor dad. The book is a summary of teachings which he learnt from his rich dad and why his own dad having good academic background was a teacher and never become rich. The book revolves around these two ways of thinking, rich dad and poor dad.
The book starts with an introduction with mention of the classic poem of Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken” and the below excerpt need a worth mention.
I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the differences.
The author had brilliantly explained the path which has made all the difference and the reason how and why people are rich and poor. The introduction itself creates the eager to read the entire book. The book is against the “old school” thinking of going to school/college, earn degrees, do job, pay the debt/bills and make entire life a burden. Instead, he firmly believes that school and college education is important to have basic knowledge to understand the concepts etc. but it is not sufficient to become rich. For that, what is more important is to have financial education over and above school/college education. The book tries to make readers think above having a job and become financially independent. One can become financially independent if he possesses financial intelligence which in turn can be achieved through financial literacy. Kiyosaki is a strong advocate of financial intelligence which can be felt while reading the book.
There are many people who are intelligent and have attained good academic qualification, but do they possess financial intelligence? Everyone should ask this question. The difference between intelligence and financial intelligence should be identified by the person through his financial decisions which one takes during his lifetime. The book has such kind of discussion which makes it an interesting read. A small excerpt from the book is worth mention here:
Money is one form of power. But what is more powerful is financial education. Money comes and goes, but if you have the education about how money works, you gain power over it and can began building wealth. The reason positive thinking alone does not work is because most went to school and never learned how money works, so they spend their lives working for money.
One of the most important aspect the book figures it out is that one should learn how money should work for him rather than yourself working for money. This is quite interesting. Learning how to have money work for you is a lifetime subject. This is the main difference between the poor and middle-class. “The poor and middle-class work for money. The rich have money work for them.” One has to learn how money work for them to become rich. This is the bottom line.
The book provides a fruitful discussion on assets and liabilities, income and expenses of rich and poor. Need to mention that there are least financial jargons used in the book. The discussion revolves around how rich maintains their assets/liabilities and how poor does so. In general, rich people acquire assets whereas poor and middle class don’t turn their income into assets rather than they convert their income into liabilities which they think are assets. There is a cycle in which poor and middle class are trapped and in turn they remain poor/middle class lifelong. If a young couple would put more money into their assets early on, their later years would be easier.
Most people struggle financially because they do not know the difference between an asset and a liability. Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle-class acquire liabilities that they think are assets.
The book provides a good insight on the mentality or way of managing expenses of rich and poor people. Rich poor buy luxuries at last, while the poor and middle-class tend to buy luxuries first.
As mentioned earlier, the book advocates a lot on financial intelligence (Financial IQ). Financial IQ is made of four broad areas of expertise:
- Understanding markets
- The Law
Financial IQ is the synergy of many skills and talents. In the words of Robert Kiyosaki, financial IQ is the combination of four skills mentioned above that make up the basic financial intelligence.
Robert Kiyosaki has strongly suggested to focus on building assets through financial intelligence. One should be flexible enough to adjust in the changing environment rather than sticking to the past. One should keep the options open and avoiding limiting the options. Financial intelligence is simply having more options.
The author stresses on overcoming some obstacles after being financially literate. These obstacles are arrogance, cynicism, bad habits, laziness and fear. Fear and ignorance are essential cause of poverty or financial struggle.
The main cause of poverty or financial struggle is fear and ignorance, not the economy or the government. It’s self-inflicted fear and ignorance that keeps people trapped.
The author had beautifully advocated on being financially independent through financial intelligence in this book. The book provides the lessons the author learnt from his rich dad. One should read the book to know the lessons. He does not recommend falling in the trap or rat race which in his words, is a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
A job is only a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
The book is an interesting read as it as it offers the other way of thinking. It is written in simple and easily understandable language and provides some fruitful insights which is worth indeed. While reading the book, one will find many interesting sentences. Some of the interesting lines I have picked and shared below:
- Intelligence solves problems and produces money. Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone.
- Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep.
- Today, wealth is in information. And the person who has the most-timely information owns the wealth.
- People struggle simply because they cling to old ideas. Old ideas are their biggest liability. It is a liability simply because they fail to realize that while that idea or way of doing something was an asset yesterday, yesterday is gone.
- Great opportunities are not seen with your eyes. They are seen with your mind.
- Workers work hard enough to not to be fired, and owners pay just enough so that workers won’t quit.
- Most workers focus on working for pay and benefits that reward them in short-term, but are disastrous in the long run. Instead, I recommend to young people to seek for what they will learn, more than what they will earn.
- The world is full of talented poor people. All too often, they are poor or struggle financially or earn less than they are capable of, not because of what they know, but because of what they do not know.
Do read the book for such interesting discussions and share your thoughts. 🙂