Rich Dad’s Kim Kiyosaki Shares the 2 Things Every Woman Needs To Know About Money
The Financially Savvy Female had the opportunity to chat with Kim Kiyosaki, co-founder and CEO of The Rich Dad Company and an advocate for financial education, especially among women. She has built her own wealth through entrepreneurship and investing, and hopes to teach other women to do the same. Here, we chat with Kiyosaki about how she got her start as an investor, what every woman needs to know about money and how we can close the financial literacy gap.
How did you learn to invest?
The best way I learn about a specific investment is first, I study it. I do my homework. Then, armed with some education, I put a little money into it. Why just a little? No. 1, I’m probably going to make a few mistakes, so I want to make mistakes with a little, not a lot, of money. No. 2, if I put some money into an investment, even $10, my interest in that investment will increase tremendously because I am now in the game. I’ll want to learn as much as I can about that investment and my knowledge accelerates.
I was taught there are two things you can invest — time and money. I highly recommend investing time in getting educated about an investment before investing a penny of your money.
At some point in your investing education, you have to get in the game. You have to put some money down. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in analysis paralysis and never do any investment deal.
What’s the one thing you wish every woman knew about money?
My wish would be that every woman treats her money as a business. Because it is.
We work so hard for our money, but most of us pay little attention to managing — much less growing — our money. Treat every single investment as a business, whether it’s an investment in a business, real estate, paper assets (stocks, bonds or mutual funds), or commodities (gold, silver, oil or crypto, to name a few).
The second thing is to understand the difference between an asset and a liability. In the Rich Dad/Rich Woman world, we define an asset as something that puts money in your pocket, whether you work or not. A few examples are a rental property with a positive cash flow, a stock dividend, an e-book that continues to sell or a loan you make to someone that pays you interest. These are assets.
A liability is something that takes money from your pocket. Your house, even if you have no mortgage, takes money from you in taxes, insurance and maintenance. The same is true for your car. The problem people get into is when they call their liabilities assets. A bank would have you think that your house, car, jewelry and artwork are assets. The only time they may become assets is when you sell them and make a profit.
Why do you think there is such a gender disparity in financial literacy?
The biggest problem I see is that not only are women not educated about money — because most men and women are not — but most of us women have actually been taught, since an early age, to depend upon somebody else for our financial well-being. We are taught to depend upon our husbands, or a family member such as parents or grandparents, or the government. We have not been expected to take care of ourselves financially.
A common myth out there is that when it comes to money, men are smarter than women. I don’t believe that for one minute. The markets do not care if you are female, male, black, white or purple. The markets only care about how smart you are with your money. It’s up to each individual woman to get herself educated about money and investing. It’s not rocket science. Any woman can be a savvy investor. What it takes is time and the desire to learn about the world of money and investing.
Where to start? Start by learning the language, the vocabulary, of money. What’s the cost of an online dictionary? Free.
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Jaime Catmull contributed to the reporting for this article.