Robert Toru Kiyosaki (born April 8, 1947) is an American businessman and author. Kiyosaki is the founder of the Rich Dad Company, a private financial education company that provides personal finance and business education to people through books and videos. He is also the creator of the Cashflow board and software games to educate adults and children business and financial concepts.
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, available in 109 countries and have combined sales of over 27 million copies sold worldwide.
Early life and career
Kiyosaki was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. Kiyosaki is part of the Yonsei generation of Japanese Americans, he is the eldest son of Ralph H. Kiyosaki (1919–1991), an academic and educator and Marjorie O. Kiyosaki (1921–1971), a registered nurse. He attended Hilo High School and graduated in 1965. Kiyosaki received congressional nominations from Senator Daniel K. Inouye for the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Kiyosaki chose to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy in New York. He graduated in the class of 1969 as a deck officer with a Bachelors of Science degree and a commission as a 2nd LT in the U.S. Marine Corps. After graduating from college, Kiyosaki took a job with Standard Oil’s tanker office as a third mate sailor. Kiyosaki resigned after six months to join the Marine Corps. He served in the Marine Corps as a helicopter gunship pilot during the Vietnam War in 1972, where he was awarded the Air Medal.
Kiyosaki enrolled in a 2-year MBA program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 1973. 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 1977, Kiyosaki started a company called “Rippers”. 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. The company eventually went bankrupt. Kiyosaki then started a rock and roll retail business that licensed T-shirts, hats, wallets, and bags for heavy metal rock bands. The company went bankrupt in 1980. In 1985, Kiyosaki established a business education company teaching entrepreneurship, investing, and social responsibility. In 1994, Kiyosaki sold the education company. In 1997, he launched Cashflow Technologies, Inc., a business and financial education company that owns and operates the Rich Dad and Cashflow brands.
Other business ventures and investments
Kiyosaki operates other external business ventures and investments. Many are concentrated in the information technology (mobile apps and internet), publishing, retail, education, mining, energy, financial market, and real estate industries. Kiyosaki asserts that he makes 2 million USD in cash flow per month tax free from all his businesses and investments. Kiyosaki’s estimated wealth is about $80 million USD. Kiyosaki is involved with the apartment business and owns over 1400 units of apartment houses. Kiyosaki 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.
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. In 2008, Kiyosaki purchased a 300 unit, $17 million apartment complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Many of his commercial real estate holdings include luxury and boutique hotels, golf courses, and large apartment complexes as stated in an interview with The Alex Jones Show in 2010. During the same year, Kiyosaki acquired a $46 million Arizona landmark resort with 5 golf courses that was in foreclosure at a bankruptcy court. In 2011, he invested in a 2000 unit apartment construction project and earned approximately $250,000 in monthly cash flow. In May 2015, he invested in a 1600 unit apartment complex for $80 million USD. In December 2015, Kiyosaki refinanced a $300 million mortgage at 2.5 percent on one of his apartment complex investments. In May 2016, Kiyosaki stated he controls over 10,000 apartment units producing over one million dollars in cash flow every month. Kiyosaki has been in the oil business since the late 1990s. He owns a number of oil drilling operations and oil wells in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. In 2013, Kiyosaki invested in three new oil wells at a 10 percent stake. In late 2015, Kiyosaki amassed a portfolio of 400 privately controlled oil wells.
Business and financial advice
Main articles: Rich Dad and Rich Dad Poor Dad
Kiyosaki’s financial and business teachings focus on what he calls “financial education” generating passive income by means of focusing on business and investment opportunities, such as real estate investments, businesses, stocks and commodities, with the ultimate goal of being able to support oneself by such investments alone and thus achieving true financial independence without working for a paycheck through a conventional salaried job. Kiyosaki defines the term “assets” as things that put money in ones pocket and describes an asset can be anything as long as it has value, produces income or appreciates, and has a ready market. He states that assets generate cash inflow, such as stock dividends, rental income from properties, or income from businesses, and the term “liabilities” as things that devour cash out of ones 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 risks, repercussions, and pitfalls that come with utilizing leverage to achieve financial independence. Kiyosaki 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.
Kiyosaki is married to Kim Kiyosaki. Since 1994, the Kiyosakis have lived in Phoenix, Arizona. Kiyosaki endorsed and supported Republican candidate Donald Trump for the 2016 Presidential elections.