This was a last minute decision but it was one of the best decisions we’d ever made.
A dear friend had phoned me the week before and asked if I wanted to attend a wealth seminar at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Center, Seri Kembangan from 22 to 24 May.
I had just the week before come home from KL after my Robin Sharma leadership seminar.
I was dead tired of hopping on and off planes!
But we thought, what the heck, let’s just go and see what Robert Kiyosaki had to say.
Of course we’ve been fans of his books, starting with his very first, a very dog-eared copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad since 1999. I was thinking, what would Robert have to say for 3 whole days? Would I be bored to tears? Could we shelve some client deadlines and go off for 3 days (and do some last minute work delegation)?
You see, reading Rich Dad Poor Dad was a revelation for us back in the late 1990s. That was a time when I had just graduated a year before, happily ensconced in a job I loved and had no idea what financial education was about.
Reading Kiyosaki’s ideas gleaned from his rich dad gave me a better idea about my own financial future.
Freshly minted from university, I still remembered how my grandmother kept telling me to buy a place of my own but I shook my head (Kiyosaki would have been so proud of me!). I was thinking, Kiyosaki did not consider a house an asset or an investment unless it puts income in my pocket. That’s why his views were so sharp and contrary to what we all know.
A house is an asset. That’s what we’ve been told over and over by parents, teachers, elders and peers. Or study hard, get a job and one is set for life. Or save up one’s money and you will be taken care of in your old age.
Robert’s take was different – build your assets first.
Assets are things which put income into your pocket. These include Businesses, Real Estate, Commodities and Stocks. Of course, he started with real estate, buying up apartments and houses not for capital gain but for cash flow (passive income generation). Now he is in all four core areas (business, real estate, commodities such as oil, gold and silver; and stocks).
I think a lot of people misunderstand him (more so when I see so many people flipping apartments in Penang!). They’ve totally misread him. Honey, it ain’t about capital gain – capital gain is a bonus but not the goal!
That’s why Nic and I are in business. Having said that, it did not mean that Nic and I were not employees before. I was but I was learning all I could when I was in the rat race for 7 years. Nic was too. Then we both got out. You must know when to get out of the rat race.
And then he spoke about his pet hate – mutual funds. Oh how he lambasted mutual funds gleefully during the 2 days when he took the stage.
When I finally saw the man in the flesh as he walked up the stage in his bespoke pinstripe suit looking every bit the savvy investor, businessman, speaker, author and financial teacher that he is, Robert waved and grinned at the standing ovation he’d received from some 7000 seminar attendees. What an electrifying start!
This time around, he was not alone. He had arrived with his team of Rich Dad advisors, each an expert of his own field, to help. He said that he didn’t have to know it all and be the smartest guy in the team – he hired the best people and partnered with the best experts.
His concept was simple. The first flipchart he drew consisted of 2 words.
Which side are you on?
If you are not buying (Employees, Self Employed) you are selling (Business, Investor). People on the Business/Investor side make money because they sell stuff to the people on the other side, the Employee/Self Employed.
The idea is if you an the E or S side, you are definitely not selling. People on the B and I side are selling.
What I really loved was Robert’s teaching. He made complex stuff simple. At times when his advisors kept going into complicated loops of information, he came onstage and took over, summarizing and putting the concept into simple mental hooks.
(When I read Kim’s book “Rich Woman”, she also mentioned that Robert once was interviewed on TV for a financial programme. He did not spout financial jargon unlike the interviewer. When he got off the set, a guy who worked in the finance sector walked up to him and shook his hand, thanking him for making finance easy and simple to comprehend!). Yup, Robert is masterful at simplifying concepts. He made finance easy to understand.
As VIP guests, we had the opportunity to sit right up front with a clear view of the stage. We had the chance to mingle with the speakers during tea breaks and lunch breaks. We had the chance to sit at their tables and have conversations with them (we spoke to Blair Singer, one of the Rich Dad Advisors on selling; we spoke to Dr Radha Gopalan, Robert’s heart surgeon, we spoke to Kelly Ritchie, one of the Rich Dad Advisors’ on franchising and we spoke to Tenzin Kacho, Robert’s sister who is a Buddhist nun). We could get their autographs without needing to line up. We had great photo opportunities too.
It was inspiring because the moment I came home, I immediately re-read Rich Dad Poor Dad (my personally autographed version of course).
This time, the book made so much sense. I could understand a lot more and the concepts became truly clear! If ever there was a nirvana moment, it was reading Robert’s book the second time around and going, oh my god, I finally know from deep inside what he is actually saying!
A light bulb literally went off and I finally got it.
More tomorrow….meeting Tenzin Kacho, Robert’s sister who had taken the other path in life, the path of spirituality and how she spoke of 3 important questions of life. Tenzin Kacho was ordained by His Holiness The Dalai Lama himself.
While she seemed to be the opposite of Robert, Tenzin is one of the most courageous people I’d met. Gentle yet firm, she came on stage to explain what she was doing (she had co-authored the most recent book with Robert called Rich Brother Rich Sister) and how we should all be asking the 3 questions daily in our lives.
What are the 3 questions? Well, you just have to come back to this blog to find out more!
More photos of the event can be found in our Facebook page.