The 1997 book Rich Dad Poor Dad, written by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter has sold over 32 million copies in more than 51 languages in over a hundred different countries.  It’s been on the New York Times bestseller list for years, with positive critical reviews. 

It’s had celebrity power, too:  Oprah Winfrey endorsed the book, and actor Will Smith said he used it to teach his son about financial responsibility.  Even a pre-Presidential Donald Trump got involved:  his literary partnership with one of the authors—Kiyosaki— resulted in a publication entitled Why We Want You To Be Rich, Two Men One Message.  This was so well-received that the partnership extended to a second book called Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich — And Why Most Don’t.

In a nutshell, Rich Dad Poor Dad stresses the importance of financial independence, investing in assets, including real estate, and more steps to improve one’s own financial situation.  Along the way, the authors make no bones about outlining the differences between those who are rich… and those who are not.

Bill Gates once said, “It’s not your fault if you were born poor, but it’s your fault if you die poor.”   And the authors of Rich Dad Poor Dad would agree:  there’s no reason why you should live in poverty. But you must be committed to doing things differently from those who are destined to remain less well-off.

There are some absolute differences in behavior, says Kiyosaki:

Poor People:

  • Depend on their paycheck for cash flow
  • Spend their cash flow on taxes, food, rent, clothes, transportation, and ‘fun.’
  • Don’t purchase assets that generate cash on their own
  • Don’t take out loans or generate liabilities (mortgages, credit cards, consumer loans)

Middle Class People: 

  • Depend on their paycheck for cash flow
  • Spend their cash flow on taxes, food, rent or mortgage payment, clothes, transportation, and ‘fun.’
  • Don’t purchase assets that generate cash on their own
  • Do take out loans and generate “liabilities” (mortgages, credit cards, consumer loans)

Rich People: 

  • Depend on dividends, rental income, interest and royalties for cash flow
  • Spend cash on much the same things as middle-class people
  • Purchase income-producing assets like stocks, bonds, and real estate
  • Don’t take on more loans or liabilities than middle-class people



At the end of the day, the way for anyone to move from ‘middle class’ to ‘rich’ is by spending less on clothes, cars, televisions, and the like, and instead divert as much as possible into purchase of income-producing assets.  Over time, this strategy will result in growing passive income that can come to more than offset the paycheck.

It’s kind of an anti-Black Friday sentiment:  defer buying, instead investing those dollars.  Do it long enough—and well enough—and your cash flow will be protected by real wealth.

The rich are different.  And the very rich are more different still.  Once a certain level of wealth is attained, the cash flow and the choices available by that cash flow are nearly infinite. 

How about $30M net worth?  That’s the level at which Wealth-X sets for the Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) criteria.  And  there are more than 73,000 of those people in the United States alone.  That’s not just rich—that’s truly wealthy. 

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