Tisa Silver over at Bizzia noticed a post I did a while back regarding Robert Kiyosaki and his questionable math skills. She republished the article there and gave her own take on it as well. That article underscores why investors should always question, always investigate and always think for themselves.
Below is an exerpt from the original post I wrote:
Dear Robert Kiyosaki,
I’ve read a few of your books. I must say that when I first read Rich Dad, Poor Dad I loved the general premise of “become financially literate”. That made sense to me. But I must tell you, my feeling on all the subsequent books that have come out of the Rich Dad camp has been that the books (as well as your advice) have become more and more absurd. For instance, what’s up with the figures in your book, Who Took My Money?. …
… Throughout Who Took My Money?, you suggest that simply by heeding your advice, an investor can achieve returns of 180% per year. Forgetting, that we don’t know how you came up with that figure, let’s look at what an annualized return of 180% would mean.
Let’s say a 25 year old has $20,000 to invest and is able to receive an annualized 180% return over his investment lifetime – about 50 years. At that rate of return, and at the end of that period that 75 year old would have a comfortable nestegg of…drum roll please…
This is not a misprint. That investor, by investing in single family homes, would be a SEPTILLIONAIRE 455 times over. Now, Rob, are you really telling me that I can be 455 quadrillion times richer than someone who is a mere billionaire? Seriously? If you are, I just have to say that that seems a little far fetched to me. Especially when you consider that, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances, there was only $44 trillion dollars of wealth in the U.S. that year. If we applied an extraordinary rate of growth of 5% to that $44 trillion, in 50 years total U.S. wealth would reach,
Now Rob, are you telling me that by following the investment program you lay out in your book, that in 50 years, with one $20,000 investment, I can be 907 billion times richer that the entire U.S. population? I have to say Rob, I’m not buying this. But I’m sure this letter is falling on deaf ears. However, if the New York Times Bestseller list is any indication, a lot of people are buying it.
Benjamin B. Taylor