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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a book by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Letcher, first published in 2001.  It tells a story about how Robert Kiyosaki had both a rich dad and a poor dad growing up in Hawaii.  His poor dad (his real father) worked all his life as an educator only to end up broke.  His rich dad (his friend's dad) was a ruthless entrepreneur that built his empire and became one of the riches men in hawaii.   Throughout the book he has lessons of financial advice and "secrets" that only the rich know.

It's been a best selling book in the past and is still being sold today.  When I first read this book in 2003, it changed the way I looked at money.  This book has had its share of critics (since it was a best seller) from real estate professionals and others but you can't deny some of the lessons this book teaches.

The Rat Race
The Rat Race as this book introduced to me, is described as a the life that a "poor" person leads.  The term is used to describe an endless cycle of getting money and spending it, then needing more and spending that.  In a rat race, rat is stuck in a course/maze/treadmill that is never ending.  The rat goes faster only to end up in the same spot.  Similarly, a working adult earns their money from a 9-5 job, spends their money on mortgages, car payments, food, and other bills, then needs to get more money.  Then if an individual gets more money, they spend more money.

I Save as Much as I Did When I Was 10 Years Old
Over the years, I've earned more and I've spent more...
  • When I was 10 years old, I got an allowance of about $5 / week.  I saved some of it some weeks and other weeks I spent it on comic books.  That's it.. no other expenses. 
  • When I was in high school I got a $20 / week allowance.  I spent it on video games, food when out with friends, and watching movies.   I don't think I saved too much in high school.
  • When I was in college I got a huge increase in income, getting about $100 / week from a part time job.  I spent it on video games, food, movies, cell phone bill, high tech fancy gadgets, gas.  In college I was still living at home, so I probably save a little.
  • After college to present I got another huge increase in income getting as much as about $1K / week from a full time job and more.  I spent it on food, cell bill, gym, gadgets, car payment, mortgage, ... and so on.   Currently, I'm pretty much living paycheck to paycheck.
I've went from getting $5 / week to $1K / week and I'm still wanting more.  As I get more, I want more... I'm convinced it will never end. 

General Lessons
The book has a lot more lessons throughout like Assets vs Liabilities and surrounding yourself with people you want to be like (the rich).  A lot of critics complain about the details in how he made his money.  The book isn't about how he made his money though, it's about the lessons he learned.  It's about the general theories and mindset it takes to get to being rich.

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