On a Mission to Teach The World Financial Freedom
And Just Who Was Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad?”
By KEAN WONG & MATT GNAIZDA
Oct. 30, 2005
NEW YORK—He grew up with one “rich dad” and one “poor dad.” Now his story inspires tens of millions around the world to escape the “rat race” and attain financial freedom.
“If you’re poor, you’re enslaved,” said Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and other books about personal finance and business in an interview on October 23 with The Epoch Times. Kiyosaki spoke to a cheering crowd of over ten thousand earlier that day at the Learning Annex’s Real Estate Wealth Expo in New York City.
While Kiyosaki is a successful investor and entrepreneur, he does not consider that his true success. His true success has been inspiring millions of others to follow his path.
Growing up as a fourth-generation Japanese-American, Robert Kiyosaki’s father had a Ph.D. and was a high-ranking government official on the Board of Education in Hawaii, yet always struggled with money—this was his “poor dad.” Kiyosaki’s best friend’s father—his “rich dad”—never finished the eighth grade, yet went from almost nothing to being one of the richest men in Hawaii.
Very little, if anything, has been written about who Kiyosaki’s “rich dad” really was. Interestingly, and perhaps for the first time ever, Kiyosaki revealed that his “rich dad” was in fact of Chinese descent. “In Hawaii, the Japanese went into academia and government, while the Chinese went into business and real estate,” said Kiyosaki.
But in the early days it was a struggle for Kiyosaki to reject his biological father’s ideas about money—that a person should graduate from a good college, get a well-paying job and work hard until retirement—and instead accept his best friend’s father’s view that a person should learn to make money work for them. But it made all the difference. “I’m a rebel,” admits Kiyosaki.
After graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York, Kiyosaki went to Vietnam where he was a helicopter gunship pilot in the Marine Corp. After the war and a stint as a Xerox salesperson, he quit his job and started his first company selling nylon and Velcro wallets designed for surfers. (As a native Hawaiian, he was a surfer himself.) Since then, he has started several companies and made many successful investments in real estate and more recently in commodities. Besides advice from his “rich dad,” he credits real estate and personal development courses he took in the mid-’70s as giving him the knowledge and motivation to kick-start his journey along the road to financial freedom.
Kiyosaki has now published a series of ten books, including “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” which has sold over 20 million copies in 44 languages and 80 countries. Surprisingly, his books have sold especially well in China, where he said that of the government’s 20 recommended foreign books, two are his. Kiyosaki, however, is not so surprised that his books have done so well in the quasi-communist nation. He mused, “There’s no such thing as a communist. All Chinese are capitalist.”
Kiyosaki believes that “the United States and England are actually communist countries, too.” He riles against the U.S.’s use of heavy taxation to support burdensome social welfare programs, including Social Security. “There will be millions of Americans who will never be able to retire” because it is inadequate, he says.
A major theme throughout Kiyosaki’s teachings is the truth about money. Most currencies around the world are “fiat money,” that is, paper money not backed by fixed assets such as gold or silver as in the past. With the U.S. dollar devaluing over the years under this system, the simple strategy of saving money is no longer sufficient. In today’s world, Kiyosaki advocates first learning how to save and ridding ourselves of credit card debt. The next crucial step is to learn how to invest wisely given the credit system and the current economic trends.
In his books and lectures, Kiyosaki explains how banks make billions of dollars by being allowed to effectively print money from “thin air” using a system known as fractional-reserve banking and then lend it out at interest. For example a bank might need to have only $10,000 in reserve to lend out $100,000 for a mortgage in which they get back $250,000 in interest and principal over the duration of a 30-year mortgage. This process is one example of how banks make money work for them, and Kiyosaki tries to show individuals how to use this principle in their life.
Nonetheless, the banking system that keeps the majority of people in the “rat race”—working hard for money—can also be one of the keys to financial freedom. For many ordinary people, discovering how to properly use finance to invest in real estate can mean the difference between retiring poor and retiring financially independent. In fact, the majority of new millionaires became so through investing in real estate. For generations, these “secrets of the rich” were kept within the confines of a select circle of wealthy investment banking clients. Today, people like Kiyosaki and others are sharing these secrets with the masses.
What he teaches in his books and worldwide lectures has historically never been taught even in top universities, which emphasize academic IQ over what Kiyosaki calls “financial IQ.” In this Fall 2005 semester, however, over a dozen colleges are for the first time adapting the “Rich Dad CASHFLOW Personal Financial Course,” a new curriculum based on Kiyosaki’s teachings.
Another major theme throughout Kiyosaki’s lectures and books is change. In this rapidly-evolving world, those who don’t change themselves and keep growing and learning will be left behind and be enslaved by the system, he says. For example, since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, it has become much easier for companies to contract out professionals in developing countries, where they can find employees with the same skill set at much lower cost than in the U.S.
Thus, workers today need to constantly change themselves and build their knowledge to adapt to the requirements of the modern world. The days of life-long careers are no more. The Internet and telecommunications technologies have destroyed millions of jobs from old industries. At the same time, these technologies allow entrepreneurs and home-based business owners to compete effectively with large corporations, providing the opportunity for people to fully utilize their talents as well as retire much sooner. For example, a July 2005 study by ACNielsen International Research revealed that over 724,000 Americans rely on their eBay businesses for their primary or secondary income.
And it’s not about capitalism without a conscience, either. Kiyosaki strongly believes that business practices should be conducted not just legally but ethically and morally. While he admires others who have their own “crosses to bear” (his sister is a nun who follows the Dalai Lama), the way Kiyosaki fights the battle for freedom is not by getting involved with politics but by educating people to free themselves financially. It takes not only doing things differently, but also thinking differently. He said, “Freedom has nothing to do with government. It has to do with how people think.”
Robert Kiyosaki’s website can be found at www.richdad.com.
Are you Passionate about Internet Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy?
I’ll NEVER forget the day when I met and interviewed Robert Kiyosaki in person in New York City (#1 Best Selling Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad) – the interview you just read above.
Rich Dad Poor Dad inspired me to literally quit my job as a high paid management consultant back in 1999 so I could begin my path of being a Mission-Driven Internet Entrepreneur. I’ve been working from the comfort of my home and traveling the world ever since.
Over the last few years I even took a few years off online marketing to produce an award-winning film which became an Oscar Contender for Best Documentary in 2014. I couldn’t be more grateful for being able to get out of the “Rat Race” to live a life of purpose and freedom!
So if you are passionate about Internet Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy, register for our “STAR Producer Global Pre-Launch” webinar below. Discover the power of social media and a 5 step strategic system that can revolutionize your business and your life!