Whenever I talk about the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, I hear contradictory statements from various people, from how amazing to how stupid and basic it is. I also have mixed reactions to the book. I am sure if I agree to all that is said in the book. But there is some value we can pick up from it. If we leave out and ignore the unwanted, then I think we can enjoy the book. Below is the summary of the book and this is purely a summary, parts of the book which has made some impact, both positive and negative.
RICH DAD POOR DAD
Some people generate an adequate living working for others; some do quite well while many people don’t do well. Using money to make money is more likely to generate success. Using assets to generate wealth is likely to generate financial success. The poor and the middle class work for money; the rich make money work for them. You must accumulate a small amount (say $5,000) and start using that to leverage more money. Fear and greed (desire) are the motivators that actually destroy our potential to get rich. The fear of being without money motivates us to work. Once we get the money, greed (desire) traps us into spending it. The pattern is set. You have joined the Rat Race. Money does not calm your fears when desire forces you to spend. You have to avoid the trap. Rich people often have a fear of losing it all. A job is a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
You must master the power of money. When the donkey drags the cart with the carrot on a stick in front of him, the driver is getting where he wants to go.
For the donkey it’s an illusion. What intensifies fear and desire is ignorance. To spend your life in fear and never exploring your dreams is cruel. Choose your thoughts. Think long term and ask yourself: “Is this the best possible solution to my problem?”
There is an old expression that “I am too busy working to make money.” When you are too busy, you miss many opportunities. You often go into a restaurant and see a lot of things done wrong. Why can’t the manager see these things? Because he is too busy working IN the business instead of ON the business. You must know the difference between an asset and a liability. Rich people acquire assets; the poor and middle classes acquire liabilities. Liabilities include a fancy boat, a fancy car and a fancy house. These drain your cash. Liabilities add to your expenses because they have to be supported financially. An asset is a stock portfolio that pays dividends and grows or a rental property that generates positive cash flow. You don’t have to pay money to support an asset. It doesn’t decrease in value. It adds to your income.
It’s not the numbers – it’s what the numbers are telling you. It’s not the words – it’s the story. If you earn your income from a job, you pay taxes and then your expenses. If you earn income from a business, you can write off a certain amount of your expenses and then pay less tax. The rich buy assets. The poor only have expenses. The middle class buys liabilities they think are assets.
Is McDonald’s in the hamburger business? Maybe, but they are the largest real estate owners in the world. They own more real estate than the Catholic Church. Their profession might be selling hamburgers, but they are in the real estate business. Your business revolves around your asset column, not your income column. Keep your day job, but buy assets (real estate), not golf clubs and fancy cars. Things to buy: businesses that don’t require everyday attention (otherwise it’s a job)stocks, bonds, mutual funds, income-generating real estate, royalties, notes (IOU’s), anything that has value, produces income or appreciates and has a ready market.
Have a stock market investment strategy; have a real estate strategy.
Minding your own business means building and keeping your asset column strong. Once a dollar goes into your asset column, keep it there. It becomes an employee that will work 24 hours a day for you. Buying a luxury on credit is a cardinal sin! The rich control the changes in tax law. Corporations get the tax breaks. Are you working your way up the corporate ladder? Why not own the ladder?
Financial IQ is made up of 4 rules:
1. Accounting – financial literacy is essential
2. Investing – the science of money making money.
This involves strategies and formulas.
This is the right (creative) side of the brain.
3. Understanding markets – The science of supply and demand.
The economic sense of an investment.
4. The Law – Understanding how a corporation can take advantage of tax laws that the individual can’t and how to take that advantage.
The rich with corporations – earn – spend – pay taxes.
People who work for corporations – earn – pay taxes – spend.
One thing that holds us all back is some degree of self-doubt. It is not so much the lack of technical information that holds us back, but more the lack of self-confidence. Information is the key to wealth. If you can get the cash flowing in your asset column, it is more powerful than the cash flowing in your income column. Leveraging real estate has proved a very popular way of getting rich – there are no taxes until the property is sold. Look for good deals. Talk to bankers and brokers and insolvency people. It is what you know that is your greatest wealth. It is what you don’t know that is your greatest risk.
A reporter interviewing Kiyosaki (the author) said, “I wish I were a best-selling author like you.” She said her novels seem good but don’t sell enough. Kiyosaki told her to go on some sales training courses. She thought that was beneath her. He said, “I am a best-selling author, that doesn’t mean I’m the best writing author.
I am a terrible writer.” (He had to get someone to co-write the book with him). Most people “are one skill away from great wealth.” When it comes to money, the only skill most people know is hard work. Kiyosaki left well paying jobs when he thought he had learned what he could. He picked Xerox to give him a good background in sales.
Management theory: “Workers work hard enough not to get fired and management pays them just enough not to quit.” How many of you can cook a better hamburger than McDonald’s? Most, right? Well, it’s McDonald’s that is making all the money. There is no sense cooking a better hamburger if you don’t have the systems to get them out to the market. Focusing on your skills of building a better hamburger or being a better dentist or better accountant is not the answer. You need to develop the skills of selling and delivering the hamburger or whatever you are selling.
The main management skills needed for success are the management of cash flow, the management of systems, including yourself and time with family, and the management of people. Sales and marketing skills – the ability to communicate – are the most important of the specialized skills. Be a good teacher as well as a good student. Even after you become financially literate, there are five obstacles that may stop you from developing your asset column:
4. Bad habits
Overcome the fear of losing money. No one likes to lose any. You’ll never meet a rich person who has never lost money. How are you going to handle the fear?
Start investing as early as possible. The power of compounding is incredible. If you really want to go to heaven, you are going to have to die first.
Remember the Alamo! Learn from your losses. Don’t bury your failures, get inspired by them. You must invest big and take risks. Small investments with safe returns stay small. You can’t possibly get rich, and you very likely won’t go broke.
At age 66, Colonel Sanders was broke and living on Social Security checks. He went around trying to sell his recipe for fried chicken. He got 1,009 NO’s before he got one YES! He became a multimillionaire.
Busy people are often the most lazy. People are too busy to take care of their wealth. People are working too hard to make money. They know that deep down they are missing something. The cure for laziness is a little greed. Maybe it’s apathy, maybe it’s a mind set. What’s in it for me if I’m healthy, wealthy and sexy? What would life be like if I never had to work again? Habits control behavior. Pay yourself first, before you pay any other bills. Then you will be motivated to find the money to pay all the other bills.
What I know makes me money; what I don’t know loses me money. Every time I have been arrogant I have lost money. So find an expert in the field or a book on the subject. The hardest part is getting started. I need a greater reason than reality. It’s like losing weight, sometimes the effort is too much trouble. I choose daily. The power of choice. Poor people have poor spending habits. Become educated. Latch on to people with knowledge, read, go to seminars, listen to audio tapes, etc.
Invest in your mind. Choose friends carefully. The power of association. Learn from all of them, whether they have money or not. When I seek out people who have money, I am not after their money but their ideas.
Don’t listen to poor or frightened people. Wise investors buy an investment when it’s not popular. They know their profits are made when they buy, not when they sell. You become what you study. So, if you are tired of what you are doing and not making enough money, change the formula. Pay yourself first: The power of self-discipline. If you cannot get control of yourself, do not try to get rich. It is the lack of self-discipline that causes most lottery winners to go broke after winning millions. It is a lack of discipline that causes people to buy a new car as soon as they get a raise. Don’t focus on your “profession,” focus on developing management skills: Managing cash flow, Managing people, Managing personal time
Don’t get into debt in the first place. Keep your expenses low. Build up assets first. When you get into trouble, don’t dip into your assets to solve your problems.
Savings are used to create more money not to pay bills. Pay your brokers well. If you want good advice, you have to pay for it. Make sure your advisors think like you. If you use a real estate agent, make sure he also invests in property.
Be an “Indian Giver.” Put your money into an investment and when it goes up, take your money back out and do the same again. If you buy some stocks and they go up in price, sell enough to get your original investment back and repeat the process. Assets buy luxuries. When the asset is generating surplus cash flow, then you use that surplus to buy the luxuries.
The need for heroes. Copy the heroes: Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch and Jim Rogers. Read their books and follow what they are doing. Teach and you shall receive. There is no sense in shouting at the fire “When you give me some heat I will give you some wood.”
The more you teach others, the more you will learn yourself. Stop doing what you are doing. Take a break and assess what is working and what is not. Look for new ideas. Take action. Take classes and buy tapes. Check out neighborhoods to see what is happening there. jog around them. Dealing with stocks: Read Peter Lynch’s book “Beating the Street.” Why consumers will always be poor: when the supermarket has a sale, the consumer stocks up. When the stock market has a sale (a crash), the consumer runs away. When the supermarket puts its prices up, we stop buying. When the stock market raises its prices, we start to buy.
Action always beats inaction.
Though I think it is pretty lengthy, I am sure reading it will be worth it.