Robert Kiyosaki

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Robert Kiyosaki
Robert Kiyosaki 2006.jpg
Kiyosaki in 2006.
Born Robert Toru Kiyosaki
(1947-04-08) April 8, 1947 (age 68)
Hilo, Hawaii, United States
Residence Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Alma mater United States Merchant Marine Academy (BS)
Occupation Founder of the Rich Dad Company and Cashflow Technologies, Inc.
Author of the Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books
Principal Host of the Rich Dad Radio Show
Financial columnist on Yahoo Finance
Former host of Rich Dad TV on PBS
Years active (1973–94)
Net worth Increase$80 million[1][2]
Spouse(s) Kim Kiyosaki (since 1985)

Robert Toru Kiyosaki (born April 8, 1947) is an American businessman, investor, self-help author, educator, motivational speaker, financial literacy activist, financial commentator, and radio personality. Kiyosaki is the founder of the Rich Dad Company, a private financial education company that provides personal financial and business education to people through books, games, seminars, blogs, coaching, and workshops.[3] He is also the creator of the Cashflow board and software games to educate adults and children business and financial concepts.

A seminal entrepreneur, Kiyosaki found international fame self-publishing the best-selling personal finance classic Rich Dad Poor Dad and has made millions establishing financial literacy programs to help others achieve financial independence.[4] The author of more than 26 books, including the international personal finance blockbuster classic Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books which has been translated into 51 languages, available in 109 countries and have combined sales of over 27 million copies sold worldwide.[5][6] Three of his books, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Rich Dad's Cashflow Quadrant, and Rich Dad's Guide to Investing, have been on number one on the top 10 best-seller lists simultaneously on Publishers Weekly, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New York Times. In 2005, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as one of that bookseller’s top 25 authors.[7]

With perspectives on personal finance and investing that often contradict conventional wisdom, Kiyosaki has been heralded as a visionary for simplifying complex concepts and ideas related to business, investing, finance, and economics and his storytelling ability that resonate with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. He has garnered an international reputation for his straight talk, irreverence, and courage where he believes that the world needs more entrepreneurs to create jobs to spur economic growth and solve pressing world issues. Much of his teachings encourage people to become financially educated and to take an active role in investing for their financial future.[8][9]

A passionate and outspoken advocate for financial education, Kiyosaki has stressed that importance that entrepreneurship, business education, investing, and that comprehensive financial literacy concepts should be taught in schools around the world.[10][11] Kiyosaki also operates his own blog, acts a principal host on his YouTube Channel called The Rich Dad Channel, radio show called the Rich Dad Radio Show and maintains a monthly column on Yahoo Finance writing about his business endeavors and his perspective on global economics, investing, business, world financial markets, and personal finance.[12][13]

Early life and career[edit]

A fourth-generation Japanese American, Kiyosaki was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii to a well educated middle-class family. He is the eldest son of Ralph H. Kiyosaki (1919–1991), a prominent academic and educator and Marjorie O. Kiyosaki (1921–1971), a registered nurse. Ralph was the head of Education and later became unemployed after he ran for the office of Lieutenant Governor of the state of Hawaii, and he lost the election against his boss. As a result of that loss, Ralph was later blacklisted from the government and never recovered professionally. Ralph later dipped into his retirement savings and purchased a Swensen's ice cream franchise, which eventually went bankrupt that left him in destitute unemployment in his later life.[14][15][16]

Robert displayed an interest in business and investing at the young age of nine. One of his first business ventures was a counterfeit nickel making company that he started with his childhood friend. Kiyosaki began melting down lead toothpaste tubes and forging lead coins in plaster-of-paris molds. His father foiled his plans when he later explained to Robert that the toothpaste venture was "illegal" and constituted counterfeiting but commended Kiyosaki for taking initiative in his entrepreneurial aspirations.[17][18][19]

Displaying an interest in business and investing at a young age, Kiyosaki along with his childhood friend Mike would then learn basic business, investing and financial concepts from Mike's father, an 8th grade high school dropout who later became a successful businessman and one of the richest private investors in Hawaii whom Kiyosaki called his "Rich Dad". Kiyosaki spent many days after school and summer breaks during his teenage years learning financial and business concepts and lessons from his Rich Dad, often through the use of anecdotes, real world business examples, and through the board game Monopoly. His Rich Dad would often state the purpose for playing Monopoly was because the formula, 4 green houses and 1 red hotel for great wealth was found in the game.[15][20][21][22][23] Many of these business lessons taught by Rich Dad would later become the literary groundwork for Kiyosaki's book Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as the foundation for Kiyosaki's business career.[24][25]

One of Kiyosaki's first business lessons he learned from his Rich Dad was experiencing the “Rat Race”. His Rich Dad was able to achieve this by making Kiyosaki and his friend Mike work in one of his grocery stores for three hours for ten cents an hour pay. Within a couple weeks, Kiyosaki, grew tired of being exploited for labor, demanded that he receive a pay raise, but instead, his Rich Dad cut his pay and told him to work for free as a fundamental financial lesson. Kiyosaki and his friend Mike eventually learned the lesson later by starting a comic book library business. Kiyosaki learned of the opportunity through while working in his town’s general store stacking cans. One day, he saw the manager trashing the previous month’s comics to make room for newer editions. Robert then took advantage of this opportunity by asking for old comics – still in excellent condition and then utilized the old comics to start his own comic book library in his friend’s basement. The comic book library soon became a neighborhood success and Kiyosaki employed Mike's sister for $1 a week to manage the store. The comic book library soon boomed and Kiyosaki and his friend averaged $9.50 USD in weekly revenue.[17][18][19][26][27] The comic library lesson later taught Kiyosaki the importance of starting his own successful business in order to take control of his own personal finances.[18]

After graduating from Hilo High School in 1965, Kiyosaki attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in New York, graduating with the class of 1969 as a deck officer, and a commission as a 2nd LT in the U.S. Marine Corps.[16] After graduating from college in New York, Kiyosaki began his career by taking a job with Standard Oil's tanker office as a third mate sailor, earning about $42,000 annually (equivalent to $264,000 today). His career with Standard Oil was short-lived and Kiyosaki resigned with the organization after 6 months to join the Marine Corps to hone his business and leadership skills.[28] He served in the Marine Corps as a helicopter gunship pilot during the Vietnam War in 1972, where he was awarded the Air Medal.[29] Kiyosaki enrolled in a 2-year MBA program at the University of Hawaii in 1973 but later dropped out. During the same time, Kiyosaki also attended 3-day real estate investing course where he laid the foundation for his business career.[16][30] He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in June 1974. Though Kiyosaki could have chosen a career to fly for the airlines, he instead took a job as a sales associate for Xerox to further hone his business skills by selling copy machines in Leesburg, Virginia until June 1978.[16][28]

In 1977, Kiyosaki launched his business career. Kiyosaki entered the retailing industry and started a company that brought to market the first nylon and velcro surfer wallets. Kiyosaki and his products were featured in Runner's World, Gentleman's Quarterly, Success Magazine, Newsweek, and Playboy.[31] The company was moderately successful, but eventually went bankrupt, as he wanted to save money on costs and did not intellectually protect the product. Kiyosaki then started a rock and roll retail business that licensed T-shirts, hats, wallets, and bags for heavy metal rock bands such as Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, and Duran Duran. Many of the products were in national chains like JCPenney, Tower Records, and Spencer Gifts. The company went bankrupt in 1980.[16]

In 1985, Kiyosaki established an international business education company teaching entrepreneurship, investing, and social responsibility to thousands of people throughout the world.[16] In 1994, Kiyosaki sold the education company and through various strategic real estate investments, allowed him to retire at the age of 47.[16][32] In 1997, he began his writing career and launched Cashflow Technologies, Inc., a business and financial education company[33] which owns and operates the Rich Dad and Cashflow brands.[34] Today the Rich Dad Company is a multimillion-dollar financial and business education company operating in over 100 countries offering comprehensive real world business and financial education to millions of people all over the world.[32]

Business ventures and investments[edit]

Aside from operating the Rich Dad Company and Cashflow Technologies, Inc., Kiyosaki continues to operate external business ventures and various investments carving his niche as a businessman and parlaying his ventures and investments into a massive business and financial empire since he came out of retirement in 1997. Many of these ventures are concentrated in the information technology (mobile apps and internet), publishing, retail, education, mining, energy, financial market, and real estate industries. Kiyosaki asserts that he makes 2 million USD in cash flow per month tax free from all his businesses and investments.[35] Kiyosaki's estimated wealth is about $80 million USD.[36]


In 1997, Kiyosaki launched Cashflow Technologies, Inc., a business and financial education company[33] which owns and operates the Rich Dad and Cashflow brands.[34][37] Kiyosaki started the Rich Dad Company at his kitchen table with his wife Kim. He financed the venture when he raised $250,000 in seed capital from private investors.[38] Kioysaki has established a multimillion-dollar financial education empire spanning books, board games, videos, seminars and speaking engagements.[39] In 2014, the company leveraged the global success of the Rich Dad games with the launch of new and breakthrough offerings in mobile and online gaming as well as Rich Dad's Clutch, a digital learning platform.[40]


Kiyosaki bought a silver mine in Argentina and took a gold mining company in China public in 2002, and took public additional mines from IPOs listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange during the early 2000s.[15][41] In 2009, Kiyosaki revealed in his book Conspiracy of the Rich that he is currently working on a copper mining company located in Vancouver, British Columbia that is set to be taken public once copper prices begin to appreciate.[42][43]

Real estate[edit]

Kiyosaki is an active real estate investor. A large portion of his business empire and wealth is concentrated in real estate investing.[44] Kiyosaki's real estate empire encompasses some several thousand cash flowing apartment complexes, commercial properties, luxury hotel, a boutique hotel, and five courses. He has various real estate investments, real estate development ventures, and property management ventures operating around the United States, such as Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma. Kiyosaki says he does not invest in real estate just to own real estate but states that his primary intent to invest in real estate is to leverage debt, minimize taxes, and ultimately hang onto the property for cash flow. Many of his properties are one hundred percent debt financed utilizing rolling-equity refinances and government tax incentives without using a dime of his own money.[30]

Kiyosaki's first investment property was an $18,000 USD 1 bedroom and 1 bath condo located near Lahaina, Maui, where many of the properties provided housing for employees that worked at several luxury hotels nearby. He used a credit card to finance his down payment of $1,800 with rest of the financing coming from the seller making the property 100 percent debt financed. His real estate investment venture netted him $25 in monthly positive cash flow with none of his own money invested in the deal creating an infinite return on investment.[30] After finding success with his first venture, Kiyosaki later purchased two more condo units development using two different credit cards. He then sold two of the three condos for approximately $35,000 USD each, realizing a $17,000 USD capital gains profit to which he later regretted when he realized how much capital gains taxes on the profit he had to pay. He held on to the remaining unit until the late 1980s and eventually sold it for $375,000 USD when the real estate market boomed on the island of Maui.[30] Kiyosaki starting his own real estate holding company in the 1980s during his tenure with Xerox and continued on with single family property investments after the Savings and loan crisis and the 1986 Tax Reform Act hit the United States in the early 1990s, where much foreclosure investment real estate was sold for pennies on the dollar. During the crisis, Kiyosaki purchased a 2 bedroom 1 bath house for $50,000 in Portland, Oregon. He placed $5,000 down with the rest of the financing coming from the seller with his total PITI payments costing him about $450 a month. He later sought bank financing for a "home improvement" loan to which he later used to improve the property to a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom property. The appraisal of the property was valued at $95,000 with the bank offering an 80 percent loan of $76,000. After all expenses and loans were paid off, Kiyosaki netted $25,000 in his pocket in addition $200 monthly cash flow. He later sold the property for $95,000 in 1990 and rolled over the profits via a 1031 exchange to an apartment house.[45]

After progressing with smaller real estate investments, Kiyosaki moved into the commercial real estate business, branching off into semi-large apartment complexes, with a large portion concentrated in Arizona and the Southwestern United States and retired in 1994. During the housing market slump in the mid 1990s, Kiyosaki began investing aggressively in the real estate market where he was able to purchase a $75,000 house at a bankruptcy court for $20,000 and sold it later for $60,000 with only five hours of work. He later rolled over the profits into his real estate holding company as a form of a promissory note. Kiyosaki was able to do go through six of those "buy, create and sell" bankruptcy court real estate transactions that netted him a windfall profit of $190,000, which was later sheltered into his real estate holding company which was later converted into a note used for other corporate expenses.[46][47] He also invested in a mini-storage facility that netted him $12,000 monthly cash flow to which he later used the monthly rental proceeds to purchase a Porsche.[48] Eventually, he sold the mini-storage and rolled the profits into another apartment property.[49]

During the subprime mortgage crisis in the 2000s, Kiyosaki invested heavily having acquired nearly 40% of his 2015 portfolio of distressed properties during the downturn.[30] In 2008, Kiyosaki purchased a 300 unit, $17 million apartment complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[50] Many of his commercial real estate holdings include luxury and boutique hotels, golf courses, and large apartment complexes as stated in an interview with The Alex Jones Show in 2010.[51][52] During the same year, Kiyosaki acquired a $46 million Arizona landmark resort with 5 five golf courses that was in foreclosure at a bankruptcy court.[53][54][55] In 2011, he invested in a 2000 unit apartment house construction project.[56] In May 2015, he invested in a 1600 unit apartment complex for $80 million USD.[30] Kiyosaki earns approximately $250,000 in monthly cash flow from his apartment houses alone.[57] In December 2015, Kiyosaki refinanced a $300 million mortgage at 2.5 percent on one of his apartment complex investments.[39][58]

Since coming out of retirement in 1997, Kiyosaki remains involved with the apartment business and stated in an interview with Jason Hartman in 2011, that he owns over 1400 units of apartment houses.[57][59] Kiyosaki has been involved with commercial real estate sector such as investing in warehouses, Triple net lease and real estate development ventures around the United States.[60][61] Kiyosaki has a preference for commercial rental property investments over other real estate classifications.[62]

He has also advocated to budding entrepreneurs to partner with the government and help rectify business problems government wants solved such as providing affordable rental housing or solar power to the masses.[62] Kiyosaki has also advised investors not to invest in paper assets as people will see that money and shares are not real wealth and instead focusing on acquiring hard assets such as property and resources such as oil, gold and other precious metals.[4][63]

Oil wells and natural gas[edit]

Kiyosaki has been in the oil business since the late 1990s and got interested in the oil industry dating back to his days working at Standard Oil.[42] He owns a number of oil drilling operations and oil wells in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, but does not invest in oil company stocks such as ExxonMobil or BP.[16][64][65][65][66][67] In late 2013, Kiyosaki invested in three new oil wells at a 10 percent stake.[68]

Solar company[edit]

In a 2010 Rich Dad Insiders video, Kiyosaki stated that he made a substantial investment in a startup solar energy company.[64]

Financial market[edit]

In the past, Kiyosaki has also been actively involved in financial markets but has asserted that he now rarely invests in the stock market, bond market, or other traditional investment markets that involves paper assets. He has preferred to keep much of his wealth concentrated in privately controlled companies, real estate, and commodities as he has expressed his desire for better control over these investments.[68]

In his book Rich Dad Poor Dad, Kiyosaki mentioned achieving consistent 16% ROI through tax lien certificates.[69][70] Written in a chapter of Rich Dad's Prophecy, Kiyosaki states of having invested in various government tax free bonds such as municipal bonds and municipal mortgage real estate investment trusts offered by real estate development companies paying over 12% tax-free dividend interest.[71]

Kiyosaki has also stated in interviews that he does not invest or play the stock market, much like the fact that he does not invest in oil company stocks opting to prefer technical trading in the financial market. He has been an active options trader where he has traded stock options, Forex currencies, and other derivatives.[57] With regards to options trading, Kiyosaki has recommended technical analysis when cash flowing with stocks such as focusing on dividend yields and covered calls instead of the traditional momentum trading strategy that is employed by many novice stock investors.[72] Kiyosaki has mentioned investing in hedge funds, private placements, and other various funds such as private equity funds typically investments reserved by SEC law only for millionaires or high-income individuals. Written in a chapter of Rich Dad's Prophecy, Kiyosaki has previously invested in IPO's and developing small cap stocks and buying stakes in companies through private placements or limited partnerships before they go public.[73] Some of the various companies he has invested in include a consumer products company, a silver company, an oil company that eventually went bankrupt, and a gold company.[74] Though Kiyosaki has also criticized mutual funds for lack financial transparency, Kiyosaki is a hedge fund investor, where hedge funds themselves lack financial transparency that traditional mutual funds also do. Though he has never recommended that ordinary investors should invest in hedge funds, he has defended his position in investing hedge funds as he states they are tailored for rich people, that he personally knows the person that owns and runs the hedge fund, and understands the use of leverage that the hedge fund employs.[75]

Kiyosaki is involved in the commodity market where he invests in gold and silver commodities as well as gold and silver ETF's, as written in chapter of his 2008 book, "Rich Dads, Increase Your Financial IQ". He stated this for the reason that he uses commodities as a hedge against uncertain economic forces such as inflation and hyperinflation as well as government's mismanagement via printing of the nation's currency.[70] Kiyosaki also states that investing in gold and silver is a hedge is akin to buying an insurance policy against fiat money and corruption in the financial system. Kioysaki also believes that gold and silver will be valuable for at least another 1000 years. [39]

One of the many investments Kiyosaki has advocated to investors is silver.[76] Since 2007, Kiyosaki has also stressed in many of his books on investing in silver as silver is an affordable for anyone looking to build and protect wealth as well as people who are uncertain of the falling US dollar.[77] Kiyosaki has recommended to his readers the purchase of physical silver bars, silver coins, silver mining stocks, or silver ETFs for anyone looking to invest in silver.[76] He has stated that silver is an industrial metal it is used in cellphones, iPhones, laptops, iPads, electrical relays, medical equipment and water purification systems. With the information age taking hold, government manipulation of the US dollar, the higher the demand of silver will be. He also cites silver investments as a hedge against quantitative easing. Kiyosaki has also stated that silver is consumed while gold is hoarded and that silver has been real money for thousands of years and is an industrial and precious metal that is consumed which Kiyosaki considers silver more valuable than gold with the Federal Reserve printing of money that erodes the value of the dollar.[76]

Through his teenage years, Kiyosaki dabbled with silver and gold coins as a starting investment during the 1960s. In a July 2005 Yahoo Finance article, Kiyosaki stated that

If you only have a few dollars, you may want to go to your local coin dealer and buy silver and gold coins as close to the price of gold or silver as possible. I would not invest in 'collectible' precious metal coins unless you really know a good collectible coin from a bad one. For as little as $20 you can buy a few precious metal coins and begin to take steps to prepare for one of the biggest crashes in world history.[78]

Kiyosaki states that he is a "gold bug", meaning that he holds various commodities such as gold and silver to hedge against government misprinting of the US dollar as a fiat currency since the early 1970s when President Richard Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard. He prefers hard assets such as gold and silver over equities as the stock market is too volatile for him to invest in and has also stated that he has no control over the financial statements and inner operations of the company based on the stock he invests in as well as lack of tax incentives offered by paper assets.[79]

Business and financial advice[edit]

Main article: Rich Dad

Kiyosaki's financial and business teachings focus on what he calls "financial education" generating passive income by means of focusing on business and investment opportunities, such as real estate investments, businesses, stocks and commodities, with the ultimate goal of being able to support oneself by such investments alone and thus achieving true financial independence without working for a paycheck through a conventional salaried job. Kiyosaki defines the term "assets" as things that put money in ones pocket and describes an asset can be anything as long as it has value, produces income or appreciates, and has a ready market.[80] He states that assets generate cash inflow, such as stock dividends, rental income from properties, or income from businesses, and the term "liabilities" as things that devour cash out of ones pocket, such as one's personal residence, consumer loans, car loans, credit card payments and student loans. Kiyosaki argues that financial leverage is crucial in becoming rich despite risks, repercussions, and pitfalls that come with utilizing leverage to achieve financial independence.[81] Kiyosaki stresses the importance of building up an asset first to fund one's liabilities instead of saving cash or relying on a salary.[39]

Originally self-published before being picked up commercially to become a best seller, the central concept of his book, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" is an anecdotal comparison of his "two fathers." His "poor dad" was his biological father, who was highly educated and became superintendent of the Hawaii State Department of Education but was always struggling financially. Contrasted with this is his "rich dad," who was his best friend's father, a successful businessman who later became "one of the richest men in Hawaii" by investing the income from his businesses into income-producing investments such as real estate and was an 8th grade high school dropout. Its main purpose as a self-help book is to help people rethink their idea of money and their concept of themselves as employees who will gain financial rewards from conformity and education. In an April 2012 Rich Dad blog, Kiyosaki has advised young people in college or graduating from high school to explore the aspects of non-traditional education offered by community college courses on investing hosted by professionals where one can learn important new world skills like computer programming, web design, and more at a fraction of the cost than a traditional education at a four-year university. Additionally, Kiyosaki has also stressed the importance of financial education in addition to one's academic and professional education, financial education acquired by attending seminars, reading books, taking classes on sales, marketing, and advertising and hiring a coach.[82]

Kiyosaki uses the "rich dad, poor dad" comparison to illustrate his view that the majority of people are stuck in what he refers to as "the rat race"–living paycheck to paycheck and spending all of their time working to pay bills and other expenses. In his books, Kiyosaki has recommded hard asset tax-advantaged investment vehicles, such as real estate or businesses, rather than ownership of paper assets such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds.[68] This idea is further developed in his later books and "Rich Dad" became Kiyosaki's personal brand for various publishing ventures. Kiyosaki's business approach stresses the importance of financial literacy through the acquisition of what he calls "assets" as the means to obtaining wealth and to train one's mind to see opportunities is the first step to creating or acquiring assets. He says that life skills are often best learned through experience and that there are important lessons not taught in school. He says that formal education is primarily for those seeking to be employees or self-employed individuals, and that this is an "Industrial Age idea." In order to obtain financial freedom, Kiyosaki stresses the importance of knowing the difference between an asset and a liability and to learn how to create assets that produces income or appreciates, and has a ready market.[83] Furthermore, Kiyosaki also states one must be either a business owner or an investor, or both generating passive income particularly on a monthly basis.[84][85] Kiyosaki has also emphasized that it’s not the assets like real estate, stocks, mutual funds, businesses or money that makes one rich but what one know and the information, knowledge, wisdom, and know-how one’s financial intelligence that makes a person rich.[86]

Kiyosaki also stresses the importance of entrepreneurship and investing, developing strong financial aptitude and having savvy business skills and shrewd business acumen, and focusing on looking for business opportunities and developing multiple revenue streams instead of looking for a traditional job to achieve great wealth.[87] He states that the richest people in the world own businesses and entrepreneurship has created the most billionaires among the worlds wealthiest people.[39][88] He has stressed in his books that people should create assets that produce cash flow such as being an entrepreneur and investing in real estate. He has continuously advocated throughout his books entrepreneurship and real estate investing as a vehicle for building wealth and achieving financial success despite a higher requirement and employment of a different skill sets diametrically opposed to being a conventional employee such as being able to successfully brand, market, sell, and communicate. In addition, there are higher difficulties, higher effort, time, money, and labor, high capital and management intensiveness, high failure rates and inherent financial risks, instability, insecurity commonly associated when one is involved in starting a business or investing. Furthermore, there are disadvantages of high instability and uncertainty, high probability of loss of investment seed capital and business failure, difficultly of competition, volatility, difficulty of operation, high capital and people intensive management, vacancies and poor liquidity that comes with it.[89][90]

He has also advocated the importance of learning to read financial statements as it measures how smart one is financially and learning to read financial statements in order to achieve great wealth and financial independence as he considers one's financial statement your "report card" after one leaves school and joins the workforce.[91][92][93] With regards to business, Kiyosaki states that roughly 80% of the very rich became rich through building a business, stressing the study of the basics of business and entrepreneurship, such as learning how to sell, brand, and market in order to be a rich investor and good business owner, or to know what a business owner knows.[88]

Kiyosaki has also emphasized the importance of investing for cash flow instead of capital appreciation when analyzing and buying investments.[68][94] Kiyosaki has stressed the importance of focusing on cash flow when analyzing any business or investment as cash flow is realized when one purchases an investment and hold on to it, and every month, quarter, or year that investment returns money to the investor.[68] Kiyosaki has asserted that an investor should look for cash flow over capital gains or invest for cash flow and capital gains in the best case investment scenario. He has stated every investment whether business, a stock, or a piece of real estate should be looked at from a business perspective and that one should invest as an entrepreneurial partner seeking active control over the investment in percentages of the business to mitigate risk instead of from the point of view as a traditional shareholder.[68] He states that the cash flow investor focuses on long-term trends and is not affected by short-term market fluctuations or aren't as susceptible to market swings. He reasserts himself that rich people put their money to work and make their money from their investments. With regards to capital gains, Kiyosaki has criticized real estate “flippers”, calling them "dealers" and not investors as they got caught when the real estate market turned down during the 2000s subprime mortgage crisis as well as being subject to self-employment taxes. When the market reversed and crashed, the properties were no longer worth what the flippers bought them for, and there were no buyers to flip the properties to.[95][96]

Kiyosaki often refers to what he calls "The CASHFLOW Quadrant", a conceptual tool which he developed to categorize the four major ways income is earned in the world of money. Depicted in a diagram, this concept entails four groupings, split with two crossed lines (one vertical and one horizontal). In each of the four groups there is a letter representing a way in which an individual may earn income. The letters are as follows.

  • E: Employee – Working for someone else.
  • S: Self-employed or Small business owner – Where a person owns his own job and is his own boss.
  • B: Business owner – A person who owns a business to make money; typically where the owner's physical presence is not required.
  • I: Investor – Investing money in order to receive a larger income in the future or analyses other businesses as potential investments.

For those on the left side of the divide (E and S), Kiyosaki says that they may never obtain true wealth. Conversely, those on the right side of the divide (B and I) are supposedly following the only road to true wealth. Kiyosaki also classifies the four main "asset" classes as means of gaining wealth:[97][98]

  • Businesses: Businesses that generate monthly cash flow that don't require the owner's physical presence.
  • Real Estate: Real estate such as owning warehouses, small family homes, or apartment houses that generate monthly cash flow.
  • Paper Assets: Investments such as stocks, bonds, ETF's, hedge funds, etc.
  • Commodities: Gold, silver, iron ore, or copper that are used to hedge government's mismanagement printing of the nation's currency.

Kioysaki has also referred to the "three types of incomes", the types of income is earned in the world of money. Kiyosaki has continuously emphasized the importance of converting earned income into passive and portfolio income as quickly as possible.[99][100]

  • Earned Income: Income from wages via a traditional job, labor and paycheck, interest on savings, and retirement plans. Kiyosaki states that earned income is the highest taxed income and the income of the poor and middle class. It is also the income that is the hardest to build wealth with.
  • Portfolio Income: Income one gets from your portfolio of investments where it is generally derived from paper assets such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. It is the second highest taxed income. It is the most popular type of income because paper assets have high liquidity and are easier to manage and maintain.
  • Passive income: Income one gets continuously on a regular basis without working on the part of the person who’s receiving it. Generally derived from businesses, real estate, royalties, trademark licenses, stock dividends and distributions. It is the lowest-taxed income, with many tax benefits, and is the easiest income to build wealth with.

Kiyosaki also advocates the value of games, particularly Monopoly, as tools for learning basic financial concepts and strategies such as "trade four green houses for one red hotel." Kiyosaki has created several games such as Cashflow 101 and Cashflow 202 to reinforce the financial concepts written in his books.

Views on Australian real estate[edit]

In December 2014, Kiyosaki believed that the Australian real estate was in a property bubble that was about to burst as he considered many foreign investors who are buying anything they can get their hands on. Kiyosaki has since then advised Australian investors to invest in commodities such gold or oil, where prices were falling.[101]

Views on mutual funds[edit]

Kiyosaki had criticized mutual funds for lacking financial transparency.[75] He wrote in one column that investors in any mutual fund with a 2.5% annual fee would, over a long time period take over 80% of the risk, surrender 80% of the earnings to the fund, while only earning 20% of the mutual fund profits, if there are any left over.[102] Kiyosaki expanded on his criticism of mutual funds in another column by stating they are for "losers."[103] Despite the fact that most mutual funds actually charged less than 1.1%.[104] He has drawn much criticism for comparing investing in mutual funds to playing the lottery, and for discouraging 401(k) investing, contrary to the advice of most professional financial advisers.[105] In contrast to these statements, Kiyosaki wrote in his book Prophecy that while mutual funds are not great investments, they remain one of the few acceptable investment vehicles available to those who will not educate themselves financially.[106] With regards to mutual funds and most paper assets in general, Kiyosaki ridicules the retirement advice advised by many financial experts of "invest for the long term" and diversification as he considers the advice to be "bad advice" especially with HFT systems used by giant investment houses, with the capital to buy and operate multimillion-dollar computers, that are capable of performing thousands of trades a minute, trading against hapless amateur investors, day trading with the big investment houses are trading in milliseconds often ripping into the pension plan profits held by many pensioner retirees.[107][108][109]

Kiyosaki's criticisms are supported by the founder of the mutual fund Vanguard, John C. Bogle. In a Frontline episode titled "401(k)s: The New Retirement Plan, For Better or Worse", Bogle stated that management fees and trading costs gobble up approximately 2.5% of an investor's annual returns and approximately 80% of an investor's long term gains. He says management costs reduce the value of a $1,000 investment over 65 years from approximately $140,000 at 8% compounded annually to a mere $30,000 at 5.5% compounded annually. Bogle's solution is to utilize index funds, which charge as little as 0.09%, to substantially reduce or eliminate management fees.[110]

Media appearances[edit]

Many local stations of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), including WTTW of Chicago, KAET of Phoenix, KOCE of Orange County, California, WLIW of the New York/New Jersey area, and WGBH of Boston, featured Kiyosaki with his now cancelled Rich Dad TV series. His latest TV special was a fund-raising drive. During this television special, Rich Dad's Guide to Wealth with Robert Kiyosaki, he provides viewers with financial education, opposing the common notion of getting a college degree and downplaying the importance of attaining academic or professional education to achieve financial success.

Kiyosaki acts as a financial commentator and has given financial advice on numerous network television news channels such as on CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg. He has also been a featured guest with many prominent media outlets such as CNN, BBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera, GBTV, and PBS to People's Daily, Sydney Morning Herald, The Doctors, Straits Times, and NPR.[111]

He has appeared on programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show,[112] Fox and Friends,[113][114][115] Larry King Live,[116] The O'Reilly Factor, The Alex Jones Show,[52] Glenn Beck,[117] and Your World with Neil Cavuto.[113][118][119][120] In 2002, a speech given by Kiyosaki became the subject of a CNN story.[121]

In 2006, Kiyosaki appeared on CNBC, discussing financial issues, answering questions from the audience, and comments by the financial experts were also invited. In particular, Kiyosaki also filled in a few episodes under the title The Millionaire Inside Debt-Free and The Millionaire Inside: Get Inspired. Other financial experts accompanied Kiyosaki, including David Bach, Jennifer Openshaw, Larry Winget, Keith Ferrazi, and Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts.[122][123]

In 2009, Kiyosaki was featured in a 10 Questions session in Time magazine.[124] Kiyosaki has criticized other financial gurus, particularly the financial teachings of Suze Orman and Jean Chatzky, calling it "bad advice". Orman responded to Kiyosaki's attacks via Twitter and the two engaged in a Twitter war in March 2010.[125]

In 2013, Kiyosaki began hosting his own online radio show, where it focuses on his personal views on money, entrepreneurship, business, personal development and the global economy. With his personal frustration with financial advice being dispelled by financial pundits in mainstream financial and business media, Kiyosaki began envisioning his own radio show with his own team of professionals from the world of money, investing, business, and personal development. The show also hosts his wife, Kim Kiyosaki, special guests, as well as Rich Dad advisers where they provide various viewpoints on setting the foundation for financial prosperity.[126]

Personal life[edit]

Kiyosaki has 3 younger siblings: Emi Kiyosaki (b.1948), Jon Kiyosaki (b.1949), and Beth Kiyosaki (b.1951). Emi Kiyosaki, is a former Tibetan Buddhist nun who was then known by the name Ven. Tenzin Kacho. He has co-authored one book with Emy called "Rich Brother, Rich Sister".

Kiyosaki's mother, a nurse, died suddenly of heart failure in March 1971. His father, a schoolteacher and a long-time smoker, died of lung cancer in 1991.

Robert is married to Kim Kiyosaki, who is now an entrepreneur, investor, author, and motivational speaker.[127] Since 1994, the Kiyosakis have lived in the Scottsdale area in Phoenix, Arizona. Kiyosaki also owns and rents out a vacation home in Hawaii.[128] He also owns a sailboat that is chartered throughout the Hawaiian Islands. He also owns several luxury cars that include a Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, Mercedes Benz and a Ferrari.[129][130][131][132]

In a Jetset magazine column on October 20, 2015, Kiyosaki endorsed and supported Republican candidate Donald Trump for the 2016 Presidential elections.[133] Kiyosaki stated that he foresaw Donald Trump's candidacy back in 2006 as much of his support to Trump resonates through their common ground as educators, investors and entrepreneurs as well as the growing need for financial education. He also says Trump is the one candidate who knows how to create jobs and make money in addition to having enough influence and desire to convince Congress to lower corporate income-tax rates to repatriate offshore money held by multinational corporations in foreign nations.[134]

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Kiyosaki's books and teachings have been criticized for emphasizing anecdotes and containing nothing in the way of concrete advice on how readers should proceed or work.[135] Kiyosaki responds that his material is meant to be a motivational tool to get readers thinking about money rather than a guide to wealth. He also says the books are supposed to be "interesting" to people, which does not involve a lot of technical material.[136]

In 2010, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation investigated the Rich Dad seminars associated with Kiyosaki on their consumer advocacy program, Marketplace.[137] They found that one-day free seminars were conducted at which three-day courses were offered for $500. At the three-day classes, participants were offered longer courses priced between $12,000 and $45,000. A hidden camera was employed at a $500 seminar in Kitchener, Ontario, showing the trainer, Marc Mousseau, advising participants to request that their credit-card limits be raised and giving out scripts with instructions on how to ask for limits as high as $100,000.[138]

The show interviewed Bob Aaron,[139] a lawyer whose practice is 90% real estate law, who said that some of Mousseau's advice was unusual and unlikely to work, such as advising that a developer might give two condos free when selling ten, getting an option to buy the house at a later date, and buying a house in pre-foreclosure.[138] The program also found a claim by the trainer to be untrue; he claimed to have been part of a deal that made $32 million on a mobile home park in Saskatchewan, but the park did not exist. The instructor was described as "overbearing, obnoxious, and rude" by an attendee, after showing video footage of his behavior.[137]

When questioned about the findings of the program, Kiyosaki said he too was unhappy about how the company running the seminars, Tigrent Learning (formerly Whitney International) was conducting them and that these were not the first complaints he had heard. He promised to look into the problems and said they would serve as "ammunition I need" in his "continuing to pressure them" and "constantly saying" to Tigrent Learning that he is "unhappy with them". He claims not to have known "how severe it was" at the time of partnering with them that Tigrent Learning had such a "checkered past". "I'm more upset than you are; I really am," he told the interviewer, "It disturbs me. It's not my fault."[138]

On August 20, 2012, one of Kiyosaki's companies, Rich Global LLC, filed for bankruptcy in Wyoming Bankruptcy Court.[140] The move followed a ruling by a U.S. District Court jury that former business partners of Kiyosaki were entitled to $23,687,957.21 of the profits from events they helped to set up for Kiyosaki including a 2002 appearance at New York's Madison Square Garden. A spokesman for Kiyosaki asserted that the amount of the award exceeded the value of Rich Global LLC and that Kiyosaki would not use money from outside the company to meet the judgement.[141]


Kiyosaki wrote the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Kiyosaki has also written more books on the same theme.

  • If You Want to Be Rich & Happy: Don't Go to School?: Ensuring Lifetime Security for Yourself and Your Children (1992). ISBN 0-944031-38-2.
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad – What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (first published in 1997) Warner Business Books. ISBN 0-446-67745-0.
  • Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom (2000). ISBN 0-446-67747-7.
  • Rich Dad's Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! (2000). ISBN 0-446-67746-9.
  • The Business School for People Who Like Helping People (March 2001). ISBN 99922-67-42-9 – endorses multi-level marketing
  • Rich Dad's Rich Kid, Smart Kid: Giving Your Children a Financial Headstart (2001). ISBN 0-446-67748-5.
  • Rich Dad's Retire Young, Retire Rich (2002). ISBN 0-446-67843-0.
  • Rich Dad's Prophecy: Why the Biggest Stock Market Crash in History Is Still Coming… and How You Can Prepare Yourself and Profit from It! (2002). Warner Books. ISBN 0-641-62241-4.
  • Rich Dad's The Business School: For People Who Like Helping People (2003) ISBN 979-686-729-X.
  • Rich Dad’s Success Stories (2003)
  • You Can Choose to be Rich (2003) 12-CD Audio series with three books.
  • Rich Dad's Who Took My Money?: Why Slow Investors Lose and Fast Money Wins! (2004) ISBN 0-446-69182-8.
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad for Teens: The Secrets About Money – That You Don't Learn in School! (2004) ISBN 0-446-69321-9.
  • Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business (2005). ISBN 0-446-69637-4.
  • Rich Dad's Escape from the Rat Race – Comic for children (2005)
  • Why We Want You to Be Rich: Two Men, One Message (2006) co-written with Donald J. Trump ISBN 1-933914-02-5.
  • Rich Dad's Increase Your Financial IQ: Get Smarter with Your Money (2008). ISBN 0-446-50936-1.
  • Rich Dad's Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money (2009). ISBN 0-446-55980-6
  • Rich Dad's Rich Brother Rich Sister (2009) co-written with Emi Kiyosaki
  • The Real Book of Real Estate: Real Experts. Real Stories. Real Life. (2009) ISBN 1-4587-7250-0.
  • An Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education (2011). ISBN 1-61268-010-0.
  • Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich And Why Most Don't (2011), co-written with Donald J. Trump ISBN 1-61268-095-X.
  • Why 'A' Students Work for 'C' Students and Why 'B' Students Work for the Government: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Education for Parents (2013). ISBN 978-1612680767.
  • The Business of the 21st Century (2014), co-written with John Fleming and Kim Kiyosaki ISBN 8183222609.
  • Second Chance: for Your Money, Your Life and Our World (2015) ISBN 978-1612680460
  • 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs: How Military Values and Experience Can Shape Business and Life (2015) ISBN 978-1491583876


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