The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Robert Kiyosaki Edition

This week, my morning roundups are going to focus exclusively on specific personal finance writers. I’ve searched around the blogosphere researching these writers and the takes that others have on them and found a number of good ones.

I’m finishing off the week with Robert Kiyosaki, perhaps the most controversial of all personal finance gurus. I find his advice to be a mixed bag, but worth reading if you go into it not planning on blindly following it. Here are a myriad of other thoughts on him.

Robert Kiyosaki: A Man For All? An overview of many of Kiyosaki’s writings, this person sees a lot of useful information in the pages. I wanted to find a positive piece about Robert to include in this roundup, and this was one of the best I found. (@ america’s mortgage broker)

If I Were A Rich Dad A brilliant analysis of the Rich Dad/Kiyosaki phenomenon. (@ slate)

Robert Kiyosaki Names Financial Predators An analysis of a piece of Kiyosaki’s writing where Robert names potential money predators that could try to take your cash.

Robert Kiyosaki Retro: Finding Your Magic Investing Formula This is almost a perfect example of Kiyosaki’s writing: a few good ideas mixed with a few questionable ones, a lot of motivation mixed in with strong disdain for anyone who disagrees. Some people like the taste of the pie; others don’t.

The Simple Dollar Retro: Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad I found some good, some bad, and some serious ugliness in this book. The good is worthwhile, the bad is advice you shouldn’t follow, and the ugly… is almost disturbing. I also criticized his investment advice and drew a lot of blowback from his supporters.

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  1. Eric says:

    I’m very hesitant towards Robert. In Rich Dad, Poor Dad he drops the name of several other books (all of which he has a partnership with the author) and of course his game set. It’s kind of like a gateway drug. His ideas are broad but they don’t really form to anything other than, setup passive income, and own your own business, and the stock market is the devil.

  2. Donald Wheeler says:

    Haven’t most of his ideas been shown to be optomistic at best and criminal at worst? http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html

  3. skrapreklam says:

    I hear his name a lot when people who are in, or facing foreclosure on “investment properties” that they got the idea, or were encourage by him.

  4. KCLau says:

    I accept all Robert’s concept about asset vs liability, rich vs. poor. But definitely not the way he presents investment strategy. However, his book is fun to read and appeal to most readers because his argument is controversial and the language he uses is simple and straight forward.

    I read the Chinese version of RDPD, and also some of his other books in English. I found them very addictive. He definitely knows how to present complicated concept in simple illustration. I think this is the best appealing reason for his bestseller.

  5. Brip Blap says:

    I am not a rabid follower of Kiyosaki, but I will say that Rich Dad, Poor Dad really started me thinking very seriously about personal finance. Whatever else you can say about the man and his books, he gets people thinking about personal finance and questioning the way they look at it. It’s an inspirational book, as long as you don’t use it as a “how-to” book. too many people read it and rush out and try to buy a rental property, but to me that’s not what it’s about – it’s about rethinking your definition of financial independence and what income and assets truly are.

  6. How about a link to site that shows the problems with Robert T. Kiyosaki and his books.

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

    Or how about using Kiyosaki’s own words:

    “The No. 1 reason people aren’t rich is because they’re lazy.”

  7. Ted says:

    This is the only link you needed to post: http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html

  8. Brian says:

    As someone who has been involved (mostly successfully) in spec renos and income properties for over 20 years, who has read many books on real estate and other wealth creation ideas, attended numerous seminars, etc., I will say that I found the first two RD/PD books immensely helpful– as a pair (I haven’t read the one about investing yet).

    I’ve learned enough from my own life that I don’t get taken in (or unduly irritated) by the over-simplification that Kiyosaki indulges in (nor by his lousy writing, which he admits). Instead, I am greatly helped by his simple clarification of the underlying premises of the various routes to financial success– employee, self-employed, business owner and investor. (It’s true he is sometimes disdainful of the wage-earner, but it is not true he discounts that choice as a path to wealth. He points out correctly that if you want to be an employee all your life, then get a good job early in life, sock a steady percentage of your earnings into sound investments, and you will retire rich. It is also not true, as is sometimes charged, that he disdains education. Rather, he says get a good education, then use it to start a business.)

    For me, his books solved a central dilemma about my own wealth creation– the tension between cash flow and capital growth. What I was reminded of by Kiyosaki– and thank him for– is that to fast-track wealth creation, I have to create the cash flow first, and concentrate on capital growth after that. People who want the slow track should concentrate on capital growth first, then convert to cash flow when they retire.

    It would be discouraging if it were true that the “rich Dad” personality is a fiction, but it is entirely possible that Kiyosaki is just honoring that man’s request not to be identified. In my mind, the jury’s still out. Above all, don’t get taken in by “John T. Reed” and his “debunking” site. Most of what he says is a collection of hearsay and unsubstantiated allegations. The few “facts” he offers are suspect or false. The worst example is his representation of the ABC news story about Kiyosaki. Three people were given $1,000 and, with limited input from Kiyosaki, challenged to make a profit in 20 days. Reed says “One lost all the money. Another made zero. The third made $243.”

    In fact, if you check the ABC story (why would someone tell lies, then give a link to the truth right on the same page???) one lost all the money, another made $540 but gave it all to charity, and the third made $243 and kept it. Now I don’t know about your life, but in my life making $540 or even $243 on $1,000 in 20 days is pretty good return. Most businesses don’t make any profit in their first year! (And Kiyosaki isn’t even pretending to teach how to “get rich quick.”) Reed’s site is a shining example of the old adage that a little truth wrapped in a lot of untruth is the most dangerous kind of lie.

    And, sadly, the ABC story is pretty unbalanced as well. In their conclusions, they quoted the woman who lost her money as saying Kiyosaki was not much help, except for motivation. They neglected to say what the two guys who made between 443% and 985% annualized ROI thought of him!! And the ABC story concludes with some lame comment about failure?!?!

    Sorry to rant. This sort of stuff really makes me mad.

  9. Katy says:

    Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a great book to get people started thinking about finance and how they live with money. Its not a how-to book, its an educational book. Its also not a get-rich-quick book. Robert is very focal about how those are never good ideas.

    I think this book is great for what it is: a starter guide to help you change how you think about money. Its true, if you don’t change how you think, you’ll never see half the opportunities you have, nor will you go looking for opportunities if you think they aren’t there.

  10. Ike says:

    I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and allot of other books. No one person is going to give you step by step directions on how to live your life and manage your finances. Education doesn’t stop after High School/ College it is a continuing process. To sit and pick apart on author, one mans opinion, one mans ideas is to build one’s own ego and hide self-doubt. Look past the man and see what is being said in the words of the book. You can find many ways the same idea is being said in various books and websites, etc. I was inspired to further my education on Investing, finance, real-estate, business management and building after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad. Did I blindly follow the man and the mantra? I don’t think so. Is he successful? One could say yes as he has sold products for a while now and made money off it. Those that have something will always be envied by those that want the same thing. Truly the No1 rule is that if you want something go out and find a way of getting it. Sound childish, yes, but it really is that simple. Kids will always find a way of doing exactly that and as adults we forget this in lieu of paying bills and taxes.

    Sorry about the rant.

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