Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Rich Dad's Guide To Wealth

I watched a portion of this Robert Kiyosaki lecture during the local PBS fundraiser. Just as when I read his original book, I felt torn.

Kiyosaki sets up a big divide between his "poor dad" (a schoolteacher) and his
"rich dad" (a friend's investment-minded father). Even though the rich dad has
little education, Kiyosaki benefits more from his knowledge than the
"prepositions and gerunds" important to his father.

Well, prepositions and gerunds are important to me, too. Perhaps more important than the pursuit of money. Is that crazy?

One might say we are the typical "poor dad" family. Even though this blog (and a lot of my daily routine) focuses on making the most of our money, we still put a higher value on intangibles than we do on our financial statement.

Entrepreneurship, debt, and high-risk investments scare me; the prospect threatens the security and stability of the family life we've worked so hard to create. At the same time, I admit that a well-rounded education would be more complete with confidence in one's innate money-making ability.

In our family, we actively cultivate problem-solving and creativity. It's just translating that emphasis to the marketplace that stymies me.

9 comments:

Marie said...

I understand from Spunky Homeschool (I think that's where I read it) that Mr. Kiyosaki has admitted there was no "rich dad." He is a metaphor for the right things to do, apparently.

Mom2fur said...

I think the little things add up to mean a lot more than money. Among these are having a decent education. I cringe when I see poor spelling (loose instead of lose, for example--one I see a LOT) and grammar. Maybe "i before e except after c" isn't going to change the world--but a lack of such things isn't going to do it much good, either.
And frankly, a lack of education and caring about the 'details' isn't going to get people very far money-wise, either.
It's great you are stressing problem-solving and creativity. It will do your kids a world of good in their lives. My big problem with the way schools are run is that they don't really teach kids how to think--but it sounds like that's just what you're doing!

Anonymous said...

Heh...I am almost done with my Master's degree in English, and I can't spell.

I've read that book, and I just don't know what I think of it. I think that education is important, IF it teaches you to think for yourself, be creative with what you have, etc.

When I was in college, and later when I taught college freshmen, everybody expected to leave college for a well paying job. That did not happen for my class, as we graduated right after Sept 11. A lot of people were at a loss- college was supposed to mean money. I think education is glamorized, and many people would do just fine without a degree because they are creative and goal driven. But that piece of paper is very important in society, and not having it can make it harder to get a job. And even though it has yet to lead to a well paying job, college was valueable to me. It was pounded into my head as the ultimate way to get a good job, and really, that has yet to happen. I'm very torn on the issue.

Anonymous said...

Education and money are both tools-- you can use them to get to where you want to be, and to do what you want to be doing. My goal in living a frugal lifestyle is to not have to think about money!

My grandfather, on the other hand, loved to talk about and think about investing and financial strategies. For him, it was part of the goal. For me, it's more a means to an end.

-Another Anna

Henry Cate said...

For helping children get a good start with their financial education I highly recommend "The Richest Man in Babylon."

Taleyna said...

I have read the book although it's been a while. I think one frustrating aspect for me downplaying education is that it emphasizes factual knowledge over process. I teach a lab section of a communication theory class and we just finished a theory on group decision making that outlines how a group functions. My students will focus on the factual (what do I need to memorize for the exam) and miss that part of the point is teaching the process (how can I function most effectively as a group member?). I don't think a college degree is essential for everyone but I have heard people say they think their degree was a waste and then go on to list skills that they probably learned in a classroom. Plus, when people talk about being self-educated from reading, etc. where do you think that information came from? Some academic developing and researching a theory that has been translated into understandable terms by a popular press author. Whew! I'm a high horse about this one today....sorry!

DavidofOz said...

I'll second Henry's suggestion for "The Richest Man in Babylon". It is based on pamphlets written in the 30's and contains a lot of wisdom in parable-like form. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" gave me concerns regarding misplaced priorities. Managing your money has to be part of being a good steward of all your gifts and talents.

BrendansMommyAndDaddy said...

I unfortunately think that a major point in the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" book was either missed or misunderstood by yourself and a lot of those who posted comments. By saying he learned more from his "poor dad", who had no formal education, than from his "rich dad", who taught at the collegiate level, Kiyosaki is not downplaying the importance of education, or free thinking. His theme is that children and adults in school are not taught how to properly view their finances, and many also do not get this type of education from their parents because they also were not taught how to properly view money. His method is to not look at our incomes as the majority of people do- paycheck to paycheck, not saving, not letting money work for you passively through investments, minimizing your taxes, etc. Now, I don't want to cross those that feel strongly about being stewards of our finances- alternately I want to say that by being good stewards of what we have been blessed with means knowing how to manage and grow wealth such that none is wasted, and then we are called to pass that knowledge on to our own children and friends. I surely wish I had heard this information, as well as other sound financial advice from people such as Dave Ramsey and his thoughts on debt, when I was growing up and in college. But I did not, and had to learn the hard way, even though I am close to finishing my doctoral degree! I will certainly not let these important lessons be missed by my children. I would also recommend his second book, "The Cashflow Quadrant," to further understand Kiyosaki's message.

Meredith said...

I agree with your argument, but I still think Kiyosaki doesn't communicate this idea as well as someone like Dave Ramsey. I know we'll be able to teach good money management to our children--it's just the aspect of growing wealth Kiyosaki's way that eludes me (especially as we will not incur debt to make new investments). Thanks for your counterbalance to this discussion. I will check out "The Cashflow Quadrant" at the library.