Robert Kiyosake visits St Andrew’s College

JULY 18, 2016

It has been a great privilege for St Andrew’s College to host Mr Robert Kiyosaki of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” fame this week. He was accompanied by his colleagues and friends Tom Wheelwright and his wife Louanne.

Mr Wheelwright is one of his team who specialises in tax and finance, he owns his own firm ProVision and has written several books. The collaboration was organised by Mr Günther Marx, Deputy Headmaster: Student Affairs, as part of the Business Studies programme at the school.

Mr Kiyosaki delivered a presentation to the Grade 10 and Grade 12 Business Studies pupils on Tuesday and was the speaker at the DB Wylde Leadership Indaba, held at The Highlander. In front of a capacity audience, Mr Kiyosaki participated in a live interview session which was led by Grade 11 pupils, Rorke Wilson (St Andrew’s College) and Gemma MacRobert (DSG).

On Wednesday and Thursday, Grade 11 pupils, staff and invited delegates from the Grahamstown community participated in workshops at The Highlander. The purpose of the workshops was to set up future community outreach programmes based on Mr Kiyosaki’s “cash flow” game.

Through this the concept of “paying it forward” to the less privileged would be initiated. The Grade 11 Business Studies pupils received training so that they could facilitate the programme. Mr Tom Wheelwright and local professionals assisted at the workshops and will be involved in the development of the programmes going forward. The idea behind the concept is to increase awareness of financial education thereby changing mindsets and encouraging children to aim for a future of financial freedom.

Mr Kiyosaki commented that our pupils are overall extremely open-minded and that he was delighted to have been invited to the school – a first in South Africa. He said that it was important to make mistakes but even more important was to learn from them.

When asked whether our pupils would be able to teach the “cash flow” game and be involved in the development programme he said: “Absolutely, St Andrew’s is the best and has bright kids. The game is not easy and they would need to play the game about five times. Young people teaching other young people and that they have fun while they learn is the future. It’s all about how they play the game.”

He mentioned that some people play it safe while others are willing to take risks that pay off.

Comment from some of the local professionals who were invited to lead the various groups of pupils at the workshop:

Mr Ross Marriner – PSG Wealth Certified Financial Planner: “It was surreal spending two days with an internationally renowned author who’s best-selling books are to be found in bookshops all over the world.  Robert has a very clear view of how to become rich, but he admits that his views can be regarded as controversial.  His ideas may not work for everyone, but the principles on which his views are based make sense.   It was wonderful to interact with the group of enthusiastic young men and women as they played the game Robert designed to provide a simulated experience in the world of business and making money.”

Mr Mark Ford (Old Andrean, Upper 1979) and Property Investor:

“We were only able to read the book at the age of 35 and implement the theories. At the age of 16, these students have heard it from the guy who wrote the book.”

Professor Kevin Rafferty, Rhodes University Business School:

“It was an interesting workshop that certainly challenged our standard way of looking at the concept of money. It was risky too as the workshop challenged conventional teaching methods and ideas. Not everyone will buy into the Rich Dad concept but all the participants will definitely view making money with/from a different perspective. Tapping into some of the Grahamstown “Investors’” knowledge and experiences really consolidated the ideas and showed that the concepts can and do work if you have the passion to make it work. It was fun working with the Grade 11 Business Studies group. They showed interest and participated energetically in the workshop. On the whole a fantastic and challenging experience.”

Mrs Candice Mullins, Managing Director of The Taxhouse:

“It is not always comfortable for people to hear that rich people don’t pay tax. In fact, it is not exactly true…. What rich people do is invest in the economy and make it grow, which as we all know, is critical for so many reasons. Robert Kiyosaki pointed out to us that rich people pay their tax in a different way. They do it by investing in infrastructure and creating jobs. Government encourages this by providing incentives for research and development, property development, employment and much more. Entrepreneurs have the skill and personality to find an effective team of people to identify good opportunities and use government incentives to make something out of nothing, using other people’s money. Although this does benefit the entrepreneurs highly, it also benefits so many around them, their community and even their country.

The kids certainly were taken out of their comfort zone to think laterally. It was definitely something I wish that I had heard at the age of 17!”