What Should I Invest In?
In 1973, I returned home from my tour of Vietnam. I felt fortunate to have been assigned to a base in Hawaii near home rather than to a base on the East Coast. After settling in at the Marine Corps Air Station, I called my friend Mike and we set up a time to have lunch together with his dad, the man I call my rich dad. Mike was anxious to show me his new baby and his new home so we agreed to have lunch at his house the following Saturday. When Mikes limousine came to pick me up at the drab gray base BOQ, the Bachelor Officers Quarters, I began to realize how much had changed since we had graduated together from high school in 1965.
"Welcome home," Mike said as I walked into the foyer of his beautiful home with marble floors. Mike was beaming from ear to ear as he held his seven-month-old son. "Glad you made it back in one piece."
"So am I," I replied as I looked past Mike at the shimmering blue Pacific Ocean, which touched the white sand in front of his home. The home was spectacular. It was a tropical one-level mansion with all the grace and charm of old and new Hawaiian living. There were beautiful Persian carpets, tall dark green potted plants, and a large pool that was surrounded on three sides by his home, with the ocean on the fourth side. It was very open, breezy, and the model of gracious island living with the finest of detail. The home fit my fantasies of living the luxurious life in Hawaii.
"Meet my son James," said Mike.
"Oh," I said in a startled voice. My jaw must have been hanging open as I had slipped into a trance taking in the stunning beauty of this home. "What a cute kid." I replied as any person should reply when looking at a new baby. But as I stood there waving and making faces at a baby blankly staring back at me, my mind was still in shock at how much had changed in eight years. I was living on a military base in old barracks, sharing a room with three other messy beer-drinking young pilots, while Mike was living in a multi-million-dollar estate with his gorgeous wife and newborn baby.
"Come on in," Mike continued. "Dad and Connie are waiting for us on the patio."
The lunch was spectacular and served by their full-time maid. I sat there enjoying the meal, the scenery, and the company when I thought about my three roommates who were probably dining at the officers mess hall at that very moment. Since it was Saturday, lunch on the base was probably a sub sandwich and a bowl of soup.
After the pleasantries and catching up on old times was over, rich dad said, "As you can see, Mike has done an excellent job investing the profits from the business. We have made more money in the last two years than I made in the first twenty. There is a lot of truth to the statement that the first million is the hardest."
"So business has been good?" I asked, encouraging further disclosure on how their fortunes had jumped so radically.
"Business is excellent," said rich dad. "These new 747s bring so many tourists from all over the world to Hawaii that business cannot help but keep growing. But our real success is from our investments more than our business. And Mike is in charge of the investments."
"Congratulations," I said to Mike. "Well done."
"Thank you," said Mike. "But I cant take all the credit. Its dads investment formula that is really working. Im just doing exactly what he has been teaching us about business and investing for all these years."
"It must be paying off," I said. "I cant believe you live here in the richest neighborhood in the city. Do you remember when we were poor kids, running with our surfboards between houses trying to get to the beach?"
Mike laughed. "Yes I do. And I remember being chased by all those mean old rich guys. Now Im the mean old rich guy who is chasing those kids away. Who would have ever thought that you and I would be living...?"
Copyright © 2000 by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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