Friday, December 18, 2009

Rich Dad's Guide to Becoming Rich... Without Cutting Up Your Credit Cards by Robert T. Kiyosaki

If there's one requirement for books within the 'Self Help' section, it's that they should at least try to 'help' their readers. Robert T. Kiyosaki's book Rich Dad's Guide to Becoming Rich... Without Cutting Up your Credit Cards spectacularly fails at this, however.

Instead of dedicating the 88 pages to practical advice and tips, 'Rich Dad' winds up as something between an autobiography and a political manifesto - a convoluted mess.

Part of the book sees Kiyosaki attempt to share his financial wisdom though clumsily worded dialogue between himself and the titular 'Rich Dad' - the financially successful father of his childhood friend.

These are written like bad fiction - with stilted, repetitive conversations painfully transcribed, with 'I asked' and 'he told me' and 'I said, shaking my head' awkwardly interrupting the flow of dialogue, presumably to fatten up the paragraphs.

The rest of the book is more of a political rant - with Kiyosaki attacking the concept of taxation, social security, medicare and the dire state of education in America. For good measure, he throws in reams of paragraphs cross-selling his 'educational' boardgame (a snip at just $119) and justifying why it's so expensive, difficult to learn and awkward to play.

But the real crime of 'Rich Dad' is that what advice is does offer is simply bad advice. The whole concept 'Without Cutting Up Your Credit Cards' is painful to read after witnessing the financial meltdown of last year. Kiyosaki actually attacks the concept of 'living within your means' and builds his precarious financial formula off the bad of balancing 'bad debt' with 'good debt.'

While there is merit to his theory of investing in income-generating assets, the few practical suggestions he has - like creating 'good debt' by investing in real estate - serve as an awkward reminder of the mentality that drove America into the recent depression.

Rich Dad's Guide to Becoming Rich... Without Cutting Up your Credit Cards retails for $10.99

No comments: