Here’s Why Capitalism Gets a Bad Rap
A friend of mine who is a Bible scholar often says, “Without knowledge, my people will perish.”
Today many people are perishing because they are without knowledge about money.
We live in the Information Age. Even in very remote areas of the world, I have seen young people text messaging while at the same time riding the family’s donkey cart. Never before has the entire world been so connected so quickly.
Information is the single greatest asset of this era.
In previous ages, you owned factories, cattle ranches, gold mines, oil wells, or skyscrapers to be rich.
In the Information Age, information alone can make you very rich. You don’t need tangible resources like land, gold, or oil. The young entrepreneurs who created Facebook and YouTube have proved that. With just a few dollars, some information, and the leverage of technology, these 20-year-olds have become billionaires.
Conversely, poor or mistaken information is a liability. Poor information creates poor people. One of the reasons so many people are struggling ﬁnancially is simply because they have obsolete, biased, misleading, or erroneous information powering their most powerful asset, their brain.
Today it’s clearer than ever, the problem facing millions of people around the world is the lack of financial education being taught in our schools.
Our schools seem to have forgotten about the American Dream. The problem is that our educational system trains students to be employees rather than business owners who carry the torch of capitalism and create new jobs.
Ask entrepreneurs today and many will tell you that bureaucracies are actively destroying the entrepreneurial spirit of capitalism. They will also say many young graduates do not have the skills required for today’s work environment.
In fact, many have a “bad attitude” towards capitalists. Our schools give capitalism a bad name because what they teach is not true capitalism.
In my eyes, what the world needs more now than ever is entrepreneurs and investors with high financial intelligence, who have the financial education to understand money and how it works.
The Creation of the CASHFLOW Board Game
From 1984 to 1994, I became an educational entrepreneur because I became interested in how people learn.
Although I disliked school, I enjoyed learning. Also, I wanted to know why I always felt stupid in class.
During those 10 years, Kim and I built an education company that taught entrepreneurship and investing from our oﬃces in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States.
During this period of time, I did things diﬀerently, almost the opposite of the way traditional schools teach. Instead of creating an environment where only one or two students were smart, I created an environment where everyone could feel smart and learn. Instead of competing, the class cooperated. Instead of having students listen to me lecture, I created diﬀerent games to teach speciﬁc subjects. Instead of being bored, adult students were actively challenged, and participated.
Kim and I went on to develop our educational board game CASHFLOW—a financial game built around a financial statement is the evolution of the game of Monopoly. It’s a way to learn how to apply money and investing lessons of the game to real life.
A person could play the game a thousand times and still learn something new about accounting, investing, and themselves.
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
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.
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.
This is why, even though we have books and seminars, we’ve always said the best way to learn how to invest is to play our financial education board game. We’ve seen that those who devote themselves to mastering this game, in addition to reading and hearing great talks, go on to much greater success in investing.
The ultra-rich and powerful hold the cards in the game of money
In the game of real-life, the game masters—politicians, owners, and central banks—hold the cards and are always changing the rules. Whether by increasing interest rates, quantitative easing, daisy chains, shifting expectations, changes in strategy, layoffs, revised contracts, or more, they’re always pulling levers.
Everyone else is always playing catch up.
The reality is that the fundamental difference between the ultra-rich and powerful, and all those playing their game comes down to a simple element: control.
Being an entrepreneur or investor is fundamentally playing the game of money at a high level and that’s what CASHFLOW will teach you. Through this, you gain autonomy, which is control of self.
Each time you play CASHFLOW, the 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.
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.”
Again, 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.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily