​Rich Dad, Poor Dad Review - Lies and Deception Within

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So a guy who signs his posts with the first letter of his first name, listened to a bunch of podcasts and heard guests recommend a certain book over and over again. He then described the book as "oriented to the ignorant and gullible".

Interesting.

@Frank S. , I'm not the biggest Kiyosaki fan myself, but I have listened to enough people far more successful than I am who took life-changing risks as a result of reading his material and are in a much better place today than they would have been had they spent the next 30 years in a cubicle and contributing to their retirement plans.

For others, of course, Kiyosaki's message led to a path of ruin.  With no savings, plan, or viable product or service, they quit their jobs, thinking by doing that they would magically figure it all out and get out of the "rat race," only to find out that they had no idea what they were doing.

I personally think the best route is a middle ground, which is what I am pursuing.  Get your bachelor's, get your master's if your field requires it to progress, and kick *** at what you do in order to maximize both your active income while educating yourself on passive income sources, like real estate, and investing in it wisely.  It's a lot easier to set yourself up to fund your passive income sources making $200,000 a year, albeit at a slavish cubicle job, than making $20,000 a year at McDonald's or--worse--making $0 a year at no job.  But hey, at least you escaped the rat race!

It all depends what you make of it.  I see that you are a Boglehead.  It's the same with Bogle's work.  Some take what he said and wisely invest whatever they've committed to stocks and bonds in low-cost funds, properly-allocated, while of course being aware of market conditions and not counting on their asset allocations to save them and investing in other assets classes than low-cost index funds, such as real estate, like you are doing.

For others, it drives them to a penny-wise, pound-foolish strategy with the entirety of their investment career spent figuring out how to save a few pennies living frugally and making sure their asset allocation is perfect such that they never pursue anything that could make them truly wealthy.  Many of the newbies on bogleheads.org would be better served by learning about, say, investing in real estate notes through their retirement accounts than by figuring out the perfect asset allocation of their Vanguard funds, especially in this market.

I have a few clients who are die-hard Bogleheads.  Yes, they will all comfortably retire at the age of 62.  But their combined wealth does not hold a candle to most of my real estate investor clients who had a dream of escaping the life of waking up every morning to a 9-to-5 and contributing to their perfectly-allocated Roths and 401ks and HSAs.

Just my two cents.

Okay, so I have what is a N of 1 story about Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I read the book in 1999 and was impressed enough with it that I asked my own dad to read it. He was retired and wanted to make the little money that he and my mom had to work for them. My dad got pulled in by Rich Dad's charisma and paid for some very expensive seminars that went nowhere. He also put all of his retirement $$ in real estate. I am not impressed in terms of what happened with real estate. Things went from bad to worse. I have come to the conclusion that Robert K. actually makes more money by suckering people into his $25,000 (per training session) courses. Thus, I would conclude Robert K. actually makes his money on intellectual property and not real estate. The book is okay to read if you take it with a grain of salt and see it as a book that can open one's mind to possibilities. But, don't necessarily take it as instructions that you should strictly follow.

Also, to be fair-- there are always risks when it comes to investing. It doesn't matter if investing is done in real estate or the stock market. There are no guarantees in life; however, even if there are no guarantees in life, if you take the time to do thorough research, analysis, and projections, you can make better decisions. The one thing I liked from RDPD is that Robert K. talks about the concept of investing in the stock market and compares it to a wave. General consumer behavior is such that most people buying stock buy it just after the wave has crested and is ready to hit the beach. In my opinion, this concept applies to all forms of investing. Therefore, I believe success begins with creative thinking and reading trends. It is furthered by research, analysis, and projections. Investing is a math game, but it's also a game where one must make decisions with a cool and clear head. I believe all of this together minimizes risk in whatever venture one chooses. My interest these days is purchasing low-cost land in economically booming areas and building modular triplexes on that land and then renting them. It would also have to be an area where there are too many people wanting to rent and too little inventory. I would put in as much cash as possible so that if anything suddenly went all pear-shaped, I wouldn't owe a ton of money on the property. The last thing I wanted to say about real estate investing is don't give up your day job and always make sure you will have cash to carry you through if disaster strikes. 

I think where my own dad went wrong is he purchased several properties (before the crash) with almost no down and these properties provided little cash flow. I let him know up front this was a bad idea (even though the housing market was seemingly booming at the time). If you read trends you know that for every up there is a down and for every down there is an up. Write it out and post it on your wall. 

@Frank S.

It has been over a decade since i read Rich Dad Poor Dad, so I probably shouldn't comment on the content as Im sure i have forgotten most.... But I will say that I have always liked books that altered my perception or reference point.  Rich Dad did that very well.  I have never been able to finish the Real Estate advice book that goes in to a ton of detail with different strategy specifics ... I get dry content overload.... But Rich Dad definitely opened my eyes and gave me the "ah ha" moment when a light bulb seemed to come on and changed my philosophy on jobs/investment etc.

jeff

He's not a fraud.  I will given him that.  He's a snake oil salesman.  Plan and simple.  A charlatan if you will.

@Sarah McConnell:

Thank you for sharing this personal note. I'm very sorry to hear what happened to your family. Your conclusion seems consistent with many other scholars. Bob Kiyoaski can't furnish any reference to properties he owned, flipped, or managed. He is a fake.  

Perhaps, this contrarian perspective will make others think and re-evaluate their plan.

I would recommend "Irrational Exuberance"by Shiller if you care about a better description of behavioral economics. 

Best wishes to you and your family, 

F

Originally posted by @Evan Bell :

Frank Sanchez thanks for posting. It's always good to hear other's points of view. Discussion/debate is never a bad thing.

Personally, I enjoyed the book. I read it a few years back and just just picked it up again to re-read it after hearing all the recommendations in the podcast. For me, it provided inspiration and a fuel for the entrepreneurial side of my mind.

Wilson Churchill I like what you said about learning/education. Made me think of the saying, "once you stop learning, you stop growing". Even if the book doesn't provide exactly what a person wants, it can serve to expand their mind and get them thinking about other things. Always a good thing.

Just my $0.02

 Loved the  comment. Discussion is not meant to defeat an opponent, rather it's to exchange opinions. 

Best, 

F

@Frank S.

Never read such a myopic review in my life. This is one of the greatest books to the entrepreneurial mind. I can excuse you because you admitted your inexperience but would not expect that you provide review to us..... 

@Frank Sanchez

as to John T. Reed - those who can't do teach. As is wellknown , JTR hasn't bought any real estate since the 80's. He makes his money on trying to sell his books , telling everyone that creative real estate is a fraud and is calling everyone a scammer that is a little out of the box.

While there certainly are gurus that just repackage material or spread actual lies, there are fewer scammers than he claims. Everyone has at least something to give on, if the 'student' is willing to listen. 

But if the 'student' has already made up his mind that creative real estate is not possible, then it's so much easier for that person to not even try. 99% of those who proclaim that they want to get into real estate will never buy their first property, because it's not the type of 'paint-by-number-scheme' that want it to be.

How do you explain that he recommends his good buddy "Robert Abalos', who's been disbarred in Virigina, Maryland and DC for real estate fraud? 

Originally posted by @Logan Allec :

@Frank Sanchez, I'm not the biggest Kiyosaki fan myself, but I have listened to enough people far more successful than I am who took life-changing risks as a result of reading his material and are in a much better place today than they would have been had they spent the next 30 years in a cubicle and contributing to their retirement plans.

For others, of course, Kiyosaki's message led to a path of ruin.  With no savings, plan, or viable product or service, they quit their jobs, thinking by doing that they would magically figure it all out and get out of the "rat race," only to find out that they had no idea what they were doing.

I personally think the best route is a middle ground, which is what I am pursuing.  Get your bachelor's, get your master's if your field requires it to progress, and kick *** at what you do in order to maximize both your active income while educating yourself on passive income sources, like real estate, and investing in it wisely.  It's a lot easier to set yourself up to fund your passive income sources making $200,000 a year, albeit at a slavish cubicle job, than making $20,000 a year at McDonald's or--worse--making $0 a year at no job.  But hey, at least you escaped the rat race!

It all depends what you make of it.  I see that you are a Boglehead.  It's the same with Bogle's work.  Some take what he said and wisely invest whatever they've committed to stocks and bonds in low-cost funds, properly-allocated, while of course being aware of market conditions and not counting on their asset allocations to save them and investing in other assets classes than low-cost index funds, such as real estate, like you are doing.

For others, it drives them to a penny-wise, pound-foolish strategy with the entirety of their investment career spent figuring out how to save a few pennies living frugally and making sure their asset allocation is perfect such that they never pursue anything that could make them truly wealthy.  Many of the newbies on bogleheads.org would be better served by learning about, say, investing in real estate notes through their retirement accounts than by figuring out the perfect asset allocation of their Vanguard funds, especially in this market.

I have a few clients who are die-hard Bogleheads.  Yes, they will all comfortably retire at the age of 62.  But their combined wealth does not hold a candle to most of my real estate investor clients who had a dream of escaping the life of waking up every morning to a 9-to-5 and contributing to their perfectly-allocated Roths and 401ks and HSAs.

Just my two cents.

Thanks for the great comment.   I agree with you, finding a balance between risk and returns is not an exact science. There is no perfect plan and many strive to achieve a bullet proof plan; by doing so, they loose perspective. However, it's important to follow a path based on knowledge and not on emotions.  

Bogle:  I don't support his HFT endorsement and don't like he avoids international exposure. However, he was instrumental in the development of index funds. Many Americans could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by following index funds. It's sad.

Malkiel: he changed his perspective on stock pickings.  I don't use fundamental or technical analysis, but it could work just fine. 

Index Funds: Fidelity Contrafund kicks index funds in the rear, and yet I don't own it. 

Trump: there is a valid point he would've done better by using index funds rather than RE. 

There are many paths and opinions and this adventure can become foggy.  We tend to tweak assets and investments based on our own fears. We are just humans and it's fine.

Regardless, I agree with Bob's critics that inspiration based on deception is worthless.  I find shocking that although he does not have RE investment credentials, yet he is a self-appointed king of RE. How could that happened? It's nonsense. 

I can't tag others, but I want all to know that I appreciate constructive communication. 

Best, 

Frank

Originally posted by @Dana Whicker :

So a guy who signs his posts with the first letter of his first name, listened to a bunch of podcasts and heard guests recommend a certain book over and over again. He then described the book as "oriented to the ignorant and gullible".

Interesting.

 Thanks for your comment. I am glad you found it interesting

F

I read the book a few years ago (my wife gave it to me) and it gave me the kick in the coconuts to start looking at financial freedom and my financial habits in a different perspective than I was previously. I did not use the book as education in real estate, taxes or debt specifically but it gave me the inspiration to start looking into these things and how I can benefit from them. If you don't grow up around financially successful people sometimes you need financial inspiration anywhere you can get it. It just so happens this book did it for me. I thought I was doing good, now I want to do great.  I personally think RK is a nut case making a fortune selling books telling the same ole story, lol, but I can't hate on him. I think too often many of us want all the answers to our dreams packaged and presented to us with a nice little bow on it (not speaking to anyone on this post in particular). Rarely is that going to happen. I personally think inspiration can be more powerful than giving someone step by step instructions. If you look at most of the great innovators, no one gave them a step by step blue print to their innovation but I bet most of them were inspired by someone or something to go out and do something great. Just my two cents.... 

       Buy all the reading material that you can find on real estate and finance,..... maybe, and this is a BIG maybe, find a mentor who can coach you a little over the phone for the first year or so. NOT a guru, but a fellow senior investor in your area that is actually making money doing what you want to do,....... if they are truly successful and you don't become a pain in the butt to them, they'll probably help you for little to nothing, I would because I feel the need to give back a little to the business that has given me most everything I have. I believe others that are like me may feel the same way.

    To me, Rich Dad Poor Dad is mostly fluff, but in all fairness I thought like he did before I read the book.  I read everything I could find from anyone I could find for the first 10 years and I still spend a LOT of time continuing my education on the internet or the occasional book on tape. 

     In my personal opinion, If after you've scoured ebay and the internet for information on whatever path you want to take with you real estate investing, you still think you need to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on Guru's training programs, then I believe this business isn't for you and your procrastinating. 

    Start small and simple and slowly grow out of your comfort zone, This would be my advice for a new investor. I don't get around other investors all that much, but I can't think of ONE person that went on to be successful in this business after giving some "expert" 40 plus thousand dollars to "mentor" them. If you need someone to hold your hand all the time, you may not be cut out to be self employed. 

    You've gotta be highly self motivated, and independent thinking is not a bad thing in this business. As long as you have some fundamentals. (There can be many different  ways to achieve the same end goal.) Courses, books, internet, experience, can give you all the motivation that you need without making someone else rich.

    Read through bigger pockets for a while, as you figure out who the real movers and shakers and money makers are on this website, and in real life...... read their posts carefully. You may find the one thing all of them have in common........CONFIDENCE in their abilities.

    I'm pretty sure none of them started out that way????? But hey, what the hell do I know??

Sean K 

Originally posted by @Cal C. :

wow lots of people defending a guru's work of pure fiction.   

 Lovely.  

Maybe Kiyoyaki can sell me a  $45,000 class to teach me how to tag people rather than responding individually. 

Originally posted by @Ndy Onyido :

@Frank Sanchez

Never read such a myopic review in my life. This is one of the greatest books to the entrepreneurial mind. I can excuse you because you admitted your inexperience but would not expect that you provide review to us..... 

Well, I thought the review was ok, a little sharp on the edges, sure, but ok.  I am glad this was a first one in your life! Yep, different opinions generate diversity. 

I'm curious, have you actually confirmed his real estate investment background? Interviews don't count, btw.

Best,

F

Originally posted by @Daren H. :

I read the book a few years ago (my wife gave it to me) and it gave me the kick in the coconuts to start looking at financial freedom and my financial habits in a different perspective than I was previously. I did not use the book as education in real estate, taxes or debt specifically but it gave me the inspiration to start looking into these things and how I can benefit from them. If you don't grow up around financially successful people sometimes you need financial inspiration anywhere you can get it. It just so happens this book did it for me. I thought I was doing good, now I want to do great.  I personally think RK is a nut case making a fortune selling books telling the same ole story, lol, but I can't hate on him. I think too often many of us want all the answers to our dreams packaged and presented to us with a nice little bow on it (not speaking to anyone on this post in particular). Rarely is that going to happen. I personally think inspiration can be more powerful than giving someone step by step instructions. If you look at most of the great innovators, no one gave them a step by step blue print to their innovation but I bet most of them were inspired by someone or something to go out and do something great. Just my two cents.... 

 Inspiration is a powerful driving force, indeed.

I can't say this book was my motivational spark for real estate investing since I started five years ago and am just now reading it. However, even being only half way through it right now, I'd have to say it is fun, quick, and thought provoking. Sure, it's not the deepest book you will ever read, but it sure does make me want to go out and conquer the world through real estate investing! Currently studying to pass my real estate salesperson exam, and I keep picking RDPD up when I shouldn't!

I'm going to go with "different strokes for different folks" on this one. So he didn't work for you and you obviously didn't like what he said....that doesn't mean it's all lies or wrong. I can personally attest to the fact that if it weren't for the Rich Dad books, I wouldn't be where I am today. And where I am isn't half bad-- I don't work 9-5, I work whenever I want, I don't deal with a single headache on any of my properties (only occasionally with my PM), I was able to get extremely creative on financing, I walked out of my corporate America job, and now I live on the beach and sleep in whenever I want. Soooo....he can't be all wrong in what he writes....

And why do you call him "Bob"? I've never seen a single person call him that. Giving him a nickname in quotations that no one else has ever used kind of slays the professionalism of your message/point. But, who am I to say.

Originally posted by @Ali Boone :

I'm going to go with "different strokes for different folks" on this one. So he didn't work for you and you obviously didn't like what he said....that doesn't mean it's all lies or wrong. I can personally attest to the fact that if it weren't for the Rich Dad books, I wouldn't be where I am today. And where I am isn't half bad-- I don't work 9-5, I work whenever I want, I don't deal with a single headache on any of my properties (only occasionally with my PM), I was able to get extremely creative on financing, I walked out of my corporate America job, and now I live on the beach and sleep in whenever I want. Soooo....he can't be all wrong in what he writes....

And why do you call him "Bob"? I've never seen a single person call him that. Giving him a nickname in quotations that no one else has ever used kind of slays the professionalism of your message/point. But, who am I to say.

Thanks for the note. It's great to hear success stories like yours!  Congratulations!

My message is not about liking the content; rather, it's about pointing out this is poor financial advice based on deception. Sure, I added a little too much cynicism, but it's fine. I had fun.  Curiously, cynicism is a trait that Bob dislikes. 

People crave to believe in something, even in falsehoods. It seems Rich Dad, Bankrupt Dad provides motivation to some and truly helped them in other ways. However, there are many others who's lives were destroyed by relying on the advice of an ignorant fool.  That's dangerous and can't be overlooked based on warm-and-fuzzy feelings.  

It appears he made his money through motivational speaking only, he has no RE background.  Then, shouldn't he teach the business of motivational speaking, the business that made him rich instead? It's nonsense.

Bob: He used to go by Bob, until he tripped into the RDPD world.  

Take care, 

F

@Frank S. I have not read the book but I get the concepts. I think Reed is great and I like folks who tell it like it is. I see newbies love this book as it gets them thinking in a different mind set. The more experienced folks roll their eyes as they call out all the total BS like Reed does.  

He probably is not much of a RE investor is the reality and more of a brander and marketer. The fact that many bring up his name and book decades later demonstrates his marketing  and branding savvy.  The fact that he would never invest in most of the real estate his followers seem to invest in is another and likely equally interesting story. Someone should write a book about the why is that?

Originally posted by @Matt R. :

@Frank Sanchez I have not read the book but I get the concepts. I think Reed is great and I like folks who tell it like it is. I see newbies love this book as it gets them thinking in a different mind set. The more experienced folks roll their eyes as they call out all the total BS like Reed does.  

He probably is not much of a RE investor is the reality and more of a brander and marketer. The fact that many bring up his name and book decades later demonstrates his marketing  and branding savvy.  The fact that he would never invest in most of the real estate his followers seem to invest in is another and likely equally interesting story. Someone should write a book about the why is that?

Here is a proposed title:  "Smart Dad, Bankrupt Dad and Behavioral EconomicsForbes got it close. Sure, he is a marketing genius, many con artists are also geniuses of deception.

In hindsight, after reading some comments,  I think people made a strong emotional connection to this book. Many believe his stories are truth.  To some, it gave them hope while ignoring the tremendous risk put forth.  Others are just plain offensive and can't accept challenges to their preconceptions.  

These emotions are hard to break, we all have them.  Having a stranger claiming their beloved idol is a buffoon hurts. I get that.  Regardless, emotion is the enemy of investment. 

I think my 15 minutes of fame are over.  I need to research how to score some real real estate. 

Originally posted by @Frank S. :

Regardless, I agree with Bob's critics that inspiration based on deception is worthless.  I find shocking that although he does not have RE investment credentials, yet he is a self-appointed king of RE. How could that happened? It's nonsense. 

 I don't know about that. Lots of people find genuine inspiration in religion despite the fact that much of it is based on deception and make-believe. Inspiration can come in many forms, and as long as the source doesn't actively harm others, I find no fault with it. Kiyosaki might talk a lot of BS ( again, I haven't read it) but unless he actively walks someone through fraud, the ultimate responsibility lies with the consumer. I read " The Communist Manifesto ", and it didn't lead me to become a revolutionary. In fact, it inspired me to further my knowledge on other political theory. Once we start ascribing supernatural power to the idea of thought, we have created a very dangerous situation.

That said, you have done the best thing that one can do when one encounters speech that one agrees with - create a counterargument. I have no problem with logical contrarianism :)