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Playing Kiyosaki's Cash Flow Game

By - 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 on.

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 mind set.

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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Houses Under Fifty Thousand | Playing Kiyosaki's Cash Flow Game