Branching Out

That's Rich

If your goals include attaining a respectable income and achieving financial security, just get a good education and work hard. You'll get what you want, but nothing more, says Robert T. Kiyosaki. If your goals are more along the lines of wealth and entrepreneurial success, read Rich Dad, Poor Dad (TechPress, $15.95, 800-308-3585), which Kiyosaki wrote with co-author Sharon L. Lechter, CPA.

The book's basic contention: Most people struggle financially because they spend years getting an education but end up learning absolutely nothing about managing money. They work for money but never learn how to make money work for them.

The fast-reading book, subtitled What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not, traces Kiyosaki's childhood lessons, many orchestrated by his best friend's father ("Rich Dad"). His only rule for getting rich: "You must know the difference between an asset and a liability, and buy assets." His definition of those basic accounting terms: "An asset is something that puts money in my pocket. A liability is something that takes money out of my pocket."

Retired at 47, Kiyosaki speaks from experience. After introducing nylon-and-Velcro surfer wallets in 1977, he went on to launch and finance other businesses and now lectures, invests in real estate and develops small-cap companies.

Kiyosaki's real father ("Poor Dad") was an educator who stressed a formal education and stable career, while his Rich Dad was an entrepreneurial mentor. Through anecdotes and discourse, Kiyosaki champions the ownership of businesses and other income-producing assets, makes a case for financial literacy and shares his insights on achieving wealth.

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This article was originally published in the August 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Branching Out.

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