Robert Kiyosaki, author of the 1997 bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad and “self-proclaimed troublemaker”, has a simple piece of advice to protect yourself — buy gold.
“All markets boom and bust, it’s just life,” said Kiyosaki, who will be in Australia later this month to headline the Wealth Masters Tour in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
“Unfortunately we had a big crash in 2000, they called it the dotcom crash, then in 2008 it was the subprime real estate crash. The next is going to be the biggest of all. When it’s coming I don’t really know, but the foreshocks are sounding right now.”
Kiyosaki blamed the US Federal Reserve’s money printing policies, known as quantitative easing, for inflating the bubble. “In Australia they always say when America sneezes, Australia passes out,” he said.
“I’ve always been a gold bug. My latest book coming out is called Fake. There’s so much fake money. In 1971 Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard and the US dollar became fake money.
“The problem is it also became invisible, so they could print as much as they wanted. That’s why savers got wiped out. So for the average person, just buy some Aussie gold or silver coins from the Perth Mint. When the dollar goes down, gold goes up.”
Apart from that, “you need some kind of education” to make more money, he said.
Kiyosaki said not much had changed in the two decades since he wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad, which advocated for greater financial education.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “We still don’t teach financial education in schools. They teach economics, but they don’t really teach much beyond that. The positioning title of Rich Dad Poor Dad was what the rich teach their kids about money — it’s not, ‘Go to school and save money.’”
Kiyosaki said he had now taught in a number of schools and it was “shocking and disappointing”. “The students can only learn from the teacher, and the teacher doesn’t know much,” he said.
“They’re just out of touch with the reality of the world outside of school. My concern is the number of youth unemployed is so high now because they’re not prepared for the world.”
He said there were three main things “schools kind of mess you up in”.
“In school they teach you not to make mistakes, that mistakes mean you’re stupid,” he said. “But we’re designed to learn by making mistakes, babies learn to walk by falling down.”
The second thing was “don’t ask for help because it’s cheating”. “My ‘poor dad’ tried to solve his financial problems all by himself,” he said. “I operate my personal life like a rugby team, the best accountants, bookkeepers, bankers.”
The third thing was “that school teaches you there’s only one right answer”. “In the real world you’ve got to find mutual right answers,” he said.
Kiyosaki, who has faced criticism over the years for various issues including his real estate investment advice, said he was still a fan of real estate.
“It’s like anything else, it’s only a good investment if you’re a good investor,” he said. “‘Is cooking good? Are you a good cook?’
“I don’t sell investments at all, I don’t recommend anything, but people come up to me and say, ‘Tell me what to do.’ I think that comes from school, they’re just waiting for the answer. I’ve always recommended people take courses and study.
“In 1973 I came back from Vietnam, went for my MBA and took a real estate course. I was making more money off my real estate course than my MBA. I love real estate, I’ve never lost money in real estate, simply because I study it.”
Kiyosaki also shares the unique distinction of being the only person to have co-authored two books with US President Donald Trump, and was a supporter or the Republican during the 2016 election.
The pair teamed up in 2006 for Why We Want You to Be Rich: Two Men, One Message after meeting through education company The Learning Annex, and in 2011 released a sequel titled Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich — And Why Most Don’t.
“I share the cover with him — it’s kind of a liability,” he laughs. “You either love him or hate him, that’s about it. I always crack up. There’s no two Donald Trumps, he is what you see, whereas with Obama and many politicians, you don’t know which guy you’re talking to.
“Trump is just Trump. He’s a good man, but I think he opens his mouth, puts his foot in his mouth then tweets about it. As you know, there’s no news without Trump anymore. I turn on any US station, it’s either Trump said this or Trump said that.”
Kiyosaki said “we won’t know” if Trump’s presidency had been a success until the dust had settled. “He’s shaking everything up, that’s for sure,” he said.
Tickets for Robert Kiyosaki’s Wealth Masters Tour in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne from August 23-27 are available at event.kiyosakilive.com.au