With a net worth of $100 million to his name, Robert Kiyosaki ranks amongst one of the richest authors and motivational speakers in America. He is also one of the most controversial thanks to his books and companies which have evenly divided opinions. On one hand, Kiyosaki’s bestselling finance education books, including the iconic Rich Dad Poor Dad, has sold tens of millions of copies and have brought him much wealth. He has also schmoozed with the likes of Donald Trump and Oprah and has parlayed his books into a series of franchised public speaking events. On the other hand, many have cast doubts on the validity of the advice that Kiyosaki dishes out in his book. It also does not help that his company has been the subject of several lawsuits and multiple bankruptcies which calls into question the efficacy of what he teaches.
Robert Kiyosaki Has Authored Several Best Selling Books
Robert Kiyosaki’s biggest claim to fame and fortune comes from his 1997 personal finance and entrepreneurship education book known as Rich Dad Poor Dad. The book is reportedly based on his own personal experiences with a biological father who has a Ph.D. but ended up poor. There is also a rich dad, a friend of his dad’s, who did not enroll in a regular 9-to-5 job but was an entrepreneur and went on to be quite wealthy.
Kiyosaki documents a series of contrasting advice that he receives from both men and ultimately finds that it is the advice from his rich dad that helps him to become a success. Kiyosaki co-wrote this book with American accountant Sharon L. Lechter and had a hard time finding a company that would agree to publish it. He then went on to self-publish it and it became a moderate success. The book subsequently became a national bestseller after Kiyosaki appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
— therealkiyosaki (@theRealKiyosaki) February 1, 2017
To date, Rich Dad Poor Dad has been translated into over 51 languages and has sold not less than 40 million copies. Kiyosaki has also penned other books in the series, including Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens, and Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! etc. Such success has contributed millions of dollars to Robert Kiyosaki’s net worth but this itself has proved to be a source of controversy. Many argue that he never became rich from the advice his so-called rich dad gave him but only became wealthy after the release of the book.
His Rich Dad Companies Have Contributed To His Wealth
Prior to becoming synonymous with the Rich Dad Poor Dad franchise, Robert Kiyosaki had made some entrepreneurial strides. He founded a company that specialized in nylon and Velcro surfer wallets as well as another venture that sold merchandise for rock bands. Both companies thrived for some time but eventually went under. Thankfully, Kiyosaki bounced back with his books and he has now set up several companies to take advantage of this success.
One of them is Rich Dad Co. which publishes his series of personal finance books. The company also produces Cashflow, a board game that teaches people about financial literacy by having them update a personal financial education. There is also Rich Dad Academy and Rich Dad Education which specializes in organizing business education seminars for people. These classes don’t come cheap but can cost as much as $45,000. They usually attract thousands of attendees, thus proving to be a steady contributor to Robert Kiyosaki’s net worth.
The Bestselling Author Reportedly Owns as Much as 7000 Properties
One of the most divisive comments that Robert Kiyosaki made in his bestselling book has to do with houses. Many experts ordinarily classify houses as an asset but Kiyosaki does not view them as one. According to him, if you are only living in your house and incurring expenses such as renovation costs, then it is not an asset but rather a liability. It is only when you are renting out your house and earning rental income that Kiyosaki will classify it as an asset.
With such an opinion in mind, Robert Kiyosaki has taken steps to ensure that he makes good money from real estate. As far back as in the 70s, he took a major part of his military pilot salary to enroll in real estate classes. He imbibed all he had learned and soon purchased his first property in 1973. From just one property, Robert Kiyosaki reportedly owns not less than 7,000 properties which include commercial, residential, and hotel buildings. He mostly rents out and so, makes seven figures in rental income each month.
In April 2000, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” author @theRealKiyosaki explains the most important difference he learned about his poor dad & his friend’s rich dad. You can listen to the latest episode of the #OprahShowPodcast right now https://t.co/H3iTiTtMsf pic.twitter.com/Zhfld3UlJc
— Oprah Winfrey Network (@OWNTV) October 8, 2020
He Also Has Investments in Companies such as Apple
Robert Kiyosaki also owes his net worth to the savvy investments that he has made over the years. Asides from his real estate investment, the bestselling author has also put in his money in several companies, including tech giants Apple. Kiyosaki was initially reluctant to invest in Apple due to a Warren Buffet principle which has it that you shouldn’t invest in something you don’t understand. He later overcame his fear and went ahead anyway and today is better off for it as the company made history as the first American trillion-dollar company in the world with its shares now valued at above $200 each.
Beyond investing in companies, Robert Kiyosaki has also invested substantial amounts of monies in commodities such as crude oil, gold, and silver. He also holds substantial amounts of other countries’ currencies, including the Thai Baht and Philippine Peso, as a hedge against the U.S. dollar.
Some Have Criticized Kiyosaki’s Seminars as Scams Reaping Off Poor People
Being in the business of educating people about personal finance and wealth is never an easy thing and Robert Kiyosaki has discovered these in spades. Despite his bestselling books and well-attended seminars, he has been trailed by lots of controversies over the years. One of the most prominent is the criticism of his seminars. His education classes are packaged in such a way that they are tagged free. During these free seminars, you don’t get much real content but are advised to go for higher classes of seminars which cost anywhere from $500 to $45,000.
According to Kiyosaki’s critics, by the time you get to the most expensive class, you discover that all you have been taught are generic principles that won’t help you generate any new wealth but leave you poorer than you were starting out. Such a reality has left some of the seminar participants bankrupt and they have in turn sued Kiyosaki and his company. Some of these lawsuits were dismissed on grounds of technicality while in some others, Kiyosaki was ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution to his attendees.
Another thing that has not done Robert Kiyosaki’s reputation any favors is the belief that his so-called Rich Dad is not a real person but rather an imaginary figure. In his bestselling book, Kiyosaki presents his rich dad as a friend of his dad who eschews traditional education and goes for a career in real estate and investing. This rich dad supposedly gives him lots of advice but in reality, it turns out that such a friend of his dad never existed.
Several of His Companies Have Filed For Bankruptcy
Another fact that has cast a doubt on Robert Kiyosaki’s hard-earned reputation is the fact that several of his business ventures have filed for bankruptcy. This begs the question of whether he can reasonably teach people about entrepreneurship given that his own companies have gone under.
Some of the first companies that Kiyosaki set up in the 70s and 80s filed for bankruptcy protection. Fast-forward to 2012, one of his companies, Rich Global LLC, also toed a similar path. That bankruptcy was instigated by a $23 million lawsuit brought against them by a company known as Learning Annex. The company had reportedly helped to repackage Kiyosaki’s brand in the early days of Rich Dad, Poor Dad and made him a highly sought-after public speaker. He earned lots of money in speaking fees and allegedly refused to give Learning Annex their cut. They were left with no option but to sue Rich Global LLC and the court awarded them $23 million in damages.
Rich Global LLC only had a little above a million in assets hence the bankruptcy filing. Luckily for Kiyosaki, the filing was corporate rather than a personal one which meant that his personal wealth was protected.