Here’s little Robert Kiyosaki. He has two
fathers. One of them has a Ph.D., the other never finished 8th grade. Both earn substantial
incomes, yet one always struggles financially, while the other is going to become one of
the richest men in Hawaii. One is going to die leaving tens of millions of dollars to
his family. The other is going to leave bills to be paid. The problem with financial education is that
it isn’t taught in schools, so the family decides to teach it. Now, the problem with
this is that unless your parents are in the top 1%, they are going to teach you how to
be poor, not because they don’t love you, they just don’t know what they’re teaching,
and they don’t read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad. My story is very similar. I was taught how
to be poor. Then I went to the Air Force Academy and studied economics and took accounting
and investing classes. I did complicated regressions on economic data and balanced complex balance
sheets. Yet, I have received more pragmatic advice by reading a single book from Kiyosaki
than I did by taking four years of complicated classes. I never had a rich dad, but I have many rich
dads now. Clason, Kiyosaki, Hill, DeMarco, the list goes on. So if you weren’t born
into the top 1%, let’s learn from Kiyosaki who learned from his rich dad. You have to know these two words: assets and
liabilities. Now forget what you might have learned in your accounting classes, we are
going to define them in very simple terms. An asset is anything that puts money in your
pocket. A liability is anything that takes money away from your pocket. Anything can
be an asset or a liability. If you own a house and it eats a $1000 a month then it’s a
liability. If you own a house and it brings in a $1000 a month then it’s an asset. Assets
are things like businesses, real estate, paper assets, things like stocks and bonds. Here
is why knowing this distinction is so important. Really try to focus on this. The poor only
have expenses, the rich buy assets, and the middle class buy liabilities that they think
are assets. After graduating if I had followed everybody’s
advice, I would have gotten a job which increases my income, but there are so many problems
with that. As I got my job, my girlfriend and I would have moved into a bigger house,
we would have gotten a BMW in addition to our Mustang. I would have bought the iPhone
6. The problem with all of this is that I would think I was acquiring assets while I
was actually acquiring liabilities. I would have to pay every month for the house, for
the car, for my expensive phone. In essence, unless you make a paradigm shift about what
you do with your money, which is to buy actual assets, no matter how much income you earn
from your job, you will just match it with your liabilities and expenses. Your friends
might admire your iPhone 6, and you might look rich but you will never actually be rich. Now there is nothing wrong with having your
job. I just don’t have one, because I’m operating from the assets quadrant. But, if
you are following the standard narrative of going to school and getting a job, chances
are you’re acquiring liabilities which you think are assets. That is the problem. So
keep your job, but make sure what you earn goes mostly towards real assets, rather than
liabilities that seem like assets. And yes, eventually when you acquire enough assets,
you won’t need your job either. It absolutely blows my mind how people say,
well what if I lose money with the business, or the real estate, or the paper assets. They
don’t say the same thing about buying their second enormous TV which will be worthless
in a year, and which creates a liability every month. I would rather lose all of my money
starting a business than lose it by buying yet another TV I don’t need. Even if I lost
all my money, the lessons learned from starting a business would be infinitely more valuable
than watching Dr. Phil. Here is another problem. It’s not how much
money you make, it’s how much money you keep. If I told you I was going to pay you
a million dollars a month, but then I took away $999,999, you’d have to be an idiot
if you said you were making a million. My dad told me become a doctor and you will be
rich. Yet a doctor pays a half or even more of what he earns just to the government. You
get taxed when you earn. You get taxed when you spend. You get taxed when you save. And
guess what, you get taxed when you die. On the other hand, you can operate from the assets
quadrant and pay sometimes 0% in taxes. I have doctor friends who are more financially
anxious than my absolutely broke friends. Here is a short history of taxation. Years
ago, there was no tax in Great Britain or the United States. It amazes me how so many
people don’t realize this. The government would sometimes collect tax during civil wars
and extreme cases, but there was no actual tax. Well, the government realized that the
poor and the middle class were idiots. The masses looked up to the idiotic story of Robin
Hood and actually admired it. So, the government decided it was going to leverage that. It
said, hey guys let’s put a tax on the rich, so you idiots can get money from them. Well
of course all the idiots agreed and voted for it. The problem is that the government’s
greed grew bigger and bigger until the taxation trickled down to everyone including the poor.
But the rich didn’t care. They were too smart for little Robin Hood. They easily found
ways to avoid being robbed of their hard earned money. So it actually hurt the idiots in the
end, the poor and the middle class. That is why Warren Buffett pays lower tax rate than
his secretary. I was born in 1992, in the Republic of Georgia
right after the breakup of the Soviet Union. If you think I worked my ass off in poverty
for two decades, so one day I could come to another communist state, you must be out of
your mind. You must be out of your mind if you think I’m going to share over half of
what I earn with blood and sweat with people who want to sit on their ass and watch TV
all day and collect the benefits the government hands out to them, so they can get reelected. The rich are too smart for this. Yes, I am
going to buy my BMW, I’m just going to buy it for my corporation. A poor person thinks
of a bunch of buildings when he thinks of a corporation when in reality, it’s really
a folder full of papers, a folder full of papers that allows the rich to make all the
expenses and then pay the taxes at the end. So the rich will never actually be affected
by any of this. It will always come down to the middle and the upper middle class, the
people who work the hardest, to pay for the benefits of the person with a bag of chips
in one hand, and a remote in the other.