Inilah pernyataan menarik yang dilontarkan Robert T Kiyosaki dalam bukunya, ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ (RDPD). Buku ini merupakan karya pertama dari trilogi Kiyosaki, bersama dua buku lainnya, ‘Cashflow Quadrant (CQ)’ dan ‘Rich Dad: Guide to Investing’ (RDGI). Dan tentu saja trilogi yang ditulis bareng dengan kawan lamanya, Sharon L Lechter, kini jadi buku ‘bestseller’ versi ‘New York Times.’
Sebagai pengarang berperspektif unik mengenai bisnis, Kiyosaki memang mengkhususkan diri menulis buku-buku bertema ekonomi. Dasar pemikirannya sangat sederhana: Jabatan, karier, maupun kepandaian, tidak bisa menjamin seseorang menjadi kaya. Itu sebabnya, menurut Kiyosaki, konsep pendidikan yang menekankan bahwa ”anak sekolah harus pintar” harus diubah total. Ini agar kita tidak terkurung dalam ‘rat race,’ kehidupan yang tak cerdas.
”Alasan utama orang bersusah payah secara finansial adalah karena mereka menghabiskan waktu bertahun-tahun di sekolah, tetapi tidak belajar apa pun mengenai uang,” ujar Kiyosaki yang pernah menjadi staf pengajar bisnis dan investasi. ”Hasilnya adalah orang bekerja untuk mendapatkan uang, tetapi tak pernah belajar agar uang bekerja untuk mereka.”
Sebagai pengganti, Kiyosaki melontarkan gagasan ‘how to get rich.’ Ada enam kiat yang dapat diaplikasikan untuk menjadi orang kaya. Pertama, ”Orang Kaya Tidak Bekerja Untuk Uang” (hlm 13). Ini bisa jadi cara efektif menghindari kemiskinan. Sebab, kata Kiyosaki, orang miskin tidak memiliki kebebasan finansial dalam hidupnya. Penghasilannya selalu habis untuk membiayai kewajibannya.
Kia t kedua, penguasaan atas empat konsep bisnis — yaitu pemasukan, pengeluaran, neraca aset, dan liabilities. Secara detil kiat ini diungkap dalam item ”Mengapa Mengajarkan Melek Finansial” (hlm 57). Ketiga, anjuran untuk memulai bisnis sendiri sebagai jalan awal menuju kekayaan. Ini diungkapnya dalam bab ”Uruslah Bisnis Anda Sendiri” (hlm 93). Sedang kiat keempat Kiyosaki terasa lebih teknis, yaitu ihwal ”Sejarah Pajak dan Kekuatan Korporasi” (hlm 105). Intinya, bila kita bagaimana mengatur pajak, maka pengetahuan ini akan mendatangkan kekayaan.
Masih ada kiat kelima, yaitu ”Orang Kaya Menciptakan Uang” (hlm 121). Di sini Kiyosaki membahas ihwal ‘kecerdasan finansial’ orang kaya dalam mengelola uang. Kecerdasan itu antara lain, dapat membedakan ‘good and bad liabilities, good and bad debt, good and bad expenses,’ dan ‘good and bad risk.’ Dibahas pula tentang investasi sebagai teknik orang kaya menciptakan uang.
Kiat terakhir yang disodorkan Kiyosaki adalah ”Bekerja Untuk Belajar, Jangan Bekerja Untuk Uang” (hlm 149). Ajaran ini terkait dengan perubahan paradigma era informasi, dari ‘school smart’ ke ‘school smart’ dan ‘street smart.’ Artinya, selain diperlukan kecerdasan akademis, untuk jadi orang kaya, dibutuhkan juga ‘ilmu jalanan’ yang tidak didapat di bangku sekolah.
Tentu saja Kiyosaki tak mencipta kiat ini dari ilmu ekonomi yang dipelajarinya secara formal. Tapi, lebih bertumpu pada renungan tentang kisah hidupnya sendiri. Seperti yang dikutip di ‘RDPD’, yang diterbitkan Gramedia Pustaka Utama pertama kali September 2001, sukses karier bisnis Kiyosaki diawali sejak 1997 dengan mendirikan perusahaan dompet berbahan nylon. Di tahun 1985 kegiatan bisnis pengusaha kelahiran Hawaii ini mulai dikurangi, tetapi kegiatan investasi tetap dilakukan. Dari sanalah Kiyosaki terus menuai sukses.
Menurut Tri Utomo Wiganarto, konsultan West Java Corridor, trilogi Kiyosaki ini hampir sepenuhnya berbicara tentang pembentukan karakter pribadi kita dan hanya sedikit yang membahas masalah teknis. ”Pendekatan Kiyosaki adalah pendekatan ‘leaderships’ yang dituangkan dalam bahasa yang membumi,” kata Tri Utomo dalam acara bedah buku trilogi Kiyosaki di Bandung belum lama ini. ”Pemikiran Kiyosaki mengubah paradigma berpikir kita menjadi lebih terbuka.”
Rendra Hertiadhi, marketing dan corporate director PT Myohdotcom Indonesia Tbk, menilai bahwa empat konsep bisnis Kiyosaki sangat aplikatif. Bila kita mengadopsi konsep ‘bad liabilities’ — seperti spekulasi utang — risikonya sangat tinggi. Selama utang sesuai rencana, tidak jadi masalah. Asal, sumber pembayaran utang bukan dari kantong sendiri, melainkan dari aset bisnis yang kita ciptakan. ”Jadi, pembahasan Kiyosaki tentang ‘bad and good liabilities’ sangat tepat,” ujarnya.
Buku ‘RDPD’ secara keseluruhan memaparkan serangkaian petunjuk agar kita berusaha mendekati impian kita untuk menjadi kaya. Tetapi di akhir buku, Kiyosaki menegaskan bahwa semuanya berpulang pada seberapa keras usaha dan kontrol diri Anda. Buku kedua, ‘CQ,’ dicetak enam kali sepanjang tahun 2001. Di sini Kiyosaki menciptakan sebuah model yang disebut ‘cashflow quadrant.’ Model ini terdiri dari empat kuadran yang memetakan empat posisi orang dalam konteks finansial.
Buku setebal 330 halaman dan terdiri dari 18 bab ini memberikan petunjuk bagi kita untuk mengetahui di kuadran mana posisi kita dan membantu kita untuk berpindah ke kuadran yang lebih baik. Empat kuadran tersebut adalah kuadran E (’employee’), kuadran S (‘self employee’), kuadran B (‘business ownners’), dan kuadran I (‘investor’).
Di bagian pertama buku ini, Kiyosaki memaparkan perbedaan inti dari orang-orang pada masing-masing kuadran dengan menganalisis kata-kata mereka. Bagian kedua merupakan tahap-tahap membangkitkan potensi yang ada dalam diri untuk menjadi kaya. Bagian ketiga buku ini diisi nasehat Kiyosaki menjadi ‘business ownners’ dan ‘investor’ yang sukses. Intinya adalah kontrol diri, investasi, dan manajemen. Selain itu juga disuguhkan tujuh langkah menemukan jalur cepat kebebasan finansial Anda (Bab 11).
Buku ketiga, ‘RDGI,’ baru selesai diterjemahkan dan diterbitkan di Indonesia tiga pekan lalu. Buku ini lebih banyak memberikan petunjuk teknis investasi serta pelajaran tentang bagaimana mempertahankan bisnis yang telah Anda bangun. Ada tiga hal yang menurut Kiyosaki dapat dilakukan untuk mempertahankan bisnis kita, yaitu dengan menyumbangkan kecerdasan, pengalaman, dan uang Anda pada pihak-pihak yang membutuhkan.
Perr y Tristianto, raja ‘factory outlet’ Bandung, mengaku bahwa gara-gara teori Kiyosaki, ia yang memulai kariernya di kuadran E sekarang mampu bermain di kuadran B . ”Pelajaran dari Kiyosaki sebagian besar terjadi pada kehidupan saya,” papar Perry.
Terdiri dari kurang lebih 400 halaman, buku ini memberikan pandangan komprehensif mengenai pemikiran-pemikiran Kiyosaki dalam bentuk tips-tips yang dikemas secara menarik. Semuanya digelar dalam bahasa yang sederhana dan sistematis. Artinya bisa dicerna dengan mudah oleh siapa pun.
Di tengah terpuruknya perekonomian kita, trilogi Kiyosaki memang menawarkan angin segar. Apalagi buku ini memang ditulis Kiyosaki pada suatu periode hidupnya yang serba sulit. Kiyosaki sempat mengalami keterpurukan, kehilangan tempat tinggal, menjadi orang yang terpinggirkan, dan jatuh sakit.
Robert Toru Kiyosaki (born April 8, 1947) is an investor, businessman, self-help author, motivational speaker and inventor. Kiyosaki is best known for his Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of motivational books and other material. He has written 15 books which combined have sold over 26 million copies. Although beginning as a self-publisher, he was subsequently published by Warner Books, a division of Hachette Book Group USA, currently his new books appear under the Rich Dad Press imprint. Three of his books, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant, and Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing, have been on the top 10 best-seller lists simultaneously on The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New York Times. The book Rich Kid Smart Kid was published in 2001, with the intent to help parents teach their children financial concepts. He has created three “Cashflow” board and software games for adults and children and has a series of “Rich Dad” audio cassettes and disks. He also publishes a monthly newsletter.
A fourth-generation Japanese American, Kiyosaki was born and raised in Hawaii . He is the son of the late educator Ralph H. Kiyosaki (1919-1991). After graduating from Hilo High School, he attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York, graduating with the class of 1969 as a deck officer. He later served in the Marine Corps as a helicopter gunship pilot during the Vietnam War, where he was awarded the Air Medal. Kiyosaki left the Marine Corps in 1974 and got a job selling copy machines for the Xerox Corporation. In 1977, Kiyosaki started a company that brought to market the first nylon and Velcro “surfer” wallets. The company was moderately successful at first but eventually went bankrupt. In the early 1980s, Kiyosaki started a business that licensed T-shirts for Heavy metal rock bands. Around 1996–1997 he launched Cashflow Technologies, Inc. which operates and owns the Rich Dad (and Cashflow) brand.
He is married to Kim Kiyosaki and has one sister, Emi Kiyosaki, who is a Tibetan Buddhist nun and known by the name Ven. Tenzin Kacho.
A large part of Kiyosaki’s teachings focus on generating passive income by means of investment opportunities, such as real estate and businesses, with the ultimate goal of being able to support oneself by such investments alone. In tandem with this, Kiyosaki defines “assets” as things that generate cash inflow, such as rental properties or businesses—and “liabilities” as things that use cash, such as houses, cars, and so on. Such definitions are somewhat based on the concept of negative gearing. Kiyosaki also argues that financial leverage is critically important in becoming rich.
Kiyosaki stresses what he calls “financial literacy” as the means to obtaining wealth. He says that life skills are often best learned through experience and that there are important lessons not taught in school. He says that formal education is primarily for those seeking to be employees or self-employed individuals, and that this is an “Industrial Age idea.” And according to Kiyosaki, in order to obtain financial freedom, one must be either a business owner or an investor, generating passive income.
Kiyosaki speaks often of what he calls “The Cashflow Quadrant,” a conceptual tool that aims to describe how all the money in the world is earned. Depicted in a diagram, this concept entails four groupings, split with two lines (one vertical and one horizontal). In each of the four groups there is a letter representing a way in which an individual may earn income. The letters are as follows.
• E: Employee — Working for someone else.
• S: Self-employed or Small business owner — Where a person owns his own job and is his own boss.
• B: (Boss) Business owner — Where a person owns a “system” of making money, rather than a job to make money.
• I: Investor — Spending money in order to receive a larger payout in.
Kiyosaki is best known for his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the #1 New York Times bestseller. Kiyosaki followed with Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant and Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing. He has now had at least a dozen books published. A partial list of his books is included below.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (1997)
Main article: Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Originally self-published before being picked up commercially to become a best seller, the central concept of the book is an anecdotal comparison of his “two fathers.” His “poor dad” was his biological father, who became Superintendent of the Hawaii State Department of Education but had very little real net worth. Contrasted with this is his (arguably fictitious, see “Criticism and controversy” section of this article) “rich dad,” advocates tax-advantaged investment vehicles, such as real estate or businesses, rather than ownership of securities. This idea is further developed in his later books and “Rich Dad” became Kiyosaki’s personal brand for various publishing ventures.
Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom (2000)
Cashflow Quadrant is a personal finance and investing book written with Sharon Lechter, C.P.A. as the sequel to Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In it, Kiyosaki discusses what he calls the cashflow quadrant: a grid consisting of the letters “E”, “S”, “B”, and “I.” The cashflow quadrant itself is just an illustrative tool to show the difference between Employees, Self Employed/Small Business owners, Business owners (not directly involved in the day-to-day operation of the company), and Investors. Kiyosaki discusses the differences between concepts and ideas characteristic of each quadrant, particularly as they relate to passive income and tax advantages. Again, as a self-help author, he invites readers to consider their own ideas about money.
Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! (2000)
Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing gives the reader a roadmap to becoming the Ultimate Investor, one who uses other peoples’ money to create investments that people want to buy into. While the first two books use broad strokes, this one goes into much more detail about actually implementing some of the strategies heretofore discussed.
Rich Kid, Smart Kid (2001)
Rich Kid, Smart Kid is a retelling of Kiyosaki’s views, condensed and clarified to try and help parents better understand and teach their children key financial concepts. It includes a series of activities that a parent can do with their child to make them aware of property, finance and the various ways and places businesses make money.
Rich Dad’s Prophecy (2002)
Rich Dad’s Prophecy predicts that the market will crash around 2016 when the oldest Baby Boomers start cashing out their 401(k) plans. Individuals whose savings are locked into 401(k) plans will suffer because these retirement plans are not flexible and do not do well in a bear market. Robert Kiyosaki believes this may be his most important book yet.
Why We Want You To Be Rich coauthored by Donald Trump (2007)
Why We Want You To Be Rich is a book written by both Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump. It encourages individuals to become financially literate to combat the upcoming problems facing America, such as the shrinking middle class and the entitlement mentality.
• If you want to be Rich & Happy don’t go to School? (1992)
• The Business School for People Who Like Helping People (2001) – endorses multi-level marketing.
• Retire Young, Retire Rich (2001)
• Rich Dad’s The Business School (2003)
• Who Took My Money (2004)
• Rich Dad, Poor Dad for Teens (2004)
• Before You Quit Your Job (2005)
• Rich Dad’s Escape from the Rat Race – Comic for children (2005)
• Rich Dad’s Increase Your Financial IQ: Get Smarter with Your Money (2008)
Kiyosaki stresses the value of games, particularly Monopoly, as tools for learning basic financial strategies such as “trade four green houses for one red hotel.” Kiyosaki has created several games to reinforce the information in his books.
Main article: Cashflow 101
“Cashflow 101” is a board game designed by Kiyosaki, which aims to teach the players concepts of investing and making money, it costs $195.
There are two stages to the game. In the first, “the rat race”, the player aims to raise his or her character’s passive income level to where it exceeds the character’s expenses through a variety of investment options. The winner is determined in the second stage, “the fast track.” To win, a player must get his character to buy his “dream” or accumulate $50,000 in monthly cash flow.
The game forces the players to do the accounts by themselves. In place of “score cards”, there are financial statements. Therefore, players can see more clearly what is happening with their money. It generally shows how assets generate incomes and liabilities and ‘doodads’ affect expenses.
Basic strategies involved in this game are: buying and selling stocks, Cashflow, Appreciation, and leverage.
“Cashflow 202” is a more advanced game than Cashflow 101. It is designed to help players learn about more sophisticated investing strategies. Cashflow 101 was generally meant to teach investing techniques that would work best in an “up market” where property values steadily increase, whereas Cashflow 202 is supposed to teach investment strategies for a fluctuating market where property values depreciate as well as rise.
Strategies involved in this game are: Call, Put, and Short options on stocks, 1031 Real Estate Exchanges, and immediate capital gains vs. longer-term investments.
Cashflow for Kids
“Cashflow for Kids” is basically a children’s version of Cashflow 101, good for ages 5 through 9. There is also a Cashflow for Kids e-game available for free.
Cashflow The E-Game
“Cashflow The E-Game” is a computer software version of the Cashflow 101 board game. It is not necessary to have the board game in order to play the computer game.
Cashflow 202 The E-Game
“Cashflow 202 The E-Game” is a software expansion of the computer game “Cashflow The E-Game.” Its counterpart is the “Cashflow 202” board game described earlier in this article.
Rich Dad Advisor Series
The Rich Dad Advisor Series is a series of books written on different business topics. These books are seen as more technical in nature as they tend to be written by lawyers, accountants and other professionals. Books in the series include:
• How to Buy and Sell a Business: How You Can Win in the Business Quadrant
• Protecting Your #1 Asset : Creating Fortunes from Your Ideas : An Intellectual Property Handbook
• Sales Dogs : You Do Not Have to Be an Attack Dog to Be Successful in Sales
• Real Estate Riches: How to Become Rich Using Your Banker’s Money
• Loopholes of the Rich: How the Rich Legally Make More Money and Pay Less Tax
• Real Estate Loopholes: Secrets of Successful Real Estate Investing
• Rich Dad’s Real Estate Advantages: Tax and Legal Secrets of Successful Real Estate Investors
• Own Your Own Corporation: Why the Rich Own Their Own Companies and Everyone Else Works for Them
This is a quick list of audio/visual (such as tapes and DVDs) that have been released. Almost all of Robert Kiyosaki’s books have been released as audio products:
• Rich Dad’s Secrets To Money
• You Can Choose To Be Rich: “Think It” “Learn It” “Do It”
• Rich Dad’s Roads To Riches: 6 Steps to Becoming a Successful Real Estate Investor
• How To Increase The Income From Your Real Estate Investments
• How To: Find and Keep Good Tenants (Audio)
• How To: Find Great Investments (Audio)
• How To: Get Your Banker To Say “Yes! (Audio)
Several local stations of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), including WTTW of Chicago, KAET of Phoenix, KOCE of Orange County, California, WLIW of the New York/New Jersey area, and WGBH of Boston, have featured Kiyosaki during fund-raising drives. During this television special, Rich Dad’s Guide to Wealth with Robert Kiyosaki, he provides viewers with what he calls “financial education”, as opposed to academic or professional education.
Kiyosaki has been seen giving financial advice on various network television news channels.
New York City’s Madison Square Garden (October, 2002)
This speech was the subject of a CNN story.
Kiyosaki claimed in one column that investors in any mutual fund with a 2.5% annual fee would, over a long time period, surrender 80% of the earnings to the fund. Kiyosaki repeated this claim in a subsequent column, expanding his criticism of mutual funds by stating they are for “losers.” He has drawn much criticism for comparing investing in mutual funds to playing the lottery, and for discouraging 401(k) investing, contrary to the advice of most professional financial advisors.
In contrast to the argument above, Kiyosaki explains in his book Prophecy that mutual funds are not bad investments, but are simply risky investments for those that are financially educated.
Kiyosaki’s claim is given some credence by the founder of mutual fund powerhouse Vanguard, John C. Bogle. In a Frontline episode titled 401(k)s: The New Retirement Plan, For Better or Worse, Bogle, too, claims that management fees and trading costs gobble up approximately 2.5% of an investor’s annual returns and approximately 80% of an investor’s long term gains. He says management costs reduce the value of a $1,000 investment over 65 years from approximately $140,000 at 8% compounded annually to a mere $30,000 at 5.5% compounded annually. Bogle’s solution is to utilize index funds, which charge as little as 0.18%, to substantially reduce or eliminate management fees. 
Criticism and controversy
Kiyosaki’s books and teachings have been criticized for focusing on anecdotes and containing little in the way of concrete advice on how readers should proceed. Kiyosaki responds that his material is meant to be more of a motivational tool to get readers thinking about money, rather than a step by step guide to wealth. He also says the books are supposed to be “interesting” to people, which precludes involving a lot of technical material.
There is also disagreement over how blurred the line is between fiction and anecdote in many of his works. Critics believe that Rich Dad is fictional and that Kiyosaki created him as an author surrogate (a literary device). In the past, Kiyosaki has maintained that Rich Dad actually existed, but that he died decades before the book was first published. However, he has never revealed his name or any other identifying information. Attempts by outsiders to determine Rich Dad’s identity have not revealed a conclusive candidate, despite the prominence such a wealthy individual would likely have had in Hawaii in the 1950s. However, in Why We Want You to Be Rich, the book he co-authored with Donald Trump, Kiyosaki positively asserts that Rich Dad really existed. Supporters maintain that Rich Dad was real and have put forward this observation by noting the particular activities that ‘Rich Dad’ did, such as providing funding for a cancer wing at a Hawaii Hospital.
Former real estate investor and author of books on real estate investment John T. Reed has questioned much of what Kiyosaki has claimed to have achieved. According to Reed, much of Kiyosaki’s advice is illegal, makes no sense or is the product of “a rather ignorant, not very bright, novice, investor wannabe.” He concludes his criticism, saying that “Rich Dad, Poor Dad is one of the dumbest financial advice books I have ever read. It contains many factual errors and numerous extremely unlikely accounts of events that supposedly occurred.” However there has been harsh criticism of J T. Reed, with supporters of Robert Kiyosaki pointing out that Reed’s uses negative criticism of Kiyosaki to create a profile for himself and sell his own real estate products.
Kiyosaki has also been criticized for being overly repetitious in his teachings. Some[weasel words] consider this a tactic to produce “filler” material in order to make it appear he is covering more material. Kiyosaki claims that this is an intentional teaching style that he feels is important for maximum retention. Repetition often in the form of multiple points of view looking at the same concept help solidify the concept in the mind of the reader.
Even some of the facts he has offered directly have been questioned. For example, on September 19, 2006, Kiyosaki wrote in a Yahoo Finance article that the NYMEX is an exchange where “… pork bellies,… are traded.” In reality, pork bellies are not traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rather they are traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
ABC ran a 20/20 segment on May 19, 2006 in which Kiyosaki was to advise three entrepreneurs on how to make money. They were given $1000 and 20 days to try and make the most money possible. At the end, after mediocre results, the contestants alleged that Kiyosaki never gave concrete advice. “All he [Kiyosaki] does is, I guess, is open your mind to the possibility. He doesn’t tell you how to do it.” Kiyosaki responds by saying that failure is important to learn. At the end, 20/20 asks, “Does anyone really need 18 books to learn to fail?”
The Wall Street Journal harshly criticised “Why We Want You To Be Rich” by Kiyosaki and Trump as did Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
Kiyosaki wrote a column in Yahoo Finance in which he blames poverty on laziness. He also implies a religious justification for wealth disparity. “Over the years, I’ve met many losers who pray to God to give them gold. God helps those who help themselves. Again, the conquistadors may have been killers and thieves, but at least they knew how to help themselves.”
Kiyosaki’s boardgames have been criticized for being excessively expensive US$200 for the most expensive Cashflow 101.
Kiyosaki has also been associated with multi-level marketing companies such as Amway, and in 2000 gave a keynote speech at a Quixtar conference On page 135 of Rich Dad’s Who Took My Money?, Kiyosaki states “I often speak to network marketing businesses because they provide low-cost entry for people to start businesses while also providing them valuable training and mentoring
”Di saat semua pihak tidak yakin kita bisa bangkit, buku ini benar-benar memberikan inspirasi pada kita. Yang paling penting adalah bagaimana kita mengarahkan kekuatan diri sendiri untuk membangun sesuatu,” kata Tri Utomo.