The Problems With Rich Dad Poor Dad
I enjoy a lot of the advice in Robert Kiyosaki's book Rich Dad Poor Dad. However, after reading and re-reading the book, I have concluded that some advice in the book that sounds good at first is contradictory or conflicts with his advice in other books. And some of his advice may actually be outright wrong or even illegal. And some quick research on the internet revealed that I was not the only one who spotted these problems.
The problems with the book are too numerous and serious to ignore. I will analyze a few of them.
There Is No "Rich Dad," Really
One of the most frequent complaints about the Rich Dad series is that nobody can find any evidence of "Rich Dad."
Mr. Kiyosaki states in the book that Rich Dad owns some of the best real estate on Waikiki Beach and is one of the richest men on the island of Hawaii. However, researchers for various magazines have scoured the real estate records of Hawaii and can't find such a person.
In fact, Mr. Kiyosaki has told several different stories about the current whereabouts of Rich Dad. At least once, he claimed that Rich Dad had passed on. Another time he claimed that Rich Dad is now an invalid. In yet another book, he claims that the family of Rich Dad asked not to be identified. And in yet another instance, he reportedly admitted that Rich Dad is not a single real person but a composite character based on several of his advisors, including his best friend's father (the original "Rich Dad"), Dr. Buckminster Fuller, and many others.
In an interview by SmartMoney magazine, published in February of 2003, Robert Kiyosaki gave an answer that sounds surprisingly sincere: "Is Harry Potter real? Why don’t you let Rich Dad be a myth, like Harry Potter?"
Well, is he a myth or not? Mr. Kiyosaki stated several times in Rich Dad Poor Dad that "this is a true story about my two dads." And the book was published as non-fiction. So to find out that the character of Rich Dad is just that, a character, not a real person, sure puts his credibility in doubt.
Wait, Is That Actually Legal?
Rich Dad Poor Dad contains some ethically questionable advice. For example, there is the story about how Mr. Kiyosaki gets out of contracts that do not look right to him. There is nothing wrong with a contingency clause in a contract that allows you to back out of the deal if you spot a problem. However, Mr. Kiyosaki claims that he just puts down something like "subject to approval of my partner," except he then claims that his partner is actually his pet cat. Frankly, this is borderline fraud. Let's say you try something like this, and the other party, with too much to lose, decides to call your bluff and sue you in court. The judge will order you to reveal your partner. And now you are ****ed. Mr. Kiyosaki, if he actually tried this approach to a contract, was lucky that no one called his bluff.
Numbers Too Good to Be True
As always, his real estate investing advice draws the most fire. He gives examples in his anecdotes that are just too good to be true, according to most real estate investors. Even in foreclosures, one does not find houses that are 50% off or more. Usually, they're about 20%–30% off market price, with an occasional 40%. However, if you are to believe Mr. Kiyosaki, he found a house for 72% off the market price! He suggests that you can do so too. Other real estate investors explain that those are "once in a lifetime" type deals.
For other examples of erroneous advice given in the Rich Dad books, see John T. Reed's analysis of the series.
When questioned about these errors, Mr. Kiyosaki stated that the examples given are just that: examples—ones that should not be taken literally.
Is the Financial World Coming to an End?
Two of Robert Kiyosaki's theories have attracted a lot of criticism: a) all of our problems have their root cause in Nixon having taken the US currency off the gold standard back in 1971, and b) the baby boomers, reaching retirement, will deplete the entire paper asset market due to them spending their retirement funds, causing a TOTAL collapse of the market. Let us examine the plausibility of each hypothesis.
The end of the gold standard as a disaster. Mr. Kiyosaki, in Increase Your Financial IQ, claims that the US currency is now worth much less than even just 20 years ago, and that's because Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard (which had backed it by actual gold stored by US Treasury) and allow it to free-float against other currencies.
The problem with this idea is virtually all currencies around the world now are free-floating. Nobody uses gold-backed currencies anymore. So if the US dollar falls consistently against other currencies (also not backed by gold), there must be some other explanation for the falling worth of the dollar, not just because it got off the gold standard. (I remember when it was 220 yen to 1 dollar. It's now like 90 yen per dollar.)
Baby boomers as the cause of future disaster. Another idea, explained in Rich Dad's Prophecy, is that the stock market will collapse, in a fashion much bigger than the subprime mortgage mess, because baby boomers are retiring, and thus they will start taking money out of mutual funds, 401(k)s, CDs, stock markets, and so on in order to live on that money. This will cause the market to crash. Thus, Mr. Kiyosaki says, you should diversify your holdings by investing in real estate and precious metals like gold and silver. Which, of course, Mr. Kiyosaki will sell you lessons on, be it seminars, coaches, books, and tapes and whatnot.
A book about Wall Street rumors discussed the idea, and found it to be a Chicken-Little "sky is falling" alarmist view, sorta like that of the 2012 alarmists. Basically, while it's true that baby boomers are retiring, they don't do so all at once, and thus, the window where all that money will be leaving the market will be a period of decades, and the effect on the market should be minimal, or at least, nowhere as noticeable as Mr. Kiyosaki claims it will be.
A Storyteller, Not an Adviser
So why would Mr. Kiyosaki embellish his stories? Well, let's just say that some people are natural-born storytellers. They can take a simple story and add a lot of dramatic flair to it, so it becomes more than a story and turns into an inspirational legend. A lot of tales of folk heroes and anti-heroes are handed down this way from generation to generation, and the story grows in each retelling. Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest, and the Sheriff of Nottingham probably existed, but they were nowhere as glamorous as the stories that developed long afterward. In fact, folklorists have found that Maid Marion was inserted later, much later. That is what is going on here with Robert Kiyosaki's stories and books.
Even Mr. Kiyosaki had said that the Rich Dad series is really meant as motivational instead of actual practical advice. The problem is that a person who buys the book is likely to think that the examples given should be taken as gospel, 100% correct and 100% accurate. They should not be taken that way.
In the book Rich Dad's Guide to Becoming Rich Without Cutting up Your Credit Cards, he gave the example of his prized Porsche. He bought it, he says, by turning bad debt into good debt. He bought a business and used the excess cash flow to fund the luxury car's monthly payments. Okay, that almost sounds reasonable until you realize somehow he was able to afford the down payment on the car (which wouldn't have been cheap, as it is a collectible, probably in the 100K range), AND the down payment for the business, which presumably costs even MORE than the car, to generate that sort of excessive cash flow to pay for the car. Though no actual figures were mentioned, you are asked to believe that the business paid for the vehicle, period. Most of us don't have that much cash around.
While it is important to illustrate the advice with examples that inspire, the inspiration can lead people down the wrong path if not explained properly.
Giving Conflicting Advice That Could Be Harmful
Mr. Kyosaki gives conflicting advice on the way to do real estate deals. In one book, the advice is "go big or go broke". In another book, he recommends starting with small real estate deals and trading up later. If it matters, why can't he be consistent?
And if it matters whether you go to college or not, it is possible to get the wrong idea from the various "Rich Dad" books. It is a common theme in his books that the educational system is outdated, not teaching the stuff one should learn in the real world, and teaching people to become employees, not self-employed, which is the ideal. The problem is that it is very easy to take that idea out of context. At least one parent has reportedly complained that her child read Rich Dad Poor Dad and now refuses to go to school. He cites the book as his inspiration, claims education is useless and says his parent (a single mother) is feeding him obsolete information to keep him poor.
Mr. Kiyosaki himself has stated in his books that one must finish college because it is a good investment in oneself and that the money one can earn as a college grad is like five times higher than a high school grad. He implies that you should graduate college, then think about being an entrepreneur. But then he also cites with approval Michael Dell and Bill Gates and such, who never DID graduate from college (both Dell and Gates dropped out of college after two years to pursue their dreams of being entrepreneurs). Since Mr. Kiyosaki so clearly emphasizes that one of the ways to financial freedom is to become an entrepreneur, readers are likely to tune out his praise of college grads and pursue instead his message that education is obsolete and useless.
What Kiyosaki does not mention when praising Dell and Gates was that they both got a boost from being in college. Michael Dell built and customized computers and sold them out of his dorm room; he was there to see the need and fulfill it. Bill Gates may have dropped out of college, but he was in Harvard for two years, and he was not quite successful until IBM went to him for PC-DOS, and he basically bought someone else's version, customized it a little, and sold it to IBM. I doubt even Bill Gates actually anticipated the success of the PC, but he was able to capitalize on the success and build his fortunes by studying the market and reacting to customer needs and various threats by assembling a good team, including Paul Allen.
In other words, entrepreneurship requires more than will. You also need hard work, luck, the right space, the right time, the right product or service, the right team, and other things in that B-I triangle. So you see, there is some use to college after all.
Motivation Is Not Solid Advice; Storytelling Can Lead to Embellishment
So what is one supposed to get from the Rich Dad series of books? After amassing a collection—I have all the books except Rich Dad's Prophecy, and several of the advisor series books as well—I can tell you this: Mr. Robert T. Kiyosaki is an exceptional presenter and speaker. Even though he allegedly failed English, he is excellent at reducing problems down to a soundbite that one would care about. He presents equally succinct and pithy answers, which he then attributes to "Rich Dad" and then comes up with a lot of examples, anecdotes, and experiences, that enhance his answers—though this evidence may be embellished.
The problem is, the financial world is not quite as simple as it sounds, and some of his answers are a bit too succinct and pithy; so simple that they can easily be misunderstood or taken out of context. And the supporting evidence or anecdotes or experiences he gives may or may NOT have happened to him; they "could have."
In his latest book, Improve your Financial IQ, he relates a story about facing down an IBM hiring manager who was about to tell him to take a hike as he didn't have an MBA, unlike the other candidates. He claims he ranted in response about how he had more courage than any of the other draft-dodgers by facing down VC and death every time he flew in Vietnam as a gunship pilot and about sales being all about the courage to fail. He says he practically shamed the hiring manager into picking him instead of the other candidates who came in suits (he came still in his khaki uniform). Personally, I think the story got embellished in the retelling. The real incident is probably nowhere as dramatic as that.
Stories do get embellished in the retelling. I am a Star Trek fan, but I am not a Star Trek celebrities fan. Thus, I found it interesting to discover that Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura in the original Star Trek series, regularly repeats her encounter with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at every convention appearance. And people who have gone to a lot of conventions say the story gets longer and more embellished in each telling.
While there's no doubt that she decided to quit but later decided to stay on the series despite hers being a "bit part," and she probably did meet MLK Jr. at an NAACP convention, there's some doubt that MLK Jr. told her personally that he was a fan of the show, and that she must stay on the show because there must be a black person in space in the future, or something like that. Some reported that in the earliest conventions, she merely claimed that MLK Jr. "inspired her" to stay on Star Trek. If you search on the Internet now, it's full of articles about how a meeting with MLK Jr. turned her around. Is it embellishment? I don't know.
Many Books, With Not Much That Is New
As I read more and more of Mr. Kiyosaki's books, I found that he is starting to rehash his own ideas. Cashflow Quadrant basically expands on the concepts of asset and liability and rich vs. poor in Rich Dad Poor Dad. He conveniently divided each side into two and came up with the quadrants. Rich Dad's Guide to Investing is basically a slightly more detailed version of Cashflow Quadrant, with explanations on how to move into the I and B quadrants. The latest book, Increase Your Financial IQ, is another expansion on the original Rich Dad Poor Dad concept: "It's not how much you earn, but how much you keep." He expanded that into "Five Financial IQs", number two of which is "protecting your money." Number one is "Making more money", which is covered in yet another book: Rich Dad's Guide to Becoming Rich Without Cutting Up Your Credit Cards. You could almost say that the subsequent books are repackaged versions of previous books, albeit with a bit more stuff.
Trust, but Verify
So take the Rich Dad series of books for what they're worth: some rather generic advice that may or may not apply to you, with illustrative examples that may or may not be true, and personal anecdotes that may be true, false, or somewhat true but embellished. The Rich Dad books are for motivation instead of practical advice. When you are past the need for motivation and need actual practical advice, seek out some more books, such as the Rich Dad's Advisors series. Those books have the actual how-to steps that are of practical use and are written by people who were actually there and did things. Just beware of the motivational claptrap that got tossed in there along with the book.
So, are the books worth reading? Yes. They will give you a paradigm shift, so to speak, as they will present you with a new way of thinking, a new viewpoint that you may not have considered before. And that is always useful.
If you need philosophical advice to get through your lack of motivation, then yes, his books will help. However, you may want to note the difference between generic advice or philosophy and practical advice. You'll find that most of the advice given in the books is more philosophical than practical. Thus, those who seek formulas—i.e., do A, B, then C, and you'll get D—will be disappointed. Mr. Kiyosaki said so as much in one of his books.
Keep one thing in mind: trust, but verify. Don't take all of his assertions for granted. Just because he says so doesn't necessarily mean it's true.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
chidi on June 24, 2020:
@kschang, you have a phd (player hating degree)!!! like him or loath him. RK has influenced MILLIONS around the globe. HOW MANY PERSONS HAVE YOU INFLUENCED!!!!
John on April 13, 2020:
His name is Richard Kimi, and his son, Alan Kimi (“Mike”) was even on the Oprah show. There are even pictures of Richard on the internet. Don’t just assume thing because they seem false.
Kyson Parks from San Diego, CA on April 07, 2020:
I think you are right that lots of his advice is really simplistic. People get realized defensive when the people who tell them, "you too can be rich just do this..." are criticized.
Wowzers on March 14, 2020:
Jealous much? You sound like a millennial d-bag..
The Real Rich Dad on December 12, 2019:
I think you better do a little bit more research into your articles before you actually publish them. Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad" is a real person, not fictional character. His name is Richard Kimi and his real son Alan Kimi came out on Oprah to tell everyone that yes his dad was the real inspiration for Kiyosaki's book. And yes he really did all those things that Kiyosaki siad he did in the book. Perhaps it would be better to fact check, rather than to give you own uninformed opinion which could (and did) smear another man's reputation.
M on October 22, 2019:
Mr. Kiyosaki's books have been published in Iran and I have read almost all of his books. If one really follows the book's recommendations, it will certainly succeed.
Jeez on June 30, 2019:
You read a book that talks about how the poor mentality keeps people poor and here you are questioning what is legal or not =))
Lovinns on June 03, 2019:
RK is a teacher, sometimes you need to tell kids fairytales for them to learn. If that fairytale encouraged me to build my own business and grow my assets then I rather hear fairytales more. haha
Aye on April 27, 2019:
You did read the book but you really did not understand it. Please read again.
Glenda Goddard from Arizona on April 23, 2019:
Real "Rich Dad" is Richard Kimi. He passed away in 2009. He did not wish his identity known during his lifetime and Robert did a great job of not revealing.
Anonymous on April 02, 2019:
Well rich dad poor dad books were printed so long ago before the crash and maybe thats why he could buy things so cheaply as in great depression most people went bankrupt and start selling their properties.
Finn from Barstow on May 01, 2018:
Well I think you have to keep in mind that this is a book of the self-help genre that is more fiction and inspiration than fact. Like the Secret, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Og Mandino books they have a following that is almost cult-ish and people tend to take what they say as literal fact.
I perused the title years ago and was a bit skeptical but as someone who worked in a library, amazed at the following the book had. Keep in mind that if everyone who read the book followed the advice within and was successful, there would be no poor or the measure of what is actual wealth would be greatly elevated.
It still might make for some interesting reading and may have some good points that insprie or enlighten. However, you are correct that it is basically fiction .
Nicely written article with supportive points.
Hass on February 10, 2018:
As a scientist, trained for decades to be a skeptic, this book is almost certainly a fiction. Sure some elements of it have happened, but there is not way someone would convince me of the story being told about this rich dad. The first sign that triggered my skeptic brain was in the very few pages, when the 9 years old kids are supposedly trying to print money...come on. 9 y.o? from Hawaii? really. The story goes in so much details about how this 9y old kid asks questions well beyond his age. If the story was told of a 15-19 y old maybe I will buy it, but 9 y, no way in hell. I stopped reading the book after 3 chapters, and have been researching about the authenticity of the story. Short story it is fiction. There are some news about this rich dad identity but it sounds more plausible that it was a made up story as well.
Ronnie on September 10, 2017:
You missed the whole point of the book, whether or not it was real the book sent a powerful message to the world. If you missed the message read it again.
Lebohang Nkoana on July 31, 2017:
Really guys! From what I'm getting, Robert here his tryna show us that not only education we get from the classroom be not the only instilled knowledge in us or our children, but to learn the skill and technique to be streetwise as well. Hence he emphasise on practical financial education through life visual communications.
untold on July 06, 2017:
you say not to take his practical advice because it's BS. i have read his book rich dad poor dad, and if you cannot take the basic principle of buying assets and not liabilities, then you have no idea of creating wealth. If it takes a whole book just to get that point across it's worth reading.
Olu Omibiyi on June 29, 2017:
My simple question to critics is what have you done to inspire anybody to take a different and positive route in life. Have you taught any body about no limits to your income as the 1st rule of wealth? Have you shown anybody that no matter where they are in life, that success is a learn-able skill? and that they too can be successful? And people like Robert Kiyosaki, Tony Robbins and Harv Eker have done more to bring awareness of what is possible to a large number of people.
I thank God for the life of these people.
A closed mind does one of two things when presented with new information and that is - 1. I already know that and 2. Try to discredit the person that delivers the message.
I will close this by quoting one of my mentors T Harv Eker: "Don't believe a word I say", but I would advice you to listen and try them because they have worked for me.
The world was flat then round, you can't be in 2 places at the same time - then quantum physics.
All I ask of this elite group on this forum is what ever works use it.
Matt on June 19, 2017:
When you hear things like https://youtu.be/Nci3069kA4Y at 2:40 you end up on articles like this wondering WTF
David on May 11, 2017:
It's funny all the people only commenting on "Who cares if rich dad doesn't exist, when the author of this article talks about so many more and more important topics tear apart the "quality" of Rich Dad Poor Dad. Rich Dad Poor Dad's readers are mini-cultists. They like to believe they've learned a "secret" that sets them apart from the ignorant masses. It makes them feel special, so they're loathe to learn anything negative about their mini-messiah. The book covers a few basic concepts of wealth management that aren't at all secrets: spend less, invest, don't let your expenses creep up as you income increases, etc. Those aren't secrets. Those are common sense. Then the book delves into, as the author mentions, dumb practices such as the contract example, that aren't just risky, but also illegal, or just plain dumb.
Great job in your research kschang. Keep up the great work
kandessew on April 19, 2017:
Thanx for the research, for me it's not important if Rich dad is real or not. I read 5 of his books.. re-read a couple of them.. not all advise is suitable for everyone but some of it has gotten me to the financial freedom that I wanted. There is no doubt Kiyosaki is a great salesman/marketeer. Personally without taking any of classes; just reading the books has helped me discover things I did not even learn while doing my MBA and the ability to retire before I hit 40 :)
Victor on March 22, 2017:
after reading 3of his books I can tell that RK is mostly philosophical and general advice, he implies several times that you should learn a lot more that what his books offer and that you should ask professionals of different areas for specific advice, having that said, I find them as a good read.
Dumi on January 10, 2017:
Am a great fan of RK and if you have done any due diligence in reading books about personal finance you will realize that many of his principles are not unique to ''rich dad''. i never even thought of questioning the mans ''real'' existence until i saw this because quite frankly the principles are solid, even the predictions of the market crashing were pretty accurate. What am i saying is its a bit childish to want to bash a guy simply because you seemly want to find loopholes in his work, because thats what it looks like honestly. its like coming out today and saying mother Theresa wasn't a virgin, does it undo all the good work she has done absolutely not then why would it be relevant now??? are you even getting paid for throwing stones at a mans hard work?...seemingly pointless to me.
jack on December 12, 2016:
kiyosaki and his principals made me a millionaire. If not for him, I would be on the tread mill
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on December 04, 2016:
@jared -- I did not sway people in any direction. I encouraged people to real Kiyosaki for INSPIRATION ONLY. His practical advice are worthless.
@Sharma @ben arnold -- yes, I know Kimi was often cited as the "real inspiration" for Rich Dad. But let's face it, if Kiyosaki said there is no Rich Dad, then THERE IS NO RICH DAD, no matter how many other people said "but it must be based on..."
Which only adds to the DISRESPECT Kiyosaki shows, doesn't it? So why are people still defending him?
I like Kimi the guy. I don't like Kiyosaki, based on his advice given. Thought I made that pretty obvious.
Ben Arnold on November 16, 2016:
Oprah’s producers demanded to know who the real life Rich Dad was before allowing Robert Kiyosaki to appear on the Oprah show. And so Rich Dad's son Alan Kimi came and talked to Oprah and her producers and confirmed the identity and explained the importance of anonymity. Alan Kimi's father (Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad") passed away in 2009 but still Robert Kiyosaki didn't discuss his Rich Dad's identity until in 2016 he interviewed Alan Kimi, the real son of Rich Dad who had been a longtime childhood friend of Robert Kiosaki, to discuss their father. Their father, Richard Wassman Kimi, wasn't Robert Kiyosaki's biological father, however he'd been Robert's inspiration and mentor. And that's exactly what a good father should be. Robert Kiyosaki was very fortunate to have two great fathers. Most of us have many mothers, and many fathers, even if we don't call them that, and don't acknowledge that contribution they've made to our lives. Some people don't feel as if they have a father. And that's truly tragic and does happen quite often. We pray that all children everywhere have good parents, and equally many good mentors and helper along the way on the path of life. To those who had a father and a mother but are searching for the "biological" connection, you're missing the point to what is a mother and father. There are many "biological" parents who you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. To truly deserve that title, a Father and Mother need to be a Father and Mother to their child in action and deed, not just title alone. Richard Wassman Kimi owned a hotel and the land that now is the location of Hyatt Regency in Waikiki and was the first to build affordable hotels for middle and lower class tourists visiting Hawaii, especially seaside hotels in Kona, Maui and Kaua’i and was the first company to offer flight, car, hotel all-in-one packages. And the first to accept reservation by fax machine and use a toll free number. Through his own deeds and those of his greatest student Robert Kiosaki who considered him like a father, Mr Kimi has blessed the world and millions of lives, in so many ways. RIP and thank you.
Jared on August 25, 2016:
I love how all this "research"was done and yet it will never be read as much as kiyosakis books. One of the biggest themes that stuck with me is that there will be critics, doubters and people will always try to sway people in another direction. The point of the book was to clarify the fact that money is a simple concept and the understanding this concept can therefore change your own perception of being wealthy.
loc on June 18, 2016:
I don’t care how many dad he has, but, most of his advice are true, your house is a liability for example, argue with it? I had read Warren buffet and bill gate books and they gives the same advice, if you want to be rich, save money and invest.
Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on May 23, 2016:
Very interesting revelations about Rich Dad. But, we can enjoy these stories as good inspirations and boost our morality to achieve something. But, one should not feel depressed at his failures in doing so. Take some good points and leave the rest.
CheebaiKia on December 09, 2015:
thank you the author for sharing his researh and views.
i think he is very clear in saying that we should all read the book with cautions and not to take it as a living gospel.
to those who critises the author (this web page), please remember that he is just sharing what he has found and advised you to read the book with care. yes it doesnt matter if Richdad exist or not, but what this page's author is trying to say is that not all things written in the book are accurate and thus must only read it for motivational purposes. so can people stop commenting on "does it matter if rich dad exists" or "what is yoru account size". You readers who comment have lost the purpose of this webpage which is the author is trying to share with you.
Once again, thanks be to the author who shared his research and views. please keep your coming (provided they are accurate and not fictional).
Tamara Wilhite from Fort Worth, Texas on November 10, 2015:
The later books selling the financial doom and gloom and advice to buy gold were simply following the end of the world naysayers who have yet to be right.
My biggest issue with the Rich Dad Poor Dad books is its lack of appreciation of the risk of debt. You still have to pay the mortgage on the rental property if someone doesn't pay their rent; good renter screenings reduces this issue but doesn't eliminate it. Multiply the number of properties, and the risk of a financial meltdown from something multiply. That problem is reduced if you save up and pay cash for properties - and it explodes if you try to "flip" properties.
Yet Kiyosaki hypes using other people's money to get rich while downplaying the risk YOU will go bankrupt.
Glenda Goddard from Arizona on October 30, 2015:
He did what all writers do. He met people, witnessed a few things and turned them into characters. The message in his first book is excellent. The rest of the books are good because they are professional and often have experts giving their advice
Tyler Philbrook on July 24, 2015:
What an awesome article, I too have read many of Roberts books, and I too found flaws in them. I do recommend that people read them but tell all of them that it won't actually tell you anything to do, just give you the motivation and knowledge that you need to do something.
Credit Comedy on June 19, 2015:
Powerful Article... I have learned a long time ago to laugh off lies...
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on March 03, 2015:
One hub's worth. I don't obsess over him if that's what you meant.
Dean on December 28, 2014:
You spend a lot of time defending your research and adding criticisms to Kiyosaki's work.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on December 17, 2014:
You two missed the point. The point is Kiyosaki's advice is inspirational, but cannot be relied upon for realistic advice. Care to read the conclusion again? And what does my wealth have to do with whether to trust HIS advice? Does my wealth make my words more believable? If so, why don't you trust words of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates more instead?
@Let's be honest here -- good point, literalists are way too dogmatic.
@Priscilla -- he did not make millions without the book. He was NOTHING before he got the book published. In fact, the book was first self-published and only took off after he joined Amway, went on speaking circuits for Amway support orgs, and got Yager Group to adopt it as reading material. Remember he said his nylon wallet business went bankrupt? Kiyosaki's current net worth is about $80 mil, most of which from his books and his "classes" (taught by other people).
Priscila on December 09, 2014:
Even if this is a 'myth' most of everything he says I have experienced and gone through and he helps a lot with the understanding. He knows what he is talking about. Everyone who is saying this is a fraud because his past is a 'fraud', well this writer made millions without the book.
Let's be honest here... on December 06, 2014:
I can think of a book billions have read, based on myths that many have accepted as historical facts. This book of two parts has inspired many to do good, when the readers focus on the concepts not the exact words (which have translated many times). The ones that try to interpret it too literally, however, fall into traps and some become 'extremists.'
RK's books may not compare to the Good Book, but the same idea I fell applies here, too. Reading a book way too literally (except maybe technical textbooks) & one may lose the messages.
Hubpagescrawler on November 21, 2014:
The saddest part is that someone who purports to be from Hawaii would create an image that is not in line with Aloha. When you do anything that is supposedly true but isn't then tell numerous cover up stories then that pretty much points at lies. Bringing shame to the State Of Hawaii all just for money makes me feel like Robert should stay in the mainland USA where he belongs as his even saying he is from Hawaii brings shame upon the state. Robert Kiyosaki is not representative of Hawaii and the people of Hawaii and the Aloha spirit. My apologies to anyone who has been "taken" by this man and his lies.
akash on November 07, 2014:
You have done your survey...just wanna ask you '' what is the size of your bank account?'' ... if it is not as healthy as robert kiyosaki, you better proof your idea or research man make you and others rich. Otherwise don't criticize... Zig Ziglar said no nation have ever erected a statute of a critic.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on September 30, 2014:
It helps knowing the context of the message.
If a politician told everybody about how he grew up from a poor family and he struggled to feed himself and finally found this one generous man who made a difference in his life, but only to reveal later there is no such person, and he really grew up middle class, he would be booed out of office.
But a writer who told everybody about he had a dumb and poor dad (who's superintendent of education), and a smart and rich dad who knows everything about money, and later only to reveal there is no rich dad, he apparently would be forgiven because... why?
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on September 30, 2014:
Why waste time reading a non-fiction book if it's actually fiction?
Fel Amejan from Philippines on September 14, 2014:
Nice hub chang,
For me i don't care if it is true or not. Yet his books made a huge difference in my real status. I think millions of people helped him.
but still a very nice hub...
tengteng on June 20, 2014:
why waste your time thinking whether its real or not?
Diana on June 14, 2014:
What books do you recommed instead?
Jared on May 18, 2014:
I know for a fact that homes can be purchased for 45% off market value on occasion and even better is not impossible in certain markets. Having the cash available (so you can act immediately), knowing your market well (so you truly know what MV is) and having a reputation for being quick and decisive (so people bring deals to you and take you seriously) are what it takes, but that is all possible. Sure it takes time and resources, but it certainly isn't rocket science and definitely isn't impossible.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on May 04, 2014:
Kyosaki is fine for "inspiration". Just don't rely on him for REAL economic and financial advice.
Andino on April 18, 2014:
And the Da Vinci Code is real!!!!
If you look the how they did the magic.... you stop enjoying the magic. So, hope you go to the end of this for your own benefice. Because for me the Rich Dad was an Eye opener.
Luc on April 10, 2014:
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on January 10, 2014:
Read them all, but be aware of their limitations and how applicable they are to your situation.
Luke on January 09, 2014:
What books can you recommend instead?
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on January 02, 2014:
"Rich Dad" is a myth, according to Kiyosaki himself. There may be a piece of Mr. Kimi in him, but "Rich Dad" as a person does not exist.
Kiyosaki has NO IDEA what he's talking about other than vague generalities. Rich Dad Poor Dad was mostly written by his partner, Sharon Lector, who's a real CPA, and they paid her off in 2000 after a nasty split.
Kiyosaki has NO formal financial education and peddled his self-published book on seminars for years before he was discovered by Amway diamond rep Bill Galvin (whose name is in the "acknowledgement" in RDPD), who encouraged his "Yager Team" to adopt it as reading material, which FINALLY lead to the book being picked up by Warner Publishing. Kiyosaki joined Amway under Galvin and made several training tapes 15 years ago for Galvin that sold for $6 each back then. You can still find the tapes on eBay and such places.
I have most of his books and I have read them. It's just rehash of same ideas again, and again. And I've said so.
I am glad you found his advice to be helpful, but he's not the wise sage you think he is. And half of his "plan" makes little sense.
His advisors, I have no problem. Most of them actually know stuff. However, at least one have been since convicted of running a Ponzi scheme. I'll leave you to figure out which one.
So, all in all, not very impressed.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on December 23, 2013:
There is no "formula" for wealth. It depends on being at the right place, at the right time, with the ability to spot the situation, with the right knowledge to take advantage of the situation (or where to find such people), and the courage and means to carry through.
Many of these factors are not under your control, thus, any such "formula" would be useless except as "platitudes" such as what Kiyosaki hands out. Fine as "general principles", useless in actual applications.
We are all different and thus our own path to wealth will also be different. There is no such thing as "formula to wealth", and anyone claiming so is... at best... self-delusional.
Kiyosaki's success comes from embracing the Network Marketing crowd even before his RDPD got published. He was making Amway tapes then. You can even find them for sale on eBay.
may on December 13, 2013:
Well, Can you publish a book that can give us the right formula on wealth...
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on November 28, 2013:
Whether he *could* have existed... well, is irrelevant. :)
Collins on November 28, 2013:
Even if there is no Rich Dad as used by the writer,... I want to assure you guys that a Rich Dad in that caliber and capacity is in existence.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on November 22, 2013:
Perhaps you're just denying the truth that there is no Rich Dad and RK had been fibbing from the start. After all, he's the one that said Rich Dad is like Harry Potter. Who are you to second-guess him?
As for what "wisdom" remains... Not much of it, as explained in the hub.
It's interesting that you try to use the "jealousy and envy" to deflect criticism. Trying to push someone's buttons, eh?
Alph on November 21, 2013:
its amazing how a lot of you think this poor research is even good. from all the writer said nothing here even gives a hint about the REAL NAME of "Rich Dad" To find Rich Dad you must find his name which RK has not given.
In any case, whether motivational or fiction, a wise man will rather analyse the substance of his books for the wisdom in it and not whether something is real.
I always listen to any "fool" because I believe there is a lot of sense/wisdom to learn from everything. Wise up writer and stop living in your envy and jealousy.
dan on February 05, 2013:
To me it always was suspicious how Robert seemed to remember perfectly with such detail every word and every quote his rich dad told him. Anyway, even if his rich dad was not a real person, which seems unlikely … I don’t really care, because this man has changed mi view about money, and my life. At the end, all he says is “Improve your financial education” – No one except for him ever told me that, not in school, not in college, not in any job.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on September 23, 2012:
@Dontwitto -- AFAIK, Kiyosaki NEVER actually acknowledged Kimi to be "Rich Dad" or even inspired Rich Dad. All such claims are merely from fellow internet researchers.
As for Gold Standard... US does not have a parliament. Assuming you merely misspoke and you actually mean US Congress, that would still be wrong. Republicans say they want to form a commission to explore the option. There are many experts that says "that would be a stupid idea". Here's one:
And finally, are you aware that Kiyosaki's Rich Dad business declared bankruptcy on August 20, 2012? Guess he forgot to apply the advice to his own business.
donTwitto on September 22, 2012:
Just some words.
Here is rich dad, in real life http://www.hawaii-aloha.com/blog/2009/02/05/hawaii...
and .. USA parlament is thinking back to gold standar.
Please be professional
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on July 22, 2012:
All except... three? :)
nufoundglory from Asia on July 21, 2012:
Wait, you read EVERY SINGLE BOOK he ever wrote? Seriously? I mean, seriously? Like, seriously?
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on July 17, 2012:
In other words, he made his money from selling advice, not investing. ;)
monicamelendez from Salt Lake City on July 17, 2012:
I've read some of his books and agree that they are full of very generic advice. They definitely don't contain a ton of expertise and don't line up with the advice of those who have really made a lot of money investing.
Jill Larson from Financial Freedom! on June 03, 2012:
I really enjoyed reading this article. I was saddened to hear that "Rich Dad" probably does not exist, but it was something that I suspected. You are exactly right, the book is simply a motivational tool for turning your financial world around. I would never put myself in all of the debt he suggests, but he did inspire me to be a writer here on HubPages because I wanted to create an additional, passive source of income that came without first giving up my savings. Thank you for writing this article and educating us to be careful when deciding what advice to take.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on April 27, 2012:
@MfM -- it may have been easier to just say "stop looking for Rich Dad" instead instead of making up different stories.
If you mean the Cashflow game, it is quite interesting, as it's basically monopoly, but with more stuff about assets and liabilities thrown in to get you think about spending vs. saving vs. investing. It's not a bad game. However, it's biased toward real estate deals for cashflow (esp. apartments), and real estate prices only seem to go up, not down. Stocks are touted as difficult to play and win, but may generate some cash for you to play real estate INSTEAD.
It's okay to teach a "concept", and you really need to play with several different people to keep it "fun".
Man from Modesto from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California) on April 27, 2012:
There is one possibility that really stood out as I read the quotes about who Rich Dad might be: Kiyosaki has created a cloud of disinformation so that people would cease looking for Rich Dad, who has truly requested to be left alone.
For me, After 4 years of trying to explain to my wife why saving&investing, not spending, is the key to a comfortable life, I finally bought the Cash Flow Quadrant game. Now, she has cut back her spending.
collinson on April 19, 2012:
Your criticism is welcomed, but the truth of the matter is that reach dad poor dad has been doing its purpose by transforming people by its financial advices.
So wether there is Reach Dad or not, it dosnt really matter any way.
But you have done a good research.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on March 29, 2012:
The quadrant is a pretty good illustration, but it's a little too... pithy. Also, not all people are suited to be one quadrant or another. Understand the full paradigm and its limitations, not the "reader's digest" version.
IJ de Kock on November 29, 2011:
This is a brilliant writer and motivational speaker. I love his books. I think I've read every one. So what if rich dad do not exist. At least Mr Kiyosaki is responsible that my children have a rich dad.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on October 23, 2011:
@Laura in Denver -- Kim Kiyosaki writes business books for women... basically rehashes the same things, from a female perspective. I think he also pulled in her Buddhist monk sister for a book too.
Laura Deibel from Aurora, CO on October 22, 2011:
Nice hub. As I recall, his "wife" also wrote books.
He does appear to be a master marketer, if not an expert of what he claims.
nikipa from Eastern Europe on September 10, 2011:
I don't mind if it is myth either. The most important thing is how it influence people and it does only in positive ways.
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on July 16, 2011:
According to John T. Reed, noted skeptic, Kiyosaki only started really selling Rich Dad Poor Dad after he convinced the MLM crowd to adopt it wholesale. There is some truth in that.
Matt Stupar from Toronto, Canada on July 15, 2011:
Definitely interesting research here! Personally, I don't mind if Rich Dad is actually a myth, because the books are extremely helpful.
The only strange thing is the different stories that RK uses to justify it. Why say "real" one interview and "myth" in the next? Maybe the mystery behind it helps to build his reputation and sell his books.
If nothing else, he's definitely figured out how to sell books!
Discount Mortgage Leads on June 19, 2011:
Wow great research!
My wife loves this mans books. They are inspirational and I've always wondered if they were true or not
kschang (author) from San Francisco, CA, USA on April 20, 2011:
As long as people keep in mind the stories are just that... inspirational stories, then it does not matter.
EltMrx on April 20, 2011:
The Rich Dad Poor Dad book series helped to change my life and my view of the world... But as a truth seeker I appreciate what you've brought to light. But at the end of the day... Does it matter if there was a "Rich Dad"?
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on January 05, 2011:
What an interesting bit of researching you've done! I appreciate the fact checking, and shall approach the Rich Dad Poor Dad books with caution!