Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back with Good News and a New Investment Game

First of all, I would like to apologize for the delayed blog post. I was busy managing a few investments and starting a new one that I momentarily forgot to update my blog. Fret not, for here, without further ado is the second installment in my investment learning games.

Okay. I believe this game is perfect for people who are just starting in investment. As a said earlier, I was busy setting up a new business that hopefully would prove profitable sometime in the future. I can confidently say that my motivation for finally getting off my bum and start investing can be credited to the creator of this game. 

I am talking about Cashflow101 and its main man, Robert Kiyosaki.

Robert Kiyosaki wrote the hugely popular Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The bestselling book helped thousands of individuals find their passion for business. What I like about Mr. Kiyosaki is his ability to translate complex business concepts into easily digestible information. He is also able to instill in his readers the mindset of the rich that helped the rise to a financially free life.

The game takes the concepts introduced in the books and puts them into fun and practical applications. In order to win, a player must earn enough passive income to leave the Rat Race and join the FastTrack. To do this, players must make investment decisions. This can be through buying real state assets, joining a network marketing company, or buying stocks and other investment vehicles. 

The player wins when s/he is finally able to buy his dream and retire. 

Sound pretty simple right? Well yes and no.

You see, players compete to be the first one to buy their dream. There are a myriad of dreams to choose from. They range from world tours, planting your own forest, and even donating to charity. However, since it’s a race, each player must carefully make sound business decisions to develop their net worth efficiently.

This is where it gets interesting. 

While going through the game, two guides will occasionally pop out; a smart Rat and a pragmatic Turtle. They both give advices that they think are the best way to invest. It is the player’s decision which advice to take that would eventually get him or her out of the rat race.

The advices are very educational. They make players realize that many investment beliefs are counterintuitive in reality and serves to slow the players from gaining financial freedom. As the player masters the game, he or she eventually learns  

What’s great about this game is its user friendliness. It can be picked up master by people who have no business background in just one run through of the tutorial. Of course, I recommend playing it more than once as it is both educational and fun.

Cashflow was initially sold as a board game. However, for those who can’t be troubled to manually move the game pieces, Cashflow also has a PC version. Being a fairly simple game it can be played on most PC and Mac computers.          

Cashflow 101 is the predecessor to the monopoly games we all recognize and eventually grow frustrated with after 1 player runs away with everything while we spend our time in the jail square again. Its sequel, Cashflow 202 is a more advanced version that focuses on technical investing. It introduces more intricacies such as stock commands and real estate volatility.

So go find a Cashflow group near you. It is better to learn with a few people as you can better exchange ideas and maybe become inspired to start a little start up of your own.

That’s it for now.

N.B. I decided to spruce this site a bit by intermittently posting interesting stuff I found on this web. Watch out for them as I’m sure they’ll be quite amusing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Game That Teach Investors to profit in Wall Street

To outsiders, Wall Street has always been an enigma. On one hand, it’s like a hallowed ground where people worship the market and glorify the risk takers, where traders follow every stock movement to an almost compulsive degree. On the other it resembles a glorified Las Vegas casino floor, a place where one can make or lose fortunes in a span of minutes or even seconds. 

Today I would like to introduce you all to a little game that teaches new traders how to navigate wall street. Sort of like the local boxing gym, this game is the proving grounds for potential Wall Street champions. Where prodigies hone their craft before setting out in the real world and make real world money.

The game is called Wall Street Survivor. It is a stock simulation game where players trade virtual stocks using virtual money.

The game’s premise is pretty simple. After creating an account, the investor is given $100,000 in cash and another $100,000 in credit. He or she may then then pick which stocks to buy from the $200,000 capital by putting the stock symbol in the search box. There is a symbol look-up tool in case the investor is unfamiliar with the symbol. A virtual stock broker is also on hand to sell, short, hold, or limit a stock. It’s similar to fantasy football only instead of managing your roster you keep track of commodities and futures. Additionally, instead of waiting for news of injuries, you look out for buy outs, mergers, and industry developments.

The game’s interface is pretty intuitive. The dashboard shows integral data needed to help stock traders make informed decisions. Charts also show the trader’s current portfolio value and buying power. Moreover, every stock movement is monitored. Open positions complete with changes in stock prices accurate to within 15 minutes of real time trading can be accessed all on the same page.

More importantly, there is an investment guide that contains tutorials on different investment terms and subjects. New investors would find this very helpful as the guides are written by different investment experts. Similarly, experienced day traders and long term investors would find the game challenging because the game simulates actual markets, and runs in only a 15 minute delay from real time.

In the original Wall Street film, Gordon Gecko famously said that greed is good. Setting moral responsibilities aside, it may be indeed good. The only problem is with the economic crunch we’re experiencing right now, people aren’t exactly jumping the gun on every market movement that happens on Wall Street and indeed are not yet knowledgeable to take advantage of them. This brings us back to the game, because the game simulates Wall Street trading, the investor can experiment with trades he or she won’t normally make in the real world. This gives the investor insight and confidence in his or her next real world stock trade.

So try Wall Street Survivor and brace yourself for stock trading.

Part two of investment games will come up in about two days.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Playing to Win

     A good way of mastering investment is by thinking of it as a game. I find that playing games makes grasping the concepts easier because investment games immerse the player in a practical setting. As a business student, I understand how bland and dry some management and business theories are. Too often, the time spent memorizing names and concepts can be better spent gaining practical knowledge by applying them in real world scenarios. By playing games, new investors learn in a fun and risk less way because these games show how investment concepts function and relate to each other in real life. After all, experience really is the best teacher, especially when it comes to games where you don't have to spend real money to learn real world skills.

     It is for these reasons why I will present – in 3 installments – 3 games that helped me learn the ropes of different investment strategies. Each game simulates a different type of investment vehicle that at first would seem complicated to the uninitiated. In time though, the player will come to realize that these investment vehicles are, in fact, child's play when fully understood.

    Of course, playing games alone aren't going to make you master of the investment game. You need to complement it with study and research. Regularly brush up on your reading. Keep in touch with the current market trend, read informative websites (or blogs such as this one), and try to actually invest in real world money even if it is still a few dollars stocks here and there.
     The first installment is going to be about stocks. More specifically, stock exchange. In about one or two days, I will tell you guys about the best stock market simulators that would help you navigate the labyrinth that is Wall Street. One that will help you profit whether you’re in bearish or bullish markets.  

     So stay in tune guys. And happy investing!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Step 1:

Hi Guys,

I decided to create this blog as a way of chronicling my journey in smart and profitable investing. Hopefully, this blog can also inspire my soon to be readers (or followers) to start their own adventure and invest smartly.  I know that there are people like myself who want to start investing but doesn't know where to begin. Like the philosopher Lao-Tzu once said "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." So this is it. The first entry in my adventure to become a successful investor.

This blog is mainly on centered investing the stock market and Forex. Occassionally, I will also post my thoughts on small businesses, real estate or even marketable skills.

I would give tips and tricks on how to profit in stock market. A caveat: I am not a stock savant like George Soros or Warren Buffett. However, I do believe that since I'll be showing new investors the thought process involved when choosing which stocks to pick, they will be able to make informed decisions of their own instead of joining the herd and just buying or selling depending on the current trend.This, I think, is more useful in the long run because the new investor continues to build up the knowledge and skill set that would help him or her gain confidence in their stock market strategy.

So thanks for reading. Follow me and good luck!