Text size

The author of the bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad, told a Tel Aviv audience yesterday that the middle class in the U.S. is about to disappear, and the rich will get richer; and the U.S. is heading toward a recession that will last for a few years. This is bad news for many people, but not for investors, Robert Kiyosaki explained.

Kiyosaki was in Israel to promote the publication of the Hebrew translation of his latest book, Why We Want You To Be Rich, co-authored with the American developer and reality TV star, Donald Trump, as well as the launch of his new board game: Cashflow.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Kiyosaki said it's time to start teaching children how to manage money, because more education is the way for today's younger generation to escape financial ruin. Otherwise, explained Kiyosaki, the gap between rich and poor will only grow.

"The problem with most people being poor is that they're taking advice from financial losers," Kiyosaki said. "All I'm asking is that a kid have a chance to be rich or poor."

The new book is not really about how to get rich, Kiyosaki said. "It is very simply about why we think it's important to get rich." Kiyosaki is trying to teach children about money management with a child version of his Cashflow board game. He said that he is trying to help people acquire financial intelligence.

The U.S. government is continuing to print money, salaries are not rising at the same pace, and the middle class is collapsing - and all this reminds Kiyosaki of Germany at the start of the 1930s.

"Hitler was elected for only one reason - the German government printed money," he told listeners. "So much money that the middle class was wiped out, and that is what is happening now in the U.S. That is how Hitler rose to power, and it will happen again, if we do not teach people how to make money - and teach politicians not to print as much money as they want."

The time has come for people to learn from the rich, said Kiyosaki. "We need to understand history."

He proposed adding financial education to the school curriculum, including in Israel. "Israel has an opportunity to change its educational system and teach how to make money." Kiyosaki explained that "what is important is financial intelligence - now that is what makes you rich - not money."

He explained that you can buy gold, bonds or houses - and still go bankrupt. What makes you rich is financial intelligence, he added.

In the past he has attacked investment advisors, saying that all that interests them is making money from their customers. Yesterday he was scheduled to speak to investment advisors from investment house Excellence Nessuah. When asked what he would say to them, he responded that he would tell them that it was nothing personal. He said that he feels that large institutions lead people to lose money, which is why financial institutions are persecuting him. He said that he is not against them, but that he wants them to educate. He said that "Excellence wants to educate people to make better investment decisions. It is like a beer company telling the public: "Don't drink and drive." That is social responsibility," he explained.

The recent world financial and credit crisis has done Kiyosaki's business a lot of good. He said he has made more money since the start of the crisis than in the rest of the year, and that the crisis has caused more people to seek out his advice. He says that in the past people viewed him cynically, but now they are taking him seriously.

Kiyosaki explained that America is now the world's biggest debtor nation, and President Bush is not reporting it. That is why it is necessary to educate people to become rich, and that is why he put out his Cashflow game. The game is like Monopoly, but the difference is that the new game combines investment and accounting.

His first and best-selling book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, has sold 26 million copies. Kiyosaki's global financial advice empire includes a series of books published in several languages, including Hebrew. He has sold about 200,000 books in Israel.