I read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” in one day.
Going to semi-vacation* without a book is a terrible choice unless you are willing to jump on the opportunity to buy new books. Gleefully forgetting to bring a book on my latest trip to Ohrid, a lake-town in Macedonia led me to the purchase of Robert Kiyosaki's “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard of this book. I’ve even watched some of Robert’s YouTube videos. Safe to say, I’m not new to personal finance in the slightest. However, after spending the last 12 hours reading through the book, I found myself wanting to write a proverbial review of its contents.
Here’s the result.
Make money work for you.
The overarching narrative of Robert’s book is about money. Specifically, about how to make money work for you. His approach is extremely practical, yet philosophical in nature. In the book, he shares the lessons he learned over the years from both of his dads.
One being his biological dad, an extremely educated professor and leader of an Educator’s Syndicate. The other “dad” was the father of his childhood friend, Mike (Alan Kimi in real life), who was a relatively successful entrepreneur teaching the boys lessons about making money after their curiosity got them to ask the question.
Reading it for 12 hours straight (almost), was pretty interesting. There is a lot of subtle knowledge within the pages, and I’m certain that I will have to read it multiple times to fully comprehend it. Regardless, let this be the first of many reviews of this book.
There are six important lessons that “Rich dad” taught Robert and Mike. Robert claims that these are the basis and foundation for wealth generation. In my own regurgitated understanding (I’m purposefully writing this without referring to the book) these lessons or principles in no particular order are:
- Entrepreneurs work for free
- Learn to control your emotions about money
- Greed is good (sometimes)
- Learning (the right things) is more important than making money
- Strive to generate active assets
- It’s a matter of choice (and courage)
Let’s have a look at each and every one of these.
Entrepreneurs work for free
Robert and Mike started their journey by working for Mike’s dad in one of his convenience stores, sorting shelves and cleaning dust for $0.10 per hour for three hours, every Saturday.
After a couple of weeks, Robert felt cheated and that he learned nothing about making money. “I’ve had enough of this” he said to Mike, who promptly informed him that he was expecting this response from him. His dad was waiting for the moment that Robert couldn’t handle working for pennies, as a form of a test.
Robert, filled with anger was determined to get a raise. Fortunately for him, he quickly realized that he has become extremely similar to other employees working for Mike’s father. He wanted to get paid more, he wanted to get a raise, and the boss was responsible for the way he felt.
After a quick conversation, Robert, together with Mike, ended up working for a couple of more weeks for free. Initially resenting it, since he no longer could by comic books at the end of the shift, he quickly got used to the tempo.
Mike’s father visited them one day at the end of their shift and buying them ice cream shared the lessons they were eagerly expecting. By working for free they managed to avoid generous offers from “Rich Dad”, which went up to $20 per hour of work.
They remained silent, even though their hearts were racing.
Although they wanted to accept the offer, a fortunate opportunity for a grown man, let alone a child, they resisted the temptation, steeled by their previous “free” work.
Rich Dad congratulated them for resisting the offers, as they should be completely unbuyable. Their time and energy are priceless, and therefore shouldn’t be given for something that has no value, i.e. money.
They continue working at the store, eventually realizing that all of the unsold comics were usually thrown away, with a part of the front page removed. Together they managed to negotiate a way for them to get the comic books for free, and created a library in their house, charged $0.10 for entry, and hired Mike’s sister for $1 per week to work for them.
This was their first business, and they didn’t spend a penny to make $9.5 per week. A few months down the line, a bully forced their way into the library and caused a fight, which led to their business being shut down.
They learned they could make money, without money, and only by working for free, this would be possible. If they were seeking payment to create the library, they wouldn’t have seen the opportunity in the first place.
Learn to control your emotions about money
Most of these lessons repeat throughout the book, as they are unavoidably intertwined with each other. The boys learned to control their emotions once they experienced working for free. They resisted the offers mentioned above.
But emotion doesn’t stop here. Emotion can help you in some ways, but when it comes down to finances, emotions will usually lead to a loss. Fear, excessive greed, and arrogance will disable your brain’s potential and cause you to act in unfavorable ways.
Fear especially is a major driving force for people. We will talk about income types a bit later, but for now, it’s important to realize that most people on this planet have only one source of income in their life.
This is why fear is the most dangerous in the pursuit of wealth. Fear will prevent you from taking action. Fear will cause you to miss out on potentially great investments because of the associated risks.
However, risks are fundamental to the success of an investor. Without risk, there is no reward. The name of the game is to mitigate as much risk as possible, and this is where correct knowledge comes into play.
Nonetheless, even though it is very real, the game of money is only a game and it should be taken with a dose of lightness. Robert Kiyosaki’s business partner is a cat, for example.
If the thought of losing money is causing you to tremble in fear, then maybe savings is the way to go for you. According to Robert, if this is the case, you should start early.
However, for the rest of us with balls of steel, we get to risk it all of the biscuit/s.
Habits, laziness, and how (a little bit of) greed can help you.
Preferable to laziness, greed is probably the only thing that can bring you to take action on your goals, according to Robert. This is not a major point of the book, but it definitely stuck with me because it’s about laziness.
For those that know me, laziness is a big challenge for me. Not that I don’t want to do things, but the habits that I’ve created in my life so far are extremely damaging to my effectiveness and productivity.
Instead of working or learning new things, I would spend my time playing video games or watching YouTube video, after YouTube video, after YouTube video… This caused a significant amount of “self-blame” evenings where I had nothing good to think about myself.
The power of thinking, if used correctly can help a person transform his or her life beyond recognition. Looking back, I am not a stranger to the power of beliefs, habits, and thoughts.
Many habits have been broken already, yet until I read this book, I felt as a victim to some of them. This is no longer the case. I refuse to let my bad habits prevent me from accumulating wealth. There is no reason for them to continue existing in my life.
Therefore, I change and adapt.
This book just steamrolled my inhibitions to change and helped me accept the reality of who I am. The only thing that remains is to avoid becoming complacent and lazy, which is easier said than done.
Learning (the right things) is more important than making money
Kiyosaki places a lot of value on the ability of the mind to generate wealth. According to him, it is the ultimate active asset (more on this later) which enables you to create wealth where there was none before.
His entire life is based on the information that he learned from the “Rich Dad”, who enabled him to understand the rat race that most people find themselves racing in, only to find themselves at the same place the next day.
Paycheck, work, sleep, is a repeating cycle of modern slavery and any financially intelligent person should be able to avoid this state of being.
The way to avoid it is to continually learn new information that is relevant to finances. Learn more about everything that is related to money management, especially:
- Cashflow Dynamics
- People Management
- Time Management
These skills or fields of understanding represent the foundation for financial success according to Robert. And I wholeheartedly agree, even though I’ve never really been anything more than self-employed.
As a result, I’m dedicated to learning more about stock trading and accounting in Macedonia, as a way to understand the current rules of the game and activate my “financial genius” to spring to action.
The financial genius is a state of mind or a part of everybody’s mind that is generally stagnant most of our life. According to Robert, we can awaken this sleeping genius to provide us with guidance and confidence to take action.
Learning the right things will enable you to make more money in the long-run, because you will be able to see more of the information spectrum. As Robert says, it’s not what you know, but what you don’t know that ends up losing you money.
Strive to generate active assets
Active assets are at the core of the message of the book. Buy things, but not on credit. Use your money to make strategic investments that will earn you money in the long run, enable you to avoid paying too much taxes (legally) and provide you with a platform for future success.
One fun anecdote that I took from the book was the story about how the $24 used to buy Manhattan during the time of the colonization of America, would be enough to buy Manhattan and a significant chunk of Los Angeles (in 1997) if it was invested.
What he failed to mention there was the sheer luck an investor would need to make this kind of investment and secure it for future generations in his family to eventually be able to benefit from it.
I’m not a financial expert, so I can’t begin to say if it’s possible or not, but let us say that it doesn’t seem plausible at the very least.
Either way, the anecdote is interesting. It opens your eyes to how strong investments can change your life in the long run. And life is a relatively long (short by cosmic standards) game.
The fact that I do not have any active assets at the age of 27 is a painful realization. However, it only strengthens my determination to start investing and generate active assets that will make money for me.
Put your money to work is at the core of this lesson.
Getting to this stage is definitely not easy, so I’m not ready to throw the towel on working for a living yet. However, I’m extremely ready to take a significant part of my earnings and transform them in active assets that start to generate a small income for me.
It’s noteworthy to mention passive assets in this category, together with income and expenses. I’m avoiding using the graphics presented in the book, so as not to infringe on Robert’s rights, but in general, it goes like this:
- Passive assets are things like houses, cars, potentially friends, your own ignorance, basically things that cost you money on a regular basis. Somehow mortgages go in this category, but that’s beyond me at this point.
- Income is your paycheck, dividends that you earn from active assets, rent paid to you by renters, yield from staking your coins or payments from a debtor.
- Expenses are all of your costs. Most people only have passive assets, so all of the costs that these incur go here. Together with your general expenses for food, clothing, taxes, travel, whatever, they form the entire picture.
It’s easier for companies
If you don’t have the courage to accept the risks and responsibility of owning a company you will most likely not be able to succeed in becoming wealthy. The reason companies are extremely important in this endeavor, is because they enable you to mitigate risks and pay fewer taxes.
I’m a complete noob in this area, as I’ve never owned or opened a company (yet) so I don’t have a lot to say about this. However, the prospect of paying fewer taxes is enticing.
I don’t think I’m paying a lot in taxes at the moment, but I’ve decided to complete a course in accounting to verify this. If my research concludes that it’s better to own a company instead of assets directly, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Most likely it’s going to take a lot of time to get properly acquainted with the business rules in Macedonia, but it’s going to be worth it.
It was a great experience reading this book in one day. It’s not something I do all the time, but it was the result of my decision to put watching videos in the “After 8pm” category of things I do.
In this category, you can also find video games, as an activity.
I was tired to spend so much time on these silly activities, learning very little useful information in the process. This book only solidified my motivation to keep going and purge myself of the dopamine-induced hell that I’ve created for myself.
In general, I would recommend this book to anyone. Even if you don’t care about making a metric ton of money in your life, it can’t hurt to educate yourself about finances.
In many ways, this book was eye-opening, even if it was mostly focused on simple concepts.
This article was written right after I finished reading the book. It was created as a way to solidify my understanding of the book and is not really representative of its contents.
I could have taken the book by my side and blurt out all of the information “as is”, but that would miss the goal for me.
My goal is to internalize this information and boost my retention rates, and if this article happens to be useful to somebody (I hope it is and thank you for reading until the end), so be it!
With that being said, thank you once again for making it to the end. This means that you scrolled through missing all of the knowledge in this article, or you actually read it and found it interesting.
Whatever the case, I would appreciate a comment from you about this article. Was it interesting or boring? What business book should I try to read in one day and write about in the near future?