Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a best seller that aims to inspire people on how to become financially capable. The “dad” in the title refers to Kiyosaki’s biological father (the poor dad) and his friend Mike’s Dad, the rich dad (Kiyosaki and Lechter 1997). In the book, Kiyosaki narrates lessons he learned from both dads.
Poor dad, as mentioned earlier was Kiyosaki’s own father. Poor dad believed that getting an education is the ticket to success, to “find a good company to work” with (Kiyosaki and Lechter 20). After all, he was a Ph. D graduate but always had to “struggle financially”. He strongly believed that benefits such as pay raises, retirement plans, vacation and medical leaves were more important than money .In fact, when Kiyosaki left a high-paying job, his poor dad could not comprehend why he did so, citing all the benefits he would lose . “Money” was a dreaded word for him, refusing to talk about it during meal time . His financial statement was also something of a wreck, full of liabilities credit card debts . When poor dad died, his family was left to pay for his debts. But that is not to say that poor dad is loser, or a quitter. When young Kiyosaki and Mike tried to make money by “casting nickels out of lead,” his poor dad praised them not for doing something illegal but for thinking of ways to have money . He told them to continue what they were doing (not the casting part) but to do something to get rich. But as schoolteacher, he told them that he did not know how to money, that schoolteachers did not really care much about it so he referred the boys to Mike’s dad .
Rich Dad, who was also Mike’s father, did not finish school (Kiyosaki and Lechter 17). Bur according to Poor dad, he was “building an empire” . Whereas Poor Dad’s belief was to study and look a god company to work for, Rich Dad’s credo was to study and acquire a good company to own. He was also fond of talking about money even at meal times . While Poor Dad advised against talking risk but Rich Dad encouraged it, saying that one should learn how to deal with it well . Another difference between the two dads was their attitude towards money Poor Dad’s approach was to work for money to pay the bills while Rich Dad’s style was to have money work for him . He advocated for financial stability by investing. According to Kiyosaki, Poor Dad often said that he could not afford to buy certain things but when it came to Rich Dad, his would be to find a way to buy it. Poor Dad was perhaps contented that there were certain things that he could not do and afford outside his box. On the other hand, Rich Dad was willing to look outside the box to find ways and perhaps create another box in the process. For Poor Dad, money was not important but for Rich Dad, money was power. This was not to say that Rich Dad was a greedy person. When he died, he left millions of dollars not just to his family but to charities as well.
In this economic crunch that the world is experiencing, people can benefit from Rich Dad and Poor Dad. From Poor Dad, it is the importance of education. It sounds like a cliché but having an education is really something. It bodes well for an individual in finding a decent job, one that pays and comes with sound benefits. Rich Dad, who did not finish school, also stressed the importance of education. Yet he also gives in one important lesson- to let money work for you. He did this but investing. While the entire world seems be plagued in financial crisis, now is the best time to do some investing, when the market is down. As they say, buy low, sell high. The key here is education, learn and observe how the investment market works. Investment of any kind is not easy, there are risks involved but as Rich Dad said, the key is to manage risk well. For all of us, whether we’re the Poor Dad who shuns money matters or the Rich Dad who seizes opportunities in money making, now is the best time to assess our assets and liabilities and try to find a way to not be obscenely rich but at least be financially independent, sans mortgages and unpaid credit card bills.
- Kiyosaki, Robert and Sharon Lechter. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. New York: Warner Books, 1997.