Many people choose to distance themselves from investing because they are “not numbers people”. Unfortunately for them, we all use money in life and some basic math skills are a necessity to succeed financially. The good news is that the applied math involved in the basics of investing is simple. There is no algebra or calculus involved, and learning can actually be fun.
As kids many of us tried our hand at Monopoly, the Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game which has some valuable money lessons. I know this was one of my favourite games as a child, and still is to this day.
More recently, a new board game called Cashflow 101 has been gaining popularity and become a staple for many financial educators and investor groups.
Robert Kiyosaki, the main author of the Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books created a game called Cashflow which teaches the basics of investing and is designed to improve the “financial IQ” of its players. I read most of the Rich Dad Poor Dad series around 2005 but had never tried the game until I was invited to a Cashflow game night a couple years ago.
How It Works
The main objective of the game is to escape the “rat race” and get onto the “fast track” by creating a stream of passive income which is higher than your expenses. Once on the fast track, you win the game by landing on your dream space which you select at the beginning of the game or by building your stream of passive income up to $50,000.
As players lap the board in the rat race, they collect a payday which is their income net of expenses. Along the way there are 4 types of cards which can be drawn:
- Small Deal – investment opportunities such as stocks, businesses and real estate which cost less than $5,000
- Big Deal – investment opportunities such as apartments and larger businesses
- Market – gives stock prices, splits and events which impact players’ investments
- Doodad – unnecessary expenses you must pay for such as TVs, cars, or boats that set you back in your quest to escape the rat race
As you move around the board buying and selling investments and collecting cash flow you’ll need to use some basic math to keep your financial status current.
There are a few other basic details to the game but you’ll learn best by giving it a try.
Benefits of Playing Cashflow 101
In my eyes there are 3 main benefits to playing this game.
1) Ingrain Financial Beliefs
Although I was a Finance major in college and had a good working knowledge of many of the concepts taught by Kiyosaki, playing this game helped to reinforce what I had learned from the books and moved me closer to buying my first real property.
2) Meet Other Investors
Another great benefit of playing Cashflow is that you can attend game nights where you will meet other investors. My friend Andrei Angelkovski who is Investing in Toronto’s Beaches invited me out to my first Cashflow night. My first game was with Mark Loeffler, a Rent-To-Own expert who had the game moving so quickly I could barely keep up. At future games I met some other great people and continued to ingrain good financial beliefs.
3) Have Fun
Cashflow nights have always been fun for me. Both the game itself and the discussion it will trigger for the post-game conversation make for a good time. As an adult this is a fun way to learn a practical discipline that’ll make a positive difference in your life.
If you’ve never played, look for a Cashflow game night in your area and give it a try. Win or lose, you’ll develop a winning mindset, meet some other investors, and probably have fun in the process.
To learn more about Cashflow and the various versions of the game, click here.
photo credit: John-Morgan
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