The ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ Mirage: Unmasking the Myth

Adam Gelencser
5 min readAug 31

For decades, Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad” has graced bookshelves, flaunted as a foundational tome for financial literacy. Its central tenets — the importance of financial education, the value of assets over liabilities, and the perils of the traditional employment path — have influenced millions. But as its lessons become deeply entrenched in modern financial culture, it is high time we scrutinize its content and the credibility of its author.

Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

1. Dubious Claims about ‘Rich Dad’:

The entire book revolves around lessons from two pivotal figures in Kiyosaki’s life: his biological father (Poor Dad) and the father of a childhood friend (Rich Dad). However, there’s significant ambiguity regarding Rich Dad’s identity. When pressed, Kiyosaki has remained evasive, leading many to question whether this central character — and thus the foundational stories of the book — is fictional.

2. Lack of Tangible Financial Advice:

For a book that claims to provide financial education, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is notoriously light on concrete, actionable advice. Instead of detailed strategies, readers are often presented with vague platitudes. Financial success requires more than just understanding the difference between assets and liabilities; it demands a nuanced approach tailored to individual situations — a nuance conspicuously absent in Kiyosaki’s teachings.

3. Pyramid Schemes and Bankruptcy:

Kiyosaki’s involvement with multi-level marketing (MLM) companies has raised eyebrows. MLMs, often likened to pyramid schemes, have been criticized for their exploitative structures where only a select few at the top truly prosper. Furthermore, one of Kiyosaki’s companies, Rich Global LLC, declared bankruptcy in 2012 after being ordered to pay nearly $24 million to the Learning Annex and its founder. It’s crucial to question: If Kiyosaki’s financial advice is so sound, how did he find himself in such a predicament?

4. High-priced Courses with Questionable Value:

In the aftermath of the success of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” there emerged an industry built around Kiyosaki’s philosophy…

Adam Gelencser

Tech enthusiast, currently entrepreneuring — regularly sharing content on tech news and irregularly on other topics. Founder of video AI tool.