By Nicholas Kerkmeester
"Rich Dad Poor Dad '' is a personal finance book written by Robert Kiyosaki, first published in 1997. With the main focus on comparing two sets of ideologies in the finance world, it has garnered mass success in the financial literature genre. Its success can be proven through the 40 million copies being sold worldwide, apart from establishing itself as a classic in the financial self-help field. It offers a fresh and eye-opening look at the connection between wealth and achievement in personal life.
The book, written in memoir-style (first-person narrative drawn from the author's own life) focuses on Kiyosaki's upbringing as living with his two fathers, each of them with their own set of ideologies, values, and success. His biological father, whom he refers to as "poor dad," and his friend's father, whom he calls "rich dad". Kiyosaki describes how each of these men had different attitudes and approaches to money, and how those differences impacted their financial success. And looks to acknowledge how it has impacted his own life.
The main meaning behind the book looks to undermine and provide a different perspective against the traditional path of education, finding a job, and relying on a steady paycheck as it is not enough to achieve financial independence. Instead, Kiyosaki advocates how to escape the “rat race” (a way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power) through the building of assets and investing in real estate, stocks, and other ventures to create passive income streams. He also emphasises the importance of financial education and with it learning to take financial risks.
The way that Kiyosaki approaches his ideas is considered “unconventional” as he challenges many conventional and financial wisdoms. One example being his critique for homeownership, as he looks at it being more of a liability than an asset. He also argues against the popular idea of saving money, stating that it is not a viable long-term strategy for building wealth.
Many individuals who have read or listened to Kiyosakis have found his ideas to be highly empowering, gathering admiration for him as they have used his advice to attain financial success. Unfortunately, he has not been without controversy, as critics have accused him of promoting get-rich-quick schemes and harbering unrealistic expectations among his readers. Furthermore, critics have argued that Kiyosaki's book undersells the value of conservation and saving and that his method of handling personal finances might not be suitable or advantageous for everyone.
Despite the controversies that have been surrounding it, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” remains a juggernaut in popularity and influence. Although it was published in 1997, it's still a #1 Best Seller on Amazon in 2023, and has been on the New York Times bestsellers list for over six years. With its influence it has led to similar books and courses being produced as well as a dedicated, loyal fan base that swear by Kiyosaki's teachings, Indicating the amount of love and admiration that his fans have for him and the piece of art.
In summation, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is a thought-provoking book that looks into a different perspective of conventional, normal financial wisdom. It works to promote and advocate a unique approach to achieving financial freedom and escaping the “rat race”. It looks to preach success in the way that Kiyosaki has been taught and has proven to work. While not everyone agrees with Kiyosaki's values, it is undeniable that it has evoked thoughts on the readers that challenge their own beliefs. Overall, I believe that Rich Dad Poor Dad is an extremely good read because it goes over Kiyosaki's life through chronological order looking into how he managed to find his way to success. It is a fun read as the author is very engaging and I would highly recommend it to other readers who are interested in the world of finance.