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--- insight777 (6/4/2012)
The trick to making big money, according to finance guru Robert Kiyosaki, is to start small.

And one place Singaporeans could start is to set aside a portion of their monthly income and invest in an asset such as silver or gold, said the author of financial bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad.

In a three-hour seminar peppered with personal anecdotes, Mr Kiyosaki, 65, said that people should not be bogged down by their living expenses. Instead, he said, they should be disciplined and set aside money to buy and accumulate assets.

He recounted the time when he and his wife Kim bought a few hundred dollars' worth of silver at US$3 an ounce in the 80s - while still in debt of US$1 million.

Today, silver is worth about US$35 (S$44) an ounce, said Mr Kiyosaki.

'This forces your mind to think about acquiring assets, not about the expenses. Stay focused on your assets and start small,' he said.

Mr Kiyosaki's workshop, held yesterday at the Singapore Expo, was attended by about 3,000 people who came from various countries to hear him speak.

Tickets for the event cost between $98 and $838.

Mr Kiyosaki said that aspiring investors should first arm themselves with financial knowledge before taking the plunge.

The Japanese-American, using himself as an example, said that before he started investing in properties, he took a three-day course in real estate to learn about the business.

One of his more successful ventures was a 2004 investment in a 144-unit apartment complex and the 4ha of land next to it.

He said he acquired the property in Arizona in the United States with his wife for US$7.6 million, using bank loans and funds from other investors.

They then developed the empty plot by adding 108 apartments. The value of the entire property then grew to US$15.8 million.

'There was appreciation of value because we improved on the property,' he said.

Mr Kiyosaki said, however, that making similar gains in land-scarce Singapore would not be possible.

'Your real estate here is too expensive. You won't find me getting excited about an HDB flat. The tough part about Singapore is you can't get 144 units at that price.'

He noted, though, that there were still capital gains to be made from owning properties here.

He urged Singaporeans to remain 'kiasu' because he said it would keep them 'hungry' and motivated, and not complacent.

'Whether I work or not, I get $2 million every month but I consider myself poor. The best motivation is to be poor. It means I stay up longer and work harder.'

Today, part of the Kiyosakis' fortune comes from some 4,000 properties, 100 oil wells, and proceeds from Mr Kiyosaki's book sales.

He has written more than a dozen books. The latest, Midas Touch, was co-authored with property king Donald Trump.

Mr Kiyosaki received a standing ovation from the crowd after the seminar.

Human resource manager Ng Yee Ling said that she was inspired by his success story, and will start to learn about investing.

She said: 'He pointed out a few areas where we could start such as silver and gold, then real estate. With the right knowledge, it can be done.'

Source: The Straits Times

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