Robert Kiyosaki, age 67, jokes he’s more a member of the Millennial generation than his actual Baby Boomer cohort. In some ways, he is. Like many Millennials, he eschewed the traditional 9-to-5 office life, bounced to multiple regions during his entrepreneurial career, and is skeptical of both major political parties. He was ahead of his time in recognizing the concept of “lifetime employment” is an Industrial Age relic in the Information Age.
“I’m a free man, and I think your generation wants freedom,” Kiyosaki said of Millennials during an interview with Opportunity Lives. “The idea of going to school, getting a job, working hard, saving money,
Is all for making lives happier and continue living without a difficulty which is possible only when people have money in their hand even after their retirement. Now you can also fall back on the trading field for this and get associated with systems like the quantum codethat would be of great assistance.
buying a house, getting a house, investing in the stock market really is an obsolete idea.”
Controversial, iconoclastic and colorful, Kiyosaki sold millions of copies of his 1997 New York Times bestseller personal finance book Rich Dad, Poor Dad (a self-published tome which he said establishment publishers flatly refused until they saw its post-publication commercial appeal) questioning the orthodoxy of buying a house and entering into a mortgage. An appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show made him an overnight celebrity, triggering a dozen more books and a financial literacy franchise. All told he’s sold more than 26 million books, and he’s got a new book out this month, Second Chance: for Your Money, Your Life and Our World. This latest book seems a bit hastily written, is repetitive, and includes large excerpts from Wikipedia.
In his blockbuster, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki warned borrowers to consider their personal home purchases and mortgages (separate from real estate for commercial use) as liabilities rather than assets and to proceed with caution when investing in a primary home. Kiyosaki told Opportunity Lives he felt vindicated following the housing bubble pop of the Great Recession, when millions of families saw their wealth vanish as property values crashed. He was also critical of traditional 401k employer-based saving plans, saying the money would be better invested in cash-flow producing assets. Second Chance reiterates these same themes (one unsubtle sentence from his new book: “Today, taxes, debt, and inflation are the iron shackles that bind modern-day slaves.”).
“The tough thing about saying what I was saying is that everything I was saying was in the future,” Kiyosaki said. “I got trashed for that. But in 2007 the Dow hit 1400-something, and in October of 2007, it went down and they got crushed.”
Kiyosaki is not without his critics, especially those who point out that Rich Global LLC, one of Kiyosaki’s corporate arms, filed for bankruptcy protection following a court order to pay nearly $24 million to his former backers. Yet that corporate arm is just one of nearly a dozen Kiyosaki operates, and the settlement was not expected to harm his personal fortune, estimated by some analysts at $80 million.
Also, in many ways, Kiyosaki’s analysis mirrors data reported by The Wall Street Journal from New York University economist Edward Wolff, who analyzed the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances and found the top 1 percent of Americans, those with net worth of more than $7.8 million, hold nearly half their gross assets in unincorporated business equity and other real estate, 27 percent of wealth in financial securities, such as corporate stock, mutual funds and personal trusts, and just 9 percent of their assets in their primary residence.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Kiyosaki is highly critical of today’s educational system that does not teach personal finance.
“Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on education, but almost nothing is spent on financial education,” he writes in his typical populist tone in Second Chance. “Today’s financial knowledge is more powerful than a gun or the whips and shackles of slavery. The lack of financial education enslaves billions of people in all parts of the world….Money enslaves those who are uneducated financially. Those who are financially uneducated become slaves to a paycheck.”
Though perhaps engaging in over-the-top rhetoric, Kiyosaki’s concerns about financial literacy are backed up by research from the Council for Economic Education (CEE) showing that last year just 24 states required a high school course in economics and just 19 states required the offering of a course in personal finance. And just 16 states require students get tested in economic principles, while a mere six states mandate personal finance testing.
“It’s really the lack of education that’s killing people,” Kiyosaki said. “I agree 100 percent on the teachers unions, it’s the vested interests, it’s the political action committees that want to keep the status quo, the Common Core. It doesn’t work, but they’re going to try to do it every year. You don’t get it, you’re obsolete. The school system is broken. Cyber entrepreneurs in education, that’s who the winners will be.”
Kiyosaki has a libertarian streak, and he’s critical of the welfare state, which he says keeps people poor by simply handing out money, goods and services without helping them break the cycle of poverty by learning about purchasing assets that generate cashflow.
“As most of us know, if the government is promising to save you, you have already lost,” he writes in Second Chance. Further elaborating to Opportunity Lives, he said, “You can’t save people that don’t want to save themselves. People are waiting for an Obama or a Hillary or a Romney or a Christie to save us.”
Channeling his inner Ron Paul, Kiyosaki lambastes bank bailouts and warns of a depreciating U.S. dollar, questioning the notion of piling savings in an age of low interest rates and quantitative easing. While his books pine for a return to the gold standard – an experiment performed by the British with abysmal results – he realizes this is unlikely to happen.
“It can’t be fixed, so there’s going to be chaos for the next 30 years,” he said. “Personally I like Rand Paul and his father. I don’t have any faith that the current Industrial Age political system can make the changes needed in the Information Age … it’s obsolete. Politics is an obsolete idea. Politics is probably going to be gone in 10 years anyway.”
“As most of us know, if the government is promising to save you, you have already lost”
Kiyosaki also questions the orthodoxy of your average student attending college and loading up with student debt.
“College is good for some people,” he said. “If you’re going to be a medical doctor, please stay in school. If you’re going to be an entrepreneur then stay in school. The whole trap lies in ‘Go to school and get a job.’”
One of Kiyosaki’s favorite phrases, repeated throughout Second Chanceis that “There are three sides to every coin: a top, a bottom, and an edge.”
“Intelligence is standing on the edge and saying ‘What is best for me?’” he said. “The edge is intelligence. The moment you take a side, that’s less intelligence.”
Kiyosaki argues that there are two parts to crisis: danger and opportunity. While he predicts another stock market crash will occur next year and that Baby Boomers’ retirements are too heavily dependent on stocks, he says his approach to buying cash-generating assets can provide a hedge against volatility.
“You mark my words, the stock market will crash in the biggest bust we have ever seen,” he said. “The question is what are you going to do about it. If you want the government to take care of you, that’s not going to happen … Does a person have a victim mentality or a positive mentality? We’re all born lucky, it’s just how you interpret life.”
Carrie Sheffield is Senior Writer at Opportunity Lives. You can follow her