Kim Kiyosaki, author of Rich Woman, chats to Real Estate Investor Magazine and shares her top financial and investment tips.
Like most traditionalists, Kim Kiyosaki, an American girl from Portland, Oregon, planned her life the traditional way: go to school, graduate, get a job, work, climb the corporate ladder.
Starting her career in the corporate world, Kim landed her first job at a local magazine publishing business in Honolulu, before occupying two advertising roles in New York. Fired twice, Kim realised that the corporate world was not for her. She then ventured into a clothing company with a national distribution, which taught her the entrepreneurial skills she would later use to become a successful entrepreneur and investor.
Not long after, Kim joined Robert Kiyosaki as a partner in an entrepreneurial business and the two later married in 1984, growing the business to 11 offices in 7 countries, presenting business seminars to tens of thousands attendees.
It took several years before Kim made her first investment. She bought her first investment property in Portland, Oregon, with R50,000 that she did not have. She made her first R250 cash flow per month with a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house and realised she can do far better in real estate than with a job. Today, Kim encourages women to get into the world of investing and believes that they should not be reliant on others for their financial well-being.
In 1994, Kim and Robert sold their education business and ‘retired’ for a few years. In 1997, with Sharon Lechter, they launched the Rich Dad Company to take the message of Rich Dad and financial literacy to the world through seminars, books, games, and tools designed to help entrepreneurs and investors. Together they created the board game ‘Cash Flow’, a fun way to learn about investment, fast tracking deals, income statements, assets, liabilities, and balance sheets.
Kim is a renowned international speaker, entrepreneur, radio show host, real estate investor, and author of ‘Rich Woman’ and ‘It’s Rising Time’, who built her success from humble beginnings and established herself as a self-made millionaire and successful investor.
Kim’s Financial & Investment Advice
- Learn how to present a deal to a lender or investor
There is a rule that says “money follows management” and there are three things that you have to keep in mind when bringing an offer to the table.
You have to have a great project. What is the investment?
Who are your partners? Who are the specific people who are going to make this happen with you?
What experience do your partners have on this type of investment?
- Get away from the bad debt trap
Good debt is buying a duplex rental property with a mortgage bond after putting down a deposit of 15 – 25%. The money you borrow is good debt. After you pay off your loan, you end up with cash flow.
Bad debt is when you are using money out of your own pocket. Look for the investments with good cash flow. I would borrow money all day long if it will bring in good cash flow.
The trick is to always have someone else pay for your debt.
- Develop important habits to change your life
Pay yourself first: With every R10 that comes in the household, take 30% off the top, 10% goes to your investment account, 10% to your savings and 10% to a charity. Get into a habit of doing it with every single Rand.
When I bought my very first property in 1989, part of the money was from my investment account. It’s really tough in the beginning if you are struggling to get by, but it will pay off in the long run. You have to make it a habit to take a percentage off the top. Today Robert and I practice the same habit, except now it is 80% off the top.
- Learn to think like a millionaire
Robert and I always have a plan. Even before money arrives, we have investments lined up for the money to go into. Right now, I am looking at more real estate deals, as I prefer that investment. We are constantly moving money, especially when the banks are paying only 0.3% interest in the US.
We just bought a liability- a vacation house in Carolina. The first thing we asked is how much is it going to cost every month. Then we found the right investment in the oil and gas industry and that investment is now paying for our vacation house.
A few years ago Robert wanted to buy a new Porsche. He asked me what I thought and I said “sure, as long as we can find an asset to pay for it”. We found a mini industrial storage unit that we leased out and that investment’s cash flow paid for the Porsche alone. We still have the Porsche, but the mini storage was sold and we re-invested the profits into a bigger investment building that we still own today.
It is important to note that if you don’t keep actively looking for opportunities and properties and take action, even if that means making mistakes, then nothing is going to happen. This must be ongoing, even if you have no money to invest.
We have to take care of ourselves financially as the government certainly won’t take care of us.
- How to deal with days when things are not working out
The purpose of a business is to solve problems. When I really have a big problem, I use a mantra that I live by: “Something good is going to come out of this mess”. Robert and I have gone through many failures and mess ups in the past, and even recently. When we had to let go of one partner, we got two fantastic partners, which we have today.
During an interview, Donald Trump was asked “Don’t you worry at night?”, as at the time he was $900 million in the red. He answered: “Worry, who worries? I take action on things I can take action on and forget about the other things that I have no control over.
I never had a problem dealing with men. If you are smart with your money, the world doesn’t care whether if you are male or female. Strong business women may come across as rude or bitchy if they stand their ground in business, while strong businessmen are seen as smart. It’s almost like successful businesswomen have to trade-off being successful or being liked.
Many women say it’s tough in a man’s world. I say if you don’t like where you are, then you have to start thinking about changing your environment.