Review: Cashflow 101

Posted by Kris | Sunday, October 31, 2010 | | 6 comments »


Okey. This is not a book review :P

I played this computer game upon the urging of my friend. As you know , Cashflow 101 is a game created by the famous Robert Kiyosaki. (There is a board version too).


At first i find that the game is very animated. The mouse/rat in the game looks cute. Rat is a better term here  in this game because it is to equate to the rat race that we pursue in our lives.

After a few play, I finally got the gist out of it. I am a avid gamer aka I like to play computer games and I can mastered most game in the quickest of time. 

The game was fun for a few turns, after that it gets pretty repetitive in terms of the so-called financial situations. Even the animations starts to get the best of me, since it is so repetitive and so slow. They might speed the game up instead of waiting for each mouse to slowly walk around the "wheel of fortune". 

There are 2 rounds to win the game: 1st round - Rat Race , 2nd - Fast Track. They key is to get a positive net-income: (Income + Passive Income - Expenses) to avoid being bankrupt.But, the objective to win the game is not that. Read further on..

At first the computer kept on beating me to finish the at 2nd round ( fast track), and won the game out of the blue. I discovered that to win the 1st round(rat race), you need to get around ~USD10K of passive income, and only you proceed to the "Fast Track" where you get tons of money and another wheel of fortune style of play. Here it is much easier, any spot that ask you to buy a biz that generate passive income, just buy it so that you can win the game!!! No need to think!! So does it mean that once we rich millionaire status, we just buy and buy, buy?!

Remember I told you that to win the 1st round (rat race),  you just need to have passive income of ~USD10K, where you don't even had to consider how much debt you have when you bought the mortgages/property. Here I believe the whole game play is illogical!!

 Here is the situation: For example: You are asked to buy a USD10,000 house, with passive income of USD1000 with zero-down-payment. Okey, so I bought it and have now USD1000 passive income. (USD9000 to win the 1st round) and have a USD10,000 mortgage. The funny part here , since there is no down-payment, i don't need to pay any monthly installment to service my loan - USD10,000!!! 

You only need to fork out money if the situation happens: You are asked to buy a USD10,000 house, with passive income of USD1000 with NON-zero-down-payment. Lets say, the NON-Zero-down-payment is USD1,000 and you will need to fork out this amount. If you don't have the money, you can loan from the bank, and the bank will charge a fixed monthly 10% of the total loan which in this case is USD1,000 * 10% = USD100. Okey, now your expenses has increased USD100.

And you get to sell your property always at a profit when you hit certain spot in the "wheel of fortune".

Now, do you notice why the game does not make sense at all?..As compared to real life.

No, it is not the statement that you always will get to make a profit out a property. (Bubble housings do prolong and never burst at all for a long time, so in this game, it is OKEY to assume this to simplify the game).

No..it is not the monthly fixed loan interest concept - this is to simplify the game. Even though, it means that you will never be able to pay off this monthly expense, as long as you don't clear the bank loan.

The problem is here: There is no interest charge on the remaining mortgage aka the USD10,000 (zero down payment) or the USD9,000 (if there a USD1,000 down payment for the USD10,000 mortgage)!!! It make sense, if in real life it is possible not to pay the mortgage if someone is speculating property during pre-launching like what most Malaysian speculators are doing right now. Where property can be bought with zero to 10% only down payment, and zero interest until completion. And then you sell the property for a profit during sub-sales. But the game, assumes that you can get passive income aka rent payment while the building is not yet up!! - because there is no interest on the mortgage loan itself :P

I hope this make sense, I guess it is hard unless you yourself played the game.

So I use this illogical fact to my advantage, just kept on buying "Big Deal" (which has bigger passive income) than "Small Deals", make sure down-payment interest is not too big to avoid making my net income negative. Remember the 10% charge if you a bank loan for down payment only AND NOT the 10% on the remaining mortgages. So imagine how much interest free mortgage debt i can incur to get a high passive income to corner the game.

So imagine how many, "Big deal" i must clinch to win in the shortest time possible. The only problem is that the chance you get to clinch a "property buying scenario" is not high. You get the chance to buy/sell "stock" which is actually quite slow to win the 1st round as the objective is to get USD10,000 of passive income not USD10,000 or even USD1Million of cash. Although, it helps to have a lot of cash, so that you don't need to borrow money for the down payment, etc which will lower the net income.

So the moral of the story is that I always get to buy properties in the game with zero-down payment, I will surely win the game in the shortest time possible!!

My rating for this game is 2/10.

Pro: Nice animation for the 1st 30 minutes.

Cons: Repetitive after 30 minutes, Illogical sometimes, cannot set better objectives to win the rat-race and fast track. Too easy to win if the you get property buying events during the "wheel of fortune" rat race.

Not sure how the 2nd edition CASHFLOW 202 can fare anything better since 101 is not so fun.


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6 comments

  1. ChampDog // 9:45 PM  

    Huh, don't really get it. Probably is the loop hole or bug in the game? Where do you get this game? Is it free or you need to buy for it?

    There is such thing called virtual stock game which I find it more practical. It is exactly emulate the current real stock market. But this is only for stock trading investment.

  2. Kris // 11:27 PM  

    ChampDog, it is not a bug. It looks like a fundamental flaw in the game. :P

    It is not free. My friend read Robert Kiyosaki's book and the book as expected recommended the game. So he asked me to check it out. Google is your friend (0.0)

    I never read his book before, but his book is still in my reading list queue.hahaha.

  3. ChampDog // 11:45 PM  

    I read his book before and wrote a review on that before if not mistaken. It is a pretty good book and his style is more focusing on attacking in personal finance.

  4. kampunginvestor // 12:12 PM  

    Lately i have not have much time to do reading or play those investment games. Busy with work.

    Nonetheless Robert's book are quite good. If you have growing up children buy his book and let them read. Will help them in their future for sure.! :)

  5. Kris // 1:24 AM  

    Luckily for him, CashFLOW202 improved in the animation speed. If not, i will not even touch it.Nevertheless, it still has the fundamental flaw that i mentioned in the post.

    @ChampDog, I will read his book in the near future. Playing stocks in a game is very very different from playing with real money :P haha.

    @KampungInvestor, work is work. Need to upgrade and equip yourself also to reach your financial freedom. Most important of all is to take care of your HEALTH :)

  6. ChampDog // 2:55 PM  

    Yes, health. Totally agree with that. :)