Does the name Robert Kiyosaki ring a bell to you? He made a fortune with one masterful stroke. In 1997, he authored and published the book ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ and became a household hit. Mr. Kiyosaki gained immediate popularity from out of 207 written pages. Instantly, he gained a tremendous following from a multitude that was awestruck by his advocacies on financial independence and wealth building.
Rich Dad Poor Dad sold 26 million copies worldwide in 97 countries, written in 46 languages. This personal finance book is one among the few books that remained perched at the top of the New York Times bestseller list for 5 years. The book also ranks no. 9 in INC’s list of Top 10 Personal Finance Books of All Time.
Mr. Kiyosaki’s swarm of followers made Rich Dad Poor Dad their bible of personal finance. The book contained messages, written in parables, about financial freedom and building financial wealth. Suddenly there is hope for people to become rich when they apply the author’s financial principles in their pursuit.
However, there are critics who did not fall for the author’s advocacies. They found no meat at all even describing Kiyosaki’s ideas as pure gimmickry at best. The harsher ones inferred the book was simply mind-over-money tips about avoiding debts and other money woes. That approach created a stir that generated an epic phenomenon.
Whatever the opposing views are, one thing is certain, money makes the world go round and people go crazy over it.
This article is not intended to embrace or question the teachings of Rich Dad Poor Dad but rather to emphasize the relevance of financial literacy and understand how money works in the economic structure of the world today.
The definition of financial literacy can be broken down into three components:
There should be no debate on the importance of financial education. We all look or even pray for financial answers whenever we are beset with financial anxiety.
Important lessons have to be learned so as not to reach the point where money becomes the problem. The teachings about preparing financially for the future are not exclusive to any author and individual. Your money is your business and therefore self-help books are merely guides and tools to help you ride out the turbulence. You take control of the navigation.
What does it take to attain financial discipline? You might have a well-laid plan but unless there is the willingness to implement, it is worthless.
You will rarely come across a success story similar to Mr. Kiyosaki’s. He sold his ideas and made tons of fortune. Millions followed his practical financial tenets. Regretfully, his image as the financial guru was shattered after his corporate empire filed for bankruptcy in 2016. When a role model of wealth creation come tumbling down the hill, where do we go?
People are gullible when it comes to financial advice. We easily fall prey to the promise of profits, high returns and huge windfalls. That is why scams proliferate. The glitter of money is blinding that it compromises our ability to recognize the reliable from the deceptive.
In the final reckoning, the key is to cultivate financial discipline and be the author of your own success story. There are only two directions when you reach the fork, the path to prosperity or the road to misfortune. Take your pick.