Update (Feb 2003): I discovered after I wrote this that Kiyosaki appears to be a motivational writer, not the successful investor he claims to be. His books were unsuccessful until he sold through Amway, which sold them in sufficient volume to generate a “best-seller” label. No name is ever given for “Rich Dad”, and “Rich Dad” has been trademarked. Attempts at discovering who “Rich Dad” was have been unsuccessful. His real-estate stories are questionable as the Phoenix court records do not indicate any activity by Kiyosaki. In particular, some of his advice is questionable. For example, he claims that he bought a foreclosure house for a small amount of money down. At least in Texas, and I assume elsewhere, you must write a check for the full amount upon winning the foreclosure auction. A worthwhile web site is
The original review follows. Questionable or incorrect statements have been colored grey.

At an early age, Kiyosaki wondered how he could get rich. Fortunately, his friend Mike had a father who knew how to get rich; the book is the summary of the lessons that Mike’s father (“rich dad”) taught them. Essentially the book says “buy things that will make you money, not cost you money”. In the first chapter he describes the vicissitudes of the rat race: working hard to get money, spending the money on a house, car, family, then discovering that there is still not enough money and being forced to work some more. In one sense this boils down to little more than a spending problem, but the standard investment vehicles (notably mutual funds) offer a very slow way of accumulating assets and most people know of no other options. The solution, his rich dad says, is by buying things that will make money.

Kiyosaki explicitly disputes the notion that working hard for a corporation with good benefits and a secure job is a wise career choice. Empirically, he says, it is not: the people who do not need to work are not the diligent employees, but the owners. What the owners possess provides them money for little or no effort (rental properties, for example). The poor and middle class, by contrast own things that cost them (houses and cars). Thus they must continue working to continue paying the cost.

There is a short section on the implications of tax—a subject harped on by investment books. The idea given here is simply that taxes cost money which you’d rather not pay. As a result, the rich create corporations, which have a lower tax rate, but more importantly, allow expenses to be paid before taxes, rather than afterwards, as is the case with individuals.

A major theme of the book is that the rich take risks. The middle class remain middle class because they are unwilling to take risks, choosing instead the safe route: a corporation, a mutual fund. Low risk, but low reward, and low reward means always needing to work. The rich, Kiyosaki points out, literally create money, by searching for opportunities and minimizing the risk by understanding what they are doing. Along the same lines, he suggests that one should pay yourself (i.e. invest in assets for yourself) first and pay your bills second. Not that you default on your bills, but that the pressing need will force you to become creative and somehow manage to come up with the money.

Assorted principles from the book:
  1. Need a strong reason. (For example: don’t want to work all my life, don’t want the government to take it when I die. Do want to travel the world when I’m young. Do want control over my time and my life)
  2. Choose daily to be rich. (No excuses: too much hassle, too busy, my husband does the finances)  Invest in education (seminars, books, etc.)
  3. Choose friends carefully: seek people you can learn from (or learn what not to do)
  4. Master a formula and then learn a new one (learn to learn quickly)
  5. Pay yourself first. (from The Richest Man in Babylon, by George Classen)
  6. Pay your brokers well. Get a good broker and pay him: he is supposed to provide you with good advice. (Naturally, do not get a broker that is just a salesman)
  7. Try to get your money out as fast as possible (or better yet, get something for free)
  8. Only assets buy luxuries
  9. Find someone who makes it look easy: having heroes causes us to unconsciously think like them.
  10. Give and you shall receive, teach and you shall learn.
These books were mentioned:

Review: 9/10  (Updated: 2/10)
Kiyosaki is no great writer, but the concepts are concise, well-explained, and so useful that it is well worth reading.
(Updated)  It sounds like Kiyosaki is regurgitating other people’s ideas. The ideas in the first couple chapters are ok, take them with a grain of salt, but the ideas for implementation are bad. I’d give this about 7/10 for the good ideas, but the misrepresentation and bad advice get a severe penalty. In short, read the review, not the book.