-Rich Dad, Poor Dad reminds us that financial education matters.
Growing up in a relatively wealthy family, I once thought that I’d easily become rich by age 30; I am not (though I just turned 27). And I don’t see that happening soon either. Life ain’t easy. However, I have inexplicable confidence that I could be by 40. Readers could scoff, but reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki last year gave me insight into the basics of money and the importance of “financial literacy”, which boosted my interest and confidence. And I believe I can start from there. The book also hints at the fact that “it is never too late to be financially educated” and “you should never stop financially educating yourself.”
Mr. Kiyosaki, a Japanese American born in Hawaii, starts off the book by claiming he had two fathers: a poor dad and a rich dad. The poor dad (Ph.D), Mr. Kiyosaki’s real father, struggled with money throughout his entire life despite his diplomas from prestigious schools. Conversely, the “rich dad,” actually a father of Mr. Kiyosaki’s friend, became one of the richest men in Hawaii in spite of never finishing high school. The author says that the dichotomy between the two men’s aptitudes and attitudes towards money explained their different financial situations. Briefly, the rich dad always sought out the way to achieve what he wanted and told the author that “financial aptitude” is power. On the other hand, the poor dad often relinquished desires beyond his means and shrugged when he was asked about money, saying “I am not interested in money.” The author instantiates his real father as the epitome of modern people who want to be rich, but never strive to financially educate themselves.
Furthermore, the author opines that financial education matters the most while many schools never bother to teach the concept--Thus, the role of parents is important for the future of the kids. His idea seems to be synonymous with the well-known phrase: “The wealth of the parents decides that of their kids.” Not only do rich parents tend to give better support for their children, but they are also more likely to educate their kids about money based on their own experiences. The author mentions many times throughout the book that he is glad that he was educated by his rich dad, not by his poor dad (his real father).
As I was reading, I could relate a lot. My parents are well-off. My father worked at a bank, and my mother ran a real estate business. They made their fortune thanks to successful investments in Korea’s booming real estate market in the 90s. However, their obsession with real estate investment has narrowed their view and options. They often struggle when there is uncertainty in the real estate market. Had they not stopped furthering their financial intelligence, they could have elaborated on other strategies to expand their wealth in any situation.
“Money is one form of power,” writes Mr. Kiyosaki. “But what is more powerful is financial education. Money comes and goes, but if you have the education about how money works, you gain power over it and can begin building wealth.” Apparently, his childhood “daddy issue” is teaching many others a lesson. (Currently, Mr. Kiyosaki’s net worth is estimated to be US $80 million.)