Why Cash Flow Is My #1 Investing Criteria

Dear Reader,

If you don’t understand how the Federal Reserve works, start with rule #11 in Monopoly…  

“Some players think the bank is bankrupt if it runs out of money. The bank never goes bankrupt. To continue playing, use slips of paper to keep track of each player’s banking transactions—until the Bank has enough paper money to operate again. The banker may also issue ‘new’ money on slips of ordinary paper.”  

This is an actual rule in Monopoly and is the perfect example of how the Fed works. Monopoly proves that the fiat system is broken. 

 The game was developed in 1935, during a time of financial recovery after the Great Depression decimated many Americans’ livelihoods. It was designed to simulate modern capitalism and to showcase its defects.

 After the crash in 2008, the government tried to fix what it actually created, and as a result, it extended the economic recession. 

Government intervention didn’t help and has been responsible for every economic downturn since. 

Why? Refer to Rule #11. 

 I bet against the dollar and the leaders who manage the U.S. economy, all by investing for cash flow. 

But I didn’t just wake up one day and realize this. It all started with my financial education at 9 years old. 

Here’s Why Cash Flow Is My Top Investing Criteria

 When I was a boy, my rich dad would play the game of Monopoly over and over again with his son Mike and me. 

By playing the game, I learned the difference between cash flow and capital gains. 

To win at the game of Monopoly, you had to invest for cash flow—rent coming in—not capital gains—properties never increased in value on their own. Knowing the difference between cash flow and capital gains at the age of nine was one of the most important lessons my rich dad taught me. 

Financial education can be as simple as a fun game and can provide financial security for generations—even during a financial crisis.

Today, our economy is sick because the runaway printing presses of the Federal Reserve are flooding our monetary system with funny money that debauches our existing currency, and no one is able to diagnose the problem.

 Rich dad told us that, “One of the great formulas for wealth is found in this game: four green houses, one red hotel.” I use this formula today. 

You purchase property, balancing cost and location, and collect rents when people land on your properties. In order to make more money, you develop and improve those properties, building houses and, eventually, hotels.

For example, having one green house on a property you own could make you $10 when someone lands on it. Then, two houses could make you $20. Three could make you $30. And a hotel could make you $50. Basically, more green houses and red hotels means more cash flow. More properties and larger properties do the same in real life. It’s a simple game, but an important lesson.

 And this brings to mind a simple truth…  

Games Make You a Better Investor 

A lot of people like to read or listen, but it’s proven that you learn better by simulating than any other method of education.

I’ve always said the best way to learn how to invest is to play my financial education board game, “CASHFLOW.” We’ve seen that those who devote themselves to mastering this game, in addition to reading and hearing great talks, go on to have much greater success in investing.

 Confucius once said: “I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.”

I believe that games create more understanding. And the more understanding people have, the more they can see the other side of the coin. Instead of seeing fear and doubt, the players begin to see opportunities they never saw before because their understanding increases each time they play the game.

And the best part of playing games to become a better investor is you’re not using real money. You can play over and over, develop new strategies, lose BIG, and not lose a dime of your own money. 

Now, with that in mind, why not play Monopoly in real life?

My rich dad didn’t just play Monopoly with us on his patio. He played Monopoly in real life. 

He told us, “Years ago, when I was a kid playing Monopoly, I decided that my plan for great wealth was to build businesses and then have my businesses buy my real estate. And that is all I have been doing. Even when we had very little money, I was still going home and looking for real estate.”

He built his fortune from the ground up, starting with some small stores and moving into more and more sophisticated investments. Eventually he did own his own hotel right on the beach—and then a few more.

I learned four valuable lessons from my rich dad by watching him play Monopoly in real life:

  • Investing is not risky
  • Investing is fun
  • Investing can make you very, very rich
  • Investing can set you free from the struggle of earning for a living and worrying about money

 In Rich Dad Poor Dad, the first lesson is that the rich do not work for money. Instead, the rich focus on having their money work for them.

How We Really Learn… 

I will always remember the impact of this important comparison: Monopoly’s gameplay strategy vs. the real life money-making strategy of my rich dad. I know a lot of wealthy people who execute investments the same way. Their wealth was really gained by what rich dad called “doing their homework.” 

For me, the idea that wealth was gained at home and not at work was a powerful lesson. It comes from what you’re willing to do and learn. 

Most kids—or adults for that matter—don’t have a rich dad who taught them about playing games to learn about money. Our modern education system is such that we are told to sit down and pay attention. In reality, we learn by trying new things, making mistakes and achieving. 

Today I am a rich man in large part because I had fun playing Monopoly as a kid. 

Each game teaches new skills, opens up your mind to a world of opportunity, and drills home the lessons of cash flow. With repetition, those lessons will become ingrained in your psyche and how you approach your financial future.

Dust off the box and try playing again. See how you do. Then, when you want to dive even deeper into some real-life investing experience, try my board game “CASHFLOW.” I think you’ll enjoy it. And I know you’ll learn something you can take to the bank.


Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily

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Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki, author of bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as 25 others financial guide books, has spent his career working as a financial educator, entrepreneur, successful investor, real estate mogul, and motivational speaker, all while running the Rich Dad Company.

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