Playing Kiyosaki's Cash Flow Game
By Steve Gillman - 2007
"Cash Flow Game - third Saturday of every month."
I called on the advertisement and met with five others at a real
estate broker's office the following Saturday. I own an internet
business, two of the others were real estate agents, one was
a financial advisor, and there was a bartender and a prison guard.
We played the computer version of the game, with a nice set-up
that displayed it on a screen on the wall.
One thing you learn quickly when playing Robert Kiyosaki's
Cash Flow Game is the disadvantage of having a good job. At least
this is true in the game, and perhaps true in real life as well.
Let me explain.
Each player is randomly given an role in the game. You might
be a teacher or doctor or plumber, or have some other profession.
If you are a doctor or a lawyer, you have a much higher income
than if you are a cab driver. However, you also have much higher
living expenses. This parallels real life, of course. A lawyer
will typically own a bigger house with a bigger mortgage loan
than a cab driver, and have a nicer car that she is making payments
Bigger house and nicer car? This sounds good to some of you,
but the point of the game is to get to the point where the cash
flow from your investments pays all of your monthly living expenses.
This is what get's you out of the "rat race" and onto
the "fast track." Of course, if you are a cab driver
whose lifestyle requires only $2,000 per month, it is easier
to build that much passive income than if you are a lawyer and
need to replace $5,000 per month before you can quit your job.
I like that. It fits my own experience of seeing friends get
trapped by their lifestyles - stuck with jobs they hate. The
game really does tend to make you see the liability of having
boats and cars and nice things before you have the investment
income to pay for them. As we played, I could see how it changed
the thinking of the others.
Over the coming year I made it to several more of these Saturday
Cash Flow Games. There were occasionally new players who wanted
to learn about real estate investing. The game doesn't really
teach you that, though, as much as it gets you into the right
For example, the little lessons that are given by Robert (A
cartoon character that occasionally interrupts the game to make
a point), point out the problems of investing in gold, stocks
or other things that don't produce income. The game itself obviously
gets a person thinking in terms of cash flow too. You can buy
and sell a duplex or other property for a profit, but in the
end, making money and having assets won't help you. Only having
enough passive income wins the game for you.
One thing I don't like in the game, is the seemingly unrealistic
opportunities. I say "seemingly," because perhaps there
is a place where little houses with 90% financing make $500 in
monthly cash flow, but I haven't found them. Where I live investors
are happy if they make $50 every month on their rental homes.
Also, in the higher level versions (Cash Flow 101 is the basic
game, but there are more advanced versions), you find that you
if you are in real financial trouble you can save yourself by
betting everything on random stock options - not a lesson that
Kiyosaki intended, I'm sure.
Overall, I think the game does exactly what it is intended
to do. It gets you thinking like an investor, and forces you
to see the vulnerability of relying on a job for income (you
occasionally lose your job or get laid off). Several of the people
I play with are actively investing in real estate now. It's also
fun, another reason to play Kiyosaki's Cash Flow Game.
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