The Cash Flow Quadrant Board Game Review

This week on Investor Watch, Wealth Building Strategies is reviewing the electronic version of the Cash Flow Quadrant Board game. Designed by the author of the famous book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, the game is known for its ability to instill basic financial skills and quite uncommon, a business acumen to individuals that barely learnt rote finance in school. The game is available in three collections; Cashflow 101, Cashflow 202 and Cashflow for kids.


Cashflow 101 
According to the author, Robert Kiyosaki, Cashflow 101’s design is based on the fundamentals of trading. Also commonly known as the ‘Rat Race’, Cashflow 101 depicts the lay man’s financial life, one characterized by ‘Go to school, get a job, go to work, go home and pay bills with no hope of ever accomplishing anything else’ Well, I wondered why on earth Kiyosaki chose to call it the rat race... A few days ago, a rat sneaked to my bed room. Fortunately or unfortunately, am really petrified of these small creatures. I didn’t manage to kill it but after pelting the floor with shoes and empty boxes, it narrowly escaped. The following day, the same rat showed up but this time I mustered my courage and killed it. Had the rat known of the imminent danger in my house, would it have bothered a revisit? 

On the rat race is therefore a circular path that participants undergo and only with the strength of their cash flow can they escape this rat race and join the fast track. Playing the game involves rolling a dice. The dice can then fall onto any of the seven available cards. These cards are; opportunity, market, doodad, charity, pay check, baby and downsized. In addition to the cards, the game also has a bank where a player can acquire loans and repay them as well. Also on the screen is an income statement, a balance sheet and a passive income checker. Whenever a player rolls the dice and it falls on the say, the opportunity card, he or she may probably buy some shares. The player is expected to update the balance sheet and income statement respectively. The beauty of this feature is that if the player is not financial savvy, he or she can get to learn what items fall on the balance sheet and income statement. While laying emphasis on the ability to understand and maintain proper records, the author says that whenever you want to borrow a loan, bankers will never ask for your school grades but rather your balance sheet and income statement. Quite importantly, the game also encompasses a section for a mentor and a critique. Occasionally when a player makes an investment say in real estate, Turtle (the critique) will comment and say, ‘Beware tenants could damage your property!!’ The mentor (Kiyosaki) then butts in to say, ‘Don’t worry about tenants, that’s why you have insurance. You need to focus on those rent checks coming in every month...’


Lets play the GAME
The object of the game is to teach how to grow passive income that surpasses the expenses. Where passive income is greater than the expenses, a player shifts from the rat race to the fast track where he or she can invest in the ‘big deals’. A tip before we commence: Keep your expenses to the minimum.

The first step to playing the game is to choose a dream. There are a variety of dreams that a player can choose from among them being to ‘Run for the Mayor’, ‘Be a jet-setter’ and many more. The author asks, ‘why begin with a dream?’ The author answers back saying, ‘You always start with the end in mind and work backwards.’ 

Let’s roll our dice now. It has fallen on the opportunity card! I love this card... This is where you get to invest. We have two choices; Big deal or a Small deal. A big deal is rated $6,000 and above while a small deal below $5,000. Your choice will obviously be based on your cash on hand. Both deals will vary from real estate, stocks and mutual funds (paper assets) to businesses. The beauty about this card is that you will know what type of a player you are. They say ‘Cheaters will always cheat’ and ‘Savers will always save’. The game will therefore reflect a player’s behavior. Please don’t be the type that has no money and insists on going for the big deals...

Let’s roll it again... It has fallen on the charity card.  We have a choice either to ‘Donate’ or ‘Pass’ (Not Donate). What do we do?? A donation will give us a chance to roll two dice concurrently. Let’s donate then... The author hilariously puts it that ‘If you want a punch in the mouth, the best way is to give one’. The author tries to draw this lesson from his two dads (Rich dad and poor dad). He says that his poor dad always said that he will only give money when he has the money. The rich dad however confided in the author that the reason his poor dad never had money is because he never gave money. He however downplays the new thinking that someone can give their time rather than money. He concludes by stressing that you get back whatever you give.

Another roll... This time it falls on the doodad card. We have a choice either to ‘Pay Cash’ or ‘Pay by Credit Card’. What should we do? Let’s pay cash buddy... The author says that doodads are those things that make life worth living. Say, a nice car. The problem with doodads is that they make people run broke. Should you therefore live frugally? Oh No! The secret is: Buy assets and those assets will fund that nice car you’ve always dreamt of. 

Another roll and this time it falls on the market card. This card tells us what the market trends are. For instance, interest rates have fallen or they have gone up. The author emphasizes that for you to be a professional investor, you must pay attention to the market trends. 

Our last roll and the dice falls on the ‘Downsized’ card. Cost of being downsized? Up to two times our expenses. Practically it’s the employees that get downsized. However, an employee who has invested should not be worried as passive income will still continue to flow. 

The bad news is that we miss out on the three successive rolls as we are still downsized! Oh No buddy... It hurts to be downsized, doesn’t it?

The game is fun and educative. Just grab one ASAP. Watch this space for a review of Cashflow 202!