*A Game Review*
CashFlow - Investing 101
By Robert T. Kiyosaki
by Michael C. Gray
January 7, 2004
Why review a game in a tax and business newsletter? Because this game is designed to help develop business and investment skills. The American educational system is designed to develop good employees, not entrepreneurs or investors. Many people view a college education as a type of trade school. They believe getting a college education should result in getting a good job. When we enter the workforce, the tendency is to fall into "the rat race", spending about what we make and never becoming financially independent.
In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki explained how this became clear to him at a young age. His actual "Poor Dad" father was a highly-ranked school administrator, who constantly argued with his wife over money matters. A friend's "Rich Dad" father took Robert under his wing and showed him how he acquired wealth.
How can you show how investment principles work in a way that makes them clear in a fun way? A game! That is how Robert Kiyosaki came to develop the CashFlow game. I received a CashFlow game from my wife, Janet, for Christmas and played a round with my adult children, Dawn and James, on New Years day. Although the instructions say to plan on spending about three hours to play the game, it took us six hours this first time.
The game is played in two parts. In the first part, "the rat race", your objective is to "get out of the rat race" by building your passive income to be greater than your monthly expenses. You draw a career card that gives you your beginning salary and monthly expenses. Those with a higher salary also have higher monthly expenses. Movement is determined by rolling dice. You get opportunities to make investments that can eventually generate the cash flow required to get out of the rat race. You can also have the "misfortune" of buying expensive "toys" or having children, requiring monthly payments that make it harder to exit the rat race. Monthly expenses can be reduced by paying off debts. The consequences of chance and choices are highlighted in the game. Progress is tracked on personal balance sheets and income statements.
In the second part, "the fast track", the objective is to win the game by being the first person to buy your "dream" or to accumulate $50,000 in monthly cash flow from businesses purchased on the Fast Track. (You have to finish the game somehow!)
This is an expensive game, but I believe the investment can be justified if it helps provide the mindset required for helping your family and yourself truly get out of the rat race. According to Kiyosaki, playing the game monthly should help you do just that. To get one, visit www.richdad.com.
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