I first became acquainted with Kiyosaki's organization about two or three years ago. I own several of his books and his board game. All in all, I have come to the conclusion that much of what he has to offer is a waste of money at best.
As is pointed out in many reviews, Kiyosaki is decidedly short on substance. You will not learn how to do that which he claims to do. You will not learn how to appraise real estate, you will not learn how to speculate stocks and bonds, and you will not learn how to build a viable business organization.
In short, that which Kiyosaki offers will not make you wealthy. The useful bits of information you might pull from reading his books and playing his game are mostly tidbits that, if one took the time to sit and contemplate the subject oneself, one would most likely come to on one's own.
It is no great “insight” to understand that one’s income should exceed one’s expenses and that one ought to not buy that which one cannot afford. It certainly is not rocket science to come to the conclusion that it is better to live off a stream of income produced by investments than to toil away at a job eight hours a day for forty to fifty years.
The part that is not well explained, however, is that money is drawn from three sources: labor, talent, and/or a willingness to take risks. You cannot make money any other way.
The route that Kiyosaki and his ilk suggest is that of risk. Generally speaking, when it comes to money, bigger returns for very little put in are due largely to the amount of risk involved. Risk and return are proportional. One of my biggest problems with Kiyosaki and gang is that they completely downplay the amount of risk involved in many of the ventures they suggest trying. It sounds very appealing to attempt buying a rental property with five percent down, but the costs attached to the loan that makes such a purchase possible are so high that, if property values fall and you are forced to lower rent to keep your tenant, your knowledge of the value of a positive “cash flow” is only going to make the experience that much more painful.
The kicker is that real estate speculation is not even remotely as easy as Kiyosaki makes it sound. A true appreciation of real estate value, especially within a particular area, takes years to form. Oftentimes it must be built upon prior schooling on the subject, which simply cannot be attained by attending several weekend seminars. People speak of the motivational value of Kiyosaki’s works, yet all the motivation in the world simply will not begin to provide the tools necessary to succeed in the ventures he suggests.
People study for years to become real estate appraisers. People study for years learning the finer points of stock trading. The knowledge that is not gained by education must be gained through experience, which, when not coupled with a sound education, involves considerable risks. It is tempting to say, “I can weather risk,” but the fact of the matter is that when risk is high, chances are good you will probably fail.
Now, I am certainly not saying that people should not try to invest and better themselves. I find it humorous when Kiyosaki and others point out that investing is not for everyone. He is certainly right in that regard. Where he errs, however, is in suggesting that investing is for those whom are willing to try, and not for those that want stability!
In reality, investment is not for simply anybody who is willing to take risks, but rather for those with the talent and knowledge to take calculated risks and to manage them properly. That ability is not granted merely through motivation, and it certainly is gained by reading through Kiyosaki’s books, listening to his seminars, or playing his board game.
The board game in particular is at best cautiously approached, considering its $200 price tag. It is a lot of fun and it does teach rudimentary accounting skills. It also, unfortunately, makes its subject seem far simpler and less risky than it is in real life. Most of the deals in the game are “profitable”, save a few.
The profits presented by the game are far better than in real life as well, although the argument is that this is to make game play easier. Although there are certainly cards involving the risks one would expect to bump into while involved in such investment, these do not occur nearly as often as one would expect in real life and truly underplays the risk involved. All in all, I think the game was set up in the manner which was chosen to facilitate game play, but with that being the case, it certainly would not seem to deserve the $200 price tag that is attached for “educational value”. The irony that the pieces are little rats in business suits ought to not be lost on anyone.
To conclude, I am certain there are many out there that will argue that Robert Kiyosaki gave them the motivation to aim for a future better than their present. To those people, I can but only say this: it was your own motivation that led you to read the books in the first place. If you were not interested in bettering yourself, in advancing your place in the world, you would not have bothered reading. Kiyosaki simply played to that latent motivation that was already there. Your willingness to try to better your position came from within you.
Avoid making the mistake of wasting that motivation on lining the pockets of a man who already claims to be rich yet has to work his backside writing and selling books and seminars.
Kiyosaki is just another rat in the rat race to make more money.
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