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Robert Toru Kiyosaki (born April 8, 1947) is an American investor, businessman, self-help author and motivational speaker. Kiyosaki is best known for his Rich Dad Poor Dad series of motivational books and other material published under the Rich Dad brand. He has written 15 books which have combined sales of over 26 million copies. Although beginning as a self-publisher, he was subsequently published by Warner Books, a division of Hachette Book Group USA, currently his new books appear under the Rich Dad Press imprint. Three of his books, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Rich Dad's CASHFLOW Quadrant, and Rich Dad's Guide to Investing, have been on the top 10 best-seller lists simultaneously on The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New York Times. Rich Kid Smart Kid was published in 2001, with the intent to help parents teach their children financial concepts. He has created three "Cashflow" board and software games for adults and children and has a series of "Rich Dad" audio cassettes and disks.
A large part of Kiyosaki's teachings focus on generating passive income by means of investment opportunities, such as real estate and businesses, with the ultimate goal of being able to support oneself by such investments alone. In tandem with this, Kiyosaki defines "assets" as things that generate cash inflow, such as rental properties or businesses—and "liabilities" as things that use cash, such as houses, cars, and so on. Kiyosaki also argues that financial leverage is critically important in becoming rich.
Kiyosaki stresses financial literacy as the means to obtaining wealth. He says that life skills are often best learned through experience and that there are important lessons not taught in school. He says that formal education is primarily for those seeking to be employees or self-employed individuals, and that this is an "Industrial Age idea." And according to Kiyosaki, in order to obtain financial freedom, one must be either a business owner or an investor, generating passive income.
Kiyosaki often refers to "The Cashflow Quadrant," a conceptual tool which he developed to categorize the four major ways income is earned. Depicted in a diagram, this concept entails four groupings, split with two lines (one vertical and one horizontal). In each of the four groups there is a letter representing a way in which an individual may earn income. The letters are as follows.
* E: Employee — Working for someone else.
* S: Self-employed or Small business owner — Where a person owns his own job and is his own
* B: Business owner — A person owns a business to make money; typically where the owner's
physical presence is not required.
* I: Investor — Investing money in order to receive a larger payout in the future.