Personal Finance

Rich Dad, Crazy Dad

Jack was struggling. It had been a long and arduous mental journey but he wanted to press on, he was, after all, nearly three quarters of the way to the finish line. He flicked through the remaining pages of the book and compared it visually to the pages he had already read. It was a trick that usually encouraged him mentally to press on, but this time it didn’t work. This time he had to throw the towel in. He was done.

Second Chance by Robert T. Kiyosaki… Jack gave a mental scoff as he took one final look of the cover before putting it down, he had given him many more second chances than he probably should have over the years. But this time he was seriously asking the question: had his rich dad finally gone crazy?

Jack owned nearly 300 books spread over two modern (read: IKEA-constructed) bookshelves that flanked his home-office workstation. He counted 10 of those books belonging to the Rich Dad series. He recalled with nostalgia the way that the first book, Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!, had changed the course of his life. It had been one of those books that subtly changed his perspective, but in doing so, also impacted and informed every financial decision he had made since. Needless to say, he held Robert, his rich dad, in very high regard.

The first book had such a profound impact on his life that four of the ten books he owned in the series were pocket-sized versions of that first book, which he kept handy for when anybody asked him what they should read if they wanted to learn about wealth creation. Over the last 14 years he had only been asked that question twice.

So it wasn’t easy for Jack to put down Robert’s latest offering. As he found a place to put the book on his shelf he tried to rationalise why Second Chance had been such a let down. It wasn’t so much the question-and-answer style of writing. It wasn’t that there was a clear lack of new useful material on financial literacy and philosophy, either (arguably, the new material had slowed to a trickle after his second book, Cashflow Quadrant). This was it: it had felt like someone who had, over the years, created a platform from which to educate and influence, and then had begun to abuse that authority. It felt like a 400-page rant from an old, crazy man on a street corner. And in that moment of realisation, Jack couldn’t help but feel sad and disappointed.

Could he afford, emotionally,┬áto give his rich dad another second chance? he wondered. And then he realised that… in a way, Robert would always be his rich dad, and he knew in his heart of hearts that he would always be drawn to the next purple covered, gold-emblazoned book to come out in the Rich Dad series. Robert had, over the years, become part of the family, after all.