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The Miseducation of Robert Kiyosaki

If you have been keeping up with my publications, you have probably noticed that Robert Kiyosaki has put me in a particular mood. I promise you, this will be the last time I go on a Robert Kiyosaki rant… for a few months.

In an old video, Robert Kiyosaki is trying to indoctrinate an audience of middle-class financial neophytes to believe that a primary residence is not an asset because his “rich daddy” decided to change the definition of an asset - without consulting Merriam or Webster, or any financial expert or economist - from a useful or valuable thing to anything that puts money into your pocket whether you work or not.

I have commented ad nauseam on this topic so I will not do so here. But, just when I think that Robert Kiyosaki has gone too far, as if there is such a place, he literally goes even further.

He has another video where he says that savers are losers. C’mon, Robert. Losers? For real?

Now, I am going to give Robert Kiyosaki the benefit of the doubt since I enjoyed Rich Dad Poor Dad, respect his “get money” [cue Junior M.A.F.I.A] mentality, and actually agree with some of his viewpoints. In fact, I will state that I somewhat agree with him that savers are losers IF, and only IF, he is trying to use the term “losers” metaphorically in the sense that savers are losing money because money sitting in a savings account does not earn enough interest to keep up with inflation and is missing out on investing opportunities that can help individuals make passive earnings. But, to call someone a loser, regardless of how you intend to mean it, just sounds wrong.

My philosophical outlook is if you are uncertain, disinterested, or uneducated in a particular topic or thing, then you should not engage in that topic or thing. For example, if you are not going to educate yourself on political candidates and their positions on issues, then you should abstain from voting. Do not vote just because someone belongs to a party that you like, because you think they are cool, or because others told you to vote for a particular candidate. Vote because you have studied the candidates and their issues and one candidate’s vision aligns with yours.

The same is true when it comes to your money. If someone is not, cannot, or will not educate themselves on investing and the various securities for purchase, or they do not have a professional, trusted financial advisor to manage this process for them, then they should not become investors.

Savers are not losers…they are simply savers.

Keep in mind too that investors can actually come out worse off investing than savers. If your investments go sour for whatever reason (poor due diligence, market downturn, etc.), then that investor could lose some or all of their money. At that point, being a saver would look to be a very wise decision.

The other thing people need to keep in mind when Robert Kiyosaki starts spouting his ideology that residential homes are not assets or that savers are losers is that Robert Kiyosaki was a virtual unknown until his best seller Rich Dad Poor Dad book. If you do an Internet search on Robert Kiyosaki, you will find that he owned several “investments”, i.e. businesses, that were ultimately dissolved. It is even stated online that he was sleeping in his car at one point in time; I would assume due to financial hardship.

Then the Rich Dad empire took off and he is now well-off, financially (I assume). But, about a decade ago, one of his companies, Rich Global LLC, filed bankruptcy after losing a $24M judgement.

I am highly certain that Robert Kiyosaki’s personal wealth is still intact. But, the reason I am bringing this up is not to bash Robert Kiyosaki, but to illustrate that Robert Kiyosaki is one of those rare breeds of humans that are true entrepreneurs. They endure through tough times, thrive during good times, get back on their feet when knocked down, and know how to strategically navigate legal and financial loopholes to create a demarcation zone between their personal money and their business money. There are a lot of people that get knocked down and they won’t try to get up, or they don’t know how to get up. Thus, risk is not not good for them.

Again, I will state that I do agree with Robert Kiyosaki that leveraging investments (real estate, stocks, businesses) are better overall than leaving money in a savings account. However, if you do not have access to a trusted financial advisor, or you are unwilling to put in the proper time and effort to understand your investments, then you should just be a saver. Similarly, if your mental and physical wellbeing cannot tolerate volatility - which comes with the stock market and entrepreneurship - then you should be a saver until your mental and physical wellbeing can build up a tolerance for said volatility and stress. Your health and wellbeing always trumps money and material wealth.

Do not let others make you feel bad for being what you are. Savers are savers. Investors are investors. And people that call others names to shame them or make themselves seem superior are the true losers.

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