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The Robert Kiyosaki Interview: Meeting Rich Dad Poor Dad in 2023 It's his height that takes one by surprise, as he towers over you, especially for the majority of us who have known him by that photo of his on his infamous book cover.

By Kabir Singh Bhandari

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Robert Kiyosaki

There are hardly any people you would come across who haven't heard of Rich Dad Poor Dad. They might not have read the book, but in book shops, at a family member's place or somewhere on the internet they would have surely seen the very recognizable cover. Written by Robert Kiyosaki in 1997, it's about the importance of financial literacy and how one can build wealth by investing in assets such as real estate. It sold over 32 million copies in 51 languages across 109 countries and was on the New York Times bestsellers list for several years.

But getting the book published wasn't exactly a cakewalk for him. "I was a very bad student. I flunked at school and used to get Fs and horrible grades. The book was turned down by every publisher, and they like the academicians, were like my Poor Dad. They would tell me, 'You don't know what you're talking about when it comes to money.' But that's the problem with America and the world, our academicians are financially stupid," the 76-year-old Kiyosaki told us when we met him at the 2nd season of the Growth Summit India in Mumbai, organized by speaker and real estate mogul Sunil Tulsiani and life coach Sneh Desai.

It's his height that takes one by surprise, as he towers over you, especially for the majority of us who have known him by that photo of his on his infamous book cover. Having authored over 25 books after his first one, the Japanese-American entrepreneur and businessman is the founder of Rich Global LLC and the Rich Dad Company, which provides personal finance education to people.

Rich Dad Poor Dad was written with several examples in his life regarding career and finances, with the 'rich dad' apparently based on his his best friend's father who became wealthy because of his entrepreneurship and the 'poor dad' being Kiyosaki's father who according to him, worked hard throughout, but could not attain financial security.

During our talk, Kiyosaki got up from the couch, took his huge 4 multi-coloured markers, and continued to illustrate his points on a whiteboard, something he is known for during his much sought after seminars. Talking About the critical points made in the book which he wrote the year after the initial one, Rich Dad's Cashflow Quadrant, he went on to elaborate on why he does not believe in the idea of traditional schooling. "For most people, that's the book that changed their lives. My Poor Dad, wanted me to go to school and then get a job. My mother wanted me to be a doctor, but that couldn't happen since I wasn't a smart student. But my Rich Dad taught me about Big Business (having 500 employees or more). For example in today's context that's someone like Elon Musk, my friend Donald Trump or Ratan Tata," he said while drawing quadrants on the board. For the unversed, Trump had done a literary collaboration with Kiyosaki called Why We Want You to Be Rich, Two Men One Message (2006) and also a second book called Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich - And Why Most Don't (2011). Kiyosaki also endorsed Trump during the 2016 presidential elections.

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"When I came to Mumbai, the first thing I went to see was the slums. Why? Because that's where America is heading. Homelessness is gripping America and the number of slums are accelerating big time, but the liberals and school teachers are still saying that we need more schools. The problem with that approach is that Artificial Intelligence will anyways take away all those jobs in time. All those in America with these high paying jobs will be finished, that's what my concern is. For the last two years, during my company's weekly meetings we get together and play YouTube videos of people who are in slums and homeless in America. A lot of them are smart, most of them are educated- but they just can't afford to live," Kiyosaki, in his colourful rimmed spectacles, explained.

According to him, the reason this is happening and shall continue to do so, is due to the tax law all over the world, combined with people's mindset. Employees pay about 40% of income in tax, while business owners pay 20% and investors pay 0%, amplifying his belief that investments are important.

Photo Credit: https://www.richdad.com/

The traditional methods are not for one like Kiyosaki, who openly says that 'don't save dollars because dollars are fake'. The one thing which he repeatedly mentioned was his distrust in the educational policy of schools. "School jams your brains up - I was called stupid all the time." The amusing part is that for a lot of us, the last statement also holds true.

The author can be reached at bkabir@entrepreneurindia.com and Instagram.com/kabirsinghbhandari

Kabir Singh Bhandari

Former Senior Assistant Editor


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