Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki, was the book that completely changed my life. I read it about two years ago. It was the first book I had read in about 15 years. Before that, the only book I had read was a very techie, nerdy TCP/IP Illustrated book. Needless to say, I was not a big reader and when I did read, it was mostly about computer stuff. I heard about the Rich Dad Poor Dad book while watching a YouTube video. The speaker said that this is a must read book. He was talking about the book from a real estate perspective. I was interested in learning more about real estate, so I figured I would give it a shot.
The book told the story of Robert, as a kid, having what he considered two fathers. He referred to his biological father as his poor dad. His poor dad was a hard working teacher who focused on education, finding a job, and saving for retirement. His other father, the rich dad, was actually the father of his childhood best friend. His rich dad took Robert under his wing teaching him about money and business. The rich dad was an entrepreneur, building businesses and working for himself. The poor dad always worked for someone else and never for himself. He was content with putting a little bit of money out of each paycheck away for retirement. This book guides you through Robert’s take on how each father looked at making money. The poor dad, taking the safe route, and the rich dad taking the chances. The poor dad saving money and the rich dad investing money. Robert did a great job explaining the two dads’ different approaches to wealth and money.
Before I read this book, I was the poor dad. I was working two jobs, one a day job where I was a computer scientist for about 20 years, and the other my own business. I thought that having my own business was what a rich dad would do. Though this is true, working in the business and owning the business are two different things. My business equated to me working for an hourly rate under a different business name than my day job. I just happened to own this business. The problem with what I was doing was that I owned a job, not a business. If you have to work for every dollar received, you have a job, not a business. It was obvious I had a second job. The business name was simply there for legal and liability purposes. This book opened my eyes to this.
This book also introduced me to the phrase, pay yourself first. I had never heard this before so it really caught my interest. Simply put, before you pay any of your bills, or spend any money on luxuries, you pay yourself first with money for what’s important. Robert suggested, before anything else, you put a percentage of your money into savings, investing, and charity. I like to refer to these three areas of money as buckets of money. Examples of putting your money in the Savings Bucket include: your typical certificates of deposit (CDs); savings accounts; or what Dave Ramsey would refer to as your Emergency Fund. The Investment Bucket includes things like: the stock market; real estate; or even yourself. The Charity Bucket includes things like: tithing at church; donating to a special event; or helping a family in need.
Pay yourself first is about putting your money in these buckets before anything else. But how much should you put into these buckets? The answer is as much as you can. A great goal is 10% in each bucket. Yeah, I know..that means you pay yourself 30% of your money before you even pay a single bill or buy a single luxury. I understand that is a lot, and I can’t say that I even do that. But what I can say is that you have to have a plan to give to each of these buckets. Plan to put a certain percentage of your money into each one of these…even if it is just 1%. As my mentor Jim Rohn would say, “it’s not about the amount…it’s about the plan.” As you make more money, increase the percentages. Simple enough!!!
Financial IQ was also a term discussed in the book. We all know that IQ is a way to measure how smart someone is. It actually stands for Intelligence Quotient. Wow, look how smart I am. LOL…not!!! But I think we all can figure out what is meant by “IQ” here. The other part is Financial, which is simply anything and everything money. So, Financial IQ is about understanding and being smart with your money. I have to admit that my Financial IQ was that of about a 6 year old kid. I would get money, and I would spend it. As an adult, I figured as long as my bills are paid on time, I am really good. Well, boy was I lost.
Robert explains that there are Five Financial IQs:
1. Making more money;
2. Protecting your money;
3. Budgeting your money;
4. Leveraging your money;
5. Improving your financial information.
Needless to say, this was all news to me. I guess I knew I needed to make more money, protect my money, and budget my money, but I didn’t have any plans. I wasn’t doing anything proactive to improve in any of these areas. And forget about the last two on the list, number four and five. That was not even in my realm of understanding. I needed to learn more.
These were a few of the valuable things I learned from Rich Dad Poor Dad. I also learned that the rich don’t work for money and that it is best to work for yourself. You also need to work to learn, not work to make money. The more you learn, the greater your odds of making money. This book is full of valuable lessons and ideas on how to change your view of money and how to make it.
Reading this book showed me that I could learn from what others experience and that I can also enjoy it. Rich Dad Poor Dad is one of those books that is a pleasure to read and teaches valuable lessons. Before I read this book, I hated to read. I was so pleasantly surprised by what I learned in this book that it made me hungry to read more. This book launched me into so many other books that lead me down a road of self improvement in all aspects of my life. I initially read this book because I thought I would learn about real estate. Little did I know it would start me on a new path. A path of reading, learning, and self improvement that would not only change my financial future, but my overall happiness as well.
Since reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, I have read over 120 books in the last two years. I have read books on: happiness; money; real estate; efficiency; health; and just about every other type of self improvement available. I don’t know where I would be if I never read this one book that changed my life. If you are not a fan of reading, I definitely understand. But if you want a great first book to start with, give Rich Dad Poor Dad a try. See if you can identify with the rich dad or the poor dad. Try and find the parallels in your life and see if you are happy with where you are. I think you may light a fire within you that you did not know even existed. I know I sure did!!!
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