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Rich Dad Poor Dad

By Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a book. And a series of books. And a free audio download. If you buy the book. And a very expensive role-playing game (but not if you consider how much money it will make you)... and so on and so forth. Basically a whole "be rich" franchise. But not "be rich quick" or any of that kind of nonsense. Oh no.

It's based on a very interesting story. Basically, our young Robert grew up in Hawai, the son of a hard-working man, who, although quite senior in his career, was perpetually poor. His friend's dad however had his finger in a number of growingly-lucrative pies. No prizes for guessing who Robert follows... Now, according to some information on the web, this "rich dad" turns out to be nothing more than a literary device; who said you could get rich and be completely honest?


Whatever, for a financial textbook, it's pretty easy reading, nay, almost compelling stuff. Be warned though: although RDPD2 does contain a fair bit of new material, there's also a lot of repetition, possibly no bad thing since RDPD is trying to change the ways we think about money.

Although the sceptical may put Mr Kiyosaki's success down to luck in bull stock and property markets, there's a lot more to the success he describes than just this. The RDPD premise is based on a couple of diagrams, one showing income/outgoings, assets/liabilities , and the other, where people get their income: Employee, Self-employed, Business owner or Investor. The basic idea, if I can summarise it, is to accumulate assets, not liabilities, and move from Employed to Employer.

There's a thought-provoking section in RDPD2 about risk management, and the risks involved with being a poor employee. The second book also gets into some detail about stages of advancement as a successful investor.

Basically, the techniques in these books are not original: they are basic financial common sense, and, as the author admits, the rich have been practicing them for a long time. What makes the books worthwhile is that they present these ideas in an excellent format which anyone can relate to, understand, and hopefully practice.

I wish I'd had these books back when I was 18, but I'm going to try and make the most of their teachings from now on!