CelebVet: Robert Kiyosaki, Best-selling Author

Robert Kiyosaki

"If you’re going to be successful in business, you have to find a place to develop character," according to Robert Kiyosaki. "The Marine Corps did that for me. The toughness, the discipline, the training - it carries on, and it made a man out of me."

Author of Rich Dad Poor Dad - the world-renown book that held a top spot on the New York Times bestsellers list for over six years, Kiyosaki is an investor, entrepreneur, educator and proud Marine whose perspectives on money have found a huge following nationwide.

Being a success at such a wide range of career paths throughout his life comes from the tough business sense instilled in him as a Marine, flying a Huey gunship in Vietnam.

"As my gunner always said, there is no second place. One of us will not go home today," he said in an exclusive interview with Veterans Advantage. "It is how I live my life."

"It’s a culture with them," he added about the allure of the Marine Corps. "I am a better Marine today than I was back then. It’s because that same training gets more engrained."

Rich Dad Poor Dad ranks as the longest-running bestseller on all four of the lists that report to Publisher’s Weekly - The New York Times, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today - and was named "USA Today’s best seller of all time. In a nutshell, the book challenges many traditional concepts of personal wealth management by suggesting one’s perspective shapes one’s financial destiny. He illustrates his points by comparing his two fathers during his upbringing.

According to Kiyosaki on his Web site:

"My rich dad did not mean ‘buy everything you wanted.’ He was, though, fanatical about exercising your mind – the most powerful computer in the world. My rich dad said: "My brain gets stronger every day because I exercise it. The stronger it gets, the more money I can make." He believed that automatically saying "I can’t afford it" was a sign of mental laziness."

Increase Your Financial IQ

In his upcoming book due in March, "Increase Your Financial IQ," Kiyosaki will illustrate how true military training can make you a better person and make you a millionaire, too.

The book will point to military strategies and emotional approaches to wealth management. "The most important thing the military teaches is how to not be run by your fear, so you can think clearly," he said.

For instance, he points to the recent turbulence in the financial and real estate markets as buying opportunities at a time where there is maximum fear in the marketplace.

"This is like Wal-Mart having a sale," he said. "I have never seen so many bargains. I am buying and buying and buying."

The shadow side of this buying opportunity spells hard times ahead for baby boomers, Kiyosaki predicts. He points to the current environment repeating the cycle of the 1987 stock market crash and subsequent S&L banking struggles. And although boomers had the time then to re-right their financial ships, this time around Father Time will make it more difficult.

"My concern is that there are millions of people my age who don’t have any money set aside for their retirement," he said. "The biggest generation in history is out of time." Looking forward, Kiyosaki also has some pretty ambitious goals, thanks in part to Donald Trump. In 2006 Robert teamed up with Trump to co-author Why We Want You To Be Rich - Two Men - One Message. It debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestsellers list.

"I’ve learned and grew a lot working with him," Kiyosaki says about Trump.  I was pretty content being a multimillionaire, but after hanging out with him, I said I may as well do my best to become a billionaire."

His first career move seemed like a financial gamble, but in Vietnam, it was life threatening as well. After graduating from college in New York, Kiyosaki gave up his first job – a draft-exempt position on a Standard Oil tanker, paying a hefty $47k a year – to join the Marine Corps, earning about $200 a month.

"Both my rich dad and my poor dad said it was my job to serve my country."

Following the war, Robert went to work in sales for Xerox Corporation and soon got the entrepreneurial bug. In 1977, he started a company that brought the first nylon and Velcro ‘surfer wallets’ to market. He founded an international education company in 1985 that taught business and investing to tens of thousands of students throughout the world. In 1994, he sold his business and, through his investments, was able to retire at the age of 47. During his short-lived retirement, he wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Image Credit: http://www.famous-entrepreneurs.com/robert-kiyosaki

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