Robert Kiyosaki - your opinion?


#1

I am new to Robert Kiyosaki, but am currently reading “Unfair Advantage.” So far, I think he’s a sheister. He doesn’t advocate paying down debt, looking at your house as an asset, or living below your means. He also thinks social security is a Ponzi scheme. Ummm…what? Has anyone else read anything by him, and what is your opinion? I did find some criticism of his methods on his Wikipedia page, but not much else. Thoughts?


#2

I’m with you. I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It was 99% fluff, and then 3 pages at the end of actionable advice.


#3

Haha, I’m on the opposite end of the fence. He completely turned my life around from the day I read “Rich Dad’s Prophecy”, I had an eye opening experience. When I was in a point in my life of trying to figure out if there was something more to life than working for the rest of my life, that book woke me up.

A lot of fluff and regurgitation of the same points? Yes. Does he give a step-by-step guide on what to do to get rich? No. Does he say some controversial things in his books? Absolutely.

But, if you take it with a grain of salt, he’s got some great points. His book “Cashflow Quadrant” was very good in my opinion.

I listen to a lot of very successful real estate investors in the Bigger Pockets podcasts and you’d be surprised to hear that a good majority say that his books are what got them going.

I’m going tomorrow to look at what could be my third investment property tomorrow (another duplex). Would never have started without his inspiration. :slight_smile:

– Jim


#4

I have read a lot of his books. It seems a bit fluffy. I think it is good to read all that is out there and come up with your own thoughts. For me, I find his writing a bit self promoting but there are good points to take away. The cash flow quadrants that are mentioned above in particular. Much like Tony Robbins, he does like to talk about himself quite a bit…so that is a turn off for me.


#5

I think his comments on assets vs liabilities in Rich Dad vs Poor Dad are valid…but I do get this snake oil salesman vibe from him. I listened to the audio book and it was very pep talky. My main contention with guys like him is a lack of detail. Fuzzy recommendations without concrete step by step instructions make me think he’s glossing over the risk and reality. Much like many other writers out there! I am hesitant to go all in with his opinions and recommendations, but at the end of it all I do believe something of value can be gleaned from his writings.


#6

Like a friend of mine said about all books… chew up the meat, spit out the bones.

I really liked Rich Dad Poor Dad. Had some great teachings and thoughts in there.
(Had some bones too, just like all books.)


#7

I read Rich Dad Poor Dad some time ago - I found it had some interesting perspectives but not a lot of good advice for ordinary people. There were some nuggets in there and like @DerekOlsen said I just take the good. A few years after reading the book I found a site with an in-depth analysis of his advice and his personal situation. I found it an excellent read (warning - it’s long. But detailed)


#8

Read a couple of his books and for me it was mostly “meh”.

¯_(ツ)_/¯


#9

I have to agree with others. I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I grew up with parents who worked 9-5 at jobs with good pensions. Their only advice was to do the same. This book was a slap to the face and a giant wake up call that there are lots of other options out there.

Is all of his advice perfect? Nope. Does he say outrageous things? Yep. A lot of that is sales and marketing to get people to pick up his book. I’ve taken his coaching courses and there is a TON of detail in them. I think he does that on purpose. Teases the ideas in his books, then you pony up big cash for the classes.

All this to say, read the books. Take the good, leave the bad.


#10

I read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and it did not inspire me for a variety of reasons. I was inspired by “The Millionaire Next Door” and “Your Money or Your Life.” But I have met many people who love RDPD and got a lot out of it. There was also a popular book called “The Wealthy Barber.” I loved the premise, but I did not find a lot of useful advice. For nuts-and-bolts advice, I have gotten more out of PF blogs and watching the Suze Orman show, which I did for years until one day I just felt like I couldn’t stand to watch it for another second ever and I haven’t. I loved the “Suze, How Am I Doing?” segment.


#11

I’m a real estate investor. Most of the books he writes himself are fluff, but I read a couple of good ones in his series written by other authors on tax advantages and property management. I’ve heard that he’s one of these guys that will give a “free” real estate course and then suggest that you plop down thousands of dollars for his mentoring program. I don’t like those kinds of people.

I do like his philosophy though on the cash flow quadrant. Nothing new, he just put it in an easy to read layout.


#12

I had this discussion on FB last month. I think he’s overrated. I’ve read Rich Dad Poor Dad as a teen and as an adult. It did nothing for me. There are others that vouch for that book. I think it just depends on the person.


#13

Rich Dad, Poor Dad has some good messages which got me started thinking… but yeah if you start research a bit more you’ll find a lot of fluffs.


#14

His book Rich Dad, Poor Dad definitely inspired me. The key take away I learned was about passive income and the differences between assets and liabilities. It’s very simple and his method of storytelling may turn others off. Another book I enjoyed was The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. Hope that helps! :slight_smile:


#15

Anyone who has had the misfortune to listen to Kiyosaki’s podcast will have heard he has holds some pretty bizarre opinions. That said the concept behind his Cashflow Quadrant is actually well founded.

One thing he forced people to think about was whether they would prefer to have finite buckets/pools of money, or would rather have renewable streams of money.

Once the bucket is emptied, everything is gone… think about all those stories of lottery winners, professional sporting stars, and so on pissing it all away. This represents the left hand side of his quadrant, if a worker stops working then their income ceases immediately.

However a stream of money can (in theory) infinitely replenish the contents of the bucket, so makes for a much better choice. The really wealthy people in the news, Bezos and Gates and Buffet, all made their wealth from owning assets that generate streams of money.

When you think about it the PF / FIRE mantra of spend less than you earn and invest the difference is establishing that same type of income stream, in the form of interest/dividends/rent/capital growth from their investments.

Where 4% rule skeptics get uncomfortable is around the risk that devotees will empty the bucket out faster than it can be replenished. @EarlyRetirementNow wrote some great posts talking about this recently.

http://www.brysonthompson.com/uploads/1/4/4/6/14465388/3668633_orig.jpg

The other area Kiyosaki made people uncomfortable is when he called out owner occupier home ownership as being a liability rather than an asset, because it consumes rather than generates income.

I think the wisdom of his message is to consider the opportunity cost of owning your own home versus investments.

Many people take out a big mortgage and then channel vast portions of their income for the next 25-30 years into something that will never generate them any income. Any capital growth they may enjoy is difficult to access while they reside in the property.

The alternative approach would be to channel those same funds into income producing assets that will grow in value over time. Money makes money, so the wealth of the investor will increase at a faster rate than it would have were it trapped in a property that generates no income. Again the PF /FIRE mantra is consistent with this, spend less so you can invest more for the future etc.

As your pile grows, at some point in the future some/all of that passive income stream could be diverted to fund a mortgage for the investor to buy their own home. Alternatively some of the investments could be sold to purchase the investor a home. Either way the wealth an investor enjoys at that point will likely be greater than had they just bought the home initially.

In summary: Kiyosaki had a couple of good ideas, that could be summarised into the diagram above and printed on a t-shirt. Unfortunately he’s then diluted those powerful observations by publishing a bazillion books that all say the same thing, and makes a fortune ripping off gullible wannabes who attend his expensive courses.


#16

Just read that book last year and thought it was really good!

– Jim


#17

Technically, Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.

I think this guy is mostly full of hot air, but that doesn’t mean everything he says is bologna.


#18

I enjoyed Rich Dad, Poor Dad but - aside from that - I’ll pass. I remember in college when a friend tried to get me to join his Amway multi-level marketing/ pyramid scheme. Robert Kiyosaki gave them a HUGE endorsement and even made a video about it, which the Amway evangelists used to prove their credibility.

Since then, I take what he says with a HUGE grain of salt.


#19

@Slow_Dad - Yes, I agree, I thought the quadrant was useful. I thought that was the only thing though.


#20

@BigDaddyG - I somewhat see your point about social security, but I would never want it to go away or be privatized. We have to find some way to save it. Too many people rely on it as a main source of income. I’m not saying they should, but most do. We have to find some way to save it, IMHO.