2/15/15

To complete the trifecta of old, new, and modern classic personal finance books, this is the third book review in a series of installments that will be coming from my recently launched personal blog, Deconstructing Excellence. See my other book summaries on WSO here. If you find my summaries to be useful, sign up at the website here to make sure you don't miss any.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for books you'd like to see summarized.

By Robert Kiyosaki

Page Count: 195

Rich Dad, Poor Dad on Amazon

 

Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been called the number one personal finance book of all time, boasting over 26 million copies sold. In his book, Mr. Kiyosaki illustrates the mindsets and beliefs that make the rich, rich and the poor, poor by contrasting the advice of his real dad with that of his financial mentor, who was the father of the author's best friend.

Robert's biological father was brilliant and charismatic, finishing his four-year undergraduate degree in less than two years, then going on to obtain a masters and PhD at two prestigious universities before rising to the number one position in the state of Hawaii's educational system. He left debts to be paid upon his death, while Robert's mentor (who never even finished eighth grade) became the richest man in the state, leaving tens of millions to his family and charity.

This one anecdote is indicative of a fact we all should know, but probably don't know how to act upon: formal education teaches scholastic and professional skills, not financial skills. (Even "finance" classes are purely academic or professional, and don't really teach what it takes to become rich). The ubiquitous focus on formal schooling leads to graduates who may have good grades, but still have a poor person's "financial programming."

This book is all about mindset. If you're looking for tips, tricks, practical advice, or a how-to guide, you'll be disappointed. Poor dad was poor, and rich dad was rich, because of their thoughts about money and the actions to which those thoughts led.

 

Lesson 1: The Rich Don't Work for Money

 
Robert starts immediately with a lesson juxtaposing the rich and poor perspectives: "The poor and middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them."

The course of study that the poor and middle classes take is the conventional method - study hard in school, get good grades, then get a safe job with excellent benefits at a big company. The course of study to be rich is very different, and most people never take the time to learn it.

Instead, most people are stuck in an endless cycle of fear and greed. Fear of being without money compels them to work for it, and when they get the paycheck greed (desire) makes them spend what they work for. They work hard to get paid more, but then follow up raises with more debt or more expenses.

Most people want to feel secure with their money, so passion doesn't direct them; fear does. It's certainly easier to work for money, but it is not safer. You'll get much more security by investing your time to create assets that generate money, rather than only getting paid for your hourly labor. Learning how to do this is the course of study to become rich.

The author has little sympathy for people who say, "I'm not interested in money," or, "Money isn't everything." If that's how you feel, why are you working eight hours a day, five days a week for it?

 

Lesson 2: Why Teach Financial Literacy?

 
Financial literacy is something that is not taught in schools, even in finance classes. It's a shame because financial literacy is really very simple. There is only one rule: know the difference between an asset and a liability, and buy assets.

The poor and middle class don't become rich because they buy liabilities that they think are assets. The difference is simple, but profound: assets create income, and liabilities create expenses. Assets move cash into your pocket; liabilities move cash out.

For example, most people think of a house as an asset. By the accounting definition, it is, but in reality, your home results in cash moving out of your pocket - the mortgage payment, insurance, property taxes, and, worst of all, the missed opportunities from having your money stuck in your house instead of available to work for you. Instead of pretending your house is an investment, acknowledge it as an expense. If you want a house (or a bigger house than you already have), first create assets that generate enough cash flow to pay for the liability that a house is.

The author contends that making money is not nearly as important as how you spend what you make. Why? Money (i.e., making more of it) only amplifies the cash flow pattern in your head.

Most people mistakenly view wealth in terms of net worth, or assets minus liabilities. The problem is, most of the assets people put in that equation are actually liabilities, or are worth far less than people think. Wealth is not net worth; it is the number of days you could survive if you stopped working today.

 

Lesson 3: Mind Your Own Business

 
The poor and middle class spend most of their time and energy working for other people: their company (a paycheck), the government (taxes), and the bank (their mortgage and other loans). According to Mr. Kiyosaki, one particularly tragic fact is that if you calculate the amount paid for all types of taxes, the average American works five or six months out of the year just to pay the government. (Many countries are even worse.)

Don't confuse your profession with your business, i.e., your asset column. The traditional school and job path is generally a necessary thing, but the problem is that you usually become what you study. Instead of allowing that to happen to you, don't lose yourself in your schooling and job; rather, focus on your own asset column. You can keep your day job, but put your money in assets - businesses (as long as you don't have to be around for them to make money), stocks, bonds, mutual funds, rental properties, notes, intellectual property royalties, etc. Once a dollar is in your asset column, never take it out. When you want to buy a liability, first buy an asset that generates enough cash to cover the liability.

This chapter is reminiscent of Stephen Covey's quadrant II activities - those things that are important but not urgent, for which you should first be making time. Refer to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for more on this.

 

Lesson 4: The History of Taxes and the Power of Corporations

 
The author delves into the origin of the income tax and the age-old battle between the rich and those who want to take money from the rich. What is important is the where that history has brought us in the present day: the rich play the game smarter, legally avoiding taxes, while the middle class foots the bill for most of the government's spending.

One important tax tool of the rich is the 1031, or "like-kind" exchange, which allows you to defer paying capital gains taxes on the sale of real estate if you use the proceeds of the sale to buy another (presumedly more expensive) piece of real estate.

Another important tool is the corporation, which allows you to set up separate assets that generate income. The key here is that while an individual is taxed before expenses, a corporation is taxed after expenses. This simple rule means that if done properly, you can legally write off vacations, car expenses, health club memberships, restaurant meals, and so on. The poor earn, pay taxes, then spend; the rich earn, spend, then pay taxes.

Robert then revisits the idea of financial literacy, summarizing it in four parts:

1. Accounting. The ability to read and understand financial statements.

2. Investing. The science of money making money; creativity combined with strategy and formulas.

3. Understanding markets. The science of supply and demand; technical (emotion-driven) and fundamental (economic sense) investments.

4. Law. Understanding taxes and avoiding lawsuits.

 

Lesson 5: The Rich Invent Money

 
Three hundred years ago, land was wealth. With the Industrial Revolution, wealth was owned by the industrialist. Today, wealth is information.

People complain that they don't have enough money to take advantage of the deals they see. Even more often, they have opportunities that they can't see. Most people know only one solution: work hard, save, and borrow. They don't understand that both luck and money are things that are created. In contrast, the rich know that their mind is their most valuable asset.

If you're not sure what this means, refer to my summary of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, the classic treatise on the subject.

Essentially, you have two options in life:

  1. Work hard, pay taxes, save anything left over, and get taxed on the savings
  2. Take the time to develop your financial intelligence and harness the power of your brain to create assets

Most people buy packaged investments from real estate companies, stockbrokers, etc. The rich create investments by assembling a deal themselves. To do this, you need to develop three skills:

  1. How to find an opportunity that everyone else has missed.
  2. How to raise money.
  3. How to organize smart people.

You'll have to take risks, but if you are informed and understand an investment, it's not as risky as it would be to someone who is just rolling the dice and praying.

 

Lesson 6: Work to Learn - Don't Work for Money

 
The author urges young people especially to "seek work for what they will learn, more than what they will earn." Aim to learn a little about a lot instead of seeking specialization, because specialization is for employment, not for being rich. Instead, take the jobs you need in order to learn to manage cash flow, systems, and people. In particular, the author recommends that you be sure to develop the skills of communication, sales, and marketing, as those skills combine well with other skills, and are often necessary to create wealth.

 

Overcoming Obstacles

 
Mr. Kiyosaki lists the five reasons that even financially literate people may not develop their asset columns:

1. Fear. Specifically, the fear of losing money. People who make money are not afraid to lose it. The rich do not build their wealth steadily, never losing money; they learn how to limit their losses, and turn those losses into opportunities.

2. Cynicism. Cynicism comes from unchecked doubt and fear, and it is expensive. A cynic will always have an excuse for why something is not possible. They criticize instead of analyzing. For example, people who don't want to invest in real estate will say, "I don't want to fix toilets." Rich dad would buy a property at a price that would allow him to hire a property manager and maintain positive cash flow.

3. Laziness. Usually, the laziest people are the ones who are busy. People stay busy in order to avoid problems they don't want to face, or to avoid the work necessary to develop their ability to become rich - laziness by staying busy. Rich people have a desire that overcomes their laziness.

4. Bad habits. Our lives are more a reflection of our habits than of our education. As an overriding rule, the author insists that you "pay yourself first." Take care of yourself first - physically, mentally, and financially - instead of first paying your boss, tax collector, or landlord.

5. Arrogance. The author defines arrogance as ego plus ignorance. The solution is quite simple: education, specifically financial education.

 

Getting Started

 
The author then offers some further tips, albeit not very specific ones:

1. Have a reason greater than reality. You need to have a reason to want to be rich, or the hard realities of life will wear you down. This starts by knowing what you don't want (to work your whole life, etc.) and what you do want.

2. Choose daily. Every day and every dollar is a choice to be rich or poor. Our spending habits will reflect who we are (not the other way around).

3. Choose friends carefully. Don't choose your friends based on how much money they have, but be careful about being around cynics or people who don't like talking about money. They will rub off on you. Instead, do your best to learn from people who support you, teach you, and make you a better person.

4. Master a formula and then learn a new one. Most people stop with the basic formula of "work hard, pay your bills, and save for retirement." Go to one other formula - investing in foreclosures, for example - put it into practice, and perfect it before moving on to something else. There are two keys here: the ability to expand your mind to learn other income-generating formulas, and the discipline to put each one into practice before moving on.

5. Pay yourself first. We covered this one already; have the discipline to pay yourself in every way - physically, mentally, financially, etc. - before you pay your boss, your landlord, etc. If you don't do this, you'll find that there is nothing left over to pay yourself. This is an important shift in mentality.

6. Pay your brokers well. This includes all professionals you rely on - lawyers, accountants, etc. Only select professionals whose services make you money (or save you money), and pay them well. This is part of growing your asset column.

7. Be an "Indian giver." The sophisticated investor's first question is always, "How fast do I get my money back?" Make sure that you have a significant upside while limiting your downside. Consider not only the return on investment, but also the assets you get for free when you get your money back.

8. Assets buy luxuries. Don't buy a luxury until you have created an asset that pays for it.

9. The need for heroes. Find investment heroes that make it look easy, and imitate and be inspired by them.

10. Teach and you shall receive. The more you teach people, the more you will learn. This principle holds true elsewhere in life; in giving, you will find that things come to you much more easily.

 

Still Want More?

 
More to do's:

1. Stop doing what you're doing. Take a break and think about what is and isn't working for you.

2. Look for new ideas. Read books on different subjects, particularly how-to books.

3. Find someone who has done what you want to do. Take them to lunch and ask for tips.

4. Take classes and buy tapes. This is the opposite of the "cynicism," "laziness," and "arrogance" in the chapter on obstacles. Take the time, put in the effort, and spend the money to invest in your education.

5. Make lots of offers. You never know which offer will be accepted, so make lots of offers to create great deals. Rejection is part of the process, so get used to it.

6. First look for people who want to buy, then for people who want to sell. This is a practical tip for assembling a deal, as discussed in lesson five.

7. Learn from history. Study success, and emulate it.

8. Action always beats inaction. If you don't know what to do, overcome your inertia and just get moving. As Harry Truman put it, "Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction."

 

College Education for $7,000

 
By way of summary, in this chapter Robert tells the story of a friend who needed to save $400,000 to pay for his children's education. He talks about how he helped his friend make a series of real estate investments - buying a house from an owner who needed to sell immediately, having the local real estate market experience an upturn, buying a storage facility, etc. - all within the tax shelter of a corporation.

Contrary to popular wisdom, it does not take money to make money. It takes education about money. Start early, buy a book, or go to a seminar. Start small, and practice. "It's what is in your head that determines what is in your hands. Money is only an idea."

 

Conclusion

 
This book is very readable, a fact that may have been lost in my summarization of the key points. The lessons are presented in story format, as the author talks and works with his rich and poor dads. The dichotomy is remarkably effective, using the "poor dad" and "rich dad" as third-party illustrations to criticize certain behaviors so we don't feel bad about ourselves for making the mistakes the author condemns. If you read through these lessons and don't yet understand or agree with the "rich dad" perspectives, get the book and read the stories - this is a book of perspectives, and perspectives must often be caught, rather than dictated.

With popularity comes criticism, and much of the criticism leveled at the book has merit. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this book is that it contains no "how" - only "why." Much of the content has been described as "self-help boilerplate," and I have to agree that the author did include quite a lot of fluff. Perhaps, however, this is necessary to give some readers the time and depth of emotion to catch rich dad's perspectives.

The book is obviously primarily fiction - even if "rich dad" is actually a real person, the accounts of the author's childhood conversations are far too detailed and specific to be even remotely true. Additionally, most examples and anecdotes in the book revolve around speculative real estate deals that may or may not resemble an actual occurrence. Keep in mind also that the author's wealth comes largely from a business that revolves around inspiring people and getting them to pay for seminars; so learn the lessons, but don't get caught up in the hype. Also, I've read several of the other books in the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series - as long as you understood the perspectives in this original publication, you don't need to spend your time on them. There isn't a single sentence about how to do any of this, only more detail on the mindsets and perspectives.

Regardless, Rich Dad, Poor Dad contains some powerful lessons on perspective, and these takeaways are probably worth the cost of quite a few seminars. To sum up:

1. Don't work for money; work to create assets that generate money.

2. Know the difference between an asset and liability, and buy assets. Only buy another liability if you first buy or create an asset that generates enough cash to pay for it.

3. Make putting things in your asset column your first priority, before what your employer, government, and bank want.

4. Study accounting, investing, economics, and law. This will allow you to recognize opportunities and methods to successfully build wealth, such as the use of 1031 exchanges and corporate structures.

5. Most people buy packaged investments. The rich create investments by assembling a deal themselves - finding an opportunity, raising money, and organizing people.

6. Take a job only for the skills it will teach you, never for the money it pays you.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad on Amazon

Comments (36)

2/4/15

Deconstructing Excellence:

Let me know in the comments below if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for books you'd like to see summarized.


would like to hear your opinions on the 4hww, now that it's been out for ~10 years. i hear he's writing a follow up w/ a look a success stories, though would like to hear about both sides of the coin.
or 4 hour chef? haven't read that one yet

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

2/5/15

I'm a huge fan of Tim Ferriss and the Four Hour Work Week, as well as his other two books. He operates at a level that few match - actually being a guinea pig and testing out various theories, combining creativity with execution and getting to the core of what works. I'm also fanatic about listening to his podcast, where he interviews a ton of highly successful people to break down what makes them that way. It's actually the inspiration for my blog name - he was the first to use the term "deconstructing excellence."

4HWW and the other two are definitely on my list. I'm particularly impressed that he's doing a book of success stories from other people who took his ideas and replicated them. The fact that people are actually replicating his systems and methods is something you don't see much from other people who claim to have the answers to success.

2/15/15

Tim Ferris is a snake oil salesman

2/16/15

not this again. yes he's a salesman, but most of what he sells is worth listening to. plenty of bottom feeding scum much much worse than him

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

2/4/15

This is great, silver banana. Would be awesome if you could do one for 7 habits.

2/4/15

I figured I wouldn't be able to put that one off for long - it's pretty much the quintessential personal effectiveness book. I'm planning to put it up in about two weeks. If you want, you can sign up at deconstructingexcellence.com to be notified when it gets published.

2/4/15

As an aside...

The most successful real estate investor I know rarely does 1031 exchanges anymore. His reason is that he doesn't want a clock ticking that dictates when he gets a deal done. He has found that the tax benefits of a 1031 are outweighed by the possibility of doing a less than optimal deal within that time frame. You have a million ways to control taxes in real estate, he'd rather use the other ones.

2/5/15

Yeah, I've seen a number of articles over the past few years about how 1031s aren't as attractive as they used to be. I think it depends largely on the type of investor; some will regularly do so many deals that the six month limit will never be an issue.

This is a nice point about the book in general, as well - the author talks about things like 1031s and corporations almost as if they're magic tickets to success, while there are complexities and considerations to everything. I think the point is that it's helpful to have the mentality of optimism, creativity, and credulity, then have advisors to keep you in check when you get out of line.

2/6/15

I've done a few 1031 exchanges. I usually find interested buyers, then I find lucrative deals. Much easier to do when you have all of your ducks in a row.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

2/6/15

Kiyosaki definitely pushed his Rich Dad series at the right time.

Although these books might not benefit some of the more sophisticated finance types, I have a whole slew of relatives who really should read this book. Not so they get motivated to become real estate moguls, more to pull their heads out of the sand.

Best Response
2/6/15

I agree with almost everything the author is saying, but it goes back to the whole generational disconnect--Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers had access to lower inflation-adjusted real estate, college and health care costs, and their peak economic times were during 25 years of unprecedented economic boom (early 1980's through mid-2000's). My Gen-X boss graduated from college in the late 1990's during the real estate/financial boom, which gave him access to far more high-end job opportunities, he bought his real estate cheap and sold some of it high, and he paid half the ticket price for undergraduate and graduate school (literally, his MS in Real Estate in 2006 was HALF of the cost of the same program today). Oh, and for about 20 years, any idiot with a pulse could get a loan for business ventures and real estate. One of my best friends is 37 this year. He bought his first house in the early 2000's and he utilized his CREDIT CARD to make the down payment--process that...

Our generation--Gen-Y/millenials--is saddled with extraordinarily high asset prices (stocks, bonds, real estate), obscene college tuition and debt burdens, and a largely mediocre economy with very little opportunity in high finance, law, and other once-lucrative industries. Many of us here (myself included) are among the lucky who were able to obtain one of the tiny handful of good jobs available the last few years, but we sure as heck as a generation aren't going to buy cheap, cash flowing real estate (or other assets) with rubber stamped loans. And without access to abundant debt capital and with fairly high equity costs, individual investors aren't going to just be able to create cash-generating assets. Heck, sophisticated financiers are having trouble doing that today.

So I think the author's message is valid, but his generation (and the Fed) has made it very difficult for this message to be put into practice.

2/8/15

That is very well said! This happens else where in the world too-(eg. China/HK). MD there has 2-3 aprtments worth over USD$10m now (probably cost like 200k each 10 years ago), while the analysts this year will have problem paying off down payments and interests (7-8% APR interest in China). I'd say if you working China/HK now, your future doesn't look very good in terms of personal finance.

2/8/15

you are spot on with that comment, well said

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

2/6/15

Great write-up @"Deconstructing Excellence"

When I graduated from my mother reading me fictional novels (Harry Potter, LotR, etc...), the first large novel that I read on my own was Rich Dad, Poor Dad given to me by my father. It really resignated with me at a young age and although the stories may seem trivial when painting the morals, it provided foundational imagery as to who I wanted to be when I grew up.

I think you did a knock out job on this review, along with the other two on your website that I have read over the course of my day.

2/6/15

this book is garbage and the author is a liar

http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html

2/7/15

John Reed seems like a pretty intelligent guy, but is either mad at Kiyosaki's success, or just trying to grab attention by villainizing a popular book; he seems to have missed every point of the book at every level. He is right about one thing, though - Kiyosaki is very much a salesman and a bit of a spin doctor. But that doesn't change the value of the principles he espouses.

2/8/15

I have never read the original book. I have read most of the "Success Stories" book edition he put out somewhere around 06-08. Every success story was heavily leveraged with a lot of real estate. Each person would have totally collapsed without equity to do the next deal. I think this book, if updated, would read more like a bankruptcy reporter now.

"yeah, thats right" High-Five

2/8/15

double post.

"yeah, thats right" High-Five

2/8/15

I was thinking, if you own real estate (say apartment building) and the RE market crashes and the value of your apartment building drops 10%, you technically should not really care if all that matters is the income. Even through 2007-2009 the apartment complex I lived in still retained full occupancy and the rent sure as hell didn't go down, so wouldn't the owner continue to receive the income and be generally unaffected, given that he is not interested in selling the apartment complex?

2/8/15

Yes, of course unless you are highly levered, need to refinance and bank says you no longer have the asset coverage as a result of the valuation decline. My guess is that you lived in a major city that was not Phoenix. Also property declines of any magnitude do not occur in a vacuum. If the RE market is in that type of free fall there is blood in the streets and fewer people can afford the high rents putting downward pressure on rents along with increased vacancies.

2/9/15

trailmix8:

I was thinking, if you own real estate (say apartment building) and the RE market crashes and the value of your apartment building drops 10%, you technically should not really care if all that matters is the income. Even through 2007-2009 the apartment complex I lived in still retained full occupancy and the rent sure as hell didn't go down, so wouldn't the owner continue to receive the income and be generally unaffected, given that he is not interested in selling the apartment complex?

What about if you don't own real estate and want to, as a typical consumer of the author's advice would be? With cap rates running in the 4.5-6% range in major cities, cash flow properties are extremely difficult to come by unless you are buying without debt, in which case your cost of equity is likely higher than your returns. On singular residential units, such as condos, in my area, we are seeing negative cap rates, with the primary return being capital appreciation. Your average joe investor can't buy property for the capital appreciation unless they are living in that unit.

2/9/15

This entire book is built on a very dangerous premise, i.e. active investing. As the research has pretty definitively shown, the vast majority of active investors under perform the market. He's right about building assets (saving money) being a good approach, but then he goes a step too far by pushing people to make risky investments (leveraged real estate being one). This book honestly smells of the pre-2007 mentality of "real estate can never go down and is the best way to build wealth". The reason people actually believe that is you can leverage RE 5x or more whereas equities you can only do 2x. That doesn't make RE a better investment, just a more volatile one.

2/9/15

I probably should have included somewhere the fact that the author only recommends active investment in private companies and ventures (at least in this book). He also admits that real estate isn't as easy as it used to be, but as @"trailmix8" mentions, if you're investing for positive cash flow then swings in the real estate market shouldn't affect you too much.

Another key point I didn't get into is that the author recommends putting in a great deal of research into each real estate deal - considering somewhere around 100 promising opportunities for each actual investment. According to Kiyosaki, what other people call risky may not be quite as risky for you if you are incredibly well informed.

Maybe the modern equivalent is tech startups.

2/9/15

Deep research into companies, business ventures, and real estate is extremely difficult with a full-time job. I've been actively looking for a business to buy since November, and if I'm lucky I can get to a place of business twice a month in order to perform due diligence.

I'm curious who the author thinks the common American is. The common American isn't a person with the education to complete proper financial due diligence on business ventures nor is he the person who has the appropriate time to look through hundreds of transactions and then perform proper due diligence on business or real estate.

I'm with the author in principle, but I fail to see how the common American can benefit from his advisory.

2/9/15

Very true. The author's answer is to start small, which would be more along the lines of buying a suburban rental apartment, starting and running a small business on the side, etc. Personally, I would say that this is possible in today's world via Kickstarter, self-publishing an eBook, selling stuff on eBay or Etsy, etc. I would agree, though, that the average American doesn't stand a chance of properly screening a business to purchase, much less hundreds of them.

2/10/15

DCDepository:

Deep research into companies, business ventures, and real estate is extremely difficult with a full-time job. I've been actively looking for a business to buy since November, and if I'm lucky I can get to a place of business twice a month in order to perform due diligence.

I'm curious who the author thinks the common American is. The common American isn't a person with the education to complete proper financial due diligence on business ventures nor is he the person who has the appropriate time to look through hundreds of transactions and then perform proper due diligence on business or real estate.

I'm with the author in principle, but I fail to see how the common American can benefit from his advisory.

It's not that difficult if you understand accounting and hold a patience to spend few extra hours to go through the fin statements. I'm an I-Banker working 9:30am - 8pm, 6 days a week. I do due-diligence for financial services / distressed investing/stocks 3 hours a day and study for others. It's worth spending time on what you want to achieve. Cut down your amusement (after all, your passion gives one). It's a different satisfaction and excitement when you see your investments grow with double digits figures! Have fun!

2/11/15

nitau_gg:

DCDepository:

Deep research into companies, business ventures, and real estate is extremely difficult with a full-time job. I've been actively looking for a business to buy since November, and if I'm lucky I can get to a place of business twice a month in order to perform due diligence.

I'm curious who the author thinks the common American is. The common American isn't a person with the education to complete proper financial due diligence on business ventures nor is he the person who has the appropriate time to look through hundreds of transactions and then perform proper due diligence on business or real estate.

I'm with the author in principle, but I fail to see how the common American can benefit from his advisory.

It's not that difficult if you understand accounting and hold a patience to spend few extra hours to go through the fin statements. I'm an I-Banker working 9:30am - 8pm, 6 days a week. I do due-diligence for financial services / distressed investing/stocks 3 hours a day and study for others. It's worth spending time on what you want to achieve. Cut down your amusement (after all, your passion gives one). It's a different satisfaction and excitement when you see your investments grow with double digits figures! Have fun!

Well, the discussion I was having was about how the author's advice applies to the masses of people--the general public. Well educated, financially literate investment bankers aren't the people the author is speaking to. Sure, you and I know our way around a financial statement; that applies to about 5% or less of the general public. That goes back to my point--I agree with the author's perspective, but the average consumer of his material is not mentally/educationally prepared to implement his advice. Those who did implement his advice and were successful may have been successful simply because real estate, for example, was relatively cheap in the early 2000's and it appreciated well beyond the rate of inflation, especially with leverage involved; timing, of course, is everything in real estate. Add in the fact that illegal aliens with clearly fake SSNs and no job could get home loans, and you had a scenario where the general public, for a time, could participate in the game. Now, even sophisticated investors are having difficulty making traditional cash flow assets return worthwhile risk-adjusted returns. Imagine Joe Schmo reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad and trying to buy a cash flow property in NY/NJ, D.C., Boston, etc. in today's environment. Opportunities exist, but they are few and far between and reserved for sophisticated investors with equity capital.

Based on my own personal experiences with attempting to buy a business, I highly, highly doubt that more than 1 person in 100 who read his book had the 1) time and 2) financial acumen to actually implement his business cash flow strategy unless they were to do it more or less full-time.

My point, in sum, is that the general public doesn't have the skill set or time (especially those with kids) to implement a Rich Dad, Poor Dad strategy, especially in an era with inflated asset prices and virtually no access to affordable debt capital for start-up businesses or business purchases. With the Fed paying banks interest on their reserves, there is trillions of dollars of un-lent money out there. So if I were advising the general public, I'd say that your job is your best investment, so invest money in your skill set, utilize total market index funds, and max out your 401k.

2/11/15

A lagging indicator of a bubble is when someone refers to tech start ups as a comparison.

2/16/15

Not necessarily a comparison - I only mean that it is a possibility that tech startups (as in blogs, niche sites, etc., as well as Facebook-type companies) will replace real estate investing as the most fitting vehicle for the author's suggested strategies.

2/16/15

double post

2/9/15

trailmix8:

I was thinking, if you own real estate (say apartment building) and the RE market crashes and the value of your apartment building drops 10%, you technically should not really care if all that matters is the income. Even through 2007-2009 the apartment complex I lived in still retained full occupancy and the rent sure as hell didn't go down, so wouldn't the owner continue to receive the income and be generally unaffected, given that he is not interested in selling the apartment complex?

This. Know ppl in RE and every time I even suggest considering selling, the convo goes the same way. They don't care about values because they hold them for the cash flows (not the best way to view the situation imo, but whatever). They're also debt free so they don't have that to worry about that either. Different dynamic when you're either overly levered or running a fund and have to return money.

2/17/15

I remember reading this book back in 2009 after the crash and thinking this is the exact mindset that caused so many to lose everything they had. i.e. leveraging everything into properties that will provide cash flow just enough to cover the mortgage/taxes/insurance without mitigating/measuring any of the risk.

2/18/15

I actually left IB to do real estate after reading this book. I didn't like the way this was written, but it was a good read and helped me find my passion.

Banking.

2/18/15

I actually left IB to do real estate after reading this book. I didn't like the way this was written, but it was a good read and helped me find my passion.

Banking.

2/21/15
3/29/15
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