The Cult of the Wannabe Rich
I’ve just caught up with Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, a BBC observational documentary on what might be called the “wealth guru” subculture. The programme, by Venessa Engle, included interviews with several of the gurus: Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame, T. Harv Eker, who divulges Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and - from the UK - Marcus De Maria. However, the main focus was on the followers, including those who have found success (and in turn become “wealth mentors” themselves) and those who are still aspiring to the millionaire lifestyle - racking up thousands of pounds of credit card debts in the process, as they attend seminars and conferences and pay for financial mentors.
The “secret” appears to boil down to “get a property portfolio and some shares”, and reviews of the show unsurprisingly drip with disdain. From the Guardian:
“We’re going back to feudal times!” Kiyosaki tells his loving fans. “When you had the rich and you had the peasants!” On this evidence, they look more like they’re actually going back to the wild west, where roving merchants peddled the curative properties of snake oil, and gullible, wounded souls with nothing else to hope for fell for their spiel hook, line and sinker.