Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money that the Poor and Middle Class Do Not
Published: May 2000
Read: March 2005
Capsule: Robert Kiyosaki uses vague stories from his youth to compare those who own or invest in businesses (his friend's, "rich" dad) and the average working man (his real, "poor" dad). The books in this series are repetitive and preachy, but have nuggets worth exploring. It sounds like a trite website testimonial, but this book was honestly a big part of my financial renaissance.
Trade Paperback: 207 pages
Okay, Robert Kiyosaki doesn't need any more advertising. His brainwashed minions are everywhere, promoting the Rich Dad, Poor Dad empire. You could spend the rest of your life playing the Rat Race boardgame, attending seminars and networking with highly motivated people who want you as a part of their personal get rich-slow scheme.
While it looks and sounds suspicious, and certainly has enough holes and flaws for skeptics to skewer, there are grains of truth and inspiration in Mr Kiyosaki's work. The books are repetitive, overly simple and mostly vague inspirational messages that you, too, could be rich if you think outside the box. But therein lies his greatest conceit: those who choose to view his books are repetitive and vague are destined to work for the rest of their lives. Those who look for, and find, the inspiration and motivation in these simple games and tomes have a shot at getting out of the cheque-to-cheque grind.
There is no great conspiracy to keep you down. There are, however, many more mechanisms built to make the rich richer than those built to give ordinary people a shot at early retirement. Books like this, at least, give normal folk like me something they wouldn't have otherwise: a glimpse of possibility.