Robert Kiyosaki: Scam Artist giving Dangerous Financial Advice?

Recently I wrote an article about Robert Kiyosaki’s cashflow quadrant. It teaches that in the world of business there are four types of people: E for employee, S for self-employed or small business, B for business, and I for investor. The point is to familiarize yourself with the entirely different mentalities belonging to each of the four quadrants. It’s a good concept to have in your toolkit along with essentials such as the ability to do a SWOT analysis, and to read a profit and loss statement.

While listening to Kiyosaki’s audio program entitled “You Can Choose To Be Rich” yesterday, there were times when the author’s credibility and character came into question. For example, he went through several accountants looking someone who wouldn’t tell him what “he couldn’t do”, and landed up hooking up with Diane Kennedy. He was obviously interested in the gray areas of tax law, since he wanted to know about the repercussions of any harebrained scheme he suggested.

As a skeptic, I never take anyone’s advice verbatim. Like any “guru” out there (although he’ll claim he isn’t one), some of his advice is useful, while other bits are valid enough to be regulated to the trash heap. As a layman in terms of finance, I need to be a little extra careful.

The problem lies in the fact that Kiyosaki’s book and programs are beginners with no little or no formal training in finance. This is makes his advice dangerous because most listeners are unable to separate the wheat from the chaff.

John T. Reed has written an extremely detailed analysis of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, and while his attempts to discredit the author can come off as sensationalised, anyone who has read the book and plans to follow through with Kiyosaki’s advice need to read his arguments.

There is no evidence that "rich dad" is a real person.
There is no evidence that "rich dad" is a real person.

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” is Fiction

In 2001, a reader pointed out that “Although based on a true story, certain events in this book have been fictionalized for educational content and impact,” is now in fine print on the copyright page of “Rich Kid, Poor Kid”. To raise suspicions further, Kiyosaki refuses to disclose the name of his “rich dad”. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin was unable track him down, despite the fact he was reported to live next-door in the book. It is probable that “rich dad” is a fictional character, and until Kiyosaki proves otherwise it’s reasonable to assume presenting the book as real life story is a scam.

Kiyosaki’s College Bashing

Note that the author’s “rich dad” is uneducated while his “poor dad” is highly educated. This allegory mirrors Kiyosaki’s opinion that “good grade aren’t important” because not once has a banker asked him for his report card. This reasoning falls flat when you look at the statistics. Typically the more educated a person is, the more earning power they have. It certainly doesn’t guarantee it, however it’s best to keep the facts in mind before buying into Roberts Philosophy.

Average Weekly Earnings by Amount of Education

doctoral degree $1,441
professional degree $1,474
master’s degree $1,140
bachelor’s degree $962
associate degree $721
college dropout $674
high school grad $595
high school dropout $419

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

Kiyosaki argues that there is bad debt and good debt. Bad debt is money spent on liabilities like luxury automobiles and HDTVs. A good debt is when you put the money into your business or investments. His stance sounds reasonable until you combine it with a thrill-seeking approach to business endeavours. He is approving of the Texas saying, “If you’re going to go broke, go broke big.”

Success is created through calculated risk. When you take big risks in business on borrowed money, you are setting yourself up for possible bankruptcy. In the early 80s, Robert Kiyosaki declared bankruptcy after he left the nylon wallet business and his plan to sell licensed Heavy Metal T-shirts failed. He and his wife Kim hit rock bottom, becoming homeless. Things were so tight that a bucket of KFC, a motel and clean sheets seemed like heaven to the couple. To Kiyosaki, huge downs like this are part of being an entrepreneur. To outsiders, it shows his inability to make good business decisions.

The Verdict

Businesspeople aren’t known for their moral superiority or lack of controversial opinions. Kiyosaki fits the role of the clichéd business owner well. I wager that his new business model is based around selling books, audio programs and cash making systems, not getting starting legit businesses like he may have done in the past.

Go ahead and read his books and listen to his audio programs as long as you can take the advice with a grain of salt. The part I’d be weary of going to seminars. There are reports of people getting offered the exact methods he uses to make money for a mere $4,995. That is where his system enters scam territory.

Nearly everyone starts with “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” His entire scheme is designed to up-sell his customers until they reach the big enchilada. Don’t fall for it.

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Comments 52 comments

Ben Brentlinger 6 years ago

where on earth do you get your misguided information? Although it's possible he may have filed for corporate bankruptcy on behalf of the Nylon and Velcro wallet business (which I highly doubt it based on the fact that he left the business before it went bankrupt), he never once filed personal bankruptcy even though he could have with as much debt as he had from the business. Instead, he paid all that bad debt off in 10 years using a simple plan as outlined in their audio course on how to get out of bad debt. Also, the only reason Diane Kennedy's tax strategies are considered to be a gray area is because there have been people in the past who have attempted to implement them without going into business and forming a proper entity in order to legally take advantage of those tax strategies. To try and reduce your taxes using methods that would be completely legal and acceptable under the wrong circumstances (i.e. by not first forming the proper entity and officially going into business and selling a product to the marketplace) is considered tax evasion, but if those strategies are implemented under the right circumstance, than those strategies are perfectly legal.

Also, as for your comment about the earning power that can be purchased through higher education, that average weekly earnings statistics only hold true for people who just get a job without starting any kind of part time business, and it is a myth that all businesses require tons of start up capital. I'm currently running a membership site and my only overhead is webhosting and advertising costs. A vast majority of the software I use for creating content for the membership site I either already had purchased for other use prior to starting the business or I acquired to help me run the business, but is open source, so it cost me no money to get the software, therefore, I can keep my projected monthly overhead under one hundred dollars. The reason I spelled out "one hundred dollars" is so that no one can construe it to mean one hundred thousand dollars as is possible when using just numbers and a dollar sign. It really does cost me less than a hundred dollars to run my membership site. Now obviously, if I had an in-house server for my website, it would cost me over two thousand dollars a month just to keep my website online, but since I have a hosting account with hostgator, it only costs me fifteen dollars per month to keep my website online, which therefore, allows me to do business online. Now I know you're going to want to know if I'm making any money with my membership site, so I'm just going to say it upfront. I just launched my membership site on Friday, August 27th, 2010, so the fact that I'm not making any money with it yet is totally irrelevant at this point because I just launched it two days ago and I've been so busy writing an effective ad and adding more content to the site that I haven't had time to place the ad, but aside from that, if I'm only able to add two new members per month to my membership site who stay past the 7 day, one dollar trial period (which I've positioned myself in such a unique manner that I'm sure I'll get more than just one or two members per month), and I budget twenty five dollars for advertising, I will have a thirty four dollar profit in the first month alone. That's an 84% profit margin! By the end of month two, if I get two additional members who stay beyond the seven day trial period and I increase my advertising budget to thirty five dollars, my profit margin for month two will be 196% Now I know these are hypothetical numbers, the reason I have to use them is because I've only been in business for a week if you count the preparation time for the launch of the membership site, otherwise, if you don't count that time, than I've only been in business for two days, which obviously isn't enough time to get any members to join the site, but the point remains the same, starting a business does not have to be expensive.

Also, it is not the business or investment that is risky, it is the business owner or investor that is risky. When you drive a car, there is always the risk that you may get into an accident, but a risky driver is more likely to get into an accident. Same is true of investing and business building, a risky business owner will take a sound business and flush it down the toilet, but I wise business owner can take a run down, mismanaged business and restore it to greatness. Likewise, even the safest investments will loose significant value if the investor is uneducated in the field of investing and is, therefore, a risky investor, whereas even an investment with the highest perceived risk can make the investor very rich if the investor takes calculated risks and has a very specific exit strategy prior to entering the market.

Also, the only reason Robert has never released the name of his rich dad is because Rich Dad and his family specifically requested that Robert not give his name to the public because he didn't want the publicity for him or his family and the rest of Rich Dad's family has that same desire for wanting to remain nameless in the eyes of the public because they don't want the publicity, good or bad, therefore, your argument that Rich Dad, Poor Dad is fiction doesn't hold nearly as much water as you think it does.

My verdict about your article is that your pushing a conspiracy theory to trash Robert Kiyosaki. I would even venture a guess that you're a financial planner who specializes in selling mutual funds to your clients. If I turn out to be right, than you obviously have a financial interest in people turning against the Rich Dad company and therefore, you'll need to put a disclaimer at the end of the article stating that you have a financial interest in people believing what you want them to believe.


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sonde79 6 years ago from Canada Author

Hi Ben,

Thanks for taking the time to write such an informative comment.

Please note that I wrote a very favourable article about Kiyosaki concerning his cashflow quadrant concept, which I'm a fan of.

The above article does indeed take a skeptical and critical look at his work. I find it is important to look at matters from a variety of vantage points, even if they prove to be misguided. By listening to detractors, one can avoid the trap of putting the information on a pedestal and initiate critical thinking. It is important to apply the author's teachings as an individual since at the end of the day Robert Kiyosaki’s approach works for Robert Kiyosaki.

I am not a financial planner or anything of the sort. The article even mentions that I am a layman in these matters. I am however a businessperson as you are, and a skeptical one at that.


Yugi 6 years ago

I agree that everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. Everything and everyone has two side of a coin. I think we can best learn by looking both side. I state first that I enjoy his books but I will try to give informative comment. People choose what they want to learn and I learn a lot from his books. I'll make a point form since I learn faster that way:

1. Education is important, so is financial awareness

2. Know how to make financial statement

3. Don't afraid to try

4. Before doing investment, do your homework

5. Have multiple of advisers or mentors if you really want to invest

6. Money is happiness

7. Every has different ways to succeed, his way may not be suited with me nor you nor anyone else.

8. Always has your own winning plan that tailored to your own need and satisfaction

9. Do more research before you follow anyone advice for that matter

I have so many more but it is not fair i have to give advices for free... No just kidding, I think it is better to read the book and see things with open minded. If you want step by step reading material, go to gameFaqs, it got a lot of walkthroughs. If you want to learn something from the books, compare everything with your own experience and take what you seem valid.

Additional info, I only read "Rich kid smart kid" and for credibility purpose I post my email and Im a proud undergraduate student studying in electrical engineering with a scholarship. Im not bragging but I just wanted to say that knowledge is useful only when you don't take side. So Im not defending Robert, Im just saying he make a good reading material. It is stupid to invest if you only read his books and narrowing your sight. If you learn well by doing, then just do it. Sound like risky? Yes it should be, so my opinion that you ask someone who have higher literacy and love books, read it for you and simplify. Pay that guy or at least reward him so you know knowledge is not free. Thanks for your other side of the coin comment about Robert


Kris  5 years ago

Wow! I hope Donald Trump doesn't find out this guy is such a scam artist.


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KenWu 5 years ago from Malaysia

After going thru your hub and the one that you refer to, it seems that robert is not entirely truth in his story and work. Obviously, he is a good story teller, however, I couldn't agree more that he is indeed a motivational and inspirational speaker.


Que 5 years ago

He's not a scam artist, more of a hustler . Its the nature of his business . Don't hate the player hate the game.


John 5 years ago

You could do with some spelling lessons.


Allen 5 years ago

I wish my friend would have never given me the Rich Dad Poor Dad book. I sunk money and time reading his materials. I did learn some good life lessons:

How to no longer be content with my position in life.

How to instill greed in my life.

How not to pay down my house. Instead, keep adding more and more debt in the hopes of making more money.

How to invest my money with a hard money lender so that he can run away with it and I have to sue to get some of it back.

How to believe that money isn't real and toss into the wind of speculative investments.

How to believe in a guy who hides his investments and I just have to trust him that he really owns all of those rental houses, condos, apartments, etc.

How to tell my kids that they shouldn't do well in school because they can be rich like Gates and Dell. Why finish college when there are so many hundreds of young adults making millions. (Even though he only mentions a handful.)

How to not get a real job because I can get rich reading his books and buying his overly priced games.

How to add an extra zero to your pay stub. He admits - on You Tube video - that he added a zero to his pay stub in order to get one of his first houses.

...and many other lessons that I'm trying now to purge from my life.


James 5 years ago

Maybe you can help me understand something about his first book - Rich Dad Poor Dad. He talks about how his Rich Dad helping him learn so many life lessons when he was young. He gave up playing ball so that he could clean Rich Dad's store, etc. But then it switches to him after he was in the military. All of a sudden he doesn't know any of the techniques that he learn as a kid. It seems that he has forgotten everything and now needs to be retrained. That seems rather odd. How can you spend all of that time with a Rich Dad and then forget it all a few years later? It just didn't seem to match.


mark 5 years ago

allen your crazy


Gene Johnson 5 years ago

The point Mr. Kiyosaki,along with Mr.Trump,are saying American need a financial education. Our school from top to bottom does not teach financial education, just academic education. Whether a person derives his education from Rich Dad Education or someone else does not matter as long as it is a sound financial education. As you know, most employees almost blindly put their money into 401K retirement plans and will never have enough to completely retire on.


sniper012 5 years ago

Don't hate the player, hate the game? Really? Where are you from that people are still saying that in 2010? What RK does is absolutely a scam because he does it under the guise of legitimacy. To all of his supporters, I defy you to find me a single individual that you know personally, who has made money following his advice? RK makes money off of seminars, books, cd's/dvd's, his board game and that ridiculous school or class that he offers. I'll shut up if someone can prove me wrong.


KnezPedja23 5 years ago

Sorry but I had to laugh on your text.

I started to reed Kyosaki`s books when I was 17.

Today I`m 23, I have two companies and I`m financially free because I have passive income from one MLM business.

All that is because of way of thinking about money that I learned from my `Rich dad` Mr. Robert Kyosaki

PS: And I`m living in Bosnia... So you, who live in US... are just lazy. Start doing something, maybe you succeed to.


nf33 5 years ago

well for me.. all of you guys had said what you feel is right.. as for me.. I read books to up-lift my knowledge & to open my perception.. what I understand on mr. kiyosaki's book rich dad, poor dad.. is that it's an eye opener, specially to those who are employed for many years like me, but still @ the end of the day my balance sheet still negative.. but at least I have learned & understand what is real asset & liability is, more specially I don't want to follow the carrots (emotion & greed) in handling my decisions.. not anymore!! thanks Robert !!


nf33 5 years ago

well for me.. all of you guys had said what you feel is right.. as for me.. I read books to up-lift my knowledge & to open my perception.. what I understand on mr. kiyosaki's book rich dad, poor dad.. is that it's an eye opener, specially to those who are employed for many years like me, but still @ the end of the day my balance sheet still negative.. but at least I have learned & understand what is real asset & liability is, more specially I don't want to follow the carrots (emotion & greed) in handling my decisions.. not anymore!! thanks Robert !!


Milos 5 years ago

It seems that people forget that this is all about personal marketing. He sells quite good. And to tell you the truth, a lot of MBA professors (even the ones on Marketing) have zero experience in business and they tell you sorts of stories about success. I don't care if Mr.Kiosaki's stories are not real, they keep me motivated to look for the island of financial freedom. Am still sailing, though :))))


brains 5 years ago

To all those that see RK's book as dangerous. Just curious to know what advise you would give people reading these comments. Not bashing anyone. You are entitled to your opinion. I have read his books and listen to audio cd's. Just because the person that started this blog says RK's a scam doesn't make it a true fact. As far a his rich dad goes, did you ever consider that some people may not want to go public, whether be in books or TV, etc. People have private lives and all you can do is take the information useful to you from the book and toss the rest . There is nothing wrong to want to be a successful person. I yet have to come across one person who enjoys just making ends meet. JOB is "just over broke", and for those that love jobs, more power to you. We'll need people to flip burgers, take cash at the counters, wash cars, and all types of businesses we know. You make your own decision. Instead of looking for faults in someone's success, look to see what's happening in the real world. I have a few friends with the highest degrees. No job. Great going! Usually, when one finger is pointing to someone being accused, 4 fingers are pointing to the accuser.


The obvious 5 years ago

RK is a lot like Anthony Robbins. Both of them make a fortune out of doing the world public speaking course on success and motivation when the bulk of their success (at the beginning) has come from looking successful, otherwise no one would have bothered with them.

Who'd want to go to a "How to be Rich" speaker who only just made a couple of million in 10 years? Someone who made a $100 million in 10 years, now that's a different story. Same goes for Anthony Robbins.

They're successful now because they showed themselves to be successful then.


James 5 years ago

The content in this hub is absolute rubbish! I am a business consultant to a number of multi-national corporations and I often use analogies and illustrations to bring a point home to my clients. RK is simply employing this technique when he talks about his rich dad.

RK does not say you should not get an education, but rather, he says that the most important education is financial education. I agree. You have no idea how many corporations I consultant with who, despite their doctorates, have no idea how to run a business and are losing the company millions of dollars each year because of their ignorant decisions.

RK's position is clear: Go ahead and get an education if you feel you must, but always invest in your financial education. Do not settle for traditional education.

I use many of the techniques RK suggests in his books with the clients I work with and we have tremendous success! I have many personal friends I coach in business who have had success from using RK's techniques.

Of course, I am not saying that RK is the only god-send on the matter of financial education. Just as RK encourages people to diversify with their investment of money, I encourage people to diversify with their investment of time in the search for knowledge.


Anonymous 5 years ago

I'm a western middle class worker interested in providing in my family. I've bought RK's books and I have read of RK's critics on the Internet. I am also a fan of RK's works. I want to say that while the critics have many excellent points about the flaws in RK's works, I also believe that they misunderstand large partions of his messages that he intends to convey.

I believe his overall message to society is this:

1. Investing is a plan. Investing not a product. Investing is not a procedure. Investing is personal plan and is unique for each individual. The job of financial advisors is to assist the individual plan one's life - that is assist in the individual's investment plan.

2. To help oneself in today's society, one must improve one's financial education. You do not get a solid financial education from academia - high schools and universities do not teach how to survive in today's financial world.

These are the two overlying points that I have learned from RK. Get an education, use that education to help plan your future and then you finally establish businesses/purchase securites/carry out your plan. RK is not saying academic education is bad or you should forsake it, just that you won't get rich with an investment in academic education. RK does not give specific advice (only general advice) in his works because investment advice is personal advice - he doesn't know anything about your personal situation. The advice he does give seems risky because most people have a limited financial education to evaluate the feasibility and this results in dismissal as high risk advice. What RK does is outline the general framework you'd need to solve your own problems. I've come to understand that RK doesn't need to include specifics (other than his personal illustrations) because there are already countless other works that deal with specifics; his niche is to introduce concepts to the uninitiated.

Finally, some of RK's philosophies to finance includes understanding multiple viewpoints, investments are not risky the investor is risky, don't be afraid to take calculated risk, learn from mistakes as they give the superior lessons, having creativity to solve problems, and words have power. These philosophies conflict with many people's understanding and leads them to conclude that RK is risky, alarmist and fraudulent.

These are the lessons that I have learned from RK that I haven't learned (in the same degree) from other personal finance and self improvement works. I credit RK for introducing me into the world of finance, and that his education empowered me to pursue education at a level that I could not achieve without his introductory work.


Bob 5 years ago

If you go broke - go bid. It works for the banks.


Conny 5 years ago

I agree that Americans have gotten lazy.


Tong 5 years ago

Honestly the Robert kiyosaki's and them are simply proferring a different way of making a living. Look at the time it takes to do trial and error as a college drop-out (read: entreprenuer) until you start to get it right and maybe start making real money through Kiyosakis method - its more or less the same time it takes to finish your grauduate degree and immediately get hired and start earning mega bucks. Nonetheless whether you follow this method or that one it will still come down to the stuff you are made of as a person.

If you fail in school because of say laziness then you will probably not do well as an entreprenuer as well and so on. Otherwise Kudos to these guys for starting a movement and making millons for themselves!!

But I have a quick question for Mr. Kiyosaki. I am a college drop-out who has read all his books and have a lot of financial training. Can he hire me as his Financial Director over a Harvard Graduate??


Fred Ginger 5 years ago

To Ben Brentlinger:

You take ignorance, gullibility, and naivety to a new level. You are EXACTLY the kind of person Kiyosak counts on to pad his bank account. Ignorance is bliss, my friend.


Fred Ginger 5 years ago

To Milos:

He sells quite good? Maybe for a used car salesman. I mean it;s just amazing so many people fall for this TOTAL SCAM. Wow, how do you people tie your own shoes.


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KeithTax 5 years ago from Wisconsin

Another point to consider: The IRS will disallow a deduction of his $5,000 and $15,000 courses. I see folks walk in off the street with an IRS audit where the IRS disallowed the seminar as a deduction. Speaking with IRS auditors I was informed these seminars are not deductible anymore. Just my experience as an accountant with 27 years experience.


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Astra Nomik 5 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

I have to confess Kiyosaki does talk a lot of sense, as I have read the cashflow quadrant, and he does have some useful advice. Obviously he is out to maximise on what he does financially. I don't begrudge an American like that for the sense he offers, or the right to earn a buck or two. My partner works in finance and says he is a smart dude. Like people who have registered with google adense here on hub pages, some seem to expect money to automatically roll in by following everything to the letter. It takes a lot of persistence, and optimism. I know that is hard in cash strapped times like the times we live in now. But I would not give up on personal dreams. There are other finance gurus out there who offer good information, I am sure. Anyone with a niche knowledge in something tends to make lots of money in that area.


mark cabigon 5 years ago

YOu have a point and I agree with you.

You can work all your life and get a pension when you retire and live with it. and that is totally fine

I want to live in abundance and I will follow his teachings to the dot. Fiction or not his lessons prove to be very valuable.

I hope people wake up to the reality that you cannot work and slave all your life for somebody else. JObs are outsourced which is cheaper. GOOD LUCK to people who follows this hub.


Fuck YOU! 5 years ago

I love ROBERT & KIM KIYOSAKI!! They are great.. and so are their books! Stop being a hater!


Hear, Hear 5 years ago

Absolutely ridiculous that you have to pay so much for each of RK's crash courses to gain financial knowledge. One can receive ALL the knowledge RK offers for free at the local library, internet, etc as well as ask advice from professionals within your sphere of influence. All the education he professes to teach you for $50+K is also taught at Real Estate/Tax Schools and elsewhere for a fraction of the price. He is an "eye-opener" as some people have mentioned, both for the good and the bad. Good that he states that for the majority our financial knowledge is lacking, and to take control of your money, be an active part of it's growth - but horrid that he should be asking $4,990 per class to line his pockets for classes that can so easily be taken at reputable institutions for a fraction of his price. His are prices that true professionals and learned men like Warren Buffet could post but not da kine sweet-talking, Hawaiian dropout!


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networkandy 5 years ago from Connecticut

Let me put it this way. THose who want to be rich follow Robert Kiyosaki because he already made. It makes sense that people buy his stuff because it is all valueble information and I dont think the guy is really going to sell you on something that he has not tried yet.

The Rich dad might have been a made up character so what maybe he does not want to mention his rich dads identity.

The point is that he is teaching people according to his experience and I trust expirience over some body who is only book smart.

Book smart means nothing if you do not do what you read about.

Robert Kiyosaki is a great teacher and has alot of to give to the world.

Now I dont believe the guy 100% but If I want to make in business I must take at least 85% of what he teaches.

Who would you listen to .

Being over analitical is one of the biggest causes of failure said by Napoleon Hill in his book think and grow rich.

DOnt over analyze things so much.


john 5 years ago

hear,hear - any school+price suggestions?


DVD 5 years ago

Reading his book changed my perception on money and cash flow. The only catch I throughly found was that Rich Dad Corp. is registered with the banking and securities division. There are provisions that they cannot mentor on such as real estate laws, taxes and the small nitty gritty. What he teachs you is definetly true, but you can't let them do all the work if you want to learn to be rich depending in the country your living in. Got to study tax laws, interest rates, real estate laws, etc.


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Profit Miracle 5 years ago

I read the 2 rich bad poor dad book a nd I love it. I never took any of is training so I don't know if there are any good so I can comment on it. In the books there is good advice.


William Weishaupt 5 years ago

First off, to those of you whom have posted attributing your success to Kiyosaki's works... please, at least give yourselves some credit. You did that, not Kiyosaki, and I am certain he himself would point that out to you. That was the fruit of your own research and your own efforts and, if you look at your journey in retrospect, I think you'll find that Kiyosaki had less to do with it than you think he did.

Now, it would be easy to take what I am about to say about Kiyosaki as a criticism, but it isn't so don't. Kiyosaki doesn't make the bulk of his money the way he describes in his books. He makes his money selling books, seminars, tapes, and board games -- the content is just a well-marketed hook intended to get you to buy, buy, buy. He's an entrepreneur with an effective angle. More importantly, as he states frequently in his books, he is a marketer. You really can learn a lot from Kiyosaki about wealth creation, but that information is better gathered by studying his marketing techniques and the way he packages his products than by studying what is actually written in them. He is very good at what he does and, after you study these techniques, you'll start to see them in use everywhere you look.

Marketing is about grabbing your attention, getting you hooked into the product, and getting you to pay inordinate amounts for more products. It's an old game and it's one of the few that will actually make someone rich. Knowledge about marketing will make you far wealthier than knowledge about investing, at least in most regards.

In terms of substance, there isn't much and what is there is potentially harmful. The John T. Reed critique linked in the actual article is a must read. With that said, I personally would not call what Kiyosaki wrote to be a scam, primarily because he did not write it to tell people how to get rich. He offers ideas and preaches about financial education but his focus was on getting people to change the way they think about money. His books do that very well.

Proper patterns of thinking establish proper patterns of action and the path to riches ultimately originates in one's own head. You have to believe that it is possible to go from broke to wealthy before you can ever set forth to change that into a reality. I credit Kiyosaki with having opened my eyes to this fact.

All I will suggest is that you take the man with a heavy grain of salt. No matter how he packages what he has to say, he is trying to make a buck off of you. None of what he talks about in his books is new -- it's all been said many, many times before. As I said before, if you want to learn about the actual road to wealth creation from the man, don't study what he says and instead try to focus on how he says it.

That will take you a lot further than any outward advice he might have to offer.


Maria 5 years ago

I read Rich Dad Poor Dad book, and I learned to:

1 Pay myself first --- Now I have money in the bank

2 To pay the smallest dead first --- I got rid of several small credit cards and accounts, and now I am going after the bigger ones.

3 Not to spend money on dudad's and useless objects, and I save that money now.

4 I have invested in rental properties, and I now have small income from rentals.

I don't care if Robert's advice is fact or fiction or if rich dad ever existed, Robert's advise has helped me reevaluate my financial priorities and put me on the road toa better financial future. For that I am grateful.


Anthony Stone 5 years ago

After reading the first part of his book rich d poor d , i felt he made a mistake by saying his poor dad believed that the rich should pay more in taxes and take care of those who are less well off , a left of center idea ,and his rich dad felt taxes punish those who produce and reward those who don't produce , a right of center idea , IE.. poor dad was a hippie socialist , but rich dad was conservative business man when i read that , the first thought that entered my mind was , it will not matter if what he is saying is good or bad , left of center thinkers will not be able to deal with the insult and they will have a knee jerk response and he will have a huge target on him . He could have stayed less political , and he would have made a bigger impact with his fantastic book . I would hope the left could over look this .


Glenn 5 years ago

I think you are just sour grapes and jealous because people like me who never even finished high school have become millionaires from taking Robert's advice and you haven't... Those who can, do, and those who can't, criticize! Enough said?


Joe 5 years ago

i agree & disagree. Education is important i agree. i'm a business/accountant major. his book is good for people who already have some formal financial education. his book, "rich dad, poor dad" has personally helped me. i paid my 1st 2 years of college in CASH (no loans) using some of the principles that he taught...and i'll filed taxes and paid the IRS their cut LOL! his book is like a bible, you have to read between the lines, take everything in context,and apply it to your personally situation. i am not Robert, i am Joe. so i had to tweek the info to work for my particular situation. it's like cooking. he gives you a recipe. you follow it and tweek and make it taste good for you.

ps. my school registrar can vouch for me. i personally went in their with a checkbook and cut a check for the balance in full every freaking semester!! that 1 book changed my life! i am in the school library right now typing this right now. i have over $30,000 in available credit in my wallet and like $300 petty cash in my pockets!

THANKS ROBERT!! you helped make me a high roller LOL!!!


Joe 5 years ago

yes, there are many misspellings in the writing. i freestyled and wrote it in like 2 minutes without proofreading, so get over it LOL!! what i didn't do was misread my 1040 or my income statements, F U haters LOL!!

thanks robert!!! love ya!!


daniel 5 years ago

I went to his free educational seminar. It did smell fishy and how! I certainly did not buy his "discounted" $199 three-day class but went online after to check it out. Confess - education, damn it. Used to do my homework they so much disprove of.

What can I say? He is controversial and that is exactly what I expected. It very well may be that the drill they provide at those classes may help to learn a few tricks how to make some quick money on investing in foreclosures, if you are smart and active.

So, Robert is not a total scam and he knows very well that he is walking the "grey area" about the borderline. He is smart to never give advises that would be against the law or leading straight to failure. Although, the analysis shows that some of them do; some do not exactly follow the tax law, at least not any more.

He is a great marketer and that is what sold him out during the seminar.

What looked fishy:

1. Very well set up-selling scheme. The gentleman doing the presentation was an artist. Don't know about all the wealth he was bragging about; after all it is what he said ... He talked so good. If he is also an investor at the same time ... well, maybe but he sounded more like an actor. He was pulling and pulling the audience to the back where they were happily accepting your money. All classical salesmen tricks, like "Hurry up, the free/discounted stuff will not last forever but we still have some there for you".

Later on I learned from internet that the three-day thing will be another teaser to get you into a $5,000 - 14,000 thing, etc. They even make you request a higher limit on your credit card as a homework (!) so you could put those expenses on it! No, Robert and his guys are good, give them that.

2. Some arguments were for not - how should I put it - wise people. You invest or find an investor to help out a bad credit broke lady who has a dream of living at her own place. Who wins? A pop-up slide! Everyone ... the cash lender, the investor (you), the person who got the house - everyone. Here we got to the education point.

3. The presenter made a lot of fun of high school and college education and he has got a lot of sympathy in the audience. However, people with education - just watch the facial expressions - were confused. Me too ... I do not know about finances but I have education in a different field. When someone get richer it cannot be everyone and always. It can only be someone at the expense of the others or many for a very short period of time. The last Wall Street inflicted crash that Robert himself foresaw and exposed is a living proof.

So, they may teach you a few tricks how to get away with a few things. Everybody who goes for it should have no illusion. And as much education as possible to know where you enter the murky waters.

4. The prices of the workshops go down. A few years ago that was $499, or so. Now he sells for $199 a piece. Taking the Wall-mart way, are we?

5. Lastly, the funny part. The invitation promised a free CD with the book excerpts and other valuable information. Guess ... No such thing. Tried to call - just for fun - the number they call you from to remind (twice!) to come to the seminar - the machine. E-mailed the address on the website - customerservice@richdadlearntoberich.com.

"Delivery to the following recipients failed"!

Come on, guys. These are the symptoms of ... no integrity?


AnonCeo 5 years ago

I am an entrapeneur. Hope I spelled that right. I signed up for his coaching and the first guy I spoke with said that I was already doing what I would be taught. We passed pleasant remarks and said bye. I got another call by someone else that also sounded good and professional who said that there was one guy who was like god of the coaches. I said OK to speaking with him and he called me a few hours later. He was very nice on the phone but after speaking with him, I looked at my calender and realized that I could not take the time needed because I have to go to several 3rd world countries for business and ministry.

I was told that was fine and they will reemburse me. I will have to wait and see if they are prompt or negligent.

I am in my 30th year, never go to the office, made about $1.5M for the last few years so I'm well off and I am neither a scumbag or a theif.

I have a friend that is Roberts Italian clone. He is a good guy but never\ever admits to being wrong. I have to laugh.

Education for me was a BS in Chem. Guidance screwed up and said I was 3 credits short. I beleive that Entrapeneurs are born and College taught me how to learn.

So far his ops are on the up and up. It's the government that should throwin the towel! Assholes


John 5 years ago

The more i read negative comments about Robert Kiyosaki, the more i understand the 10/90 law. 10 percent of people own 90 percent of the money. In this case, 10 percent of people understand Robert's message and the reason he always writes books with new information and the same old "own assets not liabilities. increase your financial IQ" preachings, while 90 percent of people don't understand because they want the quick answer.

The 'Rich Dad' books were NOT supposed to give you a complete blueprint on how to start your financial journey. That's up to YOU. There are several ways to become financially free. There are a lot of risks in some, while there are very little in others. Robert's job is to inspire you to educate yourself and to invest according to your needs. The thing with Robert is that he can never win.

He could write a book containing blueprints of investing, and some would be risky. People will say "Well that's too risky. I want none of that." Or, he could write a book containing simple investing strategies, and people will say "Well that's junk. I'm an experienced investor and I don't like this simple advice. So you see where Robert's problem lies.

Also, there is a problem i have with Rich Dad Poor Dad and the people reading it. Tons of people will not think and say "Well that's outdated advice." Well, yeah! It was written in 1997. The rules of money and investing have changed since then. That's why he writes new books.

Another problem I have is people saying "I hate Robert because he's against college education, and I'm a phD..." If they carefully read Rich Dad Poor Dad, they would have read the story where people got disappointed at Robert when he told them to take accounting classes. So, Robert isn't against formal education, he just doesn't like that schools are not teaching financial fundamentals. After reading that little story, I have educated myself in a lot of areas. I payed for those classes even in real estate. It's better to have professionals teach you then some guy who writes stuff in a free blog or website. He also said "get a team of people who know more than you," which i am currently doing now.

Now, for the 'scam' part. The free workshops which lead into a bigger workshop which leads to advanced workshops where people pay thousands of dollars they didn't want to but did and blame the mentor/salesman. First off, those who think they will learn everything in a free seminar in 2-3 hours are wrong! You will learn one or two beneficial things if you are new to investing. You DONT have to pay for the workshops if you don't want to, or can't afford it. (Remember how responsibility works?).

Since i was new to stocks and bonds and 401K's, i attended a free seminar in stocks. The presenter/salesman talked about how you can manage your own 401K's and how you can take your money from one stock to another stock based on increases in your 401K. Experienced people might say "well, i knew that," but for me, it was beneficial.

I did attend the real estate 3-day seminar. Again, that was beneficial for me at my level. I learned a little bit about a lot. And no, you will NOT learn everything there is to know about real estate in 3-days. No, i did not pay over 9,000 for an advanced course. (Remember responsibility?)I might in the future, or I might not. Oh, and the presenter, the Guide To Real Estate book (which is 300+ pages) and the little 'Get Rich' workbook, and Robert Kiyosaki all say the same thing. Hire a lawyer to review your contracts and future business deals before making them!!!!! (Remember responsibility?)

Now about Robert's personal life, I do believe 'Rich Dad' lives, but I think he doesn't want his identity revealed. And who can blame him? Look at all these conspiracy theorists wanting to track him down.

Finally, Robert is NOT against being an employee. If you love your job, then great. Just educate yourself financially so you can use your paycheck to get assets at your comfortable level.

So there is my summary of why 10 percent of people understand Robert Kiyosaki's teachings (and how some of them started their own businesses)while the 90 percent run around like rats wanting the quick answer and blame Robert for not writing a complete blueprint in a book for them.

Replies welcome!


Anonimous 5 years ago

I believe rich dad is Donald Trump ;)


Elaine 5 years ago

You should proofread your work!


Dan 5 years ago

John,

I feel sorry for all of those Robert Kiyosaki has suckered. Can any of you rich dad sycophants explain to me why Kiyosaki has failed to achieve standing in the Forbes 400 richest Americans? This article pulls no punches, as warranted. Any reputable financial adviser will point out the flawed logic and pure fabrications Kiyosaki pulls out his @$$. Someone please explain to me how Rich Dad could be Donald Trump; take into account the fact that Donald Trump is just 1 yr older than Kiyosaki. Everything anyone needs to know about 401Ks, 509s, mutual funds, or living trusts can be found online or at their local library. If your wanting to get rich fast on Kiyosaki's program, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will be burned. Building wealth isn't so much just about business schemes but is more importantly about life style changes. Who honestly believes that the wealthy become wealthier by writing checks? Kiyosaki is a two bit con man, at best. There's nothing Kiyosaki can write that can't be referenced on investopedia.com without the same overhead.


Piglet 5 years ago

For those who LOVE or HATE Robert Kiyosaki....

I hope you are all speaking from your 'own' experience because what I am about to tell you is my own experience and I have DONE it.

I read Rich Dad Pool Dad in year 2001 - the lowest point of my life. I got laid off from my job on my birthday, my 401k went out the window along with my job, my relationship was cancerous (talking about the wrong partner), I downsized 2 times coz I can't afford to pay my rent. Rich Dad Poor Dad is an introduction of my awakening. The concept is real. I looked at all the 'Stuff - aka Dudads' that I had, they don't do S%*# for me... all I had was liabilities. I ventured into many things, life was turning around in 2004 and then I met my husband. We went to a couple of live event featuring The Kiyosakis. I was intrigued by what he has to say. His message is different from many other real estate 'gurus'. His message is Financial Education and his game is Cash Flow (not only his board game but his game in life). In 2006, my husband and I took up Rich Dad Coaching which cost $4500. At the moment, we were living pay check by pay check due to many personal issues in life. But we manage to pay for that.... which is THE BEST $4500 I ever spent. For some twist of faith, although we were eager to test our wings in the investing game, we didn't make any real estate purchase (both investment and personal resident). In contrary, we sold all the real estate holdings that we had at the highest possible price. If anyone must say, we are lucky but I believe we improved our luck coz we made an educated guess.

I spent the last 10 years studying real estate, Robert Kiyosaki's Philosophy and other successful people's thoeries, Robert Kiyosaki's model is by far the best that I came across. Again, his name of the game is Cash Flow. Remember we spent $4500 on Rich Dad Coaching program. We just bought our fist apartment building this year. We made our coaching tuition back within 30 days. And this apartment building will keep feeding us thousands of dollars each month for the rest of our lives or if we want to sell. The problem for me is, I am already bored and ready for the next project. But this time, the project will be 10 times bigger and worth millions more. The latest technique that Kiyosaki and his team are teaching is 'the infinite' return model and that's what I am working on.

I know it's very difficult for many people to see and understand, but the opportunity is in your mind, not your eyes. We were taught by our society 'go out to get a job' and 'climb the corporate ladder'. I only had worked for one corporation and that's the one who fired me on my birthday. However, that' the best birthday I ever had - it changed my life and change the way I see everything. I would never be working on a multi-million dollar real estate acquisition if I have stayed in the corporate world and worked for somebody. I would never be a proud housing provider today if I have not studied Robert Kiyosaki and his philosophy. In fact, my husband and I will be joining the Kiyosaki and his team on a cruise next year to learn and hang out. Yup, it's a huge price tag - about $10K. But first, our apartment pays for it, and I am confident that I will make every dollar back at no time.

I am not suggesting that you should spend thousands on anything or anyone, but choose who you are getting advises from wisely. If you have a poor people's mentality, you will likely stay poor. EnRich your life, that’s the only one you got.


Robert Pummer profile image

Robert Pummer 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

Good ideas work. Bad ideas cost you money. Learn to know the difference.


Nicholas R 4 years ago

With the obvious grammer and spelling errors, I would say that explains everything. You don't buy his books and CD's then expect to just "get rich". You have to actually DO WORK! If you need so much guidance that you can't tailor the knowledge to fit your life then you need more help than RK offers to begin with. Try getting an education then reading his books. Nothing is guaranteed in life. All entreprenuer's will tell you that. They will also tell you that not every idea will work and certainly not on the first try. If you have given up after the first LAZY try didn't work, that my friend is why you have not succeeded. This is the common sense that SUCCESSFUL entreprenuers possess. Do you think RK would be where he is if the first try didn't work or the first person he listened to told him he wouldn't succeed and he gave up? Don't play the blame game, take responsibility for your life and actions. It doesn't matter whether his "rich dad" is real, imaginary, or dead. What matters is the level of energy you are willing to exert in your own life to make it better. Blaming RK only shows how irresponsible you are with your own life.


Tito 4 years ago

One thing in particular that is bugging the hell out of me. It is said that a college education helps increase your earning potential. This is not 100% true. It can help increase your earning potential AFTER you spend time working in another field that underpays you, as is true for the MAJORITY, and IF you are ever find a job in the field your studied that is willing to pay you the projected salary from the beginning. I know that the "statistics" speak one thing, but the evidence and first-hand accounts of the employed speak a completely different story. Also, if you wish to be an employee, with a glass ceiling, and limited time, then by all means, why not go to college. But, if you wish to be your own boss and make near limitless income, with near limitless time leverage, then college is not the answer.


James B 4 years ago

I would just like to say to those who follow Robert K that it doesn't matter if he lied about somethings did his books not show you the way or give you hope. I'm 30 and started reading his books at 21 I have a business and also invest in the Forex markets so it was a help to me. I've always lived by the method don't look for cause but strategy so if it works for you do it if not leave it alone thank you and have a great day.


hotx6 3 years ago

his intention of writing books is to educate people, especially those without financial background on how money SHOULD work for them. The style of writing targets the bigger population by using simple words to understand complex ideas as if explaining to a child - thus the story of both dads. So i think both dads being fictitious or not doesn't really matter as this book helped a lot of people not only me.

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