17 April 2017

Book Review: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

I mostly read fiction because reading for me is an escapist act, but sometimes I read non-fiction as well. And this time, I picked up this book because I realized that sometimes one needs to deal with financial issues, and so I was told that reading this book would help whenever I needed to do some adulting.

See, I never really got a good financial education. My parents raised me with a very short perspective: they thought that the world was going to end soon, so long-term financial planning wasn't really in the horizon. They even thought that our family would just live happily in a house until the end comes, and so they never really gave us kids good education when it comes to long-term planning. Of course, instead of blaming my parents, I would rather find ways to solve this issue, so I am taking things into my hands and educating myself.

The ideas that this book gives were new, and I have to admit, this is a knowledge domain that I didn't venture in too often. I remember when I moved to Berlin a few years ago, and my bank manager called me to schedule a meeting with me. He told me that I was earning money, yet wasn't thinking about my future. I remember my first thought back then, thinking that I just started a career after being in graduate school for a while, and I thought it was absurd that I should start thinking about retirement already! Anyway, at that time I was convinced that a retirement plan sounded good, so I started one.

Anyway, this book gives me a lot of new ideas, and I definitely would consider implementing them slowly. I finally started having an understanding of what assets and liabilities are, and I am telling you, the house you own isn't an asset! Not everyone is a fan of Kiyosaki, and I am not saying that I embrace all of his ideas either, as there is still a part of me that is more socialist than capitalist, but I see where he is coming from. It is better to have money than to have none, and sometimes, these two philosophies can clash. Nevertheless, what this book is showing me is that sometimes there are ways to game the system. Taxes are needed, but taxes are bad if you want to get rich. Of course there are unfortunate sectors of society, and they would benefit from welfare, but sometimes, instead of giving a poor man a fish, it is better to teach a poor man how to fish.

There are parts of this book that appear sensational and appeal a lot to emotions, but I suppose that is how humans actually function. In my opinion, I thought this book actually recognized that and made good use of it.

In any case, I am not saying that money is not important. Money is important. But it is not my driving force: I live not to be rich, but to pursue happiness. That said, sometimes I need money to pursue my happiness, so of course I am finding ways how to increase that. We'll see. I have a plan.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

See my other book reviews here.

2 comments:

  1. I've heard about this book but 1) I mostly read fiction 2) I was oddly put off by the title (sounded like one of these get-rich-quick scheme). That said, financial literacy is very important, especially in North America where getting into debt is pretty much a national sport!

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    1. Zhu,

      Yeah, I know what you mean. If you're too gullible, then this book sounds like this is the only book you need and once you read it you'll get rich. Definitely didn't like the vibe. But nevertheless, there's interesting and important aspects of it that one can glean and learn from. I suppose I read it with my critical hat on, and so I take the good bits and not the bad bits.

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