'I interviewed millionaire and finance guru, Robert Kiyosaki. Here are 3 unexpected lessons I learned.'

Somewhere around the age of eight or nine, I stumbled across a book that would change my life.

This book was small and purple-ish in colour. It had a fun sounding name. 

Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.

Honestly, I thought it was a fiction book. I had no idea what it was about.

I also had no idea that one day, inspired by this book, I too would become a financial educator.

Watch: 5 money lessons your parents told you, that you should probably forget. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

Today, I run a financial education platform helping people take control of their finances. Today, hundreds have transformed their financial lives through our flagship course, Mastering Money.

But the one thing I could never have even dreamed of all those years ago, was that one day I would interview the author of that little book. 

During the height of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to ask Robert Kiyosaki all of my burning question, live.

If you have any interest in personal finance, you’ll know that Kiyosaki is a ‘big deal’. Back in the 90s and 2000s, Kiyosaki was an international ‘finfluencer’ way before it was cool.


In more recent years, some of his content has been more controversial. But for those looking, there are still valuable gems of personal finance wisdom to be gleaned.

Here are three lessons I learned from interviewing him:

1. Having money, and knowing how to use it are different things.

In my interview, Robert Kiyosaki shared that during the Global Financial Crisis he borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in real-estate. 

Some might think, “that’s so risky,” or “he could afford to do that because he’s Robert Kiyosaki,” but I think that’s missing the point.

Many people come into large amounts of money (e.g. winning a lottery, getting a bonus) but don’t know how to turn it into something more. In fact, many of them lose it pretty quickly.

Think about it: if you were given a million dollars today, would you know how to invest it wisely

Conversely, if a skilled investor had the savings you currently have, would they be able to increase the value of it quicker and better than you could? Yeah, probably.

So many people focus on ‘acquiring more money’ thinking that if they just had the money, that would solve all their problems. They’ll have ‘made it’. Then they can rest easy.

But the real key to financial success isn’t simply having more money, but knowing how to use it. In reality, the money and wealth is just a byproduct of how strong your financial capability is.

2. There are different strategies for different levels.

Some of Kiyosaki’s messages can sound contradictory on the face of it. 


“Don’t get into consumer debt, but debt is good?” “Your home isn’t an asset, but invest in real estate?” “Invest put don't put money into your super."

Think of personal finance like school. In kindergarten you might learn that “k” sounds like “kite”. But then later, you learn that sometimes the “k” is silent, like in “knight”. 

There are different rules that are used at different levels of the game. You can’t learn them all at once, and not all of them are appropriate for your specific level. 

So, when listening to personal ‘gurus’, you have to be aware of what level you’re at, and what level they are talking to. 

When Kiyosaki says “debt is great”... yes, debt can be used to build wealth, but that doesn’t mean you are personally ready to use debt to build wealth yet. 

When Kiyosaki trash talks ETFs or superannuation... maybe it’s because with his wealth and financial capability, he's able to pursue strategies that wouldn’t be suitable for beginners.  

That doesn’t mean ETFs or superannuation are ‘bad’, it just means they’re not the investment he’s chosen at the level he’s playing the game. 

Know what’s appropriate for the level you are at.

Listen to Mamamia's podcast that is all about money, What The Finance with financial expert Melissa Browne. Post continues below.

3. There is no shortcut. The learning never stops.

During the interview, Kiyosaki talked about the amount of time he has put, and continues to put, into understanding financial topics in depth, whether that’s tax, real estate, or something else. 


This is a man in his 70s who has no ‘need’ (financially) to continue to put the ‘work’ in.

He was blunt in saying that most people are simply not willing to put in that time. 

This was pretty humbling to hear. 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that once you get to a certain level, you can just hit ‘cruise control’. But the thing that helps people who get to that level in the first place is their willingness to never stop learning

They aren’t trying to ‘get’ to a ‘specific destination’ so that they can ‘finally stop’. Instead, they view themselves as being on a constant journey of growth and evolution.

If we measure financial success not only in terms of the wealth, you accumulate but also in terms of your financial capability and peace of mind, then there is no real short-cut. 

Someone can hand you a million dollars, but no one can give you financial confidence, capability or peace of mind overnight. Those are things you have to put the work into acquiring. 

Paridhi Jain is the founder of SkilledSmart, a financial education platform helping adults learn to save, manage and invest their money. For more money tips, you can grab a free e-book on 5 Money Mistakes Costing You Thousands via their website, and learn more about their course, Mastering Money.

Feature Image: Supplied/Booktopia/Mamamia.

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