Robert Kiyosaki is one of the best-known names in the personal-finance world today, and he's got a lot to say about investing in the current environment.
With books such as "
" and the recent "
," Kiyosaki has attracted millions of followers who want to boost their net worth. What's more, he says he has been able to avoid many of the market's pitfalls through his philosophy of pursuing assets, as opposed to money.
Kiyosaki spoke with
about his investments and more.
On Real Estate
"I'm heavily involved in real estate, and nothing has changed
during the downturn because I buy only for cash flow, not for capital gains," he says.
He looks for places with increasing populations and job opportunities to ensure that there will be lots of renters. So, he has rental properties in places such as Oklahoma and Texas, which are enjoying oil riches and should have a good supply of people looking for places to live.
"I don't buy real estate, I sell real estate one month at a time," he says. "It's called a renter."
However, Kiyosaki says he doesn't own any foreign real estate because "I have to know the underlying economics" of the area, and he wouldn't have enough familiarity with the situations in other countries to be comfortable investing there.
"When all these school teachers are telling kids to 'save money,' that's an inaccurate statement," Kiyosaki says. "They're not saving money, they're saving a currency:" the U.S. dollar. "When I hear people saying, 'I save money,' I say you're going to lose on that trade."
"Saving money was the old rules. The new vocabulary is to hedge your position."
Kiyosaki says he owns a basket of Asian currencies through ETFs as a hedge against the U.S. dollar.
"It's not that I'm buying the currencies, it's that I'm hedging against my dollar position," he says. "I have a whole bunch: the Malaysian ringgit, the Singapore dollar, the Thai baht and the Philippine peso," among others.
pegged to Asian currency baskets, while the
iShares Malaysia Fund
iShares MSCI Singapore
offer investments in those currencies.
"I like silver and oil the best because both are consumable commodities," Kiyosaki says, noting that the consumption of silver, as well as platinum, is going up.
"I own a lot of gold, but gold is a hoarding commodity."
Kiyosaki says he hedges against the dollar using gold and silver, and remains liquid by buying gold and silver ETFs.
"Every time gold and silver drop, I buy the ETFs," he says. "I think gold is going to bounce at $850, and when it bounces, I'm going to buy the ETF."
Though Kiyosaki declined to name the specific ETFs in which he's invested, ETFs such as the
SPDR Gold Trust
iShares Silver Trust
allow people to invest in those previous metals.
Kiyosaki owns oil wells, too. He remarks on the price of gasoline that "as a consumer, I'm upset," but that when he notes the price of oil, "as a producer, I'm happy."
In fact, it might be pretty hard for him to lose money on the oil trade. He says he was in oil in the late 1990s, when crude was around $10 a barrel and most investors were wrapped up in the dot-com bubble.
He says his break-even point on oil is $60 a barrel. However, he doesn't think oil is in a bubble yet, and among recent predictions, leans more toward the side that crude will head for $200, as opposed to retreating back closer to $50.
Kiyosaki is venturing further into the commodities business -- he says he is starting a copper-mining company in Vancouver.
On the Market
"I haven't been this bullish in years," says Kiyosaki. "What a buying opportunity. ... The stock market goes on sale, and everybody runs away."
But, he's excited probably only for a short time.
"When the market comes back, I go back to sleep," he says.
fanatic," Kiyosaki confesses. But, he stresses that it isn't because he likes tech per se -- he just likes Steve Jobs.
He recalls wistfully that he didn't initially buy the stock when Jobs came back to the company. Since he isn't well-versed in the tech sector, he followed
Chairman Warren Buffett's advice: "If you don't understand it, don't invest in it."
In addition to the copper mining venture, Kiyosaki says his efforts are going into the creation of a financial education franchise that spans the globe.
"What the world needs now is financial education," he says. "Giving people money isn't going to solve the problem -- the problem is, people just don't know what to do with their money."