5 Things A Poor Dad Says To His Son

5 Things A Poor Dad Says To His Son

In financial wisdom and parental guidance, the contrasting advice between a ‘poor dad’ and a ‘rich dad’ often shapes how we approach money, success, and life choices. This dichotomy, popularized by Robert Kiyosaki in his influential work Rich Dad, Poor Dad, highlights how the lessons imparted by parents can significantly influence a child’s future financial habits and beliefs.

In this article, we delve into five common phrases that a ‘poor dad’ might say to his son, words that, while well-intentioned, could potentially set the stage for a limited financial mindset. Understanding and reevaluating these statements can uncover valuable insights into fostering a more empowering and growth-oriented approach to personal finance and life decisions.

Based on Robert Kiyosaki’s teachings from his book “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” here are five things a “poor dad” might say to his son:

  1. “We can’t afford that.”
  2. “Money is the root of all evil.”
  3. “Play it safe and get a stable job.”
  4. “Don’t take risks with your money.”
  5. “Study hard to find a good company to work for.”

These phrases reflect a more traditional and cautious approach to finances and career, contrasting with Kiyosaki’s “rich dad” perspective, which is more about financial education, entrepreneurship, and investment.

Let’s examine these mental models and mindsets one at a time.

“We Can’t Afford That”: The Limiting Belief About Money

“We can’t afford that” is a staple in many households, but it’s more than just a statement about current financial status. It’s a mindset. When repeated often, it instills a sense of scarcity and limitation in a child’s mind. It suggests that financial resources are always limited and out of reach.

Instead of this phrase, what if we approached financial limitations with a different rhetoric? Words like “How can we afford that?” open up a world of possibilities, encouraging creative thinking and problem-solving around finances. It’s about shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, even in financial matters.

“Money is the Root of All Evil”: Misunderstanding Wealth

“Money is the root of all evil” is a misinterpretation that can create a hostile and fearful perception of wealth. Often passed down through generations, this phrase can instill a belief that pursuing wealth is morally wrong or that money inevitably leads to adverse outcomes.

However, it’s crucial to understand that money is a tool; it’s neutral. It’s the intentions and actions behind money that define its impact. A healthier approach is to view money as a means to create positive change – for oneself, one’s family, and the broader community. This perspective encourages a responsible and ethical approach to wealth accumulation.

“Play it Safe with a Stable Job”: The Caution Over Ambition Approach.

The advice to “Play it safe and get a stable job” prioritizes job security over potentially more lucrative or fulfilling entrepreneurial ventures. While the perception of stability can be comforting, this advice can sometimes limit one’s vision and hinder pursuing career growth or financial independence.

In today’s dynamic world, where entrepreneurial and digital opportunities abound, striking a balance is essential. Encouraging a mindset that values stability and provides the path for ambition can lead to a more fulfilling career path. It’s about finding a middle ground where one can start out in life enjoying the benefits of a stable job while still exploring personal ambitions and growth opportunities.

“Don’t Take Risks with Your Money”: The Fear of Financial Uncertainty

A standard advice from the ‘Poor Dad’ is to avoid risks with money. While being cautious is essential, understanding and managing risks is crucial to achieving financial growth. Avoiding risks altogether can lead to missed opportunities and stagnation in wealth accumulation.

In my experience as a stock trader, business owner, and author, I’ve learned the importance of calculated risks. It’s not about recklessly gambling with your capital and finances but about making informed decisions where the potential rewards justify the risks. Effective risk management is critical to successful investing, entrepreneurship, financial planning, and wealth building.

“Study Hard to Work for a Good Company”: The Traditional Path to Success

The advice to “Study hard so you can find a good company to work for” emphasizes a traditional path of education leading to corporate employment. While a good education is undoubtedly valuable, this view can be limiting in the face of today’s diverse career opportunities, especially in the entrepreneurial and digital realms.

Success and education aren’t a one-size-fits-all path. Encouraging a broader view of success, including multiple pathways like entrepreneurship, freelancing, or digital careers, can open up a world of possibilities for the younger generation. It’s about recognizing that there are many ways to achieve success and financial independence.

Key Takeaways

  • Embrace Opportunity Over Scarcity: Shift from a mindset of financial limitation to creative problem-solving and opportunity.
  • Perceive Wealth Positively: Understand money as a neutral tool that can be used for good, changing the narrative around wealth.
  • Balance Security and Aspiration: Combine the desire for job security with pursuing entrepreneurial dreams and growth for a fulfilling career and new wealth-building opportunities.
  • Intelligent Risk Management: Recognize the importance of strategic risk-taking in financial growth, moving beyond a fear-based approach to money.
  • Redefine Success Pathways: Acknowledge the value of diverse career paths beyond traditional corporate roles, including entrepreneurship and digital opportunities.


This exploration into the contrasting advice of a ‘Poor Dad’ as depicted by Robert Kiyosaki, invites us to reconsider our perspectives on wealth, career, and success. It’s a call to shift from traditional, often limiting beliefs to a more expansive and proactive approach.

By adopting a mindset that sees potential and growth in every financial decision, embraces the positive aspects of wealth, balances stability with ambition, wisely navigates risks, and recognizes the multitude of paths to success, we can redefine our financial and personal journeys.

The phrases a ‘Poor Dad’ might say as highlighted by Robert Kiyosaki, reflect a more cautious, traditional approach to money and life. However, adopting a growth and abundance mindset in a rapidly changing world and offering new opportunities is essential. We must challenge old beliefs and be open to new ways of thinking about wealth, success, and personal development.

As we do so, we improve our lives and set a powerful example for the next generation. Let’s encourage them to think differently, to see possibilities where others see limitations, and to pursue a life of abundance in all its forms. This article isn’t just about questioning old sayings but forging new paths and perspectives that align with our dynamic, multifaceted world.