56. Rich Dad Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki)

Rich Dad Poor Dad: Key Lessons on Financial Freedom and Wealth Building


“Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki is a groundbreaking personal finance book that has influenced millions of readers since its original publication in 1997. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the special commemorative edition of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” continues to inspire individuals to rethink their approach to money, investing, and financial independence. In this blog post, we will delve into the core concepts of this influential book, exploring its key lessons, impact on financial literacy, and why it remains relevant today.


1. Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki is a well-known entrepreneur, investor, and author, best recognized for his influential book “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” His work has had a profound impact on personal finance education, inspiring millions of people worldwide to rethink their approach to money, investing, and achieving financial independence. In this post, we’ll delve into Robert Kiyosaki’s background, his philosophies, and his contributions to the world of personal finance.

Robert Kiyosaki
Robert Kiyosaki

1) Early Life and Education

Robert Toru Kiyosaki was born on April 8, 1947, in Hilo, Hawaii. He comes from a diverse background, with Japanese-American heritage, which has influenced his global perspective on business and finance. Kiyosaki attended Hilo High School and later enrolled at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, graduating in 1969 as a deck officer with a Bachelor of Science degree. He also received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

2) Military Service and Early Career

Following his graduation, Kiyosaki served as a helicopter gunship pilot during the Vietnam War, earning an Air Medal for his service. After leaving the military, he transitioned into the business world. His early career included stints with companies like Xerox Corporation, where he worked as a salesman, honing his skills in sales and marketing.

3) Entrepreneurial Ventures

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Kiyosaki embarked on his entrepreneurial journey. He founded a company that brought to market the first nylon and Velcro “surfer” wallets, which gained significant popularity. However, despite early success, the business eventually faced challenges, providing Kiyosaki with valuable lessons about business management and financial resilience.

4) The Birth of “Rich Dad Poor Dad”

Kiyosaki’s breakthrough came with the publication of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” in 1997. The book is based on the contrasting financial philosophies of his two “dads”—his biological father (Poor Dad) and his best friend’s father (Rich Dad). Poor Dad, a well-educated man, believed in traditional employment and saving money, while Rich Dad, a successful entrepreneur, emphasized financial education, investing, and building assets.

2. The Two Dads: Contrasting Philosophies

At the heart of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” are the two father figures in Kiyosaki’s life: his biological father (Poor Dad) and the father of his best friend (Rich Dad). Poor Dad, a well-educated man with a stable job, represents traditional financial advice: get a good education, work hard, and save money. In contrast, Rich Dad, a successful entrepreneur with less formal education, teaches Kiyosaki about investing, entrepreneurship, and the importance of financial intelligence. These contrasting philosophies set the stage for the book’s key lessons.

Rich Dad Poor Dad
Rich Dad Poor Dad

3. The Importance of Financial Education

One of the central themes of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is the critical importance of financial education. Kiyosaki argues that schools do not teach the essential skills needed to achieve financial independence. Instead of focusing solely on academic and professional achievements, he emphasizes the need for financial literacy—understanding how money works, how to invest, and how to manage personal finances effectively.

4. Assets vs. Liabilities

Kiyosaki introduces a fundamental concept: the difference between assets and liabilities. According to Rich Dad, assets put money in your pocket, while liabilities take money out. This simple yet powerful distinction helps readers understand the importance of acquiring assets such as real estate, stocks, and businesses that generate passive income, rather than accumulating liabilities that drain financial resources.

5. The Rat Race and How to Escape It

The book vividly describes the “rat race,” a cycle where individuals work hard to earn money, only to spend it on expenses and liabilities, thus remaining trapped in a perpetual cycle of financial struggle. Kiyosaki emphasizes the need to break free from this cycle by focusing on building assets and creating multiple streams of income, ultimately achieving financial freedom.

6. The Role of Mindset in Financial Success

Kiyosaki stresses the importance of having a positive and proactive mindset towards money. He believes that financial success starts with changing one’s attitude towards wealth and recognizing opportunities for financial growth. This mindset shift is crucial for adopting the habits and behaviors that lead to financial independence.

7. The Value of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a recurring theme in “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” Kiyosaki encourages readers to think like entrepreneurs, seeking out opportunities to create and invest in businesses. He argues that owning a business not only provides financial rewards but also offers the freedom and flexibility that traditional employment cannot.

Rich Dad Poor Dad
Rich Dad Poor Dad

8. The Power of Passive Income

Another key lesson from the book is the importance of generating passive income—money earned with little to no effort on the part of the individual. This includes income from investments, rental properties, and other assets. Kiyosaki explains how passive income can provide financial stability and freedom, allowing individuals to live life on their own terms.

9. Overcoming Fear and Taking Risks

Kiyosaki addresses the fear of failure and risk-taking, which often prevent people from pursuing financial opportunities. He encourages readers to overcome their fears and take calculated risks, emphasizing that failure is a part of the learning process. By embracing risks and learning from failures, individuals can achieve greater financial success.

10. The Impact of Taxes and Corporations

The book also discusses the impact of taxes and the benefits of owning corporations. Kiyosaki explains how the wealthy use tax laws to their advantage, reducing their tax burden through investments and business ownership. He advocates for understanding and leveraging these financial strategies to build and protect wealth.

11. Lifelong Learning and Continuous Improvement

Finally, Kiyosaki emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning and continuous improvement. He encourages readers to constantly seek knowledge, adapt to changing financial landscapes, and invest in their personal and professional development. This commitment to growth is essential for maintaining financial success over the long term.


“Rich Dad Poor Dad: 20th Anniversary Edition” remains a timeless guide for anyone seeking to improve their financial literacy and achieve financial independence. Robert Kiyosaki’s insights challenge conventional wisdom, offering a fresh perspective on money management, investing, and the importance of financial education. By applying the lessons from “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” readers can take control of their financial future and work towards achieving true financial freedom.


What is the main message of “Rich Dad Poor Dad”?
The main message is the importance of financial education and the difference between assets and liabilities, advocating for the acquisition of assets to achieve financial independence.

Who are the two dads in the book?
The two dads are Kiyosaki’s biological father (Poor Dad), who represents conventional financial wisdom, and his best friend’s father (Rich Dad), who teaches him about wealth building and investing.

What is the rat race?
The rat race is a cycle where individuals work hard to earn money but spend it on expenses and liabilities, preventing them from achieving financial freedom.

Why is financial literacy important according to Kiyosaki?
Financial literacy is crucial because it equips individuals with the knowledge to manage money, invest wisely, and build wealth, which are not typically taught in traditional education systems.

What is the difference between an asset and a liability?
An asset puts money in your pocket, while a liability takes money out of your pocket.

How does Kiyosaki suggest escaping the rat race?
By focusing on building assets that generate passive income and creating multiple streams of income, rather than relying solely on traditional employment.

What role does mindset play in financial success?
A positive and proactive mindset towards money is essential for recognizing opportunities, taking risks, and adopting the behaviors needed for financial independence.

Why does Kiyosaki advocate for entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship provides financial rewards, freedom, and flexibility that traditional employment cannot offer.

What is passive income and why is it important?
Passive income is money earned with little to no effort, such as from investments or rental properties. It provides financial stability and freedom.

How can one use taxes and corporations to their advantage?
By understanding and leveraging tax laws, individuals can reduce their tax burden through investments and business ownership, protecting and growing their wealth.

How can one start building assets according to “Rich Dad Poor Dad”?
Kiyosaki suggests starting by increasing financial literacy, saving money to invest, and seeking opportunities in real estate, stocks, and businesses that generate passive income.

Today’s Quiz

Question: According to “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” what is the key difference between assets and liabilities?

Answer: An asset puts money in your pocket, while a liability takes money out of your pocket.

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