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Robert Toru Kiyosaki (清崎 徹, Kiyosaki Tooru, born April 8, 1947) is an American businessman and author.[1] Kiyosaki is the founder of Rich Global LLC and the Rich Dad Company, a private financial education company that provides personal finance and business education to people through books and videos.[2] The company's main revenues come from franchisees of the Rich Dad seminars that are conducted by independent people using Kiyosaki's brand name for a fee.[citation needed] He is also the creator of the Cashflow board and software games to educate adults and children about business and financial concepts.[3]

Robert Kiyosaki
Kiyosaki in 2014.
Kiyosaki in 2014.
BornRobert Toru Kiyosaki
(1947-04-08) April 8, 1947 (age 72)
Hilo, Hawaii, U.S.
OccupationBusinessman, author
Alma materUnited States Merchant Marine Academy (BS)
University of Hawaii at Hilo (dropped out)
SubjectPersonal finance, business investing
Notable worksRich Dad, Poor Dad
Years active(1973–94)
SpouseKim Kiyosaki

Kiyosaki's seminars in the United States and Canada are conducted in collaboration with a company called Whitney Information Network and are contracted out to local companies as franchisees in other countries.[4] However, some attendees have sued Kiyosaki on claims that his high-priced seminars did not deliver anything special.[5]

Kiyosaki is the author of more than 26 books, including the international self-published personal finance Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books which has been translated into 51 languages and sold over 27 million copies worldwide.[6][7] He has been criticized for advocating the practices of debatable legality perceived as "get rich quick" philosophy.[8] Kiyosaki is the subject of a class action suit against him by people who attended his seminars and has been the subject of two investigative documentaries by CBC Canada and WTAE USA.[9][10] Kiyosaki's company filed for bankruptcy in 2012.[11]

Early life and careerEdit

Robert Toru Kiyosaki was born on 8 April 1947 in Hilo, Hawaii.[12] A part of the Yonsei generation of Japanese Americans, he was the eldest son of Ralph H. Kiyosaki (1919–1991), an academic and educator, and Marjorie O. Kiyosaki (1921–1971), a registered nurse. Kiyosaki was followed by his three siblings - sisters Emi and Beth, and his brother John. He attended Hilo High School and graduated in 1965. Thereafter, most information on Kiyosaki comes from speeches and talks he has made of his life. As per Kiyosaki, he received congressional nominations from Senator Daniel K. Inouye for the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.[13] He attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in New York and graduated in 1969 as a deck officer with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Marine Corps.[14] After graduating from college, Kiyosaki took a job with Standard Oil's tanker office as a third mate. Kiyosaki resigned after six months to join the Marine Corps,[15] serving as a helicopter gunship pilot during the Vietnam War in 1972, where he was awarded an Air Medal.[16][citation needed]

As per Kiyosaki, he enrolled in a two-year MBA program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 1973 while he still was in the military.[17] He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in June 1974. He took a job as a sales associate for Xerox until June 1978. In 1974, Kiyosaki attended the Erhard EST seminars, which he says changed his life.[14][15] In 1977, he started a company called "Rippers".[18] The company brought to market the first nylon and velcro surfer wallets. Kiyosaki and his products were featured in Runner's World, Gentleman's Quarterly, Success Magazine, Newsweek, and Playboy.[19] The company eventually went bankrupt.[18]

Kiyosaki then started a retail business that made T-shirts, hats, wallets, and bags for heavy metal rock bands. The company went bankrupt in 1980.[14]

In 1985, Kiyosaki cofounded the Excellerated Learning Institute, a business education company teaching entrepreneurship, investing, and social responsibility.[14] Around this time, he married his second wife, Kim, who had already invested in some real estate in Phoenix. In 1994, Kiyosaki sold the education company.[14][20]

In 1992, Kiyosaki published his first book, If You Want to Be Rich and Happy, Don't Go To School. In his book, he encouraged parents not to send their children to college and instead to enter the real estate business.[21]

In 1997, Kiyosaki launched Cashflow Technologies, Inc., a business and financial education company[22] that owns and operates the Rich Dad and Cashflow brands.[23] Kiyosaki partnered with Amway to promote his book. As per an interview with Forbes, Kiyosaki's main earnings come through franchisees of the Rich Dad seminars.[citation needed]

Other business ventures and investmentsEdit

Kiyosaki's earlier two businesses (for surfing bags with Velcro fasteners and T-shirts) went bankrupt.[24] Subsequently, he set up a company for financial and real estate education that initially performed better, with a main business model of high-priced seminars (ranging from $12,000 to $50,000 per head).[citation needed] In an interview with CBC, Kiyosaki described his books as an advertisement for his higher-priced seminars. In 2012, Kiyosaki's company "Rich Global LLC" filed for bankruptcy.[25]

He operates other external business ventures and investments, mainly in the information technology (mobile apps and internet), publishing, retail, education, mining, energy, financial market, and real estate industries.[26] Kiyosaki asserts that he makes two million USD in cash flow per month tax-free from all his businesses and investments;[27] his estimated wealth is about US$80 million.[28] He owns over 1,400 units of apartment houses[29][30][31] and has been involved with commercial real estate sector such as investing in warehouses, Triple net lease and real estate development ventures around the United States.[32][33]

During the subprime mortgage crisis in the late 2000s, Kiyosaki invested heavily having acquired nearly 40% of his 2015 portfolio of distressed properties during the downturn.[34] In May 2016, Kiyosaki stated he controls over 10,000 apartment units producing over one million dollars in cash flow every month.[35] Kiyosaki has been in the oil business since the late 1990s.[36][37] He owns a number of oil drilling operations and oil wells in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.[14][38][39][39][40][41] In 2013, Kiyosaki invested in three new oil wells at a 10 percent stake.[42] In late 2015, he amassed a portfolio of 400 privately controlled oil wells.[43]

Business and financial adviceEdit

Kiyosaki operates through a number of companies that he owns fully or in part, and through franchisee arrangements with other companies authorized to use his name for a fee.[44] This includes Rich Dad LLC, Whitney Information Network, Rich Dad Education and Rich Dad Academy.[45] In addition to publishing several books on business and financial advice, Kiyosaki also wrote the foreword to Tom Wheelwright's 2012 book Tax-Free Wealth.[46] Kiyosaki's financial and business teachings focus on what he calls "financial education": generating passive income by focusing on business and investment opportunities, such as real estate investments, businesses, stocks and commodities, with the goal of being able to support oneself by such investments alone and thus achieving true financial independence. He has a series of authors and other "experts" that he often cites as "Rich Dad Advisors" on real estate investing, financial planning, and avoiding taxes.[47] Kiyosaki uses the term "assets" for things that put money in one's pocket.[48][49] He states that assets generate cash inflow, such as stock dividends, rental income from properties, or income from businesses. He defines "liabilities" as things that devour cash out of one's pocket, such as one's personal residence, consumer loans, car loans, credit card payments, and student loans. Kiyosaki argues that financial leverage is crucial in becoming rich despite the risks from utilizing leverage to achieve financial independence.[50] He stresses the importance of building up an asset first to fund one's liabilities instead of saving cash or relying on a salary from a traditional job.[51]

Personal lifeEdit

Kiyosaki is married to Kim Kiyosaki. Since 1994, the Kiyosakis have lived in Phoenix, Arizona.[52]

Kiyosaki endorsed and supported Republican candidate Donald Trump for the 2016 Presidential elections.[53]


In 2007, the Ohio state Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing issued a statement warning people against some of the illegal methods preached by Kiyosaki in his books and seminars.[54][55] In 2010, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation did an exposé on scams that were being perpetuated by Kiyosaki's company in Canada in the guise of seminars. Upon tracking the success claims of "Rich Dad" seminar organizers, they discovered that these claims were not true. Investments in trailers and trailer parks, which were being propagated as "successful" by seminar teachers, were found to actually be barren pieces of land that no one was using.[56]

From 1990 to 1995, Kiyosaki used Amway to promote his book with multi-level marketing. He was sued by his fellow author Sharon Lechter in 2007 for not keeping to the terms of their agreement.[57]

Kiyosaki's advice have been criticized for emphasizing anecdotes and containing nothing in the way of concrete advice on how readers should proceed or work.[58] He replies that his material is meant to be a motivational tool to get readers thinking about money rather than a guide to wealth, that "rich dad" was a fictional character,[59] and that the books are supposed to be "interesting" rather than involve a lot of technical material.[60] According to John Reed, a real estate advisor, Kiyosaki's books often advise illegal practices such as using insider tips from rich friends (insider trading), vulture real estate purchases, taking more debt on credit cards than one can handle and declaring bankruptcy whenever one's plans go awry.[61] Reed also claimed that:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is one of the dumbest financial advice books I have ever read. It contains many factual errors and numerous extremely unlikely accounts of events that supposedly occurred.

Kiyosaki is a salesman and a motivational speaker. He has no financial expertise and won't disclose his supposed real estate or other investment success.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad contains much wrong advice, much bad advice, some dangerous advice, and virtually no good advice.

In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he admitted that he partnered with a real estate firm to promote their business through his seminars. He also admitted that since the Rich Dad seminars were franchisees that functioned independent of him, he had little control over their content. Kiyosaki has been criticized for being anti-education, advocating for people to drop out of school and for unfolding the idea of higher education being superfluous for financial success.[62][63] He has ridiculed people who are highly educated and academically successful and has said "the best way to get even with A-grade students was to make them employees of mine".[29] He has described people who go to college as "suckers" and PhD holders as people who are "poor, helpless, and desperate", alluding to Kiyosaki's own father, who became poor and unemployed during the last years of his life despite a PhD.[29][64][65][66][67]

In 2006 and 2007, Kiyosaki's Rich Dad seminars continued to promote real estate as a sound investment, just before their prices came crashing down.[68]

In 2010, Allan Roth of CBS News documented what occurred when he attended one of Rich Dad's free seminars and dissected some of the tactics employed.[69] The Marketplace expose on his seminars in Canada showed what occurred in $450 seminars through a hidden camera including Kiyosaki's response to them.[70]

Books authoredEdit

  • Rich Dad Poor Dad – What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (first published in 1997) Warner Business Books. ISBN 0-446-67745-0.
  • Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom (2000). ISBN 0-446-67747-7.
  • Rich Dad's Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! (2000). ISBN 0-446-67746-9.
  • The Business School for People Who Like Helping People (March 2001). ISBN 99922-67-42-9 – endorses multi-level marketing
  • Rich Dad's Rich Kid, Smart Kid: Giving Your Children a Financial Headstart (2001). ISBN 0-446-67748-5.
  • Rich Dad's Retire Young, Retire Rich (2002). ISBN 0-446-67843-0.
  • Rich Dad's Prophecy: Why the Biggest Stock Market Crash in History Is Still Coming… and How You Can Prepare Yourself and Profit from It! (2002). Warner Books. ISBN 0-641-62241-4.
  • Rich Dad's The Business School: For People Who Like Helping People (2003) ISBN 979-686-729-X.
  • Rich Dad's Success Stories (2003)
  • You Can Choose to be Rich (2003) 12-CD Audio series with three books.
  • Rich Dad's Who Took My Money?: Why Slow Investors Lose and Fast Money Wins! (2004) ISBN 0-446-69182-8.
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad for Teens: The Secrets About Money – That You Don't Learn in School! (2004) ISBN 0-446-69321-9.
  • Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business (2005). ISBN 0-446-69637-4.
  • Rich Dad's Escape from the Rat Race – Comic for children (2005)
  • Why We Want You to Be Rich: Two Men, One Message (2006) co-written with Donald J. Trump ISBN 1-933914-02-5.
  • Rich Dad's Increase Your Financial IQ: Get Smarter with Your Money (2008). ISBN 0-446-50936-1.
  • Rich Dad's Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money (2009). ISBN 0-446-55980-6
  • Rich Dad's Rich Brother Rich Sister (2009) co-written with Emi Kiyosaki
  • The Real Book of Real Estate: Real Experts. Real Stories. Real Life. (2009) ISBN 1-4587-7250-0.
  • An Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education (2011). ISBN 1-61268-010-0.
  • Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich And Why Most Don't (2011), co-written with Donald J. Trump ISBN 1-61268-095-X.
  • Why 'A' Students Work for 'C' Students and Why 'B' Students Work for the Government: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Education for Parents (2013). ISBN 978-1612680767.
  • The Business of the 21st Century (2014), co-written with John Fleming and Kim Kiyosaki ISBN 8183222609.
  • Second Chance: for Your Money, Your Life and Our World (2015) ISBN 978-1612680460
  • 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs: How Military Values and Experience Can Shape Business and Life (2015) ISBN 978-1491583876
  • Why the Rich Are Getting Richer (2017) ISBN 978-1612680880
  • FAKE: Fake Money, Fake Teachers, Fake Assets: How Lies Are Making the Poor and Middle Class Poorer (2019) ISBN 978-1612680842


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  58. ^ Sing, Terrence (July 13, 2003). "Writer ignores critics of his self-help success".
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External linksEdit