Rich Dad Poor Dad | S5 – E11 | Assets vs. Liabilities | Cash-flow Pattern of an Asset

Rich dad believed in the KISS principle—Keep It Simple, Stupid (or Keep It Super Simple)—so he kept it simple for us, and that made our financial foundation strong.

So what causes the confusion? How could something so simple be so screwed up? Why would someone buy an asset that was really a liability? The answer is found in basic education.

We focus on the word “literacy” and not “financial literacy.” What defines something to be an asset or a liability are not words. In fact, if you really want to be confused, look up the words “asset”

Rich Dad Poor Dad

An asset puts money in my pocket. A liability takes money out of my pocket.

and “liability” in the dictionary. I know the definition may sound good to a trained accountant, but for the average person, it makes no sense. But we adults are often too proud to admit that something does not make sense.

To us young boys, rich dad said, “What defines an asset are not words, but numbers. And if you can’t read the numbers, you can’t tell an asset from a hole in the ground.” “In accounting,” rich dad would say, “it’s not the numbers, but what the numbers are telling you. It’s just like words. It’s not the words, but the story the words are telling you.”

“If you want to be rich, you’ve got to read and understand numbers.” If I heard that once, I heard it a thousand times from my rich dad. And I also heard, “The rich acquire assets, and the poor and middle class acquire liabilities.”

Here is how to tell the difference between an asset and a liability. Most accountants and financial professionals do not agree with
the definitions, but these simple drawings were the start of strong financial foundations for two young boys.

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