Last Updated: November 9, 2020
Update: Since this piece came out, Robert Kiyosaki found himself subject to a class-action lawsuit due to the irresponsible information shared in the Rich Dad, Poor Dad seminars, and his company Rich Global LLC filed for bankruptcy. Though I haven’t dived into too much financial blogging since, I have espoused the need for solid financial literacy and sat on a panel discussing financial strategy since.
Hey all; I blogged about this topic last year in The 2010 20K, but I’m still ticked about it and I still see ads for it everywhere I look, so I’m here to address it once more with a bit more gusto. So here goes:
Rich Dad, Poor You — Hustlin’ is Easy!
I’m still seeing ads for the Rich Dad, Poor Dad seminars on the subway. On the side of my Facebook screen. In the newspaper.
Why are they still around? How are people still falling for a scam that could take away their livelihood?!
The Rich Dad, Poor Dad Seminars | Here are the Players
To get you up to speed, here’s a look at the key players in this situation:
ROBERT KIYOSAKI: Author of the WILDLY popular Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of products, a series meant to teach you about how one can better manage their funds and pave their way to financial prosperity. Criticized for focusing too much on anecdotes and not enough on concrete advice in his books.
TIGRENT LEARNING: The group to whom the rights for running Rich Dad, Poor Dad financial seminars has been licensed. They’re the ones behind all those ads I mentioned earlier. They’ve changed their name twice:
“As Kiyosaki’s book grew in popularity, he licenced the name to Whitney Information Network – later they changed their name to Wealth Intelligence Academy, then changed it again to Tigrent.”
— Original source: https://richdaddynightmares.com/2010/09/rich-dad-scam-whitney-wia-tigrent-scam/
and have been the focus of a TON of criticism for unethical advice and questionable practices.
But What’s the Problem with the Rich Dad, Poor Dad Seminars?
So what’s my beef? We’re in a day and age where so many people are trying to recover from the global recession. Cheque-cashing centres, debt-counselling companies and credit cards with catches haven’t seen so prosperous a time than ever before. And yet, we have yet another villain on the scene — those who choose to run seminars such as these preying on the hope and desperation of those looking to get out of the financial holes in which they find themselves.
Seriously, it makes me sick.
One of the worst things is that this isn’t even new information! People have been reporting on this scandal since 2006!
As I said in my post last year, I first heard about it while watching an episode of CBC Marketplace (great Canadian program, especially if you want to know a little more about some of the behind-the-scenes activity going on in the world of money), and saw the exposé on Robert Kiyosaki and this horrid method from which he’s seeing a healthy cut. It basically goes down like this:
- You go in for the free seminar, expecting to learn some tips in the style of the master himself, Robert Kiyosaki
- You find out that there’s a more advanced course for about a thousand dollars — can’t afford it? Don’t worry, put it on your credit card. But if you’re here, you’ve likely maxed out your credit card(s). So call your credit card company and tell them that you want to increase your limit — you’re entitled to it as a customer, so why should they deny you?
- So after you’ve paid, you go to the paid advanced course, sure that this time you’ll get all the insider tips
- Ah, but you discover that there are even more advanced courses on real estate and complex stock trading — but they’re in the tens of thousands for the course fee. Can’t afford it? Put it on your credit card. Take it out of your retirement funds! DO WHATEVER IT TAKES. You NEED this information!
- So now you’re ready to play with the big boys! Only to learn that you haven’t learned anything that you didn’t already know. And hey, guess what? They still have more courses available!
Are you starting to see a pattern here?
Caveat Emptor | Warnings About the Rich Dad, Poor Dad Seminars from Some Who Were Victim to Them
And it’s not as if those who have succumbed to the siren calls of a surefire way to make it rich only to find themselves farther back than they’d started are being silent about their experiences! Take a look at some of the horror stories that others have shared:
I find it interesting that Robert Kiyosaki says he is not happy with his licensed educational company suggesting that people go out and raise their credit card limits to fund his educational program, when in fact they are going far beyond that by suggesting they withdraw retirement money early as long as they take their Asset Protection & Tax Relief class contracted with Anderson Advisors out of Kent Washington.
I found out the hard way, and now face a huge tax obligation even after following their advice to the letter!
Here in the States, Tigrent aka: Rich Dad has a Better Business Bureau rating of ‘F’. This is indicative of their customer service which they claim is their #1 priority. The reality of it is, their #1 priority is getting their greedy hands on your money. They are masters of responding to complaints with a glib self-righteous rebuttal!
I am out nearly $20,000 dollars. At the $500 class, I was told to get my STRS retirement out and with they educational material and guidance I would be set for life. Is there a class action law suit against this organization yet? I want to be part of it. The practices of this organization are wrong and play on the emotions of people who can not effort to lose. I borrowed money to pay for this $6000 class and am still paying for this at a rate of 23% interest. The trainer said not to worry about this because I would be making more then 23% interest with the investments. How do we start a class action law suit??
The problem with Robert Kiyosakis’ Rich Dad Education is that it is licensed to be taught through Tigrent Learning who are SHARKS in search of fresh blood! Tigrent Learning is misrepresenting a number of his basic business principals at the dear expense of thier students! Tigrent advocates that your retirement fund is a perfect source for funding their education, while RK strongly disagrees with that premise. RK may be benefiting financially from their disingenuous sales tactics but at the ultimate expense of his reputation!
Here’s Some Sound Financial Advice That You Don’t Even Need to Pay For.
So do yourself a favour; if you were thinking about going to a seminar? If you get caught by the fact that they’re advertised as “free” when really it’s the gateway to investing thousands of dollars into gaining information that will do absolutely nothing for you — don’t do it. Stop. Think. Put that credit card back in your wallet. Don’t make that call to your bank. Go back and figure out some basics:
- What am I buying that I don’t need?
- What am I doing that I could do less often to save money?
- If I have no money, can I put some money away in a savings account so that I can start with some money?
These are the kinds of things you should be doing. Many of those who are rich are there from being frugal. From being wise with their money. From making do with what they already have, not what society tells them they should want.
Sit down. Think about it. And save yourself a trip that I can ensure you is one that you don’t want to take.
Stick to the Books. The Seminars Won’t Help You.
With that said, you can learn from Kiyosaki’s books. But what you’ll learn is some information about what it is to be a business and many stories of how others have come to realize their wealth. Does it mean your story will be the same? No. Will it hold you by the hand until you make it to your financial goals? Of course not. The onus is on you to learn, figure out what the best information is for your situation, and become successful through hard work, making intelligent decisions and never saying die.
If getting rich was this easy, no one would need a job. Spread the word. Don’t be a victim. You might not make it to “Rich” overnight, but slow and steady wins the race. Don’t be a hare.