Tom Vu and Robert Kiyosaki

Real estate mogul John Reed has written a lengthy but comprehensive deconstruction and critique of the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” [via MetaFilter] and its author, Robert Kiyosaki. Basically, Reed argues Kiyosaki’s advice to be useless at best, and his claims of fame and fortune unlikely. Even the very existence of the “Rich Dad” are brought into question, as well as much of Kiyosaki’s own biographical information:

There are probably many ways to became a financial genius, but Kiyosaki has certainly chosen an unlikely route:

* flunked sophomore year of high school and had to repeat
* U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
* 3rd mate oil tanker (or was it “Love Boat” type cruise ship?)
* Marine helicopter pilot (or was it fighters?)
* refused to return to ship when it was ordered to return to combat (or just missed the boat)
* Xerox salesman
* failed businessman (nylon surfer wallets)
* failed businessman (rock and roll memorabilia)
* failed author (1993 book If You Want to Be Rich & Happy, Don’t Go To School?)
* failed MBA student
* homeless person
* bankruptcy (or maybe not)

We have this book sitting on our shelf, and while I don’t share Reed’s feelings that it can cause financial disaster to those who follow it, it is pretty much the standard feel-good and vacuous fare that the Oprah Book Club just loves to lap up. Not surprisingly, like “Million Little Pieces”, it seems to be little more than a fanciful story, despite being categorized as non-fiction.

Mind you, Kiyosaki succeeds because he’s got razzle dazzle, and Reed himself could use a bit of razzle dazzle in his own work; since he is a self-professed millionaire, he really should invest in a website designer.

P.S. More financial schadenfreude: H&R Block, the tax return service for people who can’t or won’t fill out forms properly, discovers it miscalculated its own income tax by $32 million.

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