In today’s conversation of the Achieve Your Goals podcast, Hal’s good friend, Robert Kiyosaki, shares his top tips on financial literacy, spiritual learning and helps you find your mission, so you can live an abundant and fulfilling life.
Robert is an investor, educational entrepreneur, co-creator of the CASHFLOW® board game, founder of the financial education-based Rich Dad Company and author of New York Times Bestsellers: Rich Dad Poor Dad, Conspiracy of the Rich, and Unfair Advantage.
His most recognized book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, has become the #1 personal finance book of all time and has challenged the way tens of millions of people around the globe think about money. It’s the longest-running bestseller on all four of the lists that report to Publisher’s Weekly – The New York Times, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today – and was named “USA Today’s #1 Money Book” two years in a row. It is the third longest-running ‘how-to’ best seller of all time. Translated into 51 languages and available in 109 countries, the Rich Dad series has sold over 27 million copies worldwide and has dominated best sellers lists across Asia, Australia, South America, Mexico and Europe.
If that wasn’t enough, Robert has also been featured on shows such as Larry King Live, Oprah, Bloomberg International Television, and CNN.
In today’s inspiring talk with Jon Berghoff, Robert shares his story, along with his NO B.S. perspective on money and investing. He explains why the education system is broken, what millennials need to learn in order to succeed, the importance of apprenticeship, why you shouldn’t be saving your money, and a whole lot more that you won’t want to miss!
- [01:00] Robert shares the origin story of Rich Dad Poor Dad and the path to financial freedom!
- [04:00] Why the school system’s designed to teach people to be Doctors, Lawyers, and employees… but not entrepreneurs!
- [05:40] What Robert’s rich Dad taught him about financial literacy and why putting your money in 401k’s, stocks, bonds and mutual funds is a bad investment.
- [09:40] Learn how the rich acquire assets without paying taxes.
- [11:00] Why your path to success starts by strengthening your sense of purpose.
- [16:20] The #1 reason that most millennials are lost and the key ingredient to living a much more fulfilling life.
- [18:30] What you’re probably doing wrong if you’re desperate for money.
- [20:32] Discover the highest level of education you can obtain.
- [25:54] Find out what The Miracle Morning gives Robert that nothing else can!
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[00:00:31] Jon Berghoff: So we are now live in The Miracle Morning Community. If you are watching I’m here with the one and only, a living legend Robert Kiyosaki. Robert, hey thank you for being here today.
[00:00:41] Robert Kiyosaki: Thank you Jon, I’m glad to be speaking to you but also on behalf of Hal.
[00:00:46] Jon Berghoff: Yeah, we really appreciate it and I know that we just happened to catch you between meetings and so this would just be a great way to bring you to his community through the podcast. You might be listening to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. Robert for any of our audience who has not had the privilege of coming across you or your work which is hard for me to imagine many folks who haven’t. But do you mind just taking us back to the beginning. What led the Rich Dad Poor Dad? Whether it was, what happened for you personally that led to that book? And maybe for our audience if they for some reason aren’t familiar with Rich Dad Poor Dad, what’s the essential lesson in that book which eventually became an old time classic.
[00:01:23] Robert Kiyosaki: Well, name is Kiyosaki, it sounds like Kawasaki but it’s not. I’m fourth generation Japanese-American. I was raised in Hawaii. The story for Rich Dad Poor Dad is that my poor dad was head of education for Hawaii. He was a PhD, went to Stanford University Chicago in North Western and University Hawaii. But as you know, our school system teaches us nothing about money. So that’s why I call him my poor dad. Highly educated great guy, but poor. And not only mentally but also financially and spiritually because he needed that paycheck at all costs if you know what I mean?
So then, my rich dad was my best friend’s father and so the way I met my rich dad was I was in the fourth grade in Hilo Hawaii, a little sugar plantation town and I raised my hand in the class and I asked my teacher, I said, “When are we going to learn about money?” And the teacher says, “Well we don’t teach about money in school.” I said, “Why not?” The teacher said, “Because money is evil. We don’t you about money.” I said, “Maybe it’s evil for you but I want to know about money,” and I was nine years old. She persisted and you know it came up, the love of money is the root of all evil and all this stuff and I said I just really don’t want to buy into that dogma. That’s not my gig here.
She said, “You are supposed to come to school to get a job.” I said, “But isn’t to get a job to make money?” And she goes, “Yeah.” I said, “Well let me just bypass the job and go to making money.” That’s how it started. So I went home and my dad, my poor dad said to me, he says, “Look, the government does not allow us to teach you about money at school.” My head went, “Hmm, I wonder why that is?” It’s one of those you know questions you kind of tuck away at my psyche. But he says you can talk to your best friend’s father, your classmate’s father and he’s an entrepreneur and someday he’ll be one of the richest men in Hawaii.
[00:03:19] Robert Kiyosaki: So at nine years old, as Rich Dad Poor Dad the book starts off. I went over there and knocked on rich dad’s door and I said I want to be a student. You see one of the highest levels of learning is apprenticeship and unfortunately we go school and we learn from people who really have no idea what they’re talking about. They are called, school teachers. But because I was actually learning from somebody who actually practiced what they did, I got rich. Rich dad very simply started me and his son teaching us to get rich playing the game of Monopoly. And we all know the formula for great wealth, it’s four green houses and a red hotel, that’s it.
So today I own thousands of green houses and red hotels and all that. I just play monopoly in real life and I still graduated from the school. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree from a very good school but I learnt nothing about money all the way through school. And then I went in for my MBA program and I fell asleep there too. So I realized I was really not meant… You know school’s for some people but for a person like me I just didn’t learn well in school because I wasn’t being taught what I was interested in, if you get my drift. Like I had three years of calculus and to this day I’ve never used one shred of calculus.
[00:04:38] Jon Berghoff: You needed to create your own path.
[00:04:40] Robert Kiyosaki: Right, so my study was, why don’t they teach money at school? I thought that was a very interesting question and what I found out it’s not a mistake. See the whole academic system was designed to create people who would work for me, to be workers and employees, not entrepreneurs and as you know right now, young people are coming out of school, many deeply in debt, they can’t find that job. So Rich Dad Poor Dad, which is at the 20th anniversary this year is more timely especially for young people who are still drinking the kool aid of going to school and getting a job. So Rich Dad Poor Dad just rolls on.
[00:05:20] Jon Berghoff: Well congrats on that. It’s not often that we get to hear directly from someone who created what became a timeless classic and has changed financial literacy on a global scale. So it’s amazing to hear you share your origin story. For any of our listeners who maybe they’ve read it but maybe they didn’t put it into action or they’ve never read it, what are maybe a couple of the essential core lessons that your rich dad taught you about money that were important and are still important today?
[00:05:50] Robert Kiyosaki: Well you used this word whole financial literacy. And that word is… I’d like to take credit for it because I kind of made it up 20 years ago. You have word literacy but I also have to have number literacy or money literacy so I created well financial literacy and I was just reading the week magazine, they said, oh financial literacy. You know what they called financial literacy? This is a very big publication. They called it saving money and investing in a 401k. That is not financial literacy sports fans.
That is really the most bad advice you can give especially today. When you look at this, why would you save money? Because when I graduated from school in the 70s, interest rates were 15%. So I put a million dollars in the bank in 1970 and I got $150,000 interest. Today I put a million dollars in the bank, I’m lucky if I get $10,000. That’s how worthless your money is becoming. Because after 1971 they began printing money. So when these guys tell me that saving money is a 401k, I mean financial literacy is a 401k and saving money, I just shake my head. I say, “How in the world can you be so financially illiterate? How can you be so illiterate?”
Think about this, my friend Donald Trump, I promise you, he doesn’t have a 401k. So the question should be to any interested person, well if Donald Trump doesn’t have a 401k and he and I do not invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFS, what do you invest in? That’s really the question, so you can look behind me. This is a picture of my board game Cash Flow. Cash Flow is the only game that actually teaches financial literacy and what is Financial Literacy from this Cash Flow board game is there are three financial statements that every entrepreneur must have? And those three statements are first, an income statement, a balance sheet and a statement of cash flow.
[00:07:48] Robert Kiyosaki: It’s inside Rich Dad Poor Dad and most of my books. And what most financial illiterate people think “Oh, I have a FICO score of 700.” What does a FICO score tell you? Nothing. So when I go to see my banker, my banker doesn’t ask me for my report card or my FICO score. My banker wants to see my financial statement, income statement, balance sheet, statement of Cash Flow. There’s a lot of finance statements. Those are the three basics and Cash Flow is only game that taught that. So I meet people who are still programmed by the academic system of their mother and father and they’re still saving money and they still have 401k and they were investing for the long term in the most biggest bull market in the history of the world. That’s illiterate.
So that’s why I continue on, I may be very controversial and not very polite. But I’m concerned about most especially our generation’s’ future. My generation, the baby boom generation we had it really easy. When I graduated from school there was lots of jobs, high paying jobs, the stock market was just taking off. You put $100,000 in the stock market, you’re a millionaire. You bought a house, you became a millionaire. The baby boomers had really easy. Then the year 2000, it all ended. The slay ride ended and then the Federal Reserve and the Treasury started printing money to keep us afloat, to bail the rich out.
The most corrupt people are our bankers and we bail them out and who pays the price? Young people. People who actually went to school to get a job. They’re paying that price today. So that’s why President Trump and I get together and we talk and we write and all this. But the average person still thinks saving money and investing for the long term in a 401k IRA, RothIRA is literate. It’s illiterate. That’s the difference.
[00:09:40] Jon Berghoff: So Robert, if someone’s listening right now, where would you send them to get started? What would be steps one, two and three? Let’s say step one is read Rich Dad Poor Dad. What might be the first few steps after that for somebody…
[00:09:54] Robert Kiyosaki: I would play the Cash Flow game at least, 100 times.
[00:09:59] Jon Berghoff: You just gave us the next 100 steps, perfect.
[00:10:00] Robert Kiyosaki: That’s all I know. It’s what I do every day. Jon I do this every single day. I’m not looking for a job, I don’t need a job, I don’t want a job, I don’t want an ETF, I don’t want a mutual fund, all I’m doing is playing Shark Tank. I’m just looking for deals. That’s all I do and I pay no taxes on top of it and I use 100% debt. So when you think about this president Trump won’t show his tax returns because he doesn’t pay taxes. The question is, how in the world does he not pay taxes?
If I was a young person today, I’d say, “How in the world does a guy like Trump who’s also a Mitt Romney not pay taxes?” Your real financial education is about how you use debt to acquire assets and how debt will allow you to pay no taxes. So if I meet somebody of your age, who says I don’t have any money, it’s because you don’t have any financial education. You’re not supposed to have your own money. You’re supposed to use the bank’s money.
[00:10:57] Jon Berghoff: Well I agree with the statement that schools for the most part are not doing a lot to educate on financial literacy and what you’ve done, you’ve filled the gap for the world and that’s really impressive. I want to ask you a question Robert, unrelated to the financial literacy training. It’s a story that I heard from Blair. And the lesson within the story that he shared with me and for those that don’t know Blair Singer is a mutual acquaintance. Blair is a friend of Roberts going back.
[00:11:24] Robert Kiyosaki: He’s one of my advisors. He’s the one that teaches my teachers.
[00:11:28] Jon Berghoff: He teaches your teachers. So I learned from Blair about teaching and training trainers ten years ago. During that training Robert, he shared a story. I know it was in private but it was the kind of story that he wouldn’t mind me sharing this and if I say that, we’ll find out. But he shared a story where one of the things that he admired was early on in your life. So what I’m really asking you about here is, not anything specific about financial literacy but the sense of mission that you’ve been on for a long time. Because he shared a story about one of the first seminars that you and he were running together…
I think it was on one of the Islands in Hawaii where it was like nobody showed up. It was that kind of thing and he talked about how really early on in your career but way before there was the book, way before there was Robert Kiyosaki who everybody knows. You were on a mission, years before people heard about that. I want to know in your life, what did a sense of mission or purpose have even long before we knew who you were or what you were teaching?
[00:12:24] Robert Kiyosaki: Well that’s a good question because that’s where Hal Elrod comes in. It’s his book miracle morning really helps strengthen my mission on a daily basis because it’s a spiritual mission. But my sense of mission started when I left, I flunked out of high school so many times because I can’t read and write. But I had very high SAT scores. So it’s ironic that I can’t read and write and all I do is I write. So it’s the paradox of life. But the school I went to, I got two nominations one to the U.S Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland and the other one is U.S Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point New York. Both schools are military schools. Both schools the first word they teach you is mission. What is your mission? Mission is spiritual and these are the words of mission.
First word is mission, courage, duty, honour, code, respect. Those are words not taught at the MBA program. That’s why we have such corruption rampant throughout the world today. President Obama and Hillary Clinton are two of the more corrupt leaders we’ve had in a long time. But nobody calls them on it because they can get away with it. If you don’t believe me, there’s a book called Lucifer’s Bankers. It’s called Lucifer’s Bankers, I would read it. Because this guy names, names. Because this guy was a banker with UBS, United Bank of Switzerland in Geneva. How he dealt with Hillary as well as Obama taking billions of dollars. So once you understand how corrupt our system is, simply because we have no financial education in our schools.
That’s how I found my mission. I said now that I’m through, I was a pilot in Vietnam. Got a little tired of killing people but when I came back I said, “Now, what’s my next mission?” So the military school drums it in the heads from day one and I mean day one. Not even the first day, within the first hour we’re required to memorize the mission.
[00:14:22] Robert Kiyosaki: Once again mission is from your heart. The word courage comes from the word La Coeur. French for the heart. Courage comes from your heart and then comes duty, honour, code, respect and it’s drummed into my head. So when I graduated from the Academy in four years, I had my high paying job because merchant Marine, I got a job with Standard Oil of California. We’re making about $100,000 a year back in 1969.
Which is just not much money today but a lot of money back then for a young 21 year old kid. And a sense of mission still came to me and so I resigned from my high paying job and I took a $200 a month job with the U.S Marine Corps flying in Vietnam. So that’s why mission is spiritual. Again that’s why I want to give Hal Elrod credit because his book The Miracle Morning has really helped me strengthen my spiritual sensibilities so to say or spiritual literacy.
[00:15:22] Jon Berghoff: Yeah, it’s helped a lot of people.
[00:15:24] Robert Kiyosaki: It’s a fantastic book.
[00:15:26] Jon Berghoff: Thank you for sharing that story. Maybe one or two simple questions for you here Robert and thank you again for the time today. Your sense of mission led you to getting your wisdom out to the world through your book, through your board games, through all of your different ways of teaching, kind of pre-internet and now here you are after the internet is here to make it possible to get ideas out much more easily than when you started. As someone who in your career has had a chance to become a thought leader before you had the benefit of all these digital tools like this right now. We’re streaming into a community of X 10,000 people.
When you look today at what technology enables us to do and the connectedness that it creates, because I know a lot of this audience are either thought leaders or aspiring thought leaders. Josh Shipp inspired this question. He just posted it on the live stream, so I wanted to honor it. Is there anything that you would do differently or when you look at if you were launching Rich Dad Poor Dad today? Have you ever thought about how you would approach that? It could be different from what you did years ago when we didn’t have all of these tools to help spread ideas?
[00:16:35] Robert Kiyosaki: Not really.
[00:16:37] Jon Berghoff: Nothing.
[00:16:37] Robert Kiyosaki: Mission has nothing to do with the web. It’s spiritual. It’s one of the challenges I have when I talk to young, especially millennials. A lot of them think they’re smarter than the older guys like me because they’re tech savvy. But you still have a lot to learn and one of the reasons I sense many millennials are lost is because they’re looking for money versus asking themselves what’s my mission in life. What am I here to do? What’s my life’s purpose? I was very fortunate that since I was let’s say 18, mission has become part of my life. Not religion and nothing wrong with religion, neither politics. I stay away from that stuff. But once I understood the power of mission and flying in Vietnam and killing people and people trying to kill me, you understand the power of spirit.
I went down three times in Vietnam and I’m alive today because something else took over the aircraft and most people have no idea because they’re so chicken. They’re afraid of asking for a raise, they want to do this, they lose their sense of mission. It came down as a young pilot, I was 20 something years old. If I died, I didn’t really care if I died. But I had a crew to bring home alive. You know when you dedicate your life to something else or somebody else you find your mission. Unfortunately most people leave school. The only mission is to find a high paying job. You may as well be a prostitute. You know I mean that’s what happens to people. So they get this high paying job and they’re soul dies. They sell their soul for money and that’s why I speak and I write and I do what I say, but unfortunately most young people have lost their soul because they want the money.
[00:18:27] Jon Berghoff: Yeah, appreciate you sharing that. Last question for you here. When you look forward into the future, when you look at your mission in the impact that you want to continue to make, what kind of visions or images give you the greatest sense of purpose or mission or energy?
[00:18:45] Robert Kiyosaki: I don’t really know. As I said to you, when I was nine years old, I raised my hand and I said, “Why don’t we teach money at school?” And I didn’t know it at the time, I was only nine years old but that was kind of my question. It became my study. And I’m not saying everybody should study money but everybody should have a study. And often times what is taught in school is not your individual study. So I was talking to this person the other day on my rich dad radio and she was trying to figure out how to ask for a raise. I said, “Why don’t you study how to negotiate?” “No I just want the raise.” I have no time for those people. Look, if she studied how to negotiate she might not need a raise. But people are so desperate for money these days. Desperate, desperate, desperate and there’s more money than ever before.
So if you don’t have money then you’re doing something spiritually wrong. That’s how I look at it. Because I didn’t do well in Sunday school either but the thing is give and you shall receive. So what the technology is allowing people to do is make it easier for people to give but unfortunately most people leave school wanting to receive. They’re called school teachers. They want a higher pay. They want less work. They want job security. They want pension. They want a guarantee. What happened to our soul? What happened to our spirit? I question what our school system’s doing. Most school teachers, I would say 74% are good people, the rest are criminals. They’re just there for the money and they don’t care what they teach.
[00:20:27] Jon Berghoff: So Robert, I want to honor one of our viewers right now, David Osborn from GoBundance. I know they’re a fan of yours. You spoke to them a few years ago.
[00:20:34] Robert Kiyosaki: Great, great group.
[00:20:36] Jon Berghoff: They are a great group and David posed the questions.
[00:20:39] Robert Kiyosaki: That’s where I met Hal.
[00:20:41] Jon Berghoff: That’s where you met Hal. That’s right. Yeah, they just posed a great question I thought which was, what does the economy look like for the next four years with President Trump? What’s your perspective on that?
[00:20:50] Robert Kiyosaki: Well, I’m going to get richer. I don’t know about the rest of everybody else to be a punk, I’ll just say that. That woman on my Rich Dad radio show called and her question was, “How do I ask for a raise?” And I was interviewing this guy named Voss who was a FBI terrorist negotiator and we all deal with terrorists every day in business. I said just read his book and she didn’t want to read his book. She wanted just to be told how to ask for a raise. And so what I basically said, if you invested in your brain you actually study it. You know what this lead negotiator for the FBI was teaching her. She might not need a raise and she might not need money.
So it’s a long way of saying that people that are going to be the biggest losers are, if you’re a criminal, you’re already a loser. You know there’s a lot of criminals. A lot of people, I know a lot of men and women who marry for money. To me that’s criminal, you know you sell sex for money. It’s illegal. But a lot of people are going to fall behind because they think going to school is all you need to do. The reason GoBundance is great and what you guys are great, it is lifelong learning. What I suggest for everybody is finding a group that fits you, be it Hals group or GoBundance and hang out with people that are committed to lifelong learning because that’s what it’s going to take.
Now the people who say “Well I went to college, I don’t need to study anymore”, I really don’t have time to try and talk to them about the economy because the economy is going to pass on by. The economy is just moving as it’s going to move, just like the train going from Los Angeles to San Fran’s to New York. It’s just a train moving. Either you’re on it or you’re off of it. As to the people who have stopped learning or just go back to college or another college degree to get a high paying job, I’ll pray for you tonight. But there’s a different type of learning and there is GoBundance and what Hal teaches is more spiritual learning.
[00:22:51] Robert Kiyosaki: Spiritual literacy. You really got know what your soul and your spirit want to do and follow your soul. That’s all I do. I don’t really need any more money. I’m not teaching because I need any more money. I teach because my spirit needs to teach and my soul I am like my poor dad, I’m a teacher. I just refuse to be a school teacher inside the criminal system of public education.
[00:23:15] Jon Berghoff: Maybe we’d get them a few copies of your board game.
[00:23:19] Robert Kiyosaki: There’s no hope for them.
[00:23:21] Jon Berghoff: Robert, as a lifelong learner yourself, could you share with us maybe who two or three of your greatest influences have been and maybe what’s the core lesson that you’ve gotten from each of them?
[00:23:33] Robert Kiyosaki: Well the most important thing is apprenticeship. You know is that again I’m not really religious and I did flunk out of Sunday school also. But when I say that I’m not Mormon or Muslim or Buddhist and all that. I just like religion as a lesson. But the story of the three wise men. They were wise men because they were seeking the next teacher. In this case was Christ and so the point is wise men are still seeking the next teacher. That’s why Donald Trump was a friend of mine he had the show, The Apprentice. The biggest lesson I learned, you better choose your teachers wisely because they’re missing the most important part of you which is your spirit.
When I flunked out of school twice because I can’t write, teachers says, “Well you’ll never make it in college.” Well I got thrown out of school because I said some choice words to those teachers. I said, “How dare you tell me I’m going to be a failure?” So my father stepped in. He was head of education, he fired him. He says, “How dare you say that. You kill a child’s spirit.” So that’s why I’m saying for people on the Millennial Generation what any time always seek the wisest teachers. Wise men still seek the next teacher. It’s called an apprentice. You want to find out who they are. They’re not in the school system, I promise you. They’re not in the school if anybody wants to be an entrepreneur. The school system is designed to teach people to be doctors, lawyers and employees.
Find, choose your teachers wisely. I am not a teacher for most people. I’m a person who disturbs people and encourage them to go seek what they need to learn. What is your core spiritual study? Like my sister is a student of his holiness the Dalai Lama. She is as poor as a church mouse. You know I don’t understand it but that’s what he teaches. You want to be poor as a church mouse, go study with the Dalai Lama. I don’t want to study with him. Good man but I don’t want to study with him. I like studying with Trump because I want to be a rich like him.
[00:25:39] Jon Berghoff: There you go. That’s great. Robert you’ve mentioned several times in this conversation.
[00:25:44] Robert Kiyosaki: I have to run so I apologize.
[00:25:46] Jon Berghoff: So you do. Last question. Okay, great. You’ve mentioned several times, you’re a big fan of The Miracle Morning. In closing, in what way has that had an impact on you or anything specific you do in your Miracle Morning ritual that we might find interesting or inspiring?
[00:26:00] Robert Kiyosaki: Well it disconnected me from me. Every morning, when I do The Miracle Morning, I would say five out of seven mornings. But what it does is it disconnects me and my brain and gets me in touch with my spirit. When I touch my spirit in that morning. You know I read a lot of financial books but in the morning I read no financial books. I read spiritual books. I meditate. I do my writing as Hal says. I do my exercise. But it gets me in touch with my spirit and from my spirit I get answers I did not have 10 minutes earlier. So new inspiration. Every Miracle Morning brings me new inspiration. So thank you.
[00:26:46] Jon Berghoff: Robert Kiyosaki, thanks, it’s an honor and a privilege thanks for your time today.
[00:26:50] Robert Kiyosaki: Thank you. Keep up the good work. All of you. Keep up the good work.
[00:26:52] Jon Berghoff: Thank you Robert. Take care.
[00:26:54] Robert Kiyosaki: Thank you. Bye, bye.
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