If you, like millions around the world, are thinking about how to escape the rat race and become successful, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Robert Kyosaki. The millionaire entrepreneur and real estate mogul preaches about wealth and investment through his international bestsellers.
But what is the real story of the man behind the Rich Dad, Poor Dad book? (If you haven’t read it, you should. It changed my life and mindset towards wealth generation).
Did he genuinely get affluent and successful by following the advice he shares with his readers, or is there something more we don’t get to see?
When I first read some of Robert Kiyosaki’s books (he wrote or co-authored at least 30 titles during the past three decades!), I was amazed at his compelling storytelling and his instinct for what people need and look for when trying to succeed.
In many regards, his bold and, at times, shocking statements worked as an eyeopener for me. In other cases, he just vocalized what I already thought but never dared to say out loud.
His books inspired me to look at debts, investing, saving, and my financial ambitions and plans in a brand new way. As a result, I believe I made several intelligent moves I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to do without him.
Nevertheless, Robert Kyosaki is also a somewhat controversial figure whose political inclination (he is a personal friend and vocal supporter of Donald Trump), unclear business revenue model, and lawsuits with former associates led to significant public criticism.
Let’s find out who Robert Kyosaki truly is through his detailed biography.
Robert Kiyosaki Bio Quick Facts
|Full Name: Robert Toru Kiyosaki|
|Birth Date: 8 April 1947|
|Birth Place: Hilo, Hawaii, U.S.|
|Nick Name: N/A|
|Siblings: Beth Kiyosaki, Jon Kiyosaki, Emi Kiyosaki|
|Partner / Spouse: Kim Kiyosaki (married since 1986)|
|Profession: Real estate investor, financial adviser, author, motivational speaker|
|Salary: Unknown (between $1 million a month and $2 million annually)|
|Net Worth: $110 million|
|Social Media: Facebook: @Robert Kiyosaki Twitter: @theRealKiyosaki|
|Companies Associated With: Rich Global LLC, Rich Dad Company|
|Last Updated: August 2022|
Robert Kiyosaki Key Facts Summary
- Robert Toru Kiyosaki was born in 1947 in Hilo, Hawaii, to a family of Japanese emigrants. Both of his parents were teachers.
- He attended Hilo High School and graduated in 1965. Later he studied at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and graduated as a desk officer.
- He briefly served in the Vietnam War, reportedly even earning a medal.
- In the 1970s, he worked for Xerox in New York City.
- He founded two unsuccessful companies before finally succeeding.
- Kiyosaki reportedly earned millions through intelligent investment in the real estate market.
- He also has profited from his educational activities, including seminars, financial training, and advisory.
- He published 30 books and sold nearly 50 million copies of them around the world.
- He co-authored two of his books with Donald Trump (before he became the president of the United States).
- Since 1986, Robert has been married to Kim Kiyosaki (neé Meyer), who is also his business partner. The couple do not have any children together.
- As of August 2022, Robert Kiyosaki’s net worth is around $110 million.
Robert Kiyosaki’s Birthplace and Early Life
Robert Toru Kiyosaki was born in 1947 in Hilo, Hawaii (back then, it was still the Territory of Hawaii). His grandparents emigrated from Japan long before he was born and ran a fishing firm. His parents were both teachers, and he had three siblings.
Although, according to his books and interviews, Robert was eager to learn more about money and finances from an early age, he focused on entirely different topics and fields in the first decades of his life.
He attended Hilo High School and graduated in 1965. Subsequently, he studied at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and graduated as a deck officer oriented in Marine Transportation in 1967.
Later, he evolved into the 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. naval marine corps and served as a helicopter gunship pilot in the Vietnam war. He reportedly earned a medal for his efforts.
These years were most likely very transformative for Robert Kiyosaki: He traveled the world, saw different cultures and diverse approaches to life, and experienced both opulent luxury and extreme poverty.
I believe this might have inspired him to return to exploring the world of finances and the economy in general.
Robert Kiyosaki’s Early Career and Business Success
In the mid-1970s, after he left the army, Robert Kiyosaki moved to New York City and worked as a sales assistant for Xerox (check our Howard Schultz Bio – he also worked for Xerox in New York at the same time as Kiyosaki).
Nevertheless, at this time, Robert was already determined to start his own business and become an entrepreneur. After saving up some money, he started his first company in 1977, which focused on producing and selling velcro wallets and bags.
But the company went broke quickly, allegedly because of the products’ poor quality. His second attempt at a business career failed too. This time, he hoped to monetize printed t-shirts for fans of metal music. Then he finally shifted his focus toward stocks and properties.
Real Estate Investment
Kiyosaki is a self-proclaimed real estate mogul who should be currently overseeing more than 8,000 development projects and investment properties around the world. However, you’d be disappointed if you expect him to publicize a detailed list of his assets.
Although the entrepreneur loves to share theoretical advice on investing in real estate and step-by-step guidelines for multiplying your profits in this field, he is pretty secretive about his own activities on the market.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad & Other Educational Products
Robert Kiyosaki claims it was incredibly simple for him to get wealthy, and that everyone can do what he did – people just need the right know-how and encouragement. That’s why he built his business mission around the idea of revolutionary financial education.
His career and fame in this field were kickstarted in 1997 by publishing Rich Dad, Poor Dad, his first and still best-renowned bestseller translated to 50+ languages.
The book is a semi-autobiographic account of Robert’s childhood, explaining his understanding of finances through the examples of his friend’s “rich dad,” who became wealthy through investing, and his own “poor dad,” who was broke despite his academic titles and hard work.
Kiyosaki encourages his readers to increase their financial literacy, overcome their fears of risk-taking, and stop seeing education as a safe road to success.
Although some reviewers criticized the book for being vague, unbelievable, and at least partially misleading, readers worldwide loved it and craved more books and advice from its author.
Robert certainly gave them more: He authored (or co-authored) around 30 books since Rick Dad, Poor Dad, including Rich Dad’s Classics (2001), Retire Young, Retire Rich (2002), Midas Touch (2011), and many others.
Besides that, he also launched a bundle of educational activities and projects under the label of his Rich Global LLC enterprise. He toured the world with a series of sold-out seminars, training, motivational events, and so on.
Eventually, Rich Dad became an international franchise, and Robert started collaborating with dozens of like-minded lecturers who carried his message and legacy even without his direct involvement.
In the meantime, the entrepreneur focused on other projects and products – like the educational board game CashFlow (imagine a bolder modern version of Monopoly) he created with his wife, Kim.
Robert Kiyosaki’s YouTube Videos
Robert Kiyosaki has authored dozens of motivational videos and speeches on becoming rich, exiting the rat race, and fulfilling all your dreams. In this 2021 video, he discusses the importance of financial education alongside his wife and collaborator, Kim.
In this TEDxUCSD speech, Robert Kiyosaki shares the essence of his insight on the wealth and income inequality across the U.S. and explains why the rich keep getting richer.
Robert Kiyosaki may be known primarily as a motivational speaker and financial education activist, but he acquired most of his wealth through investment in real estate. In this 2021 video, he explains the basics of real estate investment for total beginners.
Robert Kiyosaki’s Business Failures
In 2021, many people (me including) were utterly shocked to hear that Kiyosaki’s Rich Global LLC officially filed for bankruptcy. How could a financial guru of his format be forced to take such an action?!
At that moment, I was wondering whether he really practices what he preaches. Should I get rid of all his books? Are all his theories and business strategies indeed worthless? Let’s explore in detail what actually transpired.
Rich Global LLC Bankruptcy and Criticism
Rich Global LLC officially filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on 20 August 2021 in a Wyoming bankruptcy court after losing a lawsuit filed by Learning Annex, Kiyosaki’s old backer who assisted him in brokering his public events and conferences.
According to the district judge’s conclusion, Robert Kiyosaki’s company owed Learning Annex (owned by Bill Zanker) $23.7 million on royalties after failing to pay the company a mutually agreed upon percentage of profits.
The case was closed – but did this misfortune truly kill the entire company of a man claiming to have “a Midas touch”? Some of Kiyosaki’s critics assumed that the bankruptcy was just Robert’s attempt to avoid (or at least delay) the payment.
After all, the celebrity financial advisor reportedly continued doing business as usual through several other enterprises, including Rich Dad Co.
Although we will never know what exactly happened between Bill Zanker and Robert Kiyosaki, I believe this case is an example of hypocrisy and a big stain on Robert’s public reputation.
Unfortunately, it is not the only red flag that might discourage you from following Kiyosaki’s often truly inspirational and insightful advice.
In 2010, for example, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation publicized a result of an in-depth attempt to verify and substantiate some of the claims Kiyosaki used during his public speeches.
They uncovered a chain of inaccuracies (or lies, if you wish), including empty trailer parks presented as successful real estate investment projects.
Kiyosaki also received backlash for promoting risky real estate investments right before the outbreak of the 2008 financial crisis.
Of course, many other competent, educated, and reputable financiers or entrepreneurs failed to foresee the bursting bubble as well, so I won’t blame Kiyosaki for this. Still, I think it is essential to see the whole picture before you choose to follow his advice.
Robert Kiyosaki’s Family
In 1986, Robert Kiyosaki married his girlfriend of two years Kim Meyer who was born in Oregon but studied in Hawaii, where the two met. After graduation, Kim worked in a couple of advertising agencies around Honolulu, but she recalls she was not very successful.
Later she began collaborating with Robert on his projects and became a co-founder and CEO of his Rich Dad Company.
According to her public statements, Kim focuses her work primarily on increasing financial education among women. However, she is also an active real estate investor like her husband. She is also the author of two motivational books on investment.
As of 2022, the couple is still together (both as husband and wife and business partners), although little is known about their private life. According to most sources, the two do not have any children together.
Robert Kiyosaki’s Net Worth and Career Earnings
Robert has always claimed that wealthy and successful people do not need paychecks, so it would be naive to expect that he would be earning a regular salary himself.
Considering the variety and diversity of his professional activities, I bet his typical income fluctuates from tens to hundreds of thousands a month.
The estimations published by other sources differ significantly. Some claim Kiyosaki’s earnings should add up to approximately $2 million annually; others believe it could be as much as $1 million monthly.
In any case, as of 2022, Kiyosaki is worth approximately $110 million altogether.
Robert Kiyosaki’s Real Estate Holdings
As a real estate investor, Robert Kiyosaki owns an astonishing portfolio of 8,000+ properties worldwide, including in Australia and Europe.
Mentioning them all here would be, of course, impossible and pointless. Instead, let’s look at a few of his most remarkable personal properties.
For quite a long time, Robert Kiyosaki and his wife owned a stunning 3,488 square feet oceanfront residence on Oahu, the third largest of Hawaiian islands.
The luxurious property built in modern style with Merbau hardwood and Travertine floors consists of four bedrooms and an equal number of bathrooms. It boasts incredible views of the directly adjacent sandy beach and azure ocean.
Kiyosaki had reportedly invested $2.75 million in the property and renovated it generously over the years. However, (as of late July 2022), the house is currently on the market for $7.35 million.
Pheonix, Arizona, is another place Robert Kiyosaki and his wife can call their home (for more successful entrepreneurs with ties to this area, check our Mike Spieser biography orThomas Gorny biography).
Kiyosaki’s residence is located at Biltmore Estate, a lavish residential street surrounded by greenery. The family tries to keep their privacy here out of public sight, so I couldn’t find many details on the value or layout of the house.
Robert Kiyosaki Quotes
Don’t have enough time to read a whole book by Robert Kiyosaki? Here are some of my favorite quotes by him that should provide you with an accurate idea of his opinions and theories:
“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.”
“The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind.”
“The richest people in the world build networks; everyone else is trained to look for work.”
“There is a difference between being poor and being broke. Broke is temporary. Poor is eternal.”
“Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities that they think are assets.”
“So many people say, ‘Oh, I’m not interested in money.’ Yet they’ll work at a job for eight hours a day.”
“In today’s rapidly changing world, the people who are not taking risks are the risk takers.”
“Real estate investing, even on a very small scale, remains a tried and true means of building an individual’s cash flow and wealth.”
“Confidence comes from discipline and training.”
“Quitting is the easiest thing to do.”
Question: Does Robert Kiyosaki own crypto?
Answer: Yes. Robert Kiyosaki invested in Ethereum and Bitcoin, and he is also a vocal supporter of cryptocurrency in general, despite being a bit skeptical in his predictions of their future value.
Question: What is the message of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad?
Answer: In short, the book debunks the myth that the poor must stay poor and provides inspirational advice on how to make a fortune through small yet intelligent investments.
Question: Did Robert Kiyosaki go to war?
Answer: Yes, Robert Kiyosaki joined the Marine Corps and briefly served as a helicopter gunship pilot in the Vietnam War between 1972 and 1973.
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