Exclusive Interview with Rich Dad’s Robert Kiyosaki
Insights on “Why ‘A’ Students Work for ‘C’ Students—and ‘B’ Students Work for the Government”
In an exclusive for StartupNation, Robert Kiyosaki, successful entrepreneur, investor and author of the #1 Personal Finance book of all time, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” offered his insights related to his new book, “Why ‘A’ Students Work for ‘C’ Students—and ‘B’ Students Work for the Government.”
In regard to this financial education guide for parents, here’s what Robert had to say:
Why did you write this book?
I wrote “Why ‘A’ Students Work for ‘C’ Students” for parents because parents are a child’s first and most important teachers—and they have an important job to do. They can truly influence the future of their children, because if they don’t teach their kids about money, they can’t on the school system to do it. Schools teach kids what the school system believes they need to get a good job… which, from my point of view, sets them up to be slaves to a job and a paycheck all of their lives. My poor dad was a well-educated school teacher with a Ph.D., but I struggled in school. I didn’t get good grades and flunked out of high school—twice. In fact: I hated school. But I love to learn. Today, I (the “C” student) hire “A” students, like accountants and attorneys, to work for me.
The financial crisis has just started and as more countries and baby boomers go broke, who do you think will foot the bill for life-support? Your kids, that’s who. And it’ll take the form of higher taxes. That’s why I wrote this book. I want to encourage and support parents who want to give their child a financial head start in life. And it starts with understanding money.
Since the school system is not giving children a financial education, are they teaching our kids to be poor?
I think schools are teaching kids to be poor, but worse than that they’ve teaching them to be slaves to a paycheck. That could be one of the reasons why the dropout rate is so high in schools today. As a young kid back in the ‘50s and the ‘60s, I kept asking my teacher, “Why don’t you teach me anything about money?” I never got an answer to that question.
And today, most schools still don’t teach kids about money. Whether we’re smart or stupid, rich or poor; we all use money in our everyday lives. It’s an important life skill and it’s up to parents to fill the void.
We’ve got to teach our kids about money because the United States is broke. We’ve spent billions on public education, and poverty keeps increasing. The rich get richer, the middle class is getting squeezed harder and harder… and the poor are getting poorer and poorer. What’s wrong with this picture?
Then, do you think parents should train their children to be entrepreneurs?
Only a child can decide that. I wouldn’t decide that for them. I don’t think there’s anything more pathetic than some kid who does what his parents want him or her to do. Instead, give your kids some financial education and then they can make their own choices later on in life.
If your children do not have a financial education, then they will probably end up being an employee or a self-employed specialist. And today, employees pay at least 40% of their money in taxes and the self-employed pay about 60%. Meanwhile, people who own large businesses pay only about 20%, and investors with a high level of financial education and well-structured investments can often pay nothing—0%—in taxes. Very often the people who end up paying the most in taxes are the ‘A’ students who get out of school and become doctors, lawyers and attorneys.
Kids who have a financial education will have more choices in life and not be stuck working for someone else or living off government hand-outs.
What can a parent do to start giving their child a financial education?
I outline some specific activities—Action Steps for Parents—at the end of each chapter of the book, but the most important thing is to make your home an active and fun learning environment. And it doesn’t need to be difficult. You can play games like Monopoly® and CASHFLOW®, discuss the day’s news and learn new, financial vocabulary words each day.
Every day we make real-life decisions about money so start sharing this information with your children. For example, show them what happens when you don’t pay your bills, how tax payments are taken from your paycheck or how you plan for unexpected expenses. You can also help them set up their own small business to learn about money and investing firsthand.
The point is to teach your kids about money at home because they are not going to get a financial education in school.
Thanks so much for your time Robert!
For more information about Robert Kiyosaki’s new book, “Why ‘A’ Students Work for ‘C’ Students—and ‘B’ Students Work for the Government,” visit www.richdad.com.