It is the opinion of many, many people that Rich Dad, Poor Dad is the worst personal finance book. It is widely considered the Gigli of personal finance books. That said, there are some strong supporters of the book, but they appear to be in the minority.
If it’s possible to learn from what many consider one of the worst books, imagine what you could learn from a good one. It is this premise that made me dig into Rich Dad, Poor Dad to come up with some useful things I learned. Because of this, I turn a blind eye toward Robert Kiyosaki inventing a few characters to tell a compelling story to get his point across. There are any number of myths and fables that entertain and teach us at the same time.
When I went through the book I came up with three ideas that I thought would help many with their personal finances.
Assets vs. Liabilities – The average American doesn’t really think in terms of assets and liabilities. They tend to want the new iPod right now. There is little thought to paying interest. There is little thought to the accessories that you “need” with an iPod (case, car charger, FM transmitter, etc.). According to some, Mr. Kiyosaki takes things a little far by not including your home as an asset (if you own it), but in general he does a very good job of getting readings focused on buying things that make you more money rather than depreciating assets.
Know Your Taxes – Mr. Kiyosaki is big on hiring smart people if they can save or make you money. He says he has a very good tax advisor who saves him much more money than he is paid. Recently, I’ve been looking at my taxes and finding legal ways that I can minimize my taxes.
Have a Dream – Many people will say that Kiyosaki doesn’t give a lot of concrete advice that the average person can use. I would agree with them. However, he is great at in convincing people to think about their money and how it can buy them freedom. This is a very good motivator to get people thinking. It made me think quite a bit and this website is the result of trying to find a way to organize those thoughts.
The next time you hear that a book is bad, it might be worth reading it anyway. Just like how everyone you meet can teach you something, many books can do the same.