Playing the Game of Money
It’s hard to escape the financial impact of the current coronavirus pandemic: the many stock market crashes over the last few weeks, unemployment rates have skyrocketed, and entire industries (like travel and restaurants) have been decimated amidst “stay at home” orders across the country.
The financial bubble we’ve all been living in has definitely burst.
If you’re one of those people, ask yourself: Will this market crash make you stronger, or weaker? Will you rise to the challenge, and use your creativity and persistence to overcome this immense hardship? Or will you complain, play the blame game, and let the situation get the best of you?
There is no shortage of information in our world today, and one way to start learning is to play the CASHFLOW® board game. That one night a week or month that you sit down to play will serve as a foundation for a better life for you, your child, better family relationships, and a commitment to be a life-long learner.
Simple Lessons About Money
Rich dad told us that, “One of the great formulas for wealth is found in Monopoly®: four green houses, one red hotel.”
This one great formula rich dad spoke of was that of cash flow. Monopoly® is a cash flow game. 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 mean more cash flow. It’s a simple game, but an important lesson.
My rich dad didn’t just play Monopoly with us on his sunny patio. He also played Monopoly in real life. 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.
The simple lessons around money that I learned from my rich dad and Monopoly were the foundation I needed to eventually become rich. Along the way, I learned a lot of other lessons that led to being a successful investor. I wanted to teach the world these lessons, but to do so in a fun, engaging, and effective way. So, I, along with my wife Kim, developed the CASHFLOW® game.
With the CASHFLOW game, I took the simple rules of Monopoly and applied the complexities of investing scenarios and the effects of markets. In Monopoly, you only play against other players. With CASHFLOW, you play against both other players and markets and even nature.
The goal of the game is simple, escape the Rat Race of your 9-to-5 job by using a variety of investment strategies to build an arsenal of assets (and avoid liabilities, called Doodads) to help propel you onto the fast track, where real wealth is built.
In the process, you learn the valuable lessons my rich dad taught me about money, as well as the lessons I learned over a career of investing and building great wealth.
Games like CASHFLOW make you a better investor
There’s a simple truth that 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.
It’s not that reading books or listening to lectures are bad or wrong, but if the knowledge you learn doesn’t translate to simulation, you’re missing out on a key component of learning.
A couple of years ago, I shared a wonderful TED Talk by Gabe Zichermann called “Changing the Game in Education”. As I wrote then:
Zichermann talks about how the modern education system is fundamentally opposed to our nature as humans. Asking us to sit down and pay attention does very little for our education when in reality we learn more by trying, making mistakes, and achieving. Experiencing the chemical benefits of the pleasure we feel when dopamine is released through our achievements helps us remember and learn far more efficiently.
He then goes on to make the case for why gamification is the future of education-including an amazing example of a teacher using Monopoly at a school in California’s Inland Empire to teach kids about money, among other things. The result: a jump of 40 kids in the top rankings of the California Math Test, up from less than 10 at the start of the program.
CASHFLOW® is about learning by doing
At Rich Dad, we made a conscious choice to incorporate games into our education methods because they require more action than a lecture. As Mother Teresa said, “A preaching point is not a meeting point.” Our games are meeting points.
Games provide social interaction for learning and helping someone else learn. When it comes to investing, there are too many people trying to teach by preaching.
We had a vision for CASHFLOW to build a community of like-minded investors across the world. Today, that vision is real with hundreds of CASHFLOW Clubs around the world dedicated to bringing people together to play the game, exchange lessons and advice, and build a strong community.
Confucius once said: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
Ultimately, we believe that games like CASHFLOW 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.
There are many stories of people who have played CASHFLOW and our other games and have had their lives suddenly changed. They have gained a new understanding about money and investing, an understanding that pushed out some old thoughts and gave them new possibilities for their lives.
Again, my rich dad taught me to be a business owner and investor by playing the game of Monopoly. He was able to teach his son and me so much more after the game was over when we visited his business and real estate.
I wanted to create educational games like CASHFLOW that taught the same fundamental and technical investing skills that rich dad taught me, far beyond what is taught in Monopoly. As rich dad said, “The ability to manage cash flow and to read financial statements is fundamental to success on the B and I side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant.”
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.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily