NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Every Wednesday I get somebody who is influential, who’s got an opinion and whom we find interesting.
I caught up with Robert Kiyosaki, who is the author and founder of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.
ROBERT KIYOSAKI: I’m 70 years old and when I was a kid entrepreneurship was a swearword. It’s now being more accepted, which is good. I have about 1 500 employees, and I provide a lot of jobs. I pay salaries and insurance and healthcare and all that, and that’s what entrepreneurs do versus the government.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Among the big CEOs that I’ve spoken to, all say the same thing in the sense that entrepreneurship is no longer a choice or an alternative; it’s something that we need to be instilling in young people from a young age, whether it’s in high school or in university, or whatever the case may be. From your perspective, would you agree that we need to start youth-entrepreneurship programmes from probably young ages?
ROBERT KIYOSAKI: Absolutely. The idea of “go to school and get a job” is now an obsolete idea. There was globalisation which wiped out blue collar workers – in America I’m talking about – and today robots and AI, artificial intelligence, are wiping out the call it “educated worker”.
In America law schools are shutting down because there is not enough demand for lawyers, simply because artificial intelligence can do their jobs.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: It’s an easy concept, but there are a lot of challenges and a lot of resilience you need to have when you are in the entrepreneurship space. From your perspective, what would you say are some of the personality traits one needs to have in order to be a successful entrepreneur?
ROBERT KIYOSAKI: Well, most important is blow power, because you will fail. You have to stand back up. You will make mistakes and you have to learn from your mistakes. And hopefully you have the highest legal, ethical and moral standards because in the world of money a lot of people are liars and scum, and you’ve really got to be able to know whom you can trust – legal, ethical and moral people. I think those are the hardest things. I have a team of not advisers – they are my team – and I trust them implicitly. But to get those people I went through a lot of bad people, accountants and attorneys who are liars. Finding the best people is 99% of the challenge.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: I read quite a bit of your blogs, and the one thing I do love about your blogs is how honest you are. You basically tell it like it is, especially when it comes to the advice.
One particular blog that stood out for me was when you talked about the myth of savings as a means to get rich. There are a lot of financial experts out there who’ll always tell you you’ve got to save your money, you’ve got to save your money. You go through that myth and get into what is good debt versus bad debt, and the types of other peoples’ money that people need to explore when they look at their investment strategies. Take me through that understanding of the myth of savings.
ROBERT KIYOSAKI: Well, just look at the rand. Why would you save rand, why would you save dollars? In 1971 President Nixon, who screwed the world, basically took the dollar off the gold standard, and savers became losers. And 83% of parents still tell kids to save money. That’s really obsolete. It’s like “go to school, get a job, save money and get out of debt”. I mean, the US dollar became debt in 1971, and basically that means the US dollar, the rand, the yen and the peso are counterfeit money. And people save it – they’ve got to be nuts.
So if I can plug my latest book, it’s called “Why the Rich are Getting Richer,” which should be out soon. That’s what I really do. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” was elementary school. “Why the Rich are Getting Richer” is graduate school, and it’s what really is financial education. Some lawyer asked one of the reasons I’m out here in South Africa – it’s about the launch of the book because, if you don’t change your beliefs, such as saving money and getting a job, that being secure and getting out of debt is smart, you’ll probably get wiped out in the near future. That’s why the rich are getting richer.
I’m not saying most people can do what I do – and that’s what Donald Trump and I do, though he’s not the most popular guy. But the thing that makes the rich richer, number one, is a crash, and we’re heading for a crash. Number two is debt – I use debt to acquire assets. And number three, the rest I’m not paying taxes legally.
The average person never learns that in school. So they do things like their mommy and daddy did, and they are going to get wiped out in the near future.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: For young people who are listening to this interview, where do they start when it comes to thinking differently about their money?
ROBERT KIYOSAKI: Well, buy my books, naturally [chuckling]. “Why the Rich are Getting Richer” will talk to them. I’m not saying you can do what I do and Donald Trump does, but at least it’ll explain why in this crash coming up I’m going to get richer, but most guys will get wiped out. And then I use debt to acquire assets. I don’t use savings, I use debt.
And, number three, I don’t pay taxes legally. Anybody can do it, any country in the world, but you have to have real financial education. So that’s really where it starts. Until a young person questions what their mother and father and what their school teaches them, they’ll probably wind up like them. That’s the story of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. My poor dad was a Stanford University, University of Chicago, North Western PhD [graduate], a poor man. Why would I follow in his footsteps? I love him dearly, but the guy could not change his thoughts.
My rich dad was an entrepreneur that’s why his first lesson to me was the rich don’t work for money. And only now is it coming out at Stanford University that training your child to work for money or be an employee actually kind of damages their brains, because the power of your brain is so much more powerful than money.
Rich dad never paid me. He forced me to be creative and think how to make money from nothing, whereas my friends pay for their kids’ education, and give them money all the time. But the kids are completely hopeless today. They are still waiting for somebody to give them a high-paying job and good college degrees. They’ve been trained to be employees, and you can’t think like that. That’s what wipes you out.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Let’s talk property investments – and I know that you are an investor, especially in the real estate sector, and a lot of South Africans are also looking at property investments right now. But they might be discouraged with what’s happening in the economy. What are the essentials to becoming a successful real estate investor? What kind of team do you need by your side to help you and advise you?
ROBERT KIYOSAKI: That’s a great question, because there is a another book. There are three books coming out simultaneously, and the book you are asking about is called “More Important than Money”. It’s an entrepreneur’s team. So to do what I do you’ve got to have the best accountant and the best attorney and the best banker. I don’t use my own money. I don’t need to save money. I don’t invest for the long term on the stock market. You can do that if you like, but I think for property the number one thing is you’ve got to love it. I love real estate. I drive around Africa or any place in the world and I look at real estate and I want to own all of it. I play Monopoly – that’s how my rich dad taught me to love real estate. So I love real estate. I don’t love stocks and I don’t like Bitcoin.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Really?
ROBERT KIYOSAKI: I don’t think they’re bad. I just don’t love them. So when I talk to the young people, I say you want to find what sport you want to be good at. I was a rugby player – that’s why I love the Springboks, I just love them. I’m passionate. But I didn’t play soccer, I didn’t play cricket. But if you are really a cricket player or a soccer player, then those are your games. You should play them.
So I love real estate and I play it to win. I love it. But I don’t have that same passion about the stock market. But if you do, play to win in the stock market.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: What would you say are some of the investment mistakes that somebody might say you should avoid?
ROBERT KIYOSAKI: Well, number one, there is bad education – and I don’t mean a PhD in education like my poor dad from Stanford University, Chicago and North Western and poor as a church mouse. And a bad attitude, that the love of money is the root of all evil and the rich are evil and greedy and all that stuff. It’s basically socialism and communism.
If you are going to be successful in money, it helps to be a capitalist. [Laughing] Most guys say, well, capitalists are crooks. Well, let me tell you something. There are crooks everywhere in every profession. So don’t blame the rich for being crooks. Look at the Catholic Church. They have paedophiles all over the place, and the Catholic Church keeps growing. So this idea of labelling capitalists as crooks is a socialist idea. It’s really important that you are who you hang out with, and who you hang out with are your basically core beliefs and aspirations.
I don’t want a job. I never wanted a job, but that’s why I provide jobs. And the reason most people don’t become entrepreneurs is they are still looking for the pay check with benefits. And if that’s the case, get a job with the government, if that’s what you want.
But I would die if I were a government employee. I just couldn’t take it. It’s just I don’t get a job with the government. It’s really about your passion and your love and how much you want to learn. If you just want money, get a job with the government.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: That’s was Robert Kiyosaki, the author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.
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