Robert Toru Kiyosaki, born 8. April 1947, is an American businessman, investor, self-help author, educator, motivational speaker, financial literacy activist, financial commentator, and radio personality.
Not only is he the founder of the Rich Dad Company, a private financial education company that provides personal financial and business education to people through books, games, seminars, blogs, coaching, and workshops, but also the creator of the Cashflow board and software games to educate adults and children about business and financial concepts. With more than 26 published books, Kiyosaki is a very famous man. His series of books, Rich Dad Poor Dad, have been translated into more than 50 languages. They were available in 109 countries and have sold over 27 million copies. His net worth is estimated $80 million.
Childhood and freshman years
The with Japanese roots born in Hawaii son of Ralph H. Kiyosaki, a prominent academic and educator, grew up in a middle-class family. By that time, Robert’s father was the head of education, but later on became unemployed after running for the office of lieutenant governor of the state of Hawaii, which he lost against his boss. After being blacklisted from the government, Ralph never recovered professionally and ended up using all of his saving by purchasing a Swensen’s Ice cream franchise.
At the age of nine, Robert Kiyosaki displayed an interest in business and investment. His biggest influence was the father of his childhood friend Mike, who became a successful businessman and one of the richest private investors in Hawaii after dropping out of school in the 8th grade. Kiyosaki would spend his holidays listening to Mike’s father and using every method to expand his entrepreneurial knowledge. Mike ‘s father was later on stared in Robert’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad. Of course Rich Dad is an alias for Mike’s father.
The young dreamer started a business based on experience he has learned from his Dad. He saw a comic store owner throw away old comics, which were in very good condition, so that they had space for new ones. Robert saw the opportunity and started gathering the comics, which he later on sold in his friend’s basement. Their business became a success after they employed Mike’s sister for $1 weekly salary. Soon, they were making $9.50 weekly revenue. After graduating from Hilo High School in 1965, he then attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in New York, where he received his title as a deck officer. To hone his business and leadership skills, he Joined the marine corps. The young man served 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 in 1973 but later dropped out. Furthermore he was honorably discharged from the marine corps in June 1974.
After entering the retailing industry in 1977, Kiyosaki’s company, that brought to market the first nylon and velcro surfer wallets, seemed to be successful. However Kiyosaki didn’t protect the product enough and went bankrupt. His next business opportunity, a rock and roll retail business that licensed T-shirts, hats, wallets, and bags for heavy metal rock bands such as Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, and Duran Duran, went bankrupt in 1980. Five years later, he founded an international education company, which focused on teaching entrepreneurship, investing, and social responsibility to thousands of people throughout the world. Kiyosaki sold the respective company and entered the real business, which enabled the by that time 47 year old to fully retire. In 1997, he launched Cashflow Technologies Inc., a business and financial education company which owns and operates the Rich Dad and Cashflow brands. The Hawaiian bought a silver mine in 2002, invested in oil wells, natural gases and a solar company.