Robert Kiyosaki: Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Without this financial knowledge, which I call financial intelligence or financial IQ, my road to financial independence would have been much more difficult. I now teach others in the hope that I may share my knowledge with them. I remind people that financial IQ is made up of knowledge from four broad areas of expertise:
Accounting is financial literacy or the ability to read numbers. This is a vital skill if you want to build an empire. The more money you are responsible for, the more accuracy is required, or the house comes tumbling down. This is the left-brain side, or the details. Financial literacy is the ability to read and understand financial statements which allows you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of any business.
Investing is the science of “money making money.” This involves strategies and formulas which use the creative right-brain side.
Understanding markets is the science of supply and demand. You need to know the technical aspects of the market, which are emotion-driven, in addition to the fundamental or economic aspects of an investment. Does an investment make sense or does it not make sense based on current market conditions?
A corporation wrapped around the technical skills of accounting, investing, and markets can contribute to explosive growth. A person who understands the tax advantages and protections provided by a corporation can get rich so much faster than someone who is an employee or a small-business sole proprietor. It’s like the difference between someone walking and someone flying. The difference is profound when it comes to long-term wealth.
- Tax advantages; a corporation can do many things that an employee cannot, like pay expenses before paying taxes. That is a whole area of expertise that is very exciting. Employees earn and get taxed, and they try to live on what is left. A corporation earns, spends everything it can, and is taxed on anything that is left. It’s one of the biggest legal tax loopholes that the rich use. They’re easy to set up and are not expensive if you own investments that are producing good cash flow. For example, by owning your own corporation, your vacations can be board meetings in Hawaii. Car payments, insurance, repairs and health-club memberships are company expenses. Most restaurant meals are partial expenses, and on and on. But it’s done legally with pre-tax dollars.
- Protection from lawsuits; we live in a litigious society. Everybody wants a piece of your action. The rich hide much of their wealth using vehicles such as corporations and trusts to protect their assets from creditors. When someone sues a wealthy individual, they are often met with layers of legal protection and often find that the wealthy person actually owns nothing. They control everything, but own nothing. The poor and middle class try to own everything and lose it to the government or to fellow citizens who like to sue the rich. They learned it from the Robin Hood story: Take from the rich, and give it to the poor.
NOTE: Garret Sutton’s books on corporations provide wonderful insight into the power of personal corporations. Financial IQ is actually the synergy of many skills and talents. I would say it is the combination of the four technical skills listed above that make up basic financial intelligence. If you aspire to great wealth, it is the combination of these skills that will greatly amplify your financial intelligence.
As part of your overall financial strategy, I recommend that you learn about the protection that legal entities can provide for businesses and assets.