‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ Robert Kiyosaki Asks, ‘Who’s Right?’ He Is A Billionaire $1.2 Billion In Debt, But Dave Ramsey Says ‘Live Debt Free’

In a March 16 post on X, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” author Robert Kiyosaki revitalized the ongoing debate regarding the role of debt in achieving financial success.

Contrasting his stance with that of radio personality Dave Ramsey, a vocal advocate for a debt-free lifestyle, Kiyosaki’s insights stir a compelling discussion on financial strategies. “WHO IS RIGHT? My friend Dave Ramsey says ‘Live debt free.’ I say ‘I use debt to invest. I am $1.2 billion in debt,‘” Kiyosaki wrote, offering a bold entrance into the dialogue on debt management and financial freedom.

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Kiyosaki’s argument unfolds with a reflection on the wisdom behind Ramsey’s advice versus his own. Acknowledging the validity of living debt-free for the majority, he said, “For most people with low financial acumen, Dave’s advice is the smarter advice.”

Yet, he counters this by highlighting the potential benefits of debt as an investment tool for those well-versed in financial matters. “For the financially educated and experienced, my advice may be better,” Kiyosaki said, suggesting a tailored approach to financial decision-making based on individual knowledge and experience levels.

This perspective is rooted in Kiyosaki’s financial journey, marked by his substantial $1.2 billion debt — incurred not as a burden, but as a deliberate strategy to invest in assets like gold and silver. Critiquing the conventional approach of saving cash, especially after the U.S. dollar’s decoupling from the gold standard in 1971, he presents his debt as a calculated risk aimed at wealth accumulation.

“If I go bust, the bank goes bust. Not my problem,” he said.

He views debt not only as a leverage tool but also as a means to potentially exploit tax advantages. He has repeatedly declared being a “debtor” means he doesn’t pay taxes.

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A 2022 YouTube short adds depth to Kiyosaki’s perspective, showcasing his direct critique of the debt-free lifestyle popularized by Ramsey. “And my friend Dave Ramsey says ‘live debt free.’ Well, you’re an idiot. I mean he’s my friend, but I say ‘Dave, I like debt,’” Kiyosaki said, indicating a preference for debt as a vehicle for financial advancement. Despite his bold stance, he concedes, “I know but most people can’t handle debt.”

At the heart of this debate lies the key issue of financial literacy. Kiyosaki emphasizes the importance of individual acumen in navigating the complexities of debt and investment. By urging his audience to evaluate their financial literacy, he invites them to choose the path that best aligns with their understanding and experience.

The question of who is right in this debate depends on your individual goals and comfort level with debt. For some, the idea of owing money to creditors is unbearable, creating immense stress and anxiety. Having zero debt provides peace of mind and aligns with a more conservative, risk-averse approach to personal finances. However, for others like Kiyosaki, using debt as a tool to invest and grow wealth is a core part of their business and investment strategy. His model is built on leveraging debt to acquire assets while using that debt to reduce tax liabilities.

For anyone navigating financial decisions, understanding core financial concepts and being prepared to manage obligations responsibly is crucial, regardless of whether you plan to take on debt. Consulting with a qualified financial adviser can provide personalized insights, helping individuals assess the suitability of various strategies — including leveraging debt for investments — based on their unique financial situations and goals.

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