Rich Dad Poor Dad

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, (Plata Publishing, 1997, 294 pages)

Two Dads or One?

Although Rich Dad Poor Dad attracts many with its intriguing title, Robert Kiyosaki draws his readers in not necessarily by the book’s title, but from its transformational, yet easy-to-understand, concepts. Kiyosaki begins by discussing his childhood (including the time he co-founded a counterfeit coin operation) and the lessons learned from the two paternal figures in his life: his friend Mike’s wealthy father and his own biological father. Through these two figures, one a business owner and one a government employee, Kiyosaki explores the two very different mindsets and how they might approach a problem from, “I can’t afford it” to “How can I afford it?” Throughout the book Kiyosaki demonstrates the stark contrast. And, he illustrates the simple mindset shift from “I’ll never be rich” to “I’m a rich man”. Not only does he describe the difference between the rich and the poor, Kiyosaki turns on the metaphorical lightbulb for readers eager to begin their journey of financial freedom and remove themselves from the “rat race.”  

Educate Yourself

Rich Dad Poor Dad shares how mindset, through education, can catalyze the building of wealth. In Kiyosaki’s mind, going to business schools to acquire MBAs all too often trains employees to become “sophisticated bean-counters.” Instead, he advocates his audience study outside of the assembly-line education system and gain experience by learning from mistakes through trial and error. The book revolutionizes the idea to change our conventional wisdom to new age thinking. It doesn’t sell a product, but an idea. Instead of “subscribing to a dogma, Rich Dad Poor Dad asks you to erase the industrial ideals that take advantage of your financial illiteracy.

Which One Are You?

With so many eye-opening principles, Rich Dad Poor Dad excels, particularly in the matters of brevity and acumen. Kiyosaki emphasizes one must be an “observer, not a reactor to their emotions,” suggesting our fears must be approached dispassionately. In fact, ignorance, as he mentions in the book, is what intensifies this fear. Fear of failure, in life or finances, can be quite devastating. However, “Failure inspires winners. Failure defeats losers.” So, which Dad are you?

Review contributed by Esther Min. She is a DODReads contributor and a known bibliophile. Esther graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2020 and serves as an active-duty officer. In 2021, she plans to attend Undergraduate Pilot Training and spends her free time investing in real estate. Connect with her on LinkedIn at

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