What We Learned Playing Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Board Game

Wanderer
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Wanderer

The Wanderer retired from his engineering job at a major Silicon Valley semiconductor company at the age of 33. He now travels the world, seeking out knowledge from other wealthy people, so that he can teach people how to become Financially Independent themselves.
Wanderer
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Recently we were in Jolly Old England with our friends Alan and Katie. As FIRECracker mentioned in her previous Chautauqua post, we flew 4000 miles to freeze our butts off in the UK for our Chautauqua reunion and it was 100% worth it! Even though we hadn’t seen our Chautauquan family since last August, we picked up exactly where we left off. And after a memorable week spent with our favourite peeps, we headed for Basingstoke (aka “Amazingstoke!”) to stay with Alan and Katie, our Chautauqua organizers, and while we were there, ended up recording an episode of the ChooseFI podcast along with JL “The Godfather” Collins and Carl “Mr. 1500 Days.” It was a ton of fun, and you’ll be able to listen to the podcast episode when it goes live on ChooseFI in a few days.

Anyway, while we were at last year’s UK Chautauqua, we had gotten into a discussion about how cool it would be to build an FI board game to teach people the principles of FI in a fun way. So imagine our surprise when Alan and Katie had bought a copy of Robert Kiyosaki’s CASHFLOW game. The tagline was “Get Out of the Rat Race,” so we wanted to try it out to see if we could get some inspiration for our FI board game.

I’m not sure how popular this game is with the general public but as soon as we unpacked the game and Alan distributed out a balance sheet we had to fill out to keep track of our income and investments, FIRECracker started nerding out immediately.

“Ooh, math! Let’s MATH SHIT UP!” she shouted whipping out her trusty phone and starting up the calculator app.

So I knew this was going to be interesting.

So how this game works is that everyone gets assigned a career like barista, secretary, engineer, etc. That determines your starting income, but it can also come along with debt. I got a doctor, so I was like “WOOHOO!” but then I read how much debt I had and I was like “Holy shit! $150k in student debt?!?” So in other words a pretty accurate depiction of real life.

FIRECracker was a pilot, which is great, but then she got saddled with credit card debt, fancy private school for the kids, and a massive mortgage.

“BULL. SHIT!” she screamed. “That’s too much house! Sell it and rent a 1 bedroom apartment near the airport you moron!”

But the game wouldn’t allow her to do that so then she got all angry. “Car payments?!? For FUCK’S SAKE, is there a commit suicide card I can play? All hope is lost!”

All this before the game actually officially started.

So anyway, when we managed to calm FIRECracker down long enough to read the rest of the rules, we decided to start the game. On the board there’s a ring labelled “Rat Race” where everyone starts off in. All the players basically go round and round in circles (a metaphor for working the 9-to-5, I assume) and you can land on a couple different types of tiles.

Payday

The payday tile means you get paid. You take your job’s income, then minus off all the expenses (like debt payments that FIRECracker absolutely LOATHED), and then you get cash equal to the difference.

Opportunity

If you land on this, you draw a card from the “DEAL” pile, in which you’re presented with an opportunity to buy an investment. You have to analyze the financials of the deal and decide whether you want it, or whether you want to pass.

Market

If you land on this, you draw a card from the “MARKET” pile. These cards have events on it that may affect your investments. For example, a MARKET card may say “A buyer wants to buy your apartment building for $X. Do you want to sell to this buyer?”

Doodad

If you land on this, you draw a card from the “DOODAD” pile. These cards all suck, since it forces you to buy something like a TV. Just like in real life, these doodads do nothing, and just cost money.

So FIRECracker went first, landing first on a Payday (“Fuck Yeah!”) and then an Opportunity tile.

The Deal card was an opportunity to buy a stock. “Wait, you can buy stocks in this game? Hey, do you think it’s possible to…”

Alan cut her off. “I know what you’re thinking, and no, you can’t buy an index fund.”

“So I can only buy individual stocks?”

Katie scanned over the rule sheet. “Right. Individual stocks only.”

“Well that’s just stupid,” FIRECracker snorted throwing the card back into the pile. And good thing too, because the next person who went landed on a MARKET tile and the card read that the exact stock that was on the DEAL card has a big scandal break out in the news and that everyone who owned that stock gets half of their units get forfeited.

“You see? This is why individual stocks are stupid! Where’s my VTSAX, dammit!”

But alas, no VTSAX in the DEAL pile. The deals that came up were either individual stocks or real estate, with the occasional weirdo one like a tech start-up or an empty plot of land mixed in. And being the obsessive optimizer that FIRECracker is, she kept hyperventilating whenever she found out the rules wouldn’t let her decrease her expenses or avoid getting into more debt.

Eventually, though, it became obvious that her tactic of trying to decrease her expenses wasn’t making her balance sheet improve, and it wasn’t getting her any closer to winning. “What am I supposed to do again?” she asked.

“OK,” Alan replied reading off the rule book. “You’re supposed to increase your passive income until it matches your living expenses, at which point you become FI and you’re out of the Rat Race.”

“Well, how the Hell am I supposed to that?”

“I think you’re supposed to buy real estate,” I replied helpfully.

The laser-glare FIRECracker fixed on me would have lit my hair on fire if it could. “What?” I said holding up my hands defensively. “Don’t look at me! I didn’t make up these rules!”

Robert Kiyosaki famously made his fortune investing in real estate, so it’s not a huge surprise that real estate is depicted pretty positively in the game, but this did not sit well with FIRECracker.

“3BR/2BA townhouse. $200k price, $10k downpayment, +$500 cash flow,” she read off a DEAL card she had drawn. “So I would go into a $190k mortgage.”

“What’s the interest rate?” I asked.

“I don’t think it matters,” Alan said. “There’s a tenant and they’re paying the mortgage.”

“What?”

“Yeah, it’s all built into that $500 cash flow number.”

“Does the loan amortize?”

“I don’t think so. The rules don’t mention anything about the loan getting paid off.”

“So this is an interest-only mortgage, supported by a tenant.”

“Right.”

“And you calculate your ROI by dividing the cash flow number by the downpayment number.”

“Oh, Jesus Christ,” I sighed, exchanging knowing looks with FIRECracker. “They’re literally doing Real Estate math.”

“AND,” Alan added helpfully. “You can draw a MARKET card where someone comes and buys your property for a higher price, so you can get a capital gain on that too!”

“Is there a B20 card that gets drawn where mortgage regulations come in that causes everyone’s house to go underwater?”

Alan shook his head.

“Wow, so in this game, stocks are risky but housing always goes UP!” FIRECracker said, shaking her head in disbelief.

A long, drawn out, angry sigh later, she bought her first property. A few turns around the board later, and she was the proud owner of a 4-plex, a townhouse, and 2 condos.

“It’s okay, it’s okay…” I said trying to soothe her.

“It’s NOT okay! I’ve become everything I hate!”

It became obvious that the rules of the game were encouraging behaviour that really didn’t work out in real life (Robert Kiyosaki’s company went bankrupt in 2013 when his over-leveraged, real-estate-laden house of cards collapsed). So when I drew a DEAL card saying a certain stock named ON2U was on the verge of bankruptcy and could be picked up for $1, I turned to FIRECracker. “OK so this game clearly wants us to do the opposite of what we would do in real life. So what’s the opposite of what we would do in this situation?”

“Uh…”

“I’m going into debt!” So I went to the bank and took out the largest possible loan my income could support. I then turned around and bought up 360,000 units of that stock at $1. My balance sheet was a mess, as my entire pay-check was now going into servicing that loan.

But then a few turns later, I landed on a MARKET tile which read “ON2U bounces back! Current market price $5 per share.”

So I sold off my entire single-stock portfolio, paid off the loan and was now sitting on a net worth of $1.44 Million dollars.

“See Hun! Leverage is the best! Don’t you get it now?” I then started chanting “Leverage! Leverage! Leverage!”

At this point we had to stop the game because

a) We had to catch our bus to the airport and

b) FIRECracker was banging her head on the desk so hard I was afraid she was going to hurt herself

So clearly, Robert Kiyosaki’s game has some, shall we say, questionable lessons, but I was really impressed by how he was able to make a board game about finances and make it fun. I’m curious as to how popular this game was among non-math-nerds, because it looks like a really cool starting point for our own FI board game.

The investment stuff, though, is a mess. If you want to try it for fun, you can play it for free here (you just need to install flash): http://www.richdad.com/classic.

We’ll extend the discussion we started in the last Chautauqua about what an FI board game might look like into this Chautauqua, but I’m curious about two things from you, our intrepid readers:

Question #1: Would you find an FI board game fun? Would you play it?

Question #2: What financial lessons do you think it should teach, and how?



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80 thoughts on “What We Learned Playing Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Board Game”

  1. Hahahha LoL…
    This game is supposed to be played by regular people and not financial genius like Wanderer and FC. That’s why she got mad. Most people don’t even know what amortization is so it’s understandable.
    The only thing that really pissed me off on this game whas that it depicts real estate as THE investment while nowadays it’s crap in most cities.

    I think Robert should update this game including index investing and scaling down real estate investment as the best thing in the world.

  2. I actually really enjoy playing Cash Flow. In fact, I made an Excel spreadsheet that does all the budget calculations and such you need with just a few inputs. You can select your profession at the start and then just go. Threw that sucker onto a USB drive, and so now it’s safely stored for future use. Not nerdy at all.

    One thing I dislike is that the market is far too slow. We started drawing market cards after EVERY turn to simulate more volatility. I like it, and it made it a bit more engaging.

    Overall I think some of the things in the game are dated and perhaps not realistic but it’s good entertainment value for sure.

  3. This is hilarious! I have no idea why so many love Kiyosaki. I read a few chapters of Rich Dad/Poor Dad and thought it was useless, nonspecific, gobleygook.

  4. I think an FI board game is a great way to improve financial literacy. Two things I think it should include:
    1. it should teach the importance of building/maintaining your credit rating. I’ve only ever held two loans in my life. The first was for a car. I was prepared to pay cash for the car but a friend advised against it. He persuaded me that I would be an idiot if I didn’t take advantage of the financing deal (the dealership was offering 0% financing) and that by borrowing the money I would start establishing a credit history (I was a newly minted university grad at the time in my first ever “real” job). And he was right. Because my bank balance showed that I could cover the cost of the loan, I had no problem being approved for the loan. Before the 0% financing deal ran out, I paid out the balance owing, thus establishing a good credit history which came in handy when I went to apply for a mortgage. Which brings me to point #2.
    2. Buying property is not always a bad thing (I’ve personally done well by it). What the game needs to teach is how to evaluate a good buy from a bad buy. THAT would be a very useful lesson!

    1. I learned everything from the Master of all financial games… Monopoly… yes its rather weighted to one asset class, but it teach’s you the concept of cash flow. Too much property and no cash leads to a crisis, especially if you land on Boardwalk with a hotel on it.

      And true, property, land, REITS, all have a place in an investment portfolio. I think the stories of Tom Vu, and Roberto, are good lessons in how to avoid GRQ schemes. They made their money “Selling the Dream” (aka the con…)

      FC and Wanderer, are living the dream… there is a big difference.

      cheers

  5. Yes! Please make an FI board game! I bought the cash flow game like 9 years ago after reading rich dad poor dad and although the book and the game were the reasons I started learning and thinking about FI when in college, I now find the book to be all motivational BS… it might have been a good intro to some basic thinking about FI at the time for me (I had just moved to the US to start college) but I didn’t find any actionable info except for the broad statement of “start a business” or “buy real estate” and I feel the game is the same. It might be a good start for someone who doesn’t know anything about finances and FI (which was me 9 years ago) but it wasn’t until I found Paula’s Afford Anything blog, then JL Collins, then your blog that my mind was blown. The fact that someone actually described the exact steps I could take to become FI (including the name of the index fund, specific real estate numbers that made sense, the house buying vs renting math etc) it just blew my mind and got me to shift gears to persue the FI path I am now -debt free, renter, saving 65% of what I earn and opening a VTSAX –
    I started looking for other online or physical FI board games recently but there’s really nothing worth buying out there. I would love to be able to someday play a good FI board game with my husband (who’s really not that into numbers) or a kids version to with my nieces or even my kid (who’s still in my constantly growing preggers belly). I can’t think of anyone better to start something like that than you guys and the FI community!

  6. What sounds most interesting about the Cash Flow game is the Doodad element. I think something similar would be great for the purpose of teaching how those things take away from your goal. Landing on that square could be a form of punishment, just like in that game. After all, the game won’t be that fun if you can just take all the steps that lead to FI. There have to be obstacles that prevent you from getting there.

    This could also involve some ‘dumb relative’ cards that force you to pay certain amounts for expensive family vacations or gifts. It would also be fair to include negative market fluctuations, just to test the resolve of the players to see how long they stay in the market. Maybe once every round a “market return” card is drawn for everyone, and the percentages could be determined using historical statistics (I suspect FIRECracker would love doing the research for this piece).

    Oh, and don’t forget layoffs, which can set you back from your FIRE goal ;). That adds some suspense to the game.

    If real estate is involved, there could be the option to rent out and some people may be able to win this way, but you could have wild cards for house repairs or bad tenants (ie roll snake eyes and your tenants trash the place and skip town). Since everyone has to live somewhere, there could be a residence card that every player must hold that has a price tag they have to pay each turn. The house card could be slightly cheaper but would greater risk because of what can happen to it. You could still win this way, but it would require much more luck in the game, and I think that would demonstrate a powerful truth: you can get lucky and succeed, or you can be smart and succeed without needing to get lucky 😉

    Just a few ideas.

    Do it! Do it!

  7. LOL, FIRECracker bought properties…with a MORTGAGE?!?!?…someone take a screenshot.

    ChooseFI board game sounds fun. I’m picturing something like Life but where smarter choices are rewarded.

  8. Yes I would buy ! Include index funds, debt, real estate, market crashes and make it user friendly for teenagers or even younger children

  9. I’m not particularly interested in an FI board game, but then I’m notorious for being uninterested in board games to begin with.

    I find it interesting that “pilot” is one possible profession in the game, though. I’ve been looking into this possible career path, and it’s very particular. You start off doing your various licenses, which takes a couple of years and costs a total of about $70,000 in Canada. Much of this can be done part-time on your own schedule, which is handy. Where it gets complicated is when you need to log hundreds of commercial hours in order to qualify to take the air transport license.

    In order to do this, you need to work for a year or two (or more) for basically no money, on whatever schedule you can get, in whatever location is available. You might be able to get a gig as a flight instructor, or else you go up north or somewhere else in the middle of nowhere flying in dicey conditions.

    Once you’ve accumulated your hours, and everything lines up, you might get hired by one of the major airlines or their regional subsidiaries. The big guys tend to favour pilots who also have university degrees. Once there you’ll spend a couple of more years at a low pay rate, where it’s quite possible that the senior flight attendant serving coffee on the plane you’re flying is making more money than you.

    At the end of all this, if everything holds out the way it has been, you’ll end your career in your 50s or 60s, depending how young you started, making up to $300,000 with an awesome pension, but you’ll need it in order to make the whole thing financially worthwhile, and you’ve effectively married yourself to an airline, because if you switch, you basically start at the bottom of the seniority ladder all over again.

    It’s a very cool job, but my interactions with pilots suggest that there’s a lot of divorce, lots of debt (in part because of the high initial costs and low initial pay, and in part because some pilots have a way of living beyond their means (including divorces) once they finally start earning decent money), and a countdown to retirement. My biggest issue is the degree to which you have to put your fate in the hands of a single company which at the end of the day doesn’t really care about you. You also have to start young for it to really be worthwhile – me in my mid-thirties, I can’t see the numbers working out to justify starting out now. There’s a predicted pilot shortage coming, and I can see why.

  10. 1) Yes, and yes.
    2) It needs to teach players to save their money and not buy useless crap. To live beneath one’s means, but also that saving isn’t enough, and to invest it, wisely. That way they can become FI before being old. If possible, it should allow individual stocks (with significantly higher volatility), index stocks, bonds, and real estate. All increases/decreases should be more or less realistic, that way, if done right someone could win buying real estate, or individual stocks. The problem here is that if you win by being the first to retire you push people toward riskier options to be first…

    1. Yeah, winning by merely being the first to retire seems overly simplistic (although it would certainly be easier to design the game that way). I wonder if you could measure both FI and also *happiness* to determine the winner. Financial independence while maximizing lifetime happiness is really the goal here, after all, not FI alone.

      Maybe add in some kind of happiness points? I’m envisioning a scenario like – you buy a big screen TV. You spend 2 hours/week more in front of the TV, and long term happiness/health decreases by 10 points. Instant gratification points increase by 60, but dissipate after X amount of time. (And of course there is the financial effect of buying the TV, but that might just affect the FI timeline, not the happiness points – unless you also want to model increased unhappiness due to going deeper into consumer debt…might be getting overly complicated there though.)

      Some of the items available to buy could also *increase* your long term happiness, too. While conversely increasing your time-to-FI, since you spent money. It would give people an incentive to spend, in a way that more closely models real life. I’m not sure what to do with the “instant gratification” points I mentioned, other than acknowledging the Shiny New Toy factor that tempts people into that kind of spending in reality (but maybe there’d be a way to make the “instant gratification” factor appealing within the game too, in the short term).

      Anyway, it would be cool if, when you have someone who takes 12 years to retire and one who takes 10 due to higher income, the person who takes 12 could still potentially win the game due to maximizing happiness more. I think that would make for a more interesting game.

      It’s a neat idea! I’m curious to see what you come up with, if you do end up creating a game.

      1. I don’t dispute what you are saying, but I do think it’s overly complicated for a board game. Better to focus on one aspect – say, financial literacy – and save the happiness lesson for Choose FI 2 – The Sequel Board Game?

        1. Perhaps something along the lines of the first person to be FI and also raise their total invested amount to 10% more than what it was when they retired, and then hold that minimum level for 10 years.

          Why do it that way? Because then people with a salary of $40,000/year could win, and perhaps more easily than someone at $100,000/year, and that way retirement lifestyle choices matter, and a see-sawing stock market could reduce the amount invested on individual stocks taking them out of the 10 year consecutive years. This Should show that the Indexed approach is more consistent and likely to lead to a win.

  11. Ah… the great Rich Dad debate. Never gets old.

    The book, then the game, were both turning points in my financial life. My parents didn’t teach me anything about money, and the little I saw I had to forget quickly in order to be successful.

    The book was the first time I saw a balance sheet and income statement interact. Simple drawings, simple explanations. The game has worts, but it was great practice to build out my own financial statements.

    That being said, Kiyosaki’s advice is 180 degrees different than most FI advice. All leverage and big deals. He doesn’t like/advice frugality and refers to diversification as “de-worse- ification”. Complains that index funds are too slow.

    FI concepts in a game where you still get to update an income statement and balance sheet would be great. Good luck with the design!

  12. I’m in the middle of designing a game with a colleague to deal with energy and basically the costs and opportunity costs of housing options, activities and experiences to buy, vehicle options etc. Not unlike a FI game in many ways…it’s a real education to design a game engine, decide where to add possibilities for tension, how you want the game to be won (maybe more than one stream to victory since different paths can be ‘good’, right? right) and it’s surprisingly consuming to work through it all. Super fun, but deceptively challenging.

    Who’s your audience? People who are already into FI or people who aren’t? To my mind those already on board are always happy to remind ourselves how awesome we are but if you want an educational component then the lessons need to be concealed in a wrap of actual non-judgy and non-preachy fun where the user comes to his and her own conclusions, or thinks about the parallels between the game and life and then …ping! It’s a fun mental exercise!

    I’ve been working on developing materials for high schoolers. I’m passionate about how our social culture has let the kids down. Dig a hole in your 20’s then dig out for the rest of your life on this conveniently pre-worn path. No, we should do better, let’s give them options now, before the Big Hole. Generation Z is doing it anyway, let’s supply some tools then get out of the way.

    Apparently I have Some Feelings about this 🙂
    Thanks for the wonderful resource, I’m working hard to sort out a path to FI for my situation. Not straightforward, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.

      1. Well, *I* go about it with jotting down ideas during conversations, then laying out the ideas physically on cards on a table or a wall…there will be a sequence of events (player 1….what, rolls? Is assigned starting cash? If so , how much and why etc etc) and then try to avoid pushing in ending stuff before you have beginnings and middles. What is the point of your game, and who is playing? Do you want to influence the players or not? Lots of talking to get things going, write down what seems key or central. Is it enough if people end not FI if they *knew* that’s what they were doing or is it FI or die? Why have doo dads for people to buy, if it’s FI or die, they won’t bother. In life there’s a trade off, what’s the look like in your game. Each idea is a rabbit hole. You end up going all the way down before coming back up with more clarity.

        Then, once you have your engine mapped out a bit and some of the influential factors I’d move it digital. Honestly we are using excel and power point so we can maintain sequence of events and move around elements. Ours isn’t a board game though. We are using game cards and acquisitions and some risk at lifetime events etc. Since I’m a long time FI lurker there’s a lot of elements of our sub-culture in there 🙂 No idea if there’s a build a gam online app, I’m sure someone will know, or maybe check out a few forums? My colleague is big into games and having the elements of successful games down before you start is critical.

        1. “having the elements of successful games down before you start is critical.” Good advice! I know it’ll have to be fun and also educational, very difficult to achieve that balance.

  13. Heck YES I would play an FI board game. I’d appreciate if it kept it simple and taught basic uncontroversial things about personal finance, like budgeting, saving, and spending. Oh, and including stuff about making extra money on the side ie. side hustles.

    Ideally it would be as unbiased as possible, but that might make it too broad and unfocused if the point of the game is you win when you get to FI. If I were to do it, I’d stay away from insisting that there is only one way to get to FI. Lots of people have success with real estate investing, others prefer the index fund route. Different strokes for different folks!

    BUT it’s your game, so of course you would want to design it by your own set of principles. So you’ll probably do the opposite of what Kiyosaki did with his game and slant it negatively toward purchasing real estate and avoiding taking on a mortgage at all costs. :p

    Anyways! Can’t wait to play it!

    1. That’s our struggle. How to include multiple paths to FI without being too confusing. The annoying thing about Kiyosaki’s game is that buying real estate is basically the only way to win the game. Totally stupid.

      1. thinking out load, you have a stack of cards like community chest, and like Monopoly you can buy stocks, property, utilities, bonds ( 4-5 distinct asset class’s) Maybe a space on the board, that says “Buy an asset of you choice”. Ok, then when you land on the space “Market Change” (and there will be lots of them) The card you pull, influences one or more particular asset class’s up or down. You track where each asset class is with a slider or dial. At the end of the game (you retire and move to Thailand) you cash out all your assets at market value…

        oh crap, I am going to be thinking about this all day now… now look what you’ve done…

        I really have to stop texting now and get back to driving my semi full of grenades down the I-5.

        cheers

  14. I don’t play a lot of boardgames but I think this would be a great idea to teach people the concepts of FIRE. Especially kids/teens. It would be cool if this got tied into Junior Achievement programs that are run in the schools, making it more fun for kids to learn about budgeting and financial literacy.

      1. CPA Canada has a kids financial literacy program (one hour workshops I believe) that they bring for free to schools/ daycare whatever type of groups – the junior high one has this thing where if they plan a party and manage to (omg) plan it to be less than their budget allowed they get this surprise musical guest show up to the make believe party… cool in that lame way school activities tend to be…

  15. I discovered the game fairly early, in college, and I actually really enjoyed playing it. I also read a couple of Kiyosaki’s books. Despite the inadequacies, I credit him with opening my mind to the definition of wealth as having passive income that exceeds your monthly expenses. Such a simple concept, but profoundly life changing for me. I still didn’t know the specifics of how I would achieve it but at that point I set the goal of retiring at age 35. Fast forward many years, I finished medical school, residency and now about to finish fellowship and finally begin my career at age 31. Towards the end of residency I discovered the financial independence community including your blog, JL Collins and Mr. Money Mustache. Finally, an idiot proof path to financial independence! I am so thankful to your community for really getting into the details of index fund investing and the whole mindset of financial freedom. I’ve amended my projected retirement age to 42 (the answer to life, the universe and everything).

    Yes, I would totally buy your board game!

  16. I agree with most of what others have said here. I think it should teach the importance of credit scores, establishing needs vs wants, the potential pitfalls of so-called “good debt” (student loans, mortgages) and how to evaluate and plan the repayment of such debt. Ideally, it would be elementary enough to de-mystify basic personal finance/investing concepts for the average joe, but elevated enough that even the savvy FI person would find it challenging/engaging – perhaps that’s best achieved by increasing levels/tiers/degrees of difficulty. And for sure, it should not be heavily skewed to only one investment class.

  17. I found this a brilliant and funny article – you two are so sassy. Do please play more games like this (maybe the Game of LIFE).

    And also it would be amazing if you guys made your own board game! You’ve probably got a lot on short-term, but later on it would be so fun to play especially with your personalities imprinted on it.

  18. Sure wish you could tone down the vulgarities in your blog. At least for some of us it detracts from your message…just sayin’

  19. If only I could have been a fly on the wall during that game… A big yes to playing a FI board game, that could be pretty fun. And I nerdily want to play this game too, just for shits and giggles (and hopefully no head banging unless there is heavy metal music on in the background).

  20. A lot of juicy material here:

    1. I didn’t know there was a UK Chautauqua!

    2. Like the rebrand of Basingstoke – nice to see little ‘ol England getting some love in the blogsphere.

    3. For people in the UK, buying a house for 10x your salary with 90% leverage is seen as wise… Probably due to the fact that renting can be expensive and insecure, wages are low relative to housing costs and the ability / likelihood of increasing one’s income is low.

    4. The part of the cashflow game about career is interesting. Although there are certainly a number of exceptions, the majority of the FI community appear to be high earners or very high earners.

    Thanks for the food for thought.

    HH

    1. Yes, there was a Chautauqua UK last August! Ever since then, we’ve been meeting up all over the world 🙂 Love my Chautauquan family.

      The Escape Artist (UK FIRE blogger) mentioned real-estate obsession is even more prevalent in the UK since “an Englishman’s house is his castle”. In Germany and France, the view is totally different. Renting rules over owning.

      I like the career part in the cashflow game too. He shows that you don’t have to become a Doctor to get out of the rat race. It’s actually easier to do it as a secretary. So it would’ve been a great game if it wasn’t for the “leverage leverage leverage is the best and you can never fail with leverage” part.

  21. I´m reading a lot of comments putting Kiyosaki down, but in my book he doesn´t really deserve that.
    Sure, nowadays we have loads of awesome FIRE blogs (yours being one of my favorites ), but 25 years ago when I was still a young lad we didn´t have any of those.
    Heck, just a few years earlier when in college working on my thesis I still had to physically move my body to visit libraries to do research on my paper!
    Can you imagine that? Being in college without there being internet? A time when no one had a clue what FIRE was? Thinking financial success was dressing like Don Johnson Miami Vice style and having a parrot on your shoulder when going to bars. Different times…
    And then, out of the blue, there was the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad… What an eyeopener it was!
    Kudos to Robert for having shown me – and many more – the way!
    I admit I don´t agree with many of his teachings, but you can´t argue with the basics: Buy Assets Not Liabilities and Mind Your Own Business. Words to live by….
    Many greetings from Spain to you all!!

    1. I remember reading it and thinking the same, lots of good insight, but 5 years ago I went to one of his “Free” investment seminars, which was not even him but some “Licenced” broker. And it was a scam to get people to pay money for a Real Estate Investors Course.

      I was the only one to walk out 1/2 way thru, I really did not like the hard sales luring and
      technique used, which is typical of all get rich quick schemes.

      Its the guy selling the info that gets rich, not you. Dream Sellers is what I call them.

      1. Yeah, I have no respect for Kiyosaki because of his involvement with that whole scam-get-rich-quick-seminar industry. His books are probably fine, taken in isolation (and the board game sounds like it could be fun 🙂 ). His wealth-building strategy doesn’t resonate with me, but different strokes for different folks.

        However. His “seminars” whose whole purpose is to talk people into borrowing thirty-forty thousand dollars ON A CREDIT CARD to pay for the next seminar? Just appalling.

        (I won’t say the seminars don’t teach you ANYthing, though. Apparently they do go into detail about how to call your credit card provider and talk them into increasing your credit limit…)

  22. Crazy timing! Just yesterday I returned his book “unfair advantage” to the library after just 2 days of reading. All he talks about is REAL ESTATE REAL ESTATE REAL ESTATE, in addition to repeatedly mentioning a certain someones name whom I despise. It’s not logical or practical, and goes against everything you guys and JLCollins preach. No thank you!

    A game would be great! And just think if you could get into the school systems. What a great learning opportunity for kids. 🙂

  23. Loved playing the board game with you. So much fun! I would love an FI boardgame and think that would be fun. I learnt a lot of things from Kiyosaki but there are some questionable lessons in the game! Had a lot of fun! Thanks for coming round to play! I’ll bring it to Chautauqua!

    1. Miss you guys! Will need to come back to “Amazingstoke” soon to finish our game.

      And yes, definitely bring it to Chautauqua!

  24. I’ve never played that game, but honestly it seems like the best part was making FIRECracker squirm.

    All games are simplified simulations of the real world. If you’re going to design a board game the real challenge is capturing the diverse number of ways someone can become FI, yet still keeping the game simple and accurate.

    1. *shakes fist* at Robert K! Leverage is not the best thing ever! GAH! So many bad lessons.

      I agree, if we’re going to design a game, we need to incorporate different ways to become FI (not just balls out on real-estate and betting big on individual stocks). Keeping it fun and simple will be the real challenge (my brain keeps going “SPREADSHEETS!” We need more spreadsheets! Shut up, brain. No one needs more spreadsheets).

  25. I’d like to see a game where a player chooses a goal right up front (retire early, build a real estate empire, launch/build/sell a successful business, have a family, reach a financial milestone, etc.) and then plays through the game with that goal in mind. The cards would then present opportunities (or crises) that affect players differently, depending on their ultimate goals (for instance, a huge increase in daycare costs wouldn’t affect someone who didn’t have kids but would hurt the player who chooses along the way to add several children to his family).

    So choices and their consequences would make this game more interesting I think. If a player got to choose (or have a choice foisted on him maybe) and then deal with those choices going forward it could help people (and kids!) understand that every choice matters within a context of other choices. And that you are either moving towards your goals or moving away from them (and let’s start with the idea of actually having goals and not just drifting along like everyone around you!).

    1. “choices and their consequences would make this game more interesting”.

      Totally agree! One of my biggest beefs with this game is you can’t choose to spend less. And it makes no sense to pay down debt, because there’s no consequence to having negative cashflow. It’s like the bank will always lend you money into oblivion and you can never go bankrupt.

      When we make the FI game, we’ll definitely add more choices (different paths to FI! Sell shit you don’t need!) and you betcha debt will have consequences!

  26. I was DYING at “Leverage! Leverage! Leverage!” XD

    Loving the idea of a new board game. I feel like to be totally realistic (and not another relic from a bygone era ten years from now), there should be random factors applied at various points so that the same technique doesn’t always come out on top. Like, real estate could be a fantastic investment in one playthrough and an awful one in the next. That gets pretty complicated pretty quickly for a board game, though…man, now I want to research game designs and the like instead of work. Thanks for that. 😉

    If you wanted to make an Android version of this potential game of yours, hit me up. 🙂

  27. Yes And yes! I love board games (I am a cheap nerd, what can I say) and would play a board game about FI. There is one game that I think could serve really well as a concept for FI game. It’s called pandemic and it’s a cooperation game where everybody needs to work together in various roles and functions to beat the system (the disease before it spreads). You need to use various optimizing tactics, leadership skills, scarce resources and quick collaboration to make the best deals with everyone. If you are really thinking about a FI game, I think this is a good one to play to see if some concepts can be used there. After all, FI is beating the system in a clever and optimal way! Good luck!

    1. Oh we played pandemic with Wanderer’s cousins before. Super fun! Very different in that you actually work together rather than trying to beat each other to win. Thanks for the tip, we’ll use that as inspiration for the FI game.

  28. I think you need the right kind of nerdy friends to play a game like this! lol Would love to see what you guys come up with for your version. And yes I am the right kind of nerdy to enjoy FI board games (though I haven’t played any before). Awesome ridiculous photo of you guys playing.

    1. Nerdy friends are the best! Very seldom do you get to be with people who love spreadsheets are much as you do. YAY for fellow nerds!

  29. Guys

    I can’t believe you were actually in the UK! Looks like you had a great time at Alan and Katie’s. Shame you just missed all the excitement of snow over here 🙂

    Q1 – Yes I’d find an FI game interesting and actually play it. I think the fun part will come from playing it with people who are new to the idea of FI.

    I am particularly interested in teaching young people about FI and so, this would come in very handy. Plus it will help us teach our sons.

    Q2 – A big thing the game should encourage are the various options for achieving FI.

    These options aren’t mutually exclusive and can be explored together depending on one’s personality and life circumstances.

    For example, some people can’t actually get a mortgage for one reason or another. So pursuing a business or side hustle is definitely a route whilst ploughing gains from that hustle(s) into another asset class like an index fund etc.

    I have personally done this and continue to, whilst also letting properties out using leverage (Firecracker…I know….I know…)

    I also think the game should have big bang events like having children factored in. It’s a major deal and sets one back massively on the FI journey…although having children is ofcourse a joy…

    1. “Q2 – A big thing the game should encourage are the various options for achieving FI.”

      Nice! This is common request that other reader had as well. Totally agree that this would be a required feature.

      Oh and funny that you should mention the “big bang” events like having children–the cashflow game actually does have that. When you land on a square that says “have a baby”, your monthly costs go up. So it does reflect real life in that way 🙂

  30. Yes please bring on the game!!

    What would I like to learn?
    I think the lessons from your blog, erasing some of the ideology that Real Estate is such a great investment would be excellent. Learning about compounding returns, debt, equities, index funds, basically a beginner class in financial markets and saving for retirement would be really cool!
    Looking forward to it!

    thanks
    Curtis

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