April 8, 1947
- Known For:
Rich Dad Poor Dad
United States Merchant Marine Academy
About Robert Kiyosaki
Robert Kiyosaki is an American businessman whose alternative philosophy on personal finance has gained him a massive following. Kiyosaki, a fourth-generation Japanese American, was born on April 8th, 1947, in Hilo, Hawaii. After graduating high school and serving in the Vietnam War for a year, Kiyosaki returned to school and received an MBA. He started his first business when he was 21.
Today, Kiyosaki is the founder and leading advocate for the Rich Dad Poor Dad enterprise, which is comprised of books, seminar tours, online videos, and a radio show. Kiyosaki is dedicated to changing how people think about personal finance in the hopes that it will inspire more entrepreneurship.
After Robert Kiyosaki graduated from Hilo High School in Hilo, Hawaii, in 1965, he enrolled in Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy in New York and graduated in 1969 as a deck officer. From there, he declined an opportunity for a well-paying job with Standard Oil and instead joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Kiyosaki was a helicopter gunship pilot in the Vietnam War from 1972 to 1973 and received an Air Medal for his service.
In 1975, Kiyosaki left the Marine Corps to work as a salesman for the Xerox Corporation. His father, Dr. Ralph Kiyosaki, an educator, believed that sales were key for any successful business. Following his father’s beliefs, Kiyosaki became Xerox’s lead salesperson. It was during this time that Kiyosaki developed an interest in entrepreneurship. In 1978, he started his first company, Rippers, which sold nylon and velcro-based wallets for “surfers.”
Business and Entrepreneurship
After some success, Rippers, unfortunately, went bankrupt. This pursuit was followed by Kiyosaki’s attempt to sell certified heavy metal rock band T-shirts, a company he would ultimately sell in 1985. That same year, he started an education company devoted to teaching investing to students worldwide. After nine years, Kiyosaki decided to sell his financial education company and use his investments to retire in 1994 at 47. It was during his retirement that he wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Kiyosaki had begun studying with Richard “R.” Buckminster Fuller around this time. R. Buckminster Fuller was an American architect, philosopher, and visionary and was hailed as “one of the greatest minds of our times.” Fuller is said to have had an immense influence on Kiyosaki, ultimately inspiring him to educate others on entrepreneurship and personal finance. In 1997, Kiyosaki started Cashflow Technologies, Inc, the parent financial education company of what would become his two brands, “Rich Dad” and “Cashflow.”
Kiyosaki is also known for his real estate investments and interests in silver and gold mining. In 2002, Kiyosaki purchased a South African silver mine and a Chinese gold mine, believing that these commodities may one day protect him from any losses. In 2010, Kiyosaki revealed that he had various large investments in hotels, golf courses, and apartment complexes through his company, Rich Global, LLC, which went bankrupt in 2012.
Rich Dad Poor Dad, and Other Books
In 1997, when Kiyosaki founded Cashflow Technologies, Inc, he published his most recognizable book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. The book went on to sell more than 32 million copies across 40 countries and in 40 different languages. According to Simon & Schuster, the book stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for six years.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is described as a semi-autobiography, where Kiyosaki’s father, despite being a Ph.D. educator, inspires the story of the “poor dad.” Conversely, the “rich dad” in the book borrows from the insights Kiyosaki gleaned from his friend’s father, a wealthy investor. Consumer demand for the book exploded three years later when Oprah promoted it on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2000.
Kiyosaki published his first book, If You Want To Be Rich and Happy Don’t Go To School, in 1993, and several more books under the “Rich Dad” series. All the books aimed to educate and empower readers on personal finance while revealing the discrepancies in conventional financial wisdom. The “Rich Dad” book series has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide.
Other books by Robert Kiyosaki:
- Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom (1998)
- Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest In (2000)
- Before You Quit Your Job (2005)
- Why We Want You to Be Rich (co-authored with Donald Trump, 2006)
- Increase Your Financial IQ (2008)
- Fake (2019)
- Capitalist Manifesto (2022)
Family and Personal Life
Robert Kiyosaki met his wife, Kim, in Hawaii in 1984, shortly after launching his first company. Rippers wasn’t doing well, so for him, meeting Kim was a sign that it was time to get out of that business. From there, Kim and Kiyosaki built several businesses together before establishing the Rich Dad Company.
Kim and Robert Kiyosaki got married in 1986. They do not have any children.
Robert Kiyosaki Today
Despite massive success within personal finance education, critics today question some of the tactics Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad” series and seminars profess. Some point out the illegal or ill-advised actions in Kiyosaki’s books; others are offended by Kiyosaki’s biased political affiliations. In 2010, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation conducted an investigation on Kiyosaki’s real estate investments. They discovered several inaccuracies in what he was stating during his financial seminars.
Critics were further shocked when Kiyosaki’s company, Rich Global, LLC, went bankrupt in 2021. Rich Global, LLC had accrued $23.7 million in debt with Learning Annex from unpaid royalties. As a self-made leader and advocate for wealth and business success, this event didn’t bode well for his reputation with his followers.
Still, Robert Kiyosaki advocates for financial freedom through his Rich Dad brand with live-streamed shows, coaching programs, radio shows, and even a board game. He actively shares wealth advice and resources for his millions of Instagram followers and his political opinions for those on Twitter. He and Kim live in Phoenix, Arizona.
Robert Kiyosaki Quotes
- “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” —Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad
- “You’re only poor if you give up. The most important thing is that you did something. Most people only talk and dream of getting rich.” —Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad
- “Once again, the 90/10 rule of money applies—10% of the borrowers in the world use debt to get richer—90% use debt to get poorer.” —Robert Kiyosaki, Why We Want You To Be Rich
- “Emotions are what make us human. Make us real. The word ’emotion’ stands for energy in motion. Be truthful about your emotions, and use your mind and emotions in your favor, not against yourself.” —Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad
- “You will never know true freedom until you achieve financial freedom.” —Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant
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