If I made a list of the top-10 best books I’ve ever read, Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” would be in there. I only first read it a couple of years ago, and my hindsight thoughts were “Damn! I wish I had read this book when I was in my 20’s”. Oh well – that’s why they call it hindsight.
The book explains the mindset the rich have and the actions they take, and compares it to the middle class and the poor. In this blog post, I will convey some of the principles described in the book. If you find the ideas valuable, if they intrigue you, but you’re not sure what they mean, then I recommend you buy the book and read it! It can be life-changing in terms of money mentality.
One of the reasons the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class struggles in debt is that the subject of money is not taught in school.
LESSON 1: THE RICH DON’T WORK FOR MONEY
- The poor and the middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.
- When it comes to money, most people want to play it safe and feel secure. So their actions are directed by fear, not by passion.
- More money will not solve their problems – most people, given more money, only get into more debt.
- It’s fear that keeps most people working at a job; the fear of not paying their bills, the fear of being fired, the fear of not having enough money, and the fear of starting over. Most people become a slave to money.
- The government always takes its share first: You’re taxed when you earn, you’re taxed when you spend, you’re taxed when you save, you’re taxed when you die.
- Most people work very hard for little money, clinging to the illusion of ‘job security’ and looking forward to a three-week vacation each year and maybe a meagre pension after forty five years of working.
- The fear of being without money motivates us to work hard, and then once we get that paycheck, greed or desire starts us thinking about all the wonderful things money can buy. The pattern is then set: the pattern of get up, go to work, pay bills; get up, go to work, pay bills. These two emotions, fear and greed, are forever controlling people’s lives. Most people, if they are offered more money, they will continue the cycle by increasing their spending. This is the so-called Rat Race.
- Instead of thinking and admitting the truth about how they feel, people react to their feelings. They feel the fear so they go to work, hoping that money will soothe the fear, but it doesn’t. Fear keeps them in this trap of working, earning money, working, earning money, hoping the fear will go away. But every day they wake up, that fear wakes up with them.
- Money is running their lives, and they still refuse to see the truth, that money is in control of their emotions and their souls.
- Many people say ‘Oh, I’m not interested in money’. Yet they’ll work at a job for eight hours a day. That’s a denial of truth.
- Most people live their lives chasing paychecks, pay rises and ‘job security’, because of the emotions of greed and fear, not really questioning where those emotion-driven thoughts are leading them. It’s just like the picture of a donkey dragging a cart with its owner dangling a carrot just in front of its nose. If the donkey could see the whole picture, it might rethink its choice to chase the carrot.
- Most people have only one problem in mind, and it’s short-term. It’s the bills at the end of the month. So they do as their parents did. The get up every day and go work for money, not taking the time to ask the question, ‘Is there another way?’
- The rich know that money is an illusion, truly like the carrot for the donkey.
LESSON 2: WHY TEACH FINANCIAL LITERACY?
- It’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep.
- The #1 Rule: You must know the difference between an asset and a liability, and buy assets. An asset puts money in my pocket. A liability takes money out of my pocket.
- Traditional education may teach you how to make money, but not how to manage money.
- Financial aptitude: what you do with the money once you make it, how to hold it and grow it, how to make it work hard for you.
- The pattern of treating your home as an investment, and the philosophy that a pay rise means you can buy a larger home or spend more, is the foundation of today’s debt-ridden society.
- The rich buy assets. The poor only have expenses. The middle class buy liabilities they think are assets.
LESSON 3: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS
- The rich focus on their asset columns while everyone else focuses on their income statements.
- Financial struggle is often the result of people working all their lives for someone else.
- Categories of assets:
- A business that does not require my presence (it is run by other people – if I have to work there it’s not a business, it becomes my job).
- Income-generating real estate.
- Royalties from intellectual property.
- Anything else that has value, produces income or appreciates.
- Rich people buy luxuries last, while the poor and middle class tend to buy luxuries first.
LESSON 4: THE HISTORY OF TAXES AND THE POWER OF CORPORATIONS
- Corporations is the biggest secret of the rich: The corporate structure sits outside your personal income statement and balance sheet. Knowing about legal corporate structure is what really gives the rich a huge advantage over the poor and the middle class.
- The average American today works four to five months for the government, just to cover their taxes. The harder you work, the more you pay the government.
- “Financial IQ” is to have knowledge in four broad areas of expertise:
- Accounting: The ability to read numbers.
- Investing: The science of “money making money”.
- Understanding markets: The science of supply and demand.
- The law: Corporations, tax advantages, protection from lawsuits.
LESSON 5: THE RICH INVENT MONEY
- The poor and middle class work for money; the rich make money. The more real you think money is, the harder you will work for it.
- Winners are not afraid of losing. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.
- The smart investors find opportunities that all others miss, they raise capital in creative ways that don’t need a bank, and they work with or hire people who are smarter than them.
“It is what you know that is your greatest wealth. It is what you do not know that is your greatest risk. There is always risk, so learn to manage risk instead of avoiding it.”
LESSON 6: WORK TO LEARN – DON’T WORK FOR MONEY
- Job is an acronym for “Just Over Broke”.
- Young people should look for work based on what they will learn, rather than what they will earn. In the long run, education is more valuable than money.
- The main reasons people do not succeed are the fear of failure and rejection.
- The two most important skills are sales and marketing. The ability to sell – to communicate to another human being, is the base skill of personal success.
- “Give, and you shall receive”. Giving money is the secret to wealth.
LESSON 7: OVERCOMING OBSTACLES
- The main difference between a rich person and a poor person is how they manage fear.
- Our doubts often paralyse us, so we don’t move ahead – instead, we stay with what’s safe, while opportunities pass us by.
- The reason most people don’t succeed financially is because they focus on the pain of losing money rather than the joy of being rich.
- Never use the phrase “I can’t afford it”, because shuts down your brain and makes you feel helpless and sad. Instead, change it into “How can I afford it?”, which opens up possibilities, excitement, and dreams.
“With every dollar bill that enters your hand, you, and only you, have the power to determine your destiny. Spend it foolishly, and you choose to be poor. Spend it on liabilities, and you join the middle class. Invest it in your mind and learn how to acquire assets, and you will be choosing wealth as your goal and your future. The choice is yours, and only yours. Every day with every dollar, you decide to be rich, poor, or middle class.”
I hope this summary of the book has intrigued your interest, and caused some “a-ha!” moments. If that’s the case, read the book – it may be the catalyst to a financially abundant life.
Here’s the book on amazon.co.uk: