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Published: 28th November 2016
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Robert Kiyosaki is a man with his fingers in many pies. He is a renowned author, a financial guru, an advocate of financial literacy, a businessman, an investor, an owner of mines and oil wells, into real estate, a motivational speaker, an entrepreneur and over and above all an inspiration for many eager to gain financial smartness. This brilliant financial expert was in Delhi last weekend and will be speaking in Bangalore the coming weekend, attending the National Achiever's Conference in both the cities. Kiyosaki's ‘gyan' on finances is smart, simple and with a difference.

An amazing personality, Robert Kiyosaki is the best selling author of the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series of books which provide a unique insight into how a person can become rich. It explains his theory about money and success. His book has sold 26 million copies. His "poor dad" was his biological father, who was highly educated and became superintendent of the Hawaii State Department of Education but remained poor always. His "rich dad" was his friend's father who though not very educated earned a lot of money and ended up becoming one of the richest men of Hawai, the place where Kiyosaki lived. His basic idea was to drive home the point that the traditional way of earning money through working as an employee and by acquiring just formal education would not enable anyone to become truly rich.

By means of his book Kiyosaki explains how maximum number of people in this world never break the stereotype and continue to be inextricably involved in the ‘rat race' trying to make a living dependent on the paychecks they receive every month. They never realize financial freedom; their whole life being spent in paying bills and meeting expenses. Kiyosaki believes in easy cash flow coming from what he calls assets in life. ‘Assets' for him are royalties, rental properties and businesses rather than mutual funds or stocks. He advocates making full use of tax breaks provided by the Government and reduce one's expenditure incurred on tax payment. Such things on which cash has to be spent like houses, cars etc. are for him ‘liabilities'. He believes that we should be able to generate passive income without really having to work for a paycheck day after day in order to enjoy true financial independence in our lives.

He explains what he perceives to be the glaring difference between the rich and the poor, "The rich people have assets and poor and middle class people buy liabilities that they think are assets, so they think that their house is an asset, their car is an asset, their watch is an asset - they are really liabilities. The difference between rich and poor people is not their education it is the assets versus liabilities."

He further says, "Rich do not work for money. What the rich work for is acquisition of assets. Assets provide money. So every year I start more and more businesses, buy oil wells, so every year I get richer and richer whereas the poor and the middle class they want their pay check. Pay checks are taxed the highest."

In fact, his books, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Rich Dad's CASHFLOW Quadrant, and Rich Dad's Guide to Investing, have been on number one on the top 10 best-seller lists simultaneously on The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New York Times. Rich Kid Smart Kid was published in 2001, with the purpose of helping parents teach their children financial concepts. He has created three "Cashflow" board and software games for adults and children and has a series of "Rich Dad" CDs and disks.

Kiyosaki emphatically stresses on the significance of games, particularly Monopoly, as valuable means of learning basic financial strategies such as "trade four green houses for one red hotel." Kiyosaki has created several games such as Cashflow 101 and Cashflow 202 to reinforce the information in his book.

The reason why games are a better teaching tool is because they involve you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually."says the financial expert who has always been a great exponent of teaching children about finances from the very beginning of their lives when they are eager to absorb all knowledge and information avidly.

In fact in 1996 he invented the board game "Cash Flow -- Rich Dad and Poor Dad". According to Robert, it is the "only game in the world which teaches basic accounting and helps the participants to know the difference between assets and liabilities. The reason I used games is because that is how I learnt about money by playing monopoly and it taught me about money, strategies etc. Today I play monopoly in real life - I own hotels, companies and oil wells."(Of Rich And Poor, S.Ravi, The Hindu)

Robert Kiyosaki strongly feels that there is lack of financial education in the existing system of education in the schools of the entire world. "There is no financial education in the institutions. Why don't they teach about money in schools? It should be part of the school curriculum. Otherwise why do we go to school?" the author opines. He feels further that "Most teachers know nothing about money so what they will teach the kids."

A fourth-generation Japanese American, Kiyosaki was born on April 8,1947 and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. He is the youngest son of an educator, Ralph H. Kiyosaki and a nurse, Marjorie O. Kiyosaki. The reason why he entered the finance arena was as he says in his own words, "Apart from my mother being worried about our finances when I was younger, my frustration with the school system and the pain I felt watching my parents struggle financially all their lives put me on the path I've travelled in the area of personal finance."

Kiyosaki also operates his own blog, acts as the principal host on his YouTube Channel called The Rich Dad Channel and maintains a monthly column on Yahoo Finance writing about his business endeavors and his perspective on global economics, investing, business, world financial markets, and personal finance. Kiyosaki's books and teachings have been criticized for focusing on anecdotes and containing little in the way of concrete advice on how readers should proceed.Kiyosaki responds that his material is meant to be more of a motivational tool to get readers thinking about money rather than a step-by-step guide to wealth. He also says the books are supposed to be "interesting" to people, which precludes involving a lot of technical material.(Wikipedia)

In his personal life, Kiyosaki divorced his first wife, named Janet, in 1981. In 1986, Kiyosaki married his second wife Kim Meyer and is still married to her. Kim Kiyosaki is also an entrepreneur, investor, author, and motivational speaker. The Kiyosakis have residence in the Scottsdale area in Phoenix, Arizona and have been living there since 1994.

On his India visit he said India has "huge untapped brain power"and also that "As far as raw intellect is concerned Indians are very, very smart. Given the tools, their intellect will be magnified. India is going to be information power. In fact, it already is."

However the "dad" of financial wizardry intensely feels that "What is killing the world today is highly-educated, smart people, who know nothing about money," This is what he wholeheartedly wishes to change in the world.

Robert Kiyosaki aims to usher in positive transformation in the world by imparting practical education about finance, about financial freedom and about leading a life where one does not have to worry about being without money at any point of time in life. To teach people of all ages what he learnt in life in his journey of attaining financial independence, Kiyosaki has made successful use of the power of games and books and has thereby made the learning simple and interesting for millions.

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