When I first discovered Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I was well into the last year of my residency. I couldn’t put it down, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it completely changed my life. It was also probably the first non-medical book I had read since I was introduced to the works of Malcolm Gladwell during medical school.
The ideas presented in Rich Dad, Poor Dad aren’t particularly profound or fancy, but the concepts were entirely new to me. This is especially true of how the book taught me to think of money not as an end-goal, but as a tool for wealth creation.
Up until that point, I had thought that all I needed to do was to find the right job and I’d be set. After all, this was exactly the way I’d thought about getting into the right medical school, the right residency, and the right fellowship (haha).
But after reading this book, I realized that the concept of trading time for money just isn’t the smartest way to go through life. Your money should work for you—not the other way around. The author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, believes precisely that. Here are some of his key concepts:
- Being rich = freedom (As you’ll notice, this is a common theme in my blog)
- Rich people make money work for them, while most everyone else works for money
- Financial education is a key to success.
In regards to that last concept, Kiyosaki has a lot to say. For example, I just love this quote from the first chapter:
“Most people never study the subject [of money]. They go to work, get their paycheck, balance their checkbooks, and that’s it. On top of that, they wonder why they have money problems. Few realize that it’s their lack of financial education that is the problem.”
More key concepts:
- Assets are things that produce cash-flow. You become wealthy by accumulating assets.
- Wealth comes from having enough assets, which generate enough income to cover all of your expenses. That way, there is enough left over to invest in more assets.
A common criticism of this book is that while it is inspiring, by the time you reach the end of the book, you have no idea what the first step is. That’s actually fine with me. I believe everything starts with inspiration. What separates those that are successful from those that are not is that the successful people take that inspiration—and then they act on it. They do not let fear and never-ending analysis paralyze them (Kiyosaki calls this “analysis paralysis”).
This book awakened in me an almost insatiable appetite for financial books. Soon after reading it, I found myself tearing through book after book on personal finance, learning and absorbing all that I possibly could. As a result, I learned so much more than I would have otherwise. If nothing else, that alone is worth the price of the book.