Robert Kiyosaki is the best-selling author of the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” series of financial education books, which have collectively sold over 26 million copies worldwide. This makes him one of the best-selling business writers of all time.
A large part of the appeal of Kiyosaki’s books lie in the apparent common sense of what he teaches:
- Your financial goal in life should be the attainment of “financial freedom”. You attain financial freedom by building businesses and investing in assets which will generate passive income. This is distinct from “financial security” where someone works as an employee with the objective of receiving a steady paycheque
- To Kiyosaki, the concept of attaining “financial security” by having a job is an oxymoron, given the current state of the economy (e.g., layoffs) and the structural changes in the global economy (e.g., downsizing and offshoring)
- What you learn in school does not prepare you for financial freedom because schools don’t teach financial literacy, which is a prerequisite to building businesses and investing in assets. Rather, the current school system prepares you to be an employee.
Throughout his series of books, Kiyosaki uses stories involving his “rich dad”and his “poor dad” as parables to highlight the above concepts. His “rich dad” was his best friend’s father, a high school dropout who became one of the richest men in the state of Hawaii, where Kiyosaki grew up. His “poor dad” was his real biological father, a highly educated PhD who was once the Superintendent of Education for the state of Hawaii, but died broke at the end of his life.
The following is an interview with Kiyosaki on the Oprah Winfrey show. Within the financial education industry, Kiyosaki is a controversial figure since the advice he imparts is somewhat unconventional. However, what he says is always engaging, and we will leave you to decide the merit of what he teaches.