- Apollon Bairaktaridis
Book Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Rich Dad Poor Dad is the first book of the Rich Dad series written by Robert T. Kiyosaki. It is known as one of the most successful finance books ever published and has sold over 32 million copies around the world. Moreover, the book builds the foundation to continue the reading of other successful books of the writer, such as Cashflow Quadrant or Why the Rich Are Getting Richer. The first book itself formed the basis for great debates among people and communities who are interested in financial topics, and that leads us to the first point of today's review, namely who the target group of readers is for this book. The answer is, clearly and simply, everyone who is interested in financial topics and anyone who wants to start learning about finance will not be disappointed.
As Kiyosaki himself stated, “our greatest asset is time” and this leads me to the second question, namely whether to invest your time to read the whole book. Personally, after my first read I must admit that I had mixed feelings about the content, and I had to evaluate it for myself which resulted in discussions about it with friends of mine. In my own opinion, though, someone can only benefit from reading it. I must confess that I was not able to agree with every aspect the author stated, but through this observation I was also ready to realize in which points his observation were wrong, and which ones should be considered as the correct ones. Furthermore, Kiyosaki provided also useful content and the benefit of reading it is self-explanatory. In the following, we will have a look at both perspectives.
The negative content:
“The middle class get stuck in the Rat Race because they treat their home as an asset instead of investing in income-producing assets.” (page 121) This is one of the statements I observed more critical than the others. Kiyosaki does not state something completely wrong here, but we must consider two significant points. Firstly, his perspective is the American one as he focuses mainly on the American society and since the book was an international success, we must be able to distinguish the quote for each society separately. In many countries, doctors belonging to the middle class are not struggling as much as he stated it in his book, hence we should not associate struggle directly with being in the middle class. Secondly, he admits the struggle of the middle class (and the working class) and does not try to find a solution for it, but rather motivates people to find a way to get rich, so they can move to the upper class. I admit that it is his way to improve the situation of people’s lives, and we should not criticize him for that. We should, however, admit that many people will not be able to follow his guidance as they will not find the resources or time to follow his guidance to change their lives. There should be an effort to improve the situation of the classes themselves, as it happened in Great Britain after WW2 with the working class.
The positive content:
“Those with imaginations thrive, while those without it are still looking for a job… a job that may soon be replaced by robots and technology.” (page 64)
The reference here states something the reader may be aware of yet forgets to deal with it very often. The modern world is changing constantly. Inventions improve both personal and business lives. At the same time jobs are lost through these changes and although new jobs are created many people can not obtain them since they failed to educate themselves in a more advanced manner in the first place. We should never avoid training ourselves to learn a new skill or improve an existing one whenever we can because changes will happen constantly.
My favorite aspect:
After making an example for both the negative and positive perspective, I was able to demonstrate how we can learn also from the mistakes the author is making through emphasizing or exaggerating some aspects of his points of view or also from the correct statements he provided us with. Kiyosaki helped me memorize something we all know but never really dealt with it as a society. We ourselves, as well as the previous generations, invested many years in the educational system through visiting one or more schools. The purpose was and, partially succeeded in, preparing us for life. But Kiyosaki realized the absence of finance education in this first stage of life. An aspect that should not be missing and that can only be described as failure of our society. Yet again, every failure can be corrected, and this is something we should pursue to change promptly.