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Rich Brother, Rich Sister: Two Different Paths to God, Money, and Happiness Excerpt from Rich Brother, Rich Sister: Two Different Paths to God, Money, and Happiness

by Robert T. Kiyosaki

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Epilogue -- Robert: The End of Greed

We all have two financial statements. One is our personal financial statement. This statement shows our personal assets and liabilities: how much we earn and spend and owe. The second is the social accounting statement that shows us how much good we have done here on earth: how many people, places, or things we have served.

The lesson I learned in 1981 from Dr. Fuller is to use my personal gift to serve myself and as many other people as possible. If I do this, I will tap into the joys and abundance of the Great Spirit. If I use my gifts only for my personal interests and gain, then my returns on the second financial statement are limited.

I suspect many people who are rich suffer in other ways because they accumulate personal wealth at the expense of others.

On the flip side, there are many people who are tremendously generous on their second financial statement, their contribution to life here on earth, but they neglect the first financial statement, their personal financial statement. My dad, who I have called my poor dad, was in this category. He spent his life dedicated to the education of kids, but did so at the expense of his own family.

A problem I had with church was that it taught the love of money is the root of all evil. Although money is one of the subjects most referenced in the Bible, it seemed to me that the desire for money was evil. I am not saying this is true. All I am saying is that was my perception as a young boy at church and Sunday School.

One of my mom's Church Lady friends was very rich. She did not work because she married a rich, older man. He died and left her a fortune. Even though she was rich, she seemed to criticize me for wanting to become rich. Years ago, when I first introduced my educational game CASHFLOW, she repeated to me what she had been asking for years: "When was the last time you went to church? You should not teach people about getting rich. You should teach people about the Bible and what Jesus said."

Personally, I do not know why some people think you cannot be both -- a lover of God and a lover of money. I personally do not think that loving money is evil. Money is just money. It is no different than my loving my home or my cat. It is how money is earned that can be good or evil. And how we use it.

For example, if I robbed banks or sold illegal drugs, that would be evil and illegal. If I worked at a job I did not like or with people I did not like, that would be evil. Or if I wasted my money on silly things while my family suffered, that would be evil.

To me, money is just money.What is really evil is that our school system does not teach people about money, and it brings in bankers and financial planners to teach kids about money. That is like letting a fox into the henhouse. In the last few years, it is these very institutions and the people who work for them -- the banks, investment bankers, mutual fund companies, financial advisors, mortgage brokers, stock brokers, and real estate agents -- who have caused much of the global financial mess of 2008. Many people blame the subprime borrowers. To me, it is the subprime investment bankers who are the real cause of this fiasco. The word "greed" comes to mind. It is these financial representatives and the organizations that prey on people and profit from their lack of financial savvy. It is these same people, who only want to recruit future customers, who are invited into our schools to teach our kids about money. This is more than evil.This is criminal.

In church I was taught that Christ's last words from the cross were "Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do." As I have said throughout this book, the Lord may forgive, but in the real world people are punished severely for not knowing what to do with their money.

I believe there is a coming apocalypse, an end of times. The end I am concerned about is not the same apocalypse I learned about in Sunday School, but it is best described by what Dr. Fuller called, "the final examination." One of the reasons I found it easy to follow Dr. Fuller's teachings was because we shared the same view of the future -- that humans were on a path to self-destruction.

When I saw the atomic blast on Christmas Island in 1962, I wondered why humans were focusing so much time and energy killing each other. I wondered why we did not spend more time and money on making life better.

Listening to Dr. Fuller talk about the final examination, his ideas were very similar to the ideas of the Apocalypse expressed at my Sunday School. But rather than predicting the appearance of the horsemen, heavens parting, the rapture, and the second coming, Dr. Fuller talked about greed and that the final examination would test whether or not we as humans could use our minds and God's gifts, our resources, to create a sustainable life for all -- not just for the rich, those of a chosen religion or race, or those from a chosen country. In so many words, he said that if we did not change greed to generosity,
then life on earth -- for humans -- was over.

After my meeting with Dr. Fuller, I began to examine my own greed and the greed of others. It became apparent to me that too much greed is toxic. Greed is poisoning our planet, and our planet is becoming toxic to life. Greed causes us to deplete our oceans and cut down our forests -- and trees and oceans are the lungs of our earth.The loss of the lungs of the earth -- when combined with carbon emissions -- is causing the air we breathe to become poisoned.

Greed also creates toxic governments and toxic government policies. For example, the U.S. government pays farmers not to produce food, just to keep food prices high, while much of the world is still on the brink of famine. Instead of feeding the world, we deny the world God's abundance.

Greed has caused the money supply to become toxic, keeping the middle class in debt and the poor dependent upon government support. The money supply is toxic because governments can print as much money as they want, and this "funny money" discounts the efforts of working people while rewarding, instead, those who play the money games.

Many religious organizations are greedy, too, claiming that heaven has space for only one religion: their religion. I do not know if there is a heaven, but if there is, I am sure there is plenty of space and more than one key to the gate. Claiming to have the only key to heaven is greedy and has been the cause of much pain, misery, and violence here on planet earth.

So what is the solution to greed? The obvious one is to be more generous. When Dr. Fuller talked about "cosmic accounting," he was referring to God's generosity. He said that the only reason solar power was not the primary source of energy on planet earth was because greedy people had not yet found a way to put a money meter between you and the sun. They had not yet found a way to charge you for what God was giving all of us for free.

Today, instead of harnessing God's abundance, we spend billions of dollars and kill thousands of people for oil. Why not spend that money on improving solar power? Why not turn every home into an electrical power plant? The reason is greed.

We now have the technology to create heaven on earth.The question is, do we have the willpower? Will we work with our minds and adapt new ideas, or try to run the world with old ideas.

Very few people know that the rules of money changed in 1971. That year, President Nixon took the U.S. dollar off the gold standard. The dollar replaced gold -- which is money made by God -- with man-made money, which is also known as fiat money, or money that is not based on a physical commodity. In 1971, the dollar became a currency, and it was no longer money.

The word currency comes from the word "current." A currency, like a river current or an electrical current, needs to keep moving. This is why parking your money in a bank or in a mutual fund reduces your wealth.Your wealth declines because your money is not moving. Sitting in an account, your money is moving for your banker, financial advisor, investment bankers, and mutual fund companies -- but not for you.

Personally, I do not save money, nor do I have a retirement account. I do not park my money. My job is to keep my money moving. Since most people leave school without much financial education, their money flows out.

The reason I created the educational game CASHFLOW is because every financially smart person knows they need to control the flows of their money, their currency. People with high financial IQs know how to keep more money flowing in than flowing out. My game teaches people how to control their cash flows. That requires financial IQ.

You can choose to blindly turn your hard-earned money over to a so-called "expert," or you can take steps to become financially educated yourself.There are two reasons I am against the idea of turning your money over to a financial expert. One is you do not learn anything. If you make money, you still have not really learned much. The second reason is that if your expert turns out to be a fool, and all your retirement or your child's college money is gone, then you may not be able to recover from the expert's mistakes.

Warren Buffett, America's richest investor, has these things to say about financial experts and their advice:

"Pension fund managers continue to make investment decisions with their eyes firmly fixed on the rearview mirror."

"Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing."

"Diversification is protection against ignorance. Diversification makes very little sense if you know what you are doing."

"Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway."

John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Funds, is a strong critic of mutual fund managers. He points out the following:

As stated earlier, the Lord may forgive those who know not what they do, but the real world punishes and steals from the same people.

The above is an excerpt from the book Rich Brother Rich Sister: Two Different Paths to God, Money and Happiness, by Author (Published by Vanguard Press; 978-159315-493-6). The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2008 Emi Kiyosaki and Robert Kiyosaki