Rich Dad Poor Dad Essay

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Rich Dad Poor Dad is a best-selling book  on personal  finance  by Robert  Kiyosaki  that  advocates investing  in distressed  real  estate  with  a positive cash flow, as well as entrepreneurship and education in financial matters, especially small stock returns. The  book  contrasts his real  father,  who was a highly educated  school  teacher  on a salary but “poor,” and a “rich” dad who was allegedly a friend’s father  who went on to become one of the richest men in Hawai’i,  where Kiyosaki grew up.

Kiyosaki has, virtually single-handedly, challenged  and  changed  the  way  tens  of  millions  of people  around the  world  think  about  money.  In communicating his  point  of  view  on  why  “old” advice—get  a  good  job,  save  money,  get  out  of debt,  invest  for  the  long  term,  and  diversify—is “bad” (both obsolete and flawed) advice, Kiyosaki has  earned  a reputation for  straight  talk,  irreverence, and courage.

Rich Dad Poor Dad was initially self-published in 1997  and  was an international best seller that has held a top spot on The New  York  Times  bestsellers list for more than  6 years. This book  ranks as the longest-running best seller on all four  lists that  report  to Publisher’s Weekly—The New  York Times,  Business  Week, The  Wall  Street  Journal, and  USA  Today—and was  named  USA  Today’s “#1 Money Book” 2 years in a row. It is the third longest-running “how-to” best  seller  of  all  time. Translated into 51 languages  and available  in 109 countries,  the Rich Dad series has sold more than 27  million  copies  worldwide  and  has  dominated the  best-sellers  lists across  Asia, Australia,  South America,  Mexico,  and  Europe.  In 2005,  Kiyosaki was inducted  into  the Amazon.com Hall  of Fame as one of that  book  seller’s Top 25 Authors.  There are currently  26 books  in the Rich Dad series.

In 2006,  Kiyosaki  teamed  with  Donald  Trump to coauthor Why  We  Want  You  to Be Rich: Two Men—One Message. It debuted  as Number 1 on The   New   York   Times’  best-seller   list.  Kiyosaki writes  a  biweekly  column—“Why the  Rich  Are Getting   Richer”—for  Yahoo!   Finance   and   a monthly  column  titled “Rich  Returns” for Entrepreneur magazine. Prior to writing Rich Dad Poor Dad, Kiyosaki created the educational board game CASHFLOW 101 to teach individuals the financial  and  investment   strategies  that  his  rich dad  spent  years  teaching  him.  Today,  there  are more than  2,100  CASHFLOW  Clubs—game groups independent of the Rich Dad Company—in cities throughout the world.

Kiyosaki’s elevation to financial “guru” prompted criticisms  by  the  established   financial press,  such  as  The  Wall  Street  Journal  and  The New  York  Times.  Some criticize Kiyosaki  for his underestimation  of  the  risk  to  personal   wealth caused  by starting  a new company  as opposed  to working  as an employee  for an established  company. Although  The  Wall  Street Journal does not mention it explicitly, other sources report that Kiyosaki   got   his  start   as  a   representative  of Amway, which enables people with little personal capital  to  start  selling Amway  products door  to door.  But  this  conception of  being  able  to  start without risking personal  capital  is unrealistic  and potentially  dangerous. In a later book with Donald Trump,  he admits  that  95 percent  of new companies  go  bankrupt, but  Kiyosaki  argues  that  this risk   can   be  overcome   by  financial   education, which he advocates.

Furthermore, Kiyosaki advocates  the superiority  of  investing   in  real  estate   to  investing   in mutual  funds. He attributes this aversion  to John Bogle, the  founder  of the  low-cost  mutual  fund company  Vanguard, who  pointed   out  that  in  a traditional mutual  fund company with annual expenses  of  2  percent  and  an  annual  return  of 8  percent,  then  with  compound growth,  then  a person’s return  after 65 years on an initial investment of $1,000 would  be $32,465, as opposed  to $148,780, or 70 percent less because of the expenses. Kiyosaki ignores the possibility that investors   could   avoid   these  costs  by  investing with Vanguard or through exchange-traded funds, which  are  low-cost  investments  in  stock  indices that follow the philosophy of Vanguard. Furthermore, mutual  funds are much more liquid than  is real estate,  and  real estate  requires  much more time to manage.

Still controversial are Kiyosaki’s attitudes toward the risk of becoming  an entrepreneur. The ability of venture  capital  firms to earn a return  of about  14 percent in high-tech companies  in Silicon Valley seems to indicate  that  the risks of entrepreneurship can, as Kiyosaki suggested, be approached better  with greater  knowledge.

In January  2013,  Kiyosaki filed bankruptcy for one of his companies, Rich Global LLC, which had a  $24   million  verdict   handed   down   against   it because  the  company   Learning  Annex  had  promoted lectures and seminars by Kiyosaki that allegedly  increased   sales  of  products  related   to Rich  Dad  Poor  Dad  by a claimed  $438  million. But the court found that  Rich Global  LLC did not pay $24 million in royalties to Learning Annex. Kiyosaki, whose personal  net worth  is estimated  to be $80 million, said that he would not pay the judgment  from his personal  wealth.

Bibliography:

  1. Kiyosaki, Robert Rich Dad Poor Dad: What  the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!  New York: Warner  Books, 2001.
  2. Ouchi, William G. Theory Z: How  American  Business Can Meet the Japanese Challenge. Reading,  MA: Addison-Wesley, 1981.
  3. Schiller, Robert Irrational  Exuberance, 2nd ed., rev. and expanded. New York: Broadway  Books, 2005.
  4. Trump, Donald  and Robert  Kiyosaki. Why  We Want You  to Be Rich: Two  Men—One Message. Scottsdale, AZ: Rich Publishing, 2006.

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