One of the most controversial writers in the past ten years has been Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Mr. Kiyosaki has said the things that everyone wanted to know but was afraid to ask; how are rich people different from poor people? He has written over 15 books about practicing techniques that wealty people use to acquire wealth through real estate, minimize taxes, and build businesses.
His first book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, is most likely a piece of factional fiction (or fictional faction) about two different but influential personalities in his life. I am somewhat disappointed in the way he "slams" his biological father. He portrays him to be a man who really never "got it" when it comes to getting rich and implies that for all his education he wasn't all that "smart". His biological father rose to the office of Superintendent of Schools in the State of Hawaii; I'd call that a pretty talented individual who worked hard to provide for his family. I think Mr. Kiyosaki could have shown that "hero" a bit more respect in his writing.
His "Rich Dad", the father of a childhood friend, taught him and his friend some of the secrets to wealth. His basic rules were to build businesses through "systems", minimize taxes through incorporating and investing in real estate, and pursuing entrepreneurial ventures. Al of these are excellent strategies to gather wealth. While his storytelling gets the messages across extremely well, I feel that Mr. Kiyosaki trivializes the challenges of all three rules and makes them sound a whole lot easier than they are.
One of his books that really intrigued me was his second, Cash Flow Quadrant. He essentially breaks down the the way we earn money. The book outlines the importance of paying yourself first (before the gov't) and the difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debt is money you borrow to acquire or grow appreciating assets (mortgages or busines loans) while bad debt is associated with depreciating or no assets.
Cash Flow Quadrant also takes you through the four stages of earning money. I feel that the best lesson from this book is that the WORST place to be is self-employed. I also believe that this book influenced a generation of Realtors to think of their practice as a business" and contributed to the meteoric rise of "teams" in real estate these past ten years.
I met Mr. Kiyosaki in Phoenix (when I lived there) in 1999. I found him engaging, committed, funny, and positive. There have been many claims that his advice is recycled platitudes about money. There have been questions about the veracity of his wealth claims. Critics claim that his success came from MLM and selling books to MLM wannabes. Critics also claim the his claims about his personal net-worth are inflated and unverified. A cult-like following has developed from his readers and it is difficult to have a discussion with "true believers"about any criticism
In summary, Mr. Kiyosaki's books and articles are good reads with useful information. Like everything you read about "instant financial success" you should take them with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, his simple approach of telling the truth about the naivete of the common man combined with his positive attitude to equality of opportunity makes his books worthy. His success in business is immaterial to the fact that he has made a tremendous impact on the lives of many through education. Kind of like his Poor Dad did.
You definitely want to check out his books at the public library and will want a few for his personal library.