Haven’t you ever wondered what makes rich people rich?
Shhh… It’s a secret!
Well, not any more. I just finished Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money by Robert Kiyosaki. so you know it’s time for another Enwealthen review.
Doomed to Repeat It
Like most of his books I’ve read so far, it’s written in a simple historical narrative style highlighting specific points repeated across most of his books – his CASHFLOW game and the CASHFLOW Quadrant, dates such as when Nixon took the US off the gold standard, and benefits of investing for cash flow in real estate or paper assets.
As usual, there aren’t many actionable items, so I view it as more of a way you can begin to think differently and challenge the status quo than a way to build a plan of attack towards becoming financially independent. Several times Mr. Kiyosaki refers to books he used to educate himself, which I’ve called out below. Note to Mr. Kiyosaki: a “Recommended Reading” section listing all referenced books would be a great benefit to those of us interested in learning more.
There were a few things in particular I appreciated out of Conspiracy of the Rich. One of the most interesting is that this one was written online in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, likely as a series of blog posts, and includes many relevant comments from his readers. This adds an interesting dimension to the work to see the reader responses to the material while you’re reading it. It would have been even better if each chapter included a link to the original material online so readers who want to learn more could view all the reader comments on the topic.
T.M.I. or Not Enough
While Robert Kiyosaki’s narrative style is easy to read, it would benefit from a summation to really hammer home the highlights after each chapter, and again at the end of the book.
There’s so much information that at times key points are mentioned in passing without enough emphasis to make them stick, such as his point about the importance of understanding the relationship between taxes, debt, inflation, and retirement, and that it should be the most important thing taught to students today. Granted, the entire book is about these topics, but I would benefit from a more direct approach which would show the reader the framework that they can use to organize the later information in a way to be easier to remember and correlate as it appears.
Chapter 12 is a decent summary of his thinking, presented as the information he would teach if he could change the school system. However, being at the end of the book, it’s a fitting summary, but would be better presented earlier. When presenting material to an audience, the traditional method is “Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.” and he’s missing the first bit.
One of my favorite parts of this book is his summary of the history of money. I especially liked learning of the origins of the phrase “payment in kind”. While I knew about fiat currency, the overview of fractional reserve banking was educational, as was his thoughts on the FDIC. Being a consumer at heart, I’d always appreciated having my bank deposits insured. However, now I see it for the artificial support of fractional reserve banking that it is.
Fuller and Fuller
Richard refers to Buckminster Fuller and his works regularly in most of his books. I’ve not yet read any of his works, but have added them to my reading list after this particularly relevant quote
You cannot get out of the way of things you cannot see moving towards you.
– Buckminster Fuller
He was referring to the change of the internet and how past changes such as industrialization were obvious and easy to see. However, the changes occurring today are so vast, and hidden behind the wall of the world wide web, that most people cannot see them. Unlike a car about to run you over, these changes are almost invisible and even more dangerous because of it. Every day more and more workers in the US are losing their jobs – first from NAFTA, then off-shoring, and next year it will be something new.
The only constant is change, and the only way to protect yourself from the constantly shifting economic landscape is to take control of your own personal financial empire.
For your benefit, here are the books he mentions in Conspiracy of the Rich. You can expect reviews of these books here in the future.
GRUNCH of Giants by R. Buckminster Fuller
Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Creature From Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin
The Dollar Crisis by Richard Duncan
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Have you read Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich, or any of the other books mentioned above? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Photo credit: World Without Words by Cristian V.