Monthly Archives: July 2013

Double-Ment

ImageDups Mentoring Announcement

Dups has an interesting blog post about a new mentoring program. I am not really sure what to make of this. I really don’t see this making any difference to my plans with this group; so forward is the direction I plan.

Here is the post: http://blog.empireavenue.com/2013/07/31/announcement-the-empire-avenue-mentors-program/

As always, I will let you know when or if there is additional information.

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Mapping Madness

images (12)I get a ton of questions that start, “What is the best…” Usually folks are asking about choosing an investment, running a mission, buying upgrades, or focusing attention on a network. The answer that always seems to fit is…it depends.

The great challenge of EA is that there are so many options. When you are starting it seems almost impossible to choose. Some folks get so upset they actually quit the game because they have too many choices. Folks get anxious because they don’t want to foul up. When you begin, the game seems really complicated & frustrating.

I can greatly simplify it for you. Make a plan. Getting to a location can be terribly difficult if you don’t have an address, directions, or a map. If you can figure out why you are playing EA, then creating a solid strategy to get there is reasonably easy.

Often we have competing goals; so balancing them will take some thought. Some of the goals are in the game: share price, wealth or dividends. Some of the goals are out there in the world: making cash, advertising your business, networking with folks, learning something, or raising your Klout score. Figure out what is important, set some priorities, plan a strategy.

The best way to play Empire Avenue is your way. Listen to all those folks who try to tell you the ‘right’ way to play, but remember that your collection of goals & gifts are unique. If you know why you are doing things, the doing becomes easy.

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Day Trading

ImageI know some folks who have tried to earn a living day trading. That is when you invest in a stock and sell it in the same day to take advantage of the upward price movement in the share price. It is a risky strategy that generally does not work well. The costs and bad bets tend to eventually grind your capital away and tend to leave traders poor.

I know some folks on Empire Avenue who try to use a similar strategy to grow their net wealth. They believe that they can ‘win’ Empire Avenue by buying low and selling high. This theory seems to make a lot of sense, but somehow these folks end up with their share price and wealth stagnant or even falling.

The first problem with buying low and selling high is that folks get hostile. For most, our name is our account. An investment on EA implies a relationship. The EA investment metaphor is called friends or followers by other social media platforms. When you sell an investor, she will be upset and sell you also; often blocking you. When your selling creates a trail of broken relationships, it is tough to succeed.

The second problem is getting the timing right. When is the right time to sell a stock? Trends in share price on Empire Avenue are dramatically positive. I have a few sliders in my portfolio, but generally the EA algorithm encourages an upward price trend. Why pay commission on selling a stock whose price is rising over the long haul?

Ridiculously high dividend returns…daily! There is no real world investment that pays like an EA stock. Even crummy EA investments pay nicely. Empire Avenue will only pay dividends on your top 5,000 investments. Today the low end of that top 5,000 investments pays 0.31 (e) per share. If you want to eventually maximize your daily income, you need to own at 1,600 of every profile that pays 0.31 (e) per share. If you sell someone whose dividend is at least that high, you will need to buy them back some day. EA charges commission on buys and selling (up to 10% when you buy a bunch of shares); so you will have to pay that commission 3 times (your first buy, your sell, your re-buy).

By this I don’t mean that you should never sell. When folks quit, I sell. Frankly quitting their social media activity is more important than even quitting EA. Many excellent paying stocks don’t participate in EA today. See (e)PIRILLO at a share price of 961 and paying a div of 3.77 for example. If you quit & your dividend drops below 0.30 (e), I will tend to sell.

When folks behave badly with my missions, I generally sell & block them. It is possible to steal more than you are worth to me. More important I think those sort of folks are bad for the community. Blocking them will make it tough for them to participate in the game. I want the rascals out.

Finally I sell when I catch folks selling me, I dump them also. I send a message to be sure it wasn’t just an error. I also block them because I use portfolio management tools to automate my buying. You cannot see who sold you through Empire Avenue directly. That information creates a fair amount of ill will; so they choose to hide that. You can find the information with the third party portfolio management tools.

If you want to grow your wealth and share price, invest in quality stocks and hang onto them. That advice works even beyond the Avenue.

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Funny Business

ImageThere are as many reasons for playing Empire Avenue as there are players. Some folks are lonely, some are trying to make a quick buck, some are passionate about a cause, and some of us are just a bit confused. Surely the one goal that we can all agree on is that it’s good to have some fun.

To suggest that having fun is important is not to trivialize any of the other motivations. I don’t mean to minimize the work or cash that many spend to further their EA journey. I do want to remind everyone that you can do a ton of great things with a smile on your face.

Please, as you engage on Empire Avenue, find a bit of tolerance for folks with a different perspective. Your goals are important to you, but other goals for other folks are also valid. 

Try to avoid being annoying. I know for some of us that is tough, but a good effort will make the Avenue a better place. Try to avoid being snarky and judgmental. Give folks some space and opportunity. I have some news that may shock a few…you are not the center of the universe, and I am reasonably certain that you don’t know everything. 

Laugh at the small irritations you find today. Grin at your own foibles. Share a joke. Encourage someone. Figure out a way to help others have some fun on the Avenue. Who knows…that might even be a strategy for you to find a bit of fun also.

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Getting High on the Avenue

ImageI often get asked how I got such a high share price so quickly.  I always laugh about that question; because I feel like it is the least and last thing that I have any control over.  I am detailed about how to build net wealth.  I am clear about how to grow dividends.  With share price, some days I ride a rocket ship and others a donkey cart.  Generally speaking I don’t do much different with my account.  I also don’t worry much about my price.  My only concession to concern about price is that I do work to avoid “red” days…I guess actually “gray” days is more accurate.  Dups decided that red freaked out folks; so he changed the down indicator to gray.  Up a little or up a lot doesn’t change much for me, but I have seen how price decline can feed on itself and really crater a stock.

I notice several of you asking about improving your share price. It seems that you are trying to figure out how to get folks to do something for you…I mean buy your shares. My advice about that, not just about Empire Avenue or Social Media, is that I get a ton more folks doing things for me, when I first do something for them.

Buy folks who are active investors. You will recognize them by seeing their EA activity and noticing that the number of investments in their portfolio is greater than their shareholder number.

If you can’t match share buys with your investors, find some other way to say thanks. Like a few of their FB posts, favorite a photo, or retweet a bit for them. That will encourage additional investments. Get a reputation as someone who is nice & helpful.  It is absolutely amazing how many folks will invest in you because you are nice.

I guess my idea is that if you find a way to contribute to the community the share buys will come.

Folks often ask me if a ‘buy me’ mission is the right thing to do.  I guess my answer about that is…wait for it…you know it is coming….yes, you guessed it…I think that answer is…it depends.  As a new profile, there will be days when you get impacted by folks selling you, by folks delisting from the Avenue creating refunds, and even by a low activity day.  Any or all of these things can conspire to create a falling share price.  If that happens to you everyday; then you need to examine your strategy to see what you are doing wrong.  Fix the fundamental problem for long term success.

If you are faced with an occasional, ugly day (for me that is a turn with a loss of greater than 0.50 (e) ); then I think that a buy me mission is a reasonable response.   The strategy for the mission is a bit complicated.  If you limit your mission to shareholders, you are less likely to have mission thief issues.  If you limit your mission to non-shareholders, you will find new investors.  If you are poor & in pain, doing a shareholder mission probably makes the most sense.  They are folks already on your team; so they will invest to protect their investment.

Sometimes folks fall in love with buy me missions.  I watch several folks who daily (a few multiple times a day) run buy me missions.  I have never spent any of my eaves to buy these folks, but you know that I am maxed in them.  Having to spend two eaves for each eave invested is a painful way to grow.   Also folks who just bought because of a mission seem to be quick to sell.   The problem that you create is folks expect your buy mission; so they never think to spend any of their own eaves to buy you.  That makes for really ugly days if you forget or can’t afford to create your normal buy me mission.

The other thing that I notice is that it is much easier to have a negative impact on your share price.  If you sell your investors, expect they will do the same to you.  That causes everyone’s share price to fall.  If you cheat on missions, folks get mad, provide negative feedback,  and block you.  That will cause your price to fall.  If you in any other way act like a jerk, folks will avoid investing in you.

Treasure your investors and treat them right.  They will help you get high on the Avenue!

 

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Crochety

I gImageuess I am feeling crotchety today, but I got a bit frustrated reading my wall shouts this morning. Don’t misunderstand. I appreciate the engagement. I know the shouts are good for my & the shouter’s EA score. I encourage all of you to leave shouts, but good grief Charley Brown! A little common courtesy and good sense would be really helpful.

1. Don’t paste onto my wall a request to buy back when I am maxed in you. It really tempts me to sell; particularly if you are not the Avenue’s finest investment.

2. Don’t spam me with your latest scam, offer, or whatever self promotion thing you are into. If you really have something worth anything, engage with me & get to know me; then you can judge if I am really a fit for your offer. BTW…not a fit for the MLM stuff for what it’s worth.

3. Don’t tell me to connect with you on all your Social Media accounts. If you really want to connect with me, perhaps a shout that says I would like to connect with you on some network, would you be willing to accept my request? Polite, permissive and putting the work on the side of the person who wants to make the connection…seems reasonable and someone I might actually enjoy.

4. Don’t get ahead of yourself. I admit that I found some humor a few weeks ago when someone who was still a Fresh Face shouted on my wall that I needed to watch the Empire Avenue tips video she had made to find some information that would really help me grow my account. Really was that smart to shout on my wall?

Wall shouts…just like any conversation in real life need to be polite. They need to at least appear to be a real effort to communicate from a real person to a real person. Keep the self promotion stuff down to a dull roar. Too much crap is a really good way to find yourself muted or even blocked. Remember what your mom taught you…be nice to everyone.

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Name Calling

ImageEA has just released a bunch of changes to the Terms of Service (TOS) that relate to your account that you need to consider.

1. If you have an EA Personal account, you must use your real name. This is similar to Facebook’s TOS. The avatar photo should be an image of you, and the social networks that are attached must be yours. Business accounts on EA also include causes, nonprofits, and other associations. Again the social networks should match the name of the business. Dups has been clear there is no effort to trap folks; just to ensure that accounts are real.

2. EA names will now only contain numbers or characters. This is really a good change. Many of you with “interesting” names do not realize how often folks can’t find you with a search because of your “cute” name. If I can’t find you, I can’t invest. You can change your name yourself, or EA will fix it for you.

3. EA will generally not allow you to change your ticker. This has been a bit of an issue; since folks who have acted poorly swap tickers to try to hide their guilt.

4. You can’t transfer your account without EA’s written permission.

5. EA is going to figure a way to notify your shareholders whenever there is a material change to your account. Things like changing Social Media Networks come to mind.

A really interesting thing for me is the small detail that Dups adds about enforcement of these policies. EA will notify you if a question arises. You have 3 days to respond. EA plans to suspend accounts…watch this word…”suspected” of any violation of the TOS. If you don’t respond in 3 days, they may at their discretion delete your account. It may take 3 weeks or more for EA to review any data regarding your suspended account.

I suspect if your account is suspended for 3 weeks, the damage will be catastrophic. I think the news is keep it clean out there folks. As in all reputation based situations, even an allegation is really tough to overcome.

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Response-ability

Wlion_zebra3ith the new EA rating system and mission FAQ, figuring out exactly how to respond to mission takers is a bit of a headache.  I am not saying that I have it completely figured out here.  Rating mission takers is still a major pain because the user interface is so difficult; so let me admit here that I don’t always rate my missions.  But when I do provide feedback, I have arrived at a plan.  I put folks who do my missions into four categories.

1.  If you do what I wanted you to do, I give positive feedback.  If you are spectacular, I try to figure a way to say thanks.  That is usually a big investment if I can.  Sometimes I bounce over to a network for some affirmative engagement.  Sometimes just a warm place in my hear where I wait watchfully for an opportunity.  I know I will see these folks on the leader boards.

2.  If you do my mission inadequately, but you do something; then I usually just don’t provide feedback.  You also become a candidate for my personal hall of shame.  When I have an opportunity where I can help or kick sand, offenders should not be surprised by my choice.   Examples of this are folks who engage with 1 post on a bomb request, folks who only buy a few shares from a buy mission, and folks who take a comment mission and reply with “nice post.”  Stingy folks like this struggle on EA.

3.  If you don’t do my mission, I will try to message you first.  My message is an effort to give the alleged offender an opportunity.  Generally I asked if he had some difficulty with my mission.  If you have messaging turned off, I assume that you are pond scum.  I will believe almost any story, if you will reply & then comply.  I will notice and watch you carefully.   No reply means that you are intentionally evil.  If you don’t have the network required to do the mission attached to your EA account, I assume your character is flawed.  That will get you a negative rating from me.

4.  Most folks get one chance with a negative rating.  If it happens again, I go beyond negative feedback.  I report and block the miscreant.  I also belong to a number of groups who share information about folks who seem to struggle with the  EA social contract.  If I am aware the offender has misbehaved with others, they lose their first strike and just get blocked instantly.

These are my ideas.  How do you respond to the folks on Empire Avenue who don’t act responsibly?

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Balance

ImageI have found in my real life, there are a ton of things that I want to do, buy, and have. I have also found that my bank account is not always perfectly supportive of me trying to do everything all at once. 

Folks often ask how do I…raise my share price, wealth, income, friends, followers, investments, ROI, dividends or whatever. I actually have some suggestions for just about any of those. When I start to explain how to do any of those, folks usually stop me with…BUT…! They begin to realize that an exclusive focus on one of these will have consequences somewhere else.

I guess what everyone is looking for is some magic trick that will improve all the good stuff, be fast, and really easy. You may be surprised to know that I have this secret. Actually it is not much of a secret at all. My trick has the added benefit of making Dups very happy. Just go to the Empire Avenue shop and buy a ton of eaves! What…you wanted it to be free also…lol! 

The point of my silliness is that progress down Empire Avenue is largely a balancing act. Buying back investors will help your share price, but your daily income may not grow as fast. Spending all your eaves on missions may increase the dividends you pay, but your income is not likely to increase. You have to figure out the things that are important and balance your spending & effort to support those things. Just be mindful to spend your income in the places that you truly value…that sounds nearly scriptural.

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With a B?

ImageI got to a big milestone yesterday: a Billion in net wealth. I remember just a few months ago Kevin Green became the first billionaire on the Avenue. Several folks have asked how I achieved this so quickly. I was also trying to decide what kind of mission to run to celebrate. Those loose thoughts came together to remind me about something really important.

None of us make this journey down Empire Avenue alone. I think of the days when I was mad, frustrated, discouraged, and ready to quit; then someone would reach out with a kind word or a nice mission for me. I am not sure how they knew or why they were so kind. In fact, I was trying to make a list of all the folks who have helped. I quit in embarrassment. So many folks have helped me that I know I will foul up and forget someone if I tried to say thanks to them individually.

I don’t mean this as just some random feel good statement. Yesterday I was watching my wealth number closely; since there wasn’t a lot of margin. The funny thing that I noticed was that number went up over a million while I was watching. I wasn’t doing missions or anything; so I felt a bit confused. I finally realized that the gains were from my investment appreciation. The fact is I gain a ton yesterday because the success of others. When their share price rose, my wealth did also. 

If the only person you care about is the nut behind your keyboard, you will stunt your own growth. Do more on a mission than required. Encourage someone who seems to be struggling. Find a way to be nice to some folks. Generosity gets rewarded on Empire Avenue…and perhaps even beyond the Avenue.

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