Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki summarises the lessons learned from two different perspectives, that of a poor man, and that of a rich man. Drawing on his own experiences, Kiyosaki discusses how to create financial independence through investing, property ownership and building businesses.
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Who is this summary for?
This book is a great read for anyone interested in finances and what it takes to be a wealthy person. In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki summarises the lessons learned from two different perspectives, that of a poor man, and that of a rich man. Drawing on his own experiences, Kiyosaki discusses how to create financial independence through investing, property ownership and building businesses.
About the author
Robert Kiyosaki has written over 20 books, and Rich Dad Poor Dad can be considered the number one personal finance book ever written. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and founded the Rich Dad company in 1997 dedicated to providing personal and business financial education. Kiyosaki lives in Arizona with his wife Kim and interestingly as a close relationship with Donald Trump. Kiyosaki has co-authored two books with Trump and endorsed him in is 2016 presidential campaign.
In this summary
This summary will discuss five lessons of the rich that Kiyosaki outlines in his book. We’ll begin with the first lesson; the rich don’t work for money followed by lesson number two on the importance of teaching financial literacy. Lesson three covers owning your own business and lesson four discusses the history of taxes. And finally, we’ll discuss lesson five; why you should work to learn, not for money.
“Look around; the richest people didn’t get rich because of their educations. Look at Michael Jordan and Madonna. Even Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard, founded Microsoft; he is now the richest man in America, and he’s still in his 30s.”
Kiyosaki point here is that it doesn’t take degrees or years of higher education to make a rich person. You don’t even necessarily need good grades in school. There are other ways to be successful with money, ways that not many people seem to be talking about.
EDUCATION AND TWO PERSPECTIVES
Kiyosaki believes that an individuals attitude towards money and their tendency to be richer or poorer can be traced back to the education they receive at home. Parents are responsible for teaching the fundamentals of finances as it’s not something that schools focus on. Kiyosaki explains that this education at home is the driver behind the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer and the middle class continues to struggle with constant debt. He believes that the considerable debt that countries face is a result of politicians and government officials having very little education on money, yet being in a position of power.
”Money is one form of power. But what is more powerful is financial education. Money comes and goes, but if you have the education about how money works, you gain power over it and can begin building wealth.”Click To Tweet
Kiyosaki emphasises that there are always two different perspectives you can take when thinking about money:
- The love of money is the root of all evil vs. the lack of money is the root of all evil.
- I can’t afford it vs. how can I afford it?
- Study so you can work for a good company vs. study so you can buy your own company.
- Don’t take risks with money vs. learn to manage risks with money.
LESSON #1 THE RICH DON’T WORK FOR MONEY
One of the most common dreams among humans is likely getting rich, we can talk about it all we like, but the majority of us never really make it. Kiyosaki emphasises the idea that you have the ability to change yourself, you have the ability to change your life if it’s what you really want. He explains that too many people let life push them around, they let their boss, their job or their families dictate their lives. There’s another kind of person, the person that pushes back. These are the people who will be successful, they acknowledge the problem and understand that changing themselves, learning and becoming wiser is going to get them where they want to go.
”Lesson No.1: The poor and the middle-class work for money. The rich have money work for them.”
Kiyosaki explains that the most common attitude towards money is to play safe and take no risks in order to feel secure. The driving force behind their money behaviour is, therefore, fear rather than passion. However, Kiyosaki explains that you need passion if you want to learn anything new or find real success. You cannot be living in fear.
Kiyosaki explains that it’s this emotion of fear that keeps people working in the same job for years and years. It’s the fear of missing a bill payment, not having enough money to pay rent of the fear of being fired. No matter what the fear is, the fear is whats driving people to stay put. Kiyosaki explains that in many cases when someone is given more money, say in the form of a pay rise, they only land themselves in more debt than before. They are stuck in the cycle.
”That’s the price of studying to learn a profession or trade, and then working for money. Most people become a slave to money… and then get angry at their boss.”
People have a price
Kiyosaki explains that almost everyone has a price, and this price is defined because of fear combined with greed. As we previously discussed, the fear of having no money drives us to work hard. But once we are paid, greed sets in and we plan how to spend all of our money on exciting things. This becomes a continuous cycle that’s hard to crack.
”The pattern of get up, go to work, pay bills, get up, go to work, pay bills… Their lives are then run forever by two emotions, fear and greed. Offer them more money, and they continue the cycle by also increasing their spending. This is the Rat Race.”
Desire is another emotion that keeps people in the current jobs. Despite the fact that their job may bring them no joy, the continue working because they have a desire for money and the things that money can buy. The expectation is that money will bring the joy that the job doesn’t. However, Kiyosaki explains that joy from money is only ever temporary, something new is only new for a very short period of time. And suddenly you are left wanting for more, and to get more, you need more money. The assumption is that money solves all problems and brings joy, but Kiyosaki believes that the reality is that money does almost the opposite.
Forget the paycheck
Kiyosaki explains that this constant need for your next paycheck is what’s holding you back, it actually makes your life more difficult. If you can get to a point where you forget about the next paycheck, you’ll find yourself in a much better place.
Kiyosaki believes that working for free and using your brain will unleash opportunities you currently can’t see. You are blinded by your paychecks. But if you allow your mind to wander, you’ll see how to make money that goes beyond your standard 9-5. And often these opportunities are missed because everyone is too concerned about the security that a job and a paycheck can bring.
LESSON #2 THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING FINANCIAL LITERACY?
”Most people fail to realise that in life, it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much money you keep.”Click To Tweet
Kiyosaki explains that everyone is looking for a quick fix, the magic answer or formula to make their riches. However, he explains that the only way to get rich is to become financially literate. The education is absolutely fundamental.
Kiyosaki appreciates that accounting is boring, complicated and dull. However, despite its downfalls, accounting is the most important thing you can learn and understand if you want to make money in the long-term. This is why it’s so important as a parent to teach your kids the basics of accounting. Keep it simple and straightforward but make sure that they know the essentials.
Assets and liabilities
Kiyosaki emphasises the importance of understanding that there is a clear difference between assets and liabilities. You cannot spend your life buying liabilities, you need to be buying assets. Kiyosaki explains that rich people acquire assets and poor people acquire liabilities. However, the poor aren’t necessarily aware that they are acquiring liabilities, they are often uneducated and assume that they are assets.
There should be one clear way to tell whether something is an asset or a liability. Ask yourself, does it put money in your pocket, or take money out? An asset will put money into your pocket, be constantly providing a return. Whereas a liability will simply be sucking up your already limited funds.
”This is really all you need to know. If you want to be rich, simply spend your life buying assets. If you want to be poor or middle class, spend your life buying liabilities. It’s not knowing the difference that causes most of the financial struggle in the real world.”
There’s a pretty common assumption among people that money is the solution to anything, and that money brings happiness. However, Kiyosaki believes that money is often the problem when given more money, people’s problems tend to increase rather than decrease. This is because it’s many people’s instinct to spend any money that they have, therefore more money only leads to more spending. And we know by now that spending more is not related to being happier.
Kiyosaki explains that too many working professionals are struggling financially, they find themselves working harder and harder but never getting any further. The main reasons that people are entering the workforce with little financial education. Whatever they have been taught in schools tends to be focused on how to make money, they forget about the importance of what to do with it when you have it and how to spend money wisely.
Houses, assets or liabilities?
We’ve already discussed the difference between assets and liabilities. SO one of the biggest questions we face now is about owning a house. Is a house considered an asset or a liability?
Kiyosaki explains that the majority of working professionals never actually own their homes, they spend their entire working life paying off a mortgage. The pattern of upgrading and buying a new house every few years leads to new 30-year loans, each one larger than the previous.
Kiyosaki believes that having all of your money tied up in your house results in missed opportunities. You are forced to work harder and are fearful of ever being in a position without a regular, steady income. You pour all of your hard earned cash into the house leaving little to invest in any other assets.
Owning a house
Kiyosaki points out that most people purchase houses that are in fact too expensive, this is often because banks are all too happy to lend big amounts of money with high interest. By purchasing a house that is outside of your reasonable budget you are missing out on opportunities. Kiyosaki explains that you lose time, the time spent paying off your mortgage is time you lose with other assets that could be growing in value. You miss out on additional capital from investments. Often any extra money is spent on maintenance for the house rather than investing.
”Too often, people count their house, savings and retirement plan as all they have in their asset column. Because they have no money to invest, they simply do not invest.”
LESSON # 3 OWN YOUR OWN BUSINESS
”Most people work for everyone else but themselves. They work first for the owners of the company, then for the government through taxes, and finally for the bank that owns their mortgage.”
Lesson No. 3 of the Rich: “Mind your own business”. Kiyosaki explains that people spend their entire life working for someone else, they are in constant financial strife and they have nothing to show for it when they reach the end of their career. He explains that there are two schools of thought when it comes to earning an income:
- Your income is a direct result of your career. This is what most people think.
- Your income is a direct result of your assets. This is the perspective of the rich.
Kiyosaki examined the current education system and how they are getting youth ready for the workforce. They focus all of the attention on getting a good job through learning scholastic skills. Students then go on to study engineering, science, arts, armed forces etc. Once they are appropriately prepared and have the right qualifications, they enter the workforce and start earning an income.
Kiyosaki explains that there’s a difference between having a career and having a business. Whenever Kiyosaki asks someone what their business is, they tend to reply with their job title. For example, “I’m a banker.” Kiyosaki then will ask if they own the bank. And 9 times out of 10 the reply is always, “No, I work there.”
This highlights the problem that Kiyosaki has with schooling. Schools encourage students to become what they study. A student studying cooking becomes a chef, someone studying law becomes a lawyer. People are so focused on the career and becoming what they study that they forget about the potential of owning their own business. Instead of focusing on making themselves richer, they dedicate all of their time and energy into making someone else richer.
Mind your own business
”To become financially secure, a person needs to mind their own business. Your business revolves around your asset column, as opposed to your income column. The rich focus on their asset columns while everyone else focuses on their income statements.”
So how do you start to mind your own business? Kiyosaki recommends to being by keeping your day job but start focusing on buying real assets. Eliminate any liabilities that you regularly spend money on. Kiyosaki points out that despite the fact that a bank manager will let you list a car as an asset, cars are actually considerable liabilities. As soon as you use a new car, the value drops 25%, and the value continues to decrease every year.
As a parent with children, it’s important to teach them about assets and liabilities. Teach them young and set them up for a successful future by explaining the difference between assets and liabilities. Encourage them to start buying assets before they’ve even left home. This is a time where any money they have is disposable, they probably aren’t married with children yet, but that doesn’t mean they should be spending their money haphazardly. It’s time to make wise investments and set themselves up for the future.
Here are a couple of things that Kiyosaki classes as worthy assets:
- Businesses that you own but don’t have to manage or run day-to-day. Working there does not count, that becomes a job, not an asset.
- Mutual funds.
- Income-generating real estate.
- Royalties from intellectual property. This can include music, patents, literature.
LESSON # 4 A BRIEF HISTORY OF TAXES
Kiyosaki points out the fact that the rich avoid being taxed. The middle class are the ones who end up paying for the poor. Despite the intentions of text being to punish the rich, it’s resulted in punishing the poor and middle classes, those that voted taxes in.
The truly rich generally have a knowledge of the legal structure of corporations and how this power can be used to avoid the rules that taxes employ. Rich people do not voluntarily pay more taxes. Whenever new initiatives are put in place, designed to tax the rich, the rich do their research and push back. The poor and the middle classes do not have the education or the power to allow themselves to push back, so they are the ones who end up paying all of the taxes.
In order to be rich, you need to have a decent financial IQ. Kiyosaki explains that this is made up of considerable knowledge in accounting, investing, understanding markets, and the law.
LESSON #5 WORK TO LEARN, NOT FOR MONEY
Kiyosaki explains that in order to have a significant increase in income, most people would only need to educate themselves and master one more skill. He believes that mastering accounting, investing, marketing and law make making money considerably easier. However, most people don’t have all of these skills, most people only know how to work hard. Kiyosaki believes that the best thing is to know a little about a lot. Not a lot about a little.
”I recommend to young people to seek work for what they will learn, more than what they will earn. Look down the road at what; skills they want to acquire before choosing a specific profession and before getting trapped in the Rat Race.”
Kiyosaki explains that there is an option for people who are unwilling to learn a new skill and are determined to become specialised in a single field. If this is the approach you want to take, ensure that you work for a company that is unionised. Specialists are well protected within labour unions.
Kiyosaki explains the concept of ‘grooming’ in business. A student fresh out of university will be taken under the wing of a company and ‘groomed’ to one day take over. These students will likely be moved all around the company, never specialising in just one department to ensure that they understand the entire organisation. This is something that rich people often do with their children or children of their friends. They “groom” the children so that they can have a complete understanding of business operations and how the family manages their finances. Management skills that should be taught include managing cash flow, managing systems and managing other people.
”In addition to being good learners, sellers and marketers, we need to be good teachers as well as good students. To be truly rich, we need to be able to give as well as to receive.”Click To Tweet
HOW TO OVERCOME COMMON OBSTACLES
- Fear. Do you fear losing all of your money? Or do you fear failing all together? Kiyosaki explains that you have to be patient, brave and have a good attitude toward failure. He explains that failure isn’t all bad, it can turn a loser into a winner. Failure can be seen as part of your education. Losers try to avoid failing altogether, therefore, they never learn.
- Laziness. Do you think you are lazy? How do you overcome this? Kiyosaki explains that the right amount of greed, anyone can combat laziness. Greed prompts a motivation, a desire to do something and make something of yourself. If you have no greed, you’ll have no motivation.
- Arrogance. Being arrogant is the ultimate obstacle. Kiyosaki explains that arrogance is just the combination of ego and ignorance. When you are ignorant about something, you are likely to lose money over it. To combat this, educate yourself in the areas you don’t know much about. Don’t be ignorant.
- The poor and the middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.
- Fear is what keeps people in jobs that they don’t enjoy.
- The expectation is that money will bring joy. However, the joy from money is only ever temporary, something new is only new for a very short period of time.
- More money generally only leads to more spending.
- Financial education is so important, having knowledge of accounting is a fundamental part of being rich.
- Assets and liabilities are different. Assets generate money whereas liabilities suck up your money.
- Having all of your money tied up in owning a home leads to missed opportunities.
- A rich man’s perspective is that your income is a direct result of your assets, not your job. Therefore you need to commit to investing in the right assets.
- You don’t want to be working for someone else, helping them get richer.
- Owning a business should be the goal, more specifically a business that requires as little input from you as possible.
- Other than a business, worthwhile assets are: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, income-generating real estate, and royalties from intellectual property.
- In order to be rich, you need to have a decent financial IQ. This is made up of considerable knowledge in accounting, investing, understanding markets, and the law.
- Rich people “groom” their children so that they can have a complete understanding of business operations and how the family manage their finances. Management skills that should be taught include managing cash flow, managing systems and managing other people.
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Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill examines the psychological power of thought and the brain in the process of furthering your career for both monetary and personal satisfaction.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi is a great read for anyone wanting to get a better handle on personal finances. I Will Teach You to be Rich helps you identify where your money is going and gets it working for you so that you can save for the things that will bring you true happiness and lead a rich life. The book outlines a six-week program which identifies how to create a system for optimising your bill payments, savings and investments so that your money goes to all the right places with less than an hour of maintenance a month.
Guidelines is my eBook that summarises the main lessons from 33 of the best-selling self-help books in one place. It is the ultimate book summary; Available as a 80-page ebook and 115-minute audio book. Guidelines lists 31 rules (or guidelines) that you should follow to improve your productivity, become a better leader, do better in business, improve your health, succeed in life and become a happier person.
- You can follow Kiyosaki’s ‘Get Started’ plan:
- Use the power of choice, invest first, in education
- Choose friends carefully
- Master a formula and then learn a new one
- Pay yourself first
- Pay your brokers well
- Be an ‘Indian Giver’, the power of getting something for nothing
- Assets buy luxuries
- Teach and you shall receive
- Download the complete book on Amazon.
This summary is not intended as a replacement for the original book and all quotes are credited to the above mentioned author and publisher.