Blog | Personal Finance

The Rich Dad Guide to Investing Values: Defining Your Path to Financial Success

Why your priorities determine your success

meet your own rich dad - start your quiz now


  • The value of your investments lies in your priorities

  • Money really does buy you happiness

  • Don’t let security get in the way of becoming rich

Rich dad said, “When it comes to money and investing, people have three fundamental reasons or choices for investing—to be:

  • secure,

  • comfortable,or

  • rich"

Rich dad stressed that all three choices were important, but he said that the difference between those who were wealthy and those who were not could be found in the way they prioritized those choices.

Most people make money in the order of choices listed above. This means that their investment values are prioritized with security being first, followed by comfort, and finally to be rich. This is why most people make job security their priority. After they have a secure job, they focus on comfort. Being wealthy is the last focus.

“For most people,” rich dad said, “if becoming rich disturbs their comfort or makes them feel insecure, they will forsake becoming rich.”

How money does really bring happiness

Often, you hear these types of people say, “I’d rather be happy than be rich.” Many rich people have been both rich and poor. They would argue that happiness (and unhappiness) were present in both scenarios. Which begs the question, why can’t one be rich and happy at the same time?

What people are really saying is, “I’d rather feel secure and comfortable than rich.” That is because, when they feel insecure or uncomfortable, they are not happy.

And this is an important point. When it comes to most rich people, they are willing to feel insecure and uncomfortable to achieve that success. In other words, they are happy to make the sacrifices and take the risks needed.

You’ll also hear these types of folks say, “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” Turns out, scientifically, that’s wrong. An article in “The New York Times,” details a study in Sweden of thousands of lottery winners over multiple decades. According to the Times:

  • Lottery winners said they were substantially more satisfied with their lives than lottery losers. And those who won prizes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars reported being more satisfied than winners of mere tens of thousands.

  • These effects are remarkably durable. They were still evident up to two decades after a big win. (The researchers lacked the data to trace out even longer-term consequences).

The study measured happiness in lots of different ways, including subjective answers, mental health, and individual economic behavior. The result is clear, money can in fact make you happier.

Again, people can be happy whether they are poor or rich, but those who focus on building wealth have a much higher chance of true happiness because of what wealth enables.

Security and comfort do not make you happy

It’s not surprising that many people don’t want to believe that money can make you happier, even in the face of scientific evidence.

Because security and comfort are the main drivers in most people’s lives, and they have complicated views of money from their childhood, it’s not uncommon for people to create narratives about money that justify their investment values.

First off, most people don’t have money, so they like to say it will make you miserable in order to make themselves feel better for not having it.

For some, their view of money is shaped by the teachings they had as children, such as “money is the root of all evil,” a topic that is to be avoided at all cost, not talked about, and demonized. People who make money are the enemy. It's the rich against the poor.

For others, money is everything. They'll sacrifice friends, family, and integrity to get it. It's a dog-eat-dog world. That is evil, but it doesn’t make money itself evil.

For others still, money is merely a tool.

Our understanding of money often shapes our life. And our understanding of money is often something that is passed down to us from a young age, received without a critical eye, and lived out in unseen ways. Because of this, money often rules us in ways we can't understand, because we don't truly understand money and the way in which it works.

Most people think security and comfort will make them happy, but we all know employees who are miserable, even though they don’t have an immediate risk of losing their job. This is because it’s money that enables happiness much more effectively than security and comfort.

Money is evil?

Robert Kiyosaki’s poor dad, his natural father, had a strong belief that the love of money was evil and that excessive profit meant you were greedy.

As the head of the Hawaii school system, he felt embarrassed when newspapers published how much he made because he felt overcompensated in comparison to the teachers who worked for him. He was a good, honest, hardworking man who did his best to defend his point of view that money wasn't important in life.

He constantly said:

  • “I'm not that interested in money.”

  • “I'll never be rich.”

  • “I can't afford it.”

  • “Investing is risky.”

  • “Money isn't everything.”

Unfortunately, much later in life, as he was nearing death, poor dad lamented that he didn’t have much in the way of wealth to pass onto his children. His view of money changed too late in life.

Most tragically, he was not a very happy man at the end of his life. Not that money could have fixed everything, but it’s likely that had he been better off financially, he would’ve been happier as well.

Money is an important tool

Robert’s rich dad, his best friend’s dad, had a different point of view on money. He thought it's foolish to spend your life working for money and to pretend that money wasn't important. Rich dad believed that life was more important than money, but that money was important for supporting life.

He often said, “You only have so many hours in a day, and you can only work so hard. So, why work hard for money? Learn to have money and people work hard for you and you can be free to do the things that are important.”

To rich dad, his investment values were fueled by:

Having lots of time to raise his kids

  • Having money to donate to charities and projects he supported

  • Bringing jobs and financial stability to the community

  • Having time and money to take care of his health

  • Being able to travel the world with his family

  • “Those things take money,” said rich dad. “That's why money is important to me. Money is important, but I don't want to spend my life working for it.”

    Rich dad understood that money enables happiness, and that building wealth creates much more security and comfort than a life without it. Poor dad would go on to discover the same thing but much too late in life.

    What's important to you?

    Most people find the same things to be important that rich dad did. Even poor dad.

    The problem for poor dad, however, was that his attitude towards money kept him poor. And because he was poor, he didn't have the ability to fully do the things that were important to him.

    The truth is that money isn't everything, but it does help us do everything we love. And perhaps that’s the real thing to learn from the study in Sweden. It’s not money that brings happiness, but rather, it’s the things that money allows you to do that does. It follows then that before you make money, the key thing you need to do is determine what is most important to you and how money can help you achieve those things.

    The rich have different investment values

    Those who are wealthy have different investment values than most people. It looks like this:

    • rich,

    • comfortable,

    • secure

    When it comes to money and investing, all three are important. Which order you put them in is a very personal decision that should not be made lightly—but should be made before beginning to invest.

    Poor dad put security as his number one priority. Rich dad put wealth as his number one priority. It’s important that you decide which is most important for you.

    What are your investment values?

    To be rich, comfortable, and secure are personal core values. One is not better than the other. However, making the choice of which core values are most important to you often has a significant long-term impact upon the kind of life you live.

    It’s important to know which core values are most important to you, especially when it comes to the subject of money and financial planning.

    Today, you might want to take the time to list the order of your values. You may need to work through your true feelings in the process. Talk seriously with your spouse or mentor. Make “pro” and “con” lists.

    But knowing your personal priorities will save you many agonizing decisions and sleepless nights later in life.

    If you've enjoyed reading this blog you may like these Free Rich Dad Tools

    Original publish date: March 11, 2014

    Recent Posts

    The Virtue of High Expenses and Low Income
    Personal Finance

    The Virtue of High Expenses and Low Income

    Ever wondered if money that goes out of your expense column could actually return into your income column?

    Read the full post
    Understanding the History of Money is The Key to Being Rich
    Personal Finance

    Understanding the History of Money is The Key to Being Rich

    Leveraging information to create knowledge that makes you rich.

    Read the full post
    Building a Successful Business

    Beyond the Idea: Building a Successful Business in Today's Competitive Market

    Find your purpose, give it shape through the B-I Triangle, and learn as much as you can along the way. In this way, you can be both successful and happy.

    Read the full post