RICH DAD,POOR DAD by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter

Warner Books 1998. ISBN 0-446-67745-0

Sharon Lechter was introduced to Robert Kiyosaki by her husband, a patent lawyer. Koyosaki wanted to patent an educational game called "Cashflow" aimed at improving what he calls young peoples financial intelligence.

One thing leads to another and they eventually colaborated in producing this book which is essentially a financial biography of Kiyosaki. The Rich Dad, Poor Dad of the title are his real father, the superintendent of education for Hawaii (poor) and the businessman father of a schoolfriend (rich).

He says that at age 9 he decided to follow the advice of his rich dad and contrasts it with the advice of his poor dad throughout the book.

For example, poor dad says, "Love of money is the root of all evil", but rich dad says, "The lack of money is the root of all evil" and he follows rich dad, making the money and proving that his poor dad was right on the moral aspects.

Rich dad says, "The rich don't pay taxes, that is only for the poor and middle class", or Kiyosaki; "In real estate I make an offer with the words, "Subject to approval of my business partner" ...... and if they accept the offer and I don't want the deal I call my (non existent) business partner"

Or rich dad this time. He hugs a manageress in one of his shops (top)

and says that she is like a mother to him, then in the next breath gives a warning that "you'll wind up like Mrs Martin". He could have said that he respected her for her loyalty and good work but he clearly doesn't.

If Kiyosaki had been aboard the Titanic you would undoubtedly have found him hiding behind the women and children in the first life raft, but in non critical situations he has some useful things to say about financial management.

His idea that an asset is only an asset if it makes you money is a good one. If you take a large mortgage to buy a private residence then it is a drain on your resources although an accountant would class it as an asset.

He's also good on the importance of clear thinking. As he says, "Most people do not know that it is their emotions that are doing the thinking."

The book is aimed at young people but should come with a double health warning. Firstly that the writer is greedy and dishonest and secondly that the "less travelled road" of business ownership is very risky for less imaginative people than Kiyosaki.

A much better choice is Sam Waltons "Made in America". He was a far better person than Kiyosaki and a far more successful businessman.

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