Rich Dad Poor Dad book (Summary)
Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been called the number one personal finance book of all time, boasting over 26 million copies sold. In his book, Mr. Kiyosaki illustrates the mindsets and beliefs that make the rich, rich and the poor, poor by contrasting the advice of his real dad with that of his financial mentor, who was the father of the author’s best friend.

Robert’s biological father was brilliant and charismatic, finishing his four-year undergraduate degree in less than two years, then going on to obtain a masters and PhD at two prestigious universities before rising to the number one position in the state of Hawaii’s educational system. He left debts to be paid upon his death, while Robert’s mentor (who never even finished eighth grade) became the richest man in the state, leaving tens of millions to his family and charity.

This one anecdote is indicative of a fact we all should know, but probably don’t know how to act upon: formal education teaches scholastic and professional skills, not financial skills. (Even “finance” classes are purely academic or professional, and don’t really teach what it takes to become rich). The ubiquitous focus on formal schooling leads to graduates who may have good grades, but still have a poor person’s “financial programming.”

This book is all about mindset. If you’re looking for tips, tricks, practical advice, or a how-to guide, you’ll be disappointed. Poor dad was poor, and rich dad was rich, because of their thoughts about money and the actions to which those thoughts led.

This book is very readable, a fact that may have been lost in my summarization of the key points. The lessons are presented in story format, as the author talks and works with his rich and poor dads. The dichotomy is remarkably effective, using the “poor dad” and “rich dad” as third-party illustrations to criticize certain behaviors so we don’t feel bad about ourselves for making the mistakes the author condemns. If you read through these lessons and don’t yet understand or agree with the “rich dad” perspectives, get the book and read the stories – this is a book of perspectives, and perspectives must often be caught, rather than dictated.

With popularity comes criticism, and much of the criticism leveled at the book has merit. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this book is that it contains no “how” – only “why.” Much of the content has been described as “self-help boilerplate,” and I have to agree that the author did include quite a lot of fluff. Perhaps, however, this is necessary to give some readers the time and depth of emotion to catch rich dad’s perspectives.

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