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Response to charge that John T. Reed is envious of Robert Kiyosaki

Posted by John Reed on

Exactly what is it that I would be jealous of regarding Kiyosaki? It seems to me that our lives are quite similar—and to the extent that they differ—it would appear that he should envy me in at least as many categories as I should envy him. Here’s a comparison.

Born 1946 1947
Father alcoholic former 5¢&10¢ store manager Ph.D. head educator in Hawaii government
Childhood hometown Wildwood, NJ (seashore resort) Hawaii
College U.S. Military Academy,
West Point, NY Class of ’68
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY Class of ’69 (He got left back one year in high school)
Branch of service Army Marines
Overseas service Vietnam Vietnam
Extra military schools graduated from Paratrooper, Ranger Helicopter Pilot (although he characterized himself as a “fighter” pilot in one book)
Graduate school Harvard Business School M.B.A. Class of ’77@ failed attempt to get MBA
Marital status married 40 years and counting divorced, remarried
Children 3 sons:

1 Ivy League grad (Columbia Class of 2003)

1 U.C. Santa Barbara grad Class of 2006)

1 U. of Arizona class of 2011


(It is noteworthy that this guy who tells us how to raise our children, a man who trashes his own father’s performance in that category in several books, himself is childless. I think we would all like to know how Mr. Rich Dad, Poor Dad’s own kids turned out before we switch to his formula for child raising. Claiming to speak on behalf of “the children” is a popular ploy with demagogues.)

girl born 9/2/10; 
boy to be born 11/6/15
Books authored
13?—reportedly the same book regurgitated over and over with different titles
Books sold approximately 250,000* 26,000,000
Profit per book Retail or wholesale price less printing cost: approximately $25 to $35 best guess: royalty of approximately 72¢
Newsletter issues sold approximately 3,300,000 Unknown, but only started newsletter 5/02
National TV appearances 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, Larry King Live Oprah, Today Show, PBS pledge breaks
Board games sold none unknown, but probably over 100,000
Home value# approximately $1,750,000 approximately $2,000,000
Year home purchased
Current home town Alamo, CA Phoenix, AZ
Financial low point 1968 just out of college 2nd lieutenant in Army 1985 homeless living in car with wife
First civilian job Seashore resort singles bar bartender officer on what he described as a “Loveboat” type cruise ship in one account; however, his 1993 book …Don’t Go To School says his only merchant marine job was 6 months as third mate on a Standard Oil of California tanker
Net worth Comfortable

A reader complained that I was not more forthcoming since I have criticized others. My criticism is of those who claim to be rich. I have never done that. Normal people do not disclose their income or net worth. But if you claim either is huge to get people to buy your stuff, then you have an obligation to prove it.

I have a son who graduated from an Ivy League college where we had to pay full sticker price because we were not eligible for financial aid, another pays out-of-state tuition, and we own a home worth a million plus. My wife and I are both Harvard MBAs. That ought to give you enough of an idea. The rest is private, as it should be unless you’re some sort of financial show off or very insecure.

Claims “$50,000,000 to $100,000,000 depending on the day.” That is impossible to verify without Kiyosaki providing more information about what he owns and it is very hard to believe about a guy who says he was bankrupt in 1985 and who does not own a public company or major real estate holdings like shopping malls or fifty-story office buildings. Also, people with that much money do not let it sit in investments where it fluctuates so greatly in one day. What goes up 100% or down 50% in one day? Pork belly futures?

@ My wife is a member of the Harvard Business School M.B.A. Class of ’78. We were married before either of us entered Harvard.

* Many of my books were never offered to book stores. None are anymore. Books sold only by the author direct to the public are orders of magnitude more profitable per book, but sell far fewer copies than books sold to book stores.

# Anyone can get this sort of information from Internet appraisal services nowadays.

So, again, exactly which of the items on the above list am I supposed to be jealous of? It ain’’t board games. I never had any interest in producing such a product. I wince at the thought of some poor kid being dragged over to the kitchen table to play John Reed’’s board game with his parents.

Actually, there is one area where I envy Kiyosaki. I wish I had a dad like his “Poor Dad.” Maybe at some subconscious level, it really bothers me that he had a good man, not a mean drunk, for a dad, then trashed him in his books for the crime of not making little Robert rich enough in his childhood to be invited to the right parties.

Since grade school, I prefer my life to his.

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