Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Robert Kiyosaki Is A Blowhard

I'm sure that just about everyone has heard of Robert Kiyosaki by now. Kiyosaki is the author of the bestselling "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series of books. These books all contain a plethora of financial advice and can be quite entertaining. However, Kiyosaki's shtick does become tiresome after awhile. I think that he would be more bearable if I actually believed the stories in his book that he claims to have experienced actually happened.

Through his books, he discusses the contrasting financial advice given to him while he was growing up both by his actual father (his "poor" dad, a well-educated but not financially successful man) and by his next-door playmate's father (his "rich" dad, a high school dropout who was very successful). According to Kiyosaki, he once asked his father how to make money when he was a young boy. His father said he had not made much money and did not know how to make it. He suggested that Robert ask the father of his next-door playmate, who became his "rich dad." Kiyosaki supposedly developed a father-son relationship with the neighbor.

That's a great story. It's too bad none of it is true. Kiyosaki fails to ever mention the name of the alleged "rich dad" in any of his books and newspaper reporters in Hawaii, where Kiyosaki grew up, have been unable to locate the identity of this man. John T. Reed, a real estate guru, has an interesting website that exposed Kiyosaki as a fraud. It would be fine with me if Kiyosaki simply referred to his "rich dad" as a straw man in his books. However, the fact that Kiyosaki insists that this man is real destroys his own credibility.

Kiyosaki also writes a semi-monthly column for Yahoo Finance. In his columns he typically mentions how the U.S. dollar has serious problems going forward and that he bought up lots of oil and gold in the late 90s when everyone else was purchasing technology stocks. I, along with a large portion of Wall Street, happen to agree that the U.S. dollar has some serious problems going forward. However, I don't remember hearing him tell everyone to dump technology stocks, buy commodities, or short the dollar back in the late 90s. If what he says is true, he should provide some documented proof of such. Otherwise, he looks like the type of know-it-all blowhard we've all met who lies about his investment returns to make himself appear smarter than he really is.

1 comment:

Jim said...

FYI, the URL for Kiyosaki's Yahoo column has been changed to: