Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

A wakeup call to know “money”…

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a book written by Robert Kiyosaki in collaboration with Sharon Lechter in 1997. This book is written in the style of a set of parables, seemingly based on Kiyosaki’s own life.
The author, Robert Kiyosaki, is a half American and half Japanese. He has written around 19 books. This book is a bestselling book and has sold over 26 million copies.

The book is based on a true story. It is written in the first person point of view. And it is a non-fictional book dealing with financial problems. This book completely changes the readers’ concept of financial terms. It helps the readers realize why most of the rich people get richer and the poor poorer. The writer says that the most important knowledge is of money. But the colleges and universities don’t teach this subject. Money is not taught in schools. Schools focus on scholastic and professional skills, but not on financial skills. We must learn about money from our parents. So, as the poor parents don’t know well how to deal with money, they can’t teach their children about money.

Robert Kiyosaki starts the first chapter of the book peculiarly, writing with “I had two fathers, a rich one and a poor one.” He clarifies later. One is his biological father and the other is his friend’s. He considers his father as ‘poor dad’ because he had to struggle for paying bills, had almost no money with the ending of the month though he was highly educated, had a Ph.D. and a high paying job. On the contrary, his friend’s dad is considered as ‘rich dad’ because he never had to struggle with bills though he ‘never finished the eighth grade’. Kiyosaki thinks that it is better to learn about money from the person who has money. So, he goes to his ‘rich dad’.

Both fathers had very different views on money, nevertheless, both were right. Their different views left a completely different impact on the little mind. For instance, if the son asked for money, the poor dad would reply, “I can’t afford it”. The rich dad would say, “How can I afford it?” One is a statement, and the other is a question. One gives you no scope to think, and the other forces you to think big. The latter believed that automatically saying, “I can’t afford it” is a sign of mental laziness.

The most interesting and important thing about the book is that the reader will discover financial terms in a new way without studying finance. What is an asset? Most people think their house is their greatest asset but Kiyosaki claims that the house is their liability, not an asset. How! To him, an asset pays us money. Liability costs us money. As we have to pay bills for maintaining our house, it is a liability. To the writer, income means the money we make and expense means the money we spend. One of the views of the book is that the poor buy stuff, the middle class buy liabilities and the rich buy assets. Buying a big beautiful house or a car, the middle class think that they have become rich. But actually, they are trapped by buying liabilities. They have to spend money to maintain all these things. Buying assets, the rich make money work for them. The assets make money for them without requiring their time. Education is also an asset. But both dads were very different in their views through both insisted on education. However, these days education can’t bring much money. Only investment can, and knowledge is important for investing profitably. As the supply of educated people was low in the past, they were highly paid. Now, most of the educated are unemployed.

In this book, Kiyosaki claims that the poor and the middle-class work for money; the rich have money work for them. Money doesn’t make you rich. The poor dad earns much money but he has to pay many bills as well. Assets pay you money and make you rich. Don’t save money because inflation will reduce the value of your money. Invest money.

This book is a wakeup call to all to become skilled at money matters. The rich dad says, “The lack of money is the root of all evil”. Besides, the writer claims children learn about money from their parents. This book portrays an interesting story of two little boys. The conversation of the rich dad and one of the boys disclose the secret knowledge of money.

The writer of this review is an alumnus of Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka.

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