Lessons from Rich Dad, Poor Dad

I recently finished “reading” (it was a audiobook 😊) Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki and was positively influenced. The book is an “easy read” / “easy listen” and compiles some easy lessons that are applicable for most. 

In this book Mr. Kiyosaki tells a story of two father figures he had in his childhood, that had two diametrical philosophies towards finances:

Poor Dad, his actual father, believed in studying hard and getting good grades then finding a well-paying job. Poor Dad followed his own advice, yet never did do well financially. 

Rich Dad, his best friends father, also believed in hard work, but he believed that financial education, learning how money works and how it can work for you is the key to financial success. Rich Dad was a highschool dropout, but eventually became a millionaire by putting the “power” of money to work for him.

Poor Dad vs. Rich Dad

The book as well as Mr. Kiyosaki’s website ( contrast the two philosophies well. The following table gives a good summary of the two main figures in Mr. Kiyosaki’s life:

Poor DadRich Dad
“My house is an asset.”“My house is a liability.”
“I can’t afford it.”“How can I afford it?”
“The reason I’m not rich is because I have you kids.”“The reason I must be rich is because I have you kids.”
“I’m not interested in money.”“Money is power.”
“When it comes to money, play it safe – don’t take risks.”“Learn how to manage risk.”
“Pay myself last.”“Pay myself first.”
Believed that the company you worked for or the government should take care of your financial needs.Believed in financial self-reliance and financial responsibility.
Focused only on academic literacy.Focused on financial literacy as well as academic literacy.
Learned only the vocabulary of academia.Learned the vocabulary of finance – “Your words are the most valuable tools you have.”
“I work for my money.”“My money works for me.”
Thought that making more money would solve his financial problem.Knew that financial education was the answer to his financial problems: “It’s not how much money you make that’s important – it’s how much money you keep and how long you keep it.”


One of the things that Mr. Kiyosaki illustrates well is the difference in assets and liabilities. By doing so he shows some of the pitfalls that most people fall for when going through financial decisions. 

The author also stresses the importance of financial education. Something that is also dear on my heart. I am thinking about putting together some teaching material for younger people; to help them avoid making big financial mistakes early on.

Mr. Kiyosaki stresses the idea of collecting and acquiring cash generating assets to cover the monthly expenses and thereby becoming financial independent! Importantly he (emphatically) does not count the primary home as an asset, which is something I fell for.

Here his definition of assets and liabilities:


An asset is something that has value, that produces income or appreciates, and has a market where the asset can easily be bought and sold:

  • Assets produce income
  • Assets appreciate
  • Assets do both

Mr. Kiyosaki lists four cash producing assets:

  1. Paper Assets: this includes stocks, bonds, mutual funds retirement accounts
  2. Commodities: precious metals (such as gold, silver, etc.), food (grains, corn, coffee, etc.) and raw materials (oil, gas, etc.)
  3. Business: cash generating businesses, either self-started or invested in (this does not include the job you work at)
  4. Real Estate: rental properties, capital gains from sale of property (the primary home does not count!)


Simply put: liabilities are things that take money out of your pocket because of the costs associated with them.

Common liabilities include:

  • Cars
  • Vacations
  • Clothes
  • Eating out
  • Unused Subscriptions

Get out of the Rat Race

He urges the reader to get out of the rat race and become financially independent by focussing ones efforts and money ond increasing one’s assets with cash generating opportunities. He also mentions a Cash Flow Game that he devised to teach his principles in game form.

Lucky for us, the game is free online and can be played with other people.

Casflow – The Game

In this game the players are stuck in the rat race, trying to stumble (by rolling the dice) upon small or big opportunities to get out of the rat race. The game helps to think through what a good opportunity is in the players current financial situation.

The players get assigned random jobs and situation with a set of predefined situations at a beginning.

I was a Janitor with a 1’600 USD salary per month and expenses of 950 USD/ month. I had a mortgage, a car loan, credit cards and retail debt, no assets and a long way to go.

At the beginning the rat race (round circle area on the board) gives different opportunities or new life situations to the player.

It’s fun game! If you want to play together sometimes – send me a line!

Give me some feedback

Do you sometimes feel like you are stuck in the rat race? What do you do to change it?

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