Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
I do wonder if Kiyosaki was as articulate at nine years old as he remembers himself being. Nothing amuses me more than the stilted dialogue of business books, which always reminds me of the dreaded "As you know, Bob..." But is Kiyosaki is happy to point out himself, he's not a great writer -- and he's not trying to be. In fact, one of my favourite passages of the book was when he advised a young journalist-would-be-novelist to take some sales-training courses. She took violent offence to the suggestion and ended up storming out of their interview. But what Kiyosaki gently pointed out to her was true: his books say 'best-selling' author, not 'best-writing' author. Many very talented writers languish unpublished or in the midlists because they don't know how to sell themselves and their work, or they think it's not part of an author's job. Kiyosaki laments the large portion of the workforce who slave away at a job, muttering about how they deserve more as they strive for that next raise, that next promotion. Trouble is, when that raise or promotion comes, it is usually accompanied by a raise in lifestyle, so there is constantly nothing left over for truth wealth building. As Kiyosaki succinctly puts it: "The poor work for money. The rich have money work for them." In another spot in the book he also adds that the rich "work to learn". I experienced a small piece of this paradigm shift over the past few months. When I switched from retail bookselling into a position as a publisher's rep, I learned a heck of a lot about the industry very quickly. If I had been better suited to the road-warrior lifestyle, I know I would have learned a lot more. (I'll also freely admit that my lifestyle did expand with the bigger paycheque -- there was still too much month at the end of the money. When I got back to the lower pay of a bookseller, I pulled back again -- interesting...)By adopting a long few of my career and looking on my present job as a stepping stone (albeit one I'm staying at for a while), I'm suddenly much more calm about my future in the book industry. With the help of a new budget, I've gone from 'too much month left at the end of the money' and relying on credit cards, to being completely debt-free and squirrelling away 15% of my paycheque into my shiny new emergency fund. It's true that you feel very different about life when you know you have a bit of a cushion for the hard knocks. It's fear of those knocks that keep the poor getting poorer. It's hard to take risks with your money when you're living paycheque to paycheque. And I admit some of the deals Kiyosaki describes make me wince just thinking of the distaster if just one of the balls drops. Some of that fear is smart, because I don't really understand the deals, and if there's one piece of investing advice that makes sense, it's "don't invest in anything you don't understand". Which I suppose means I have a few more books to read while I fill out that emergency fund. As with a lot of American books, I found the rabid capitalism amusing. Kiyosaki presents a slightly skewed version of the history of taxes, and uses some interesting math at one point so that he can call the 33% tax bracket "50%". There's also an underlying impression of "omg taxes are so unfair, they punish you for succeeding!" But then, I'm a Goddamn Canadian Socialist; you may judge my opinion accordingly.