What Do You Know About Money?
As you step off the podium with your degree in hand, here’s a question for you: did you learn anything about money? In PragerU’s 2022 commencement address, financial guru Robert Kiyosaki offers you the financial education that your formal education probably missed.
You now have a degree in Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology, Feminist Studies, Pre-Med, or dozens of other possible subjects.
As you step off the podium with your degree in hand, here’s a question for you.
Did you learn anything about money?
Did you learn anything about debt, taxes, or why the rich keep getting richer?
As you enter the real world… do you realize your bankers will not ask you for your college degree or your Grade Point Average?
Bankers want to see your financial statement… not your report card.
You know how to read textbooks. You are highly literate people.
But are you financially literate? Do you know how to read a financial statement?
I learned more playing Monopoly than I ever did in school.
After all your hours in the classroom, how high is your financial IQ?
I’m guessing that, for most of you, the answer is, “I don’t know.”
Some of you will reply, “I don’t care.”
On graduation day, all you may care about is making a difference in the world.
But if you don’t care about money, money won’t care about you. And you’ll probably wind up in your parents’ basement.
In the real world, money is always a problem. If you don’t have money, that is a problem.
I was born and raised in Hawaii. I am best known for Rich Dad Poor Dad, the most popular book about financial education ever published.
My poor dad was my real dad, my biological father, a very smart, highly educated man, a Ph.D., and the head of education for the State of Hawaii.
But he knew little if anything about money.
My rich dad was the father of my best friend. Rich dad never went to high school, much less college.
When he was 13 years old, his father died and he had to take over the family business. Rich dad got his real-life education in the real world of business.
Although he lacked a formal academic education, he understood the world of money and became a rich man.
Although my poor dad was highly educated, he struggled with money all his life, and ultimately died a poor man.
Like most people, my poor dad thought the way to become financially secure was to simply earn more money. So, he would work harder, get promoted, and get a pay raise. He got plenty of raises, but he didn’t get any richer.
To the graduating class, I pass on my poor dad’s big mistake.
Although a highly educated man, a Ph.D. who attended Stanford, University of Chicago, and Northwestern, poor dad was financially illiterate.
Poor dad did not know the difference between assets and liabilities.
Poor dad always called our family home an “asset.” He also said, “Our home is our biggest investment.”
Rich dad said, “Your dad may be a Ph.D., but he does not know his house is not an asset. His house is a liability.”
“Assets put money in your pocket whether you work or not.”
“Liabilities take money from your pocket, whether you work or not.”
My poor dad kept calling liabilities assets. That is why he was poor.
The rich acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities they think are assets.
Come to terms with this concept and you will start your journey toward financial freedom.
Reject it and you'll be like my poor dad.
With that kind of future staring you in the face, it’s no mystery why so many of your contemporaries favor socialism over free-market capitalism.
“Cancel all student debt.”
“Health care is a human right.”
“Tax the rich.”
These sentiments have a lot of appeal.
Because they teach you to blame others for your money problems. You’re a victim of the capitalist system.
And there’s an easy fix. Just take money from those who have it and give it to those who don’t.
That’s what my Poor Dad believed.
Here’s the irony: It’s not the rich who are obsessed with money; it’s the poor and middle class.
Because they never have enough of it.
My real education began after I left school. It’s time to begin yours.
I leave you with words of wisdom from my rich dad: “You never have true freedom until you have financial freedom.”
I’m Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, for Prager University.