Tag Archives: Games

Can’t Take It with Me

imagesSeveral folks have asked me about my current investment strategy; so I thought I would write it down.  This is not a promise about how I will do it forever.  It is not a recommendation about how other folks should invest.  It really is just what I am doing now.

I continue to buy new players.  I buy a handful of Fresh Faces each day; generally from lists provided by Gerrit Bes and Paul Steinbrueck.  Generally I work from the lists as a time saver.  I will sometimes take a look a Dennis Dittrich’s suggestions also.

The vast majority of my purchases are through insideEAV.  I am familiar with the other tools, but this one fits the way I think.  For folks with a less technical background, I generally suggest Avenue.io.   With a reasonable sized portfolio, a portfolio management tool is important; otherwise, the pain inflicted by your portfolio is too high. I have heard the complaints about tools making the game impersonal.  I disagree.  The tools free me from the routine purchase tasks, and allow me to have time to actually engage.  I am aware of the folks who misuse the tools and act like jerks.  Upon careful observation, I am confident that the tool is not the problem.

In the morning as my portfolio is loading, I check the Fresh Face graduates by looking at stocks that are 7 to 8 days old.   When I look at the Fresh Face graduates, the portfolio size is probably the biggest factor determining my buy/sell decision. I know that without investments, EA is just too tough & expensive; so a small portfolio means they are likely to quit soon.  Positive price graph, dividend size, and activity are the other factors that I consider.  I will buy 500 to 1,500 of these depending on my cash state and my guestimate of their potential.

The next thing that I check is for folks who own at least 1 of me.  I sort that list by Their shares – My shares to find the folks who have matched or exceeded my investment in them.  I max or over match all of those and typically anyone within 100 or so shares of matching my investment. I next run the sort to find everyone who has an investment in me and has at least 10 EA actions this week.  I buy some of all of those folks; typically 10 shares.  That is usually between 500 and 1,000 stocks depending on where I am with my portfolio upgrade.

I next run a sort for everyone where I have an investment who has at least 10 EA actions.  I buy some (usually 5 shares) of all of those folks if they are in the top 5,000 dividends.  If you are not invested in me & not in the top 5,000 stocks, there is not much point in additional investment.  As I approach 5,000 stocks in my portfolio, this becomes an issue to manage; since EA only pays dividends on your top 5,000.

If I have loose eaves left in the afternoon, I will typically work on maxing more of the high dividend stocks.  I believe that I am maxed in the top 250; so I just keep working down that list. I understand my current investment strategy does not maximize my income or wealth.  My net wealth is around 570M, and I receive 2.3M in daily dividends.  I am unclear about any incentive to dramatically focus on growing those numbers.

I notice that my regular investments also encourage folks to buy back.  I am convinced this is the reason for my slightly embarrassing price.  This also seems to drive my EA network score a bit.  The primary reason driving this is a hope that my investments provide income and encouragement to a wide range of players.  I remember how helpful regular investments were to me as I started.

A somewhat amusing story is related.  Someone complained about my small purchases pointing out that I had plenty of eaves to just max my investment in him.  A quick look at his divs and stock chart revealed that he was not the highest quality investment.  I told him that if I used his suggestion, that he wouldn’t see an investment from me for at least several months while I was maxing in higher scoring stocks.

Again I will tell anyone that is bothered by my purchases, it is quite easy to get me to stop.  If you will max your investment in me at 1,500; then I will match your investment within a day.  That makes the annoying investments from me stop…at least until Dups releases more Pie!

This strategy also explains why I deal harshly with folks who sell my shares.  Since I always invest back generously in my investors, I have had a number of folks who have tried to use my kindness against me.  They invest in me to produce a buy back; then they sell my shares.  I don’t understand that strategy.  EA is a game based on mutual success.  Folks who misunderstand this principle of mutual success often look like rock stars for a time; then their sins catch up with them. I noticed with amusement someone well known for selling his investors wondering why his share price continued to fall.

One thing that I am certain of with Empire Avenue, you can’t take the eaves with you.  You can take the pure gold of the relationships that you build into the world to make a real & positive difference out there.

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Road Repairs

public_rocket_fuelOne of the really popular pastimes on the Avenue is complaining.  Is Empire Avenue going to survive or are they just going slowly down the drink?  Are they spending too much time with GamrRank? Why don’t they ever reply to support tickets? Why is this or that feature broken?  Why didn’t they implement that great idea that I gave to Dups? I am sure you can come up with even more, but really that is not my point today.  I think that sometimes we focus on our frustration because we are passionate about this platform.

Passion is great, but there is a danger that passion blinds.  I am not going to talk about my love life; even though that could provide numerous amusing examples.  I am entering my tenth month; so I am neither old nor new.  I am past the beginning honeymoon excitement, but I have not lost hope like some of the folks who started with the intriguing site beta.  I am a bit jaded by promises not kept, but I see signs of progress on Empire Avenue.  I think the road is getting smoother.  I thought that perhaps recounting a few of those might provide some eye opening perspective.

1. Mission Throttling/Captcha When I started on the Avenue, I was poor!  I know just like everyone else,  but the only realistic way to make eaves was to do missions.  I did a ton.  I dreaded that random, discouraging, horrible message…”We have noticed…” I am pretty sure that what Dups meant was that he hated me and wanted me to be poor forever!  Every time I was in mission time out or my own personal EA hell, there would be a fistful of really big missions that were super easy to do!  I waited and stewed.  I heard that it was to eliminate the scripts that harvested eaves, but I was convinced it was an evil plot to make me quit.  Moving to a Captcha solution is much better and more fair.  Cheers for Dups promising and delivering on this one!

2. Mission Warning to Thieves Posting a warning on the mission screen to discourage theft   I am still concerned about thieving…wait…just positive stuff today…The warning seemed to have a really positive impact at first.  Although it may have diminished a bit, still a step in the right direction.  Cheers for the EA team.  At least they understand there is a problem and seem to be looking for the right answer.

3. Dups Engagement  These days we often see Dups engaging the community in FB as well as EA forums.  He usually is taking a beating…why don’t folks tag him with a compliment occasionally?  He keeps coming back, listening, and explaining.  He even replied to a suggestion by saying thanks, but I need to see how this fits with our overall strategy, a wise answer instead of the easy one.  Give Dups credit here.  He takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

4. Community Redux  I am a bit unclear about the big plan for communities, but I do see some differences.  If nothing else, give EA credit for identifying they had a problem.  They seem to be trying to clean things up a bit and getting ready for something of a relaunch.  The credit here is being smart enough to realize that the real engagement was happening off site and trying to figure a way to bring it back.

5. Buy Screen Update  I see some cosmetic changes in the buy screen, but the huge thing I appreciate is that it does not hang endlessly like was typical before.  I am unclear if the screen or the underlying code for buying or user close or what.  I really don’t care what or how they fixed it.  I am smiling because I can buy stocks in the morning without waiting forever.  I bet this was a big one that most folks don’t even think about now that it works.  Good job EA team.

6. Leader Board Improvements  I noticed some cosmetic changes to the leader boards.  The indexes getting dropped saddened a few folks, but here is hoping that more meaningful boards are on the way.  I am personally looking for a Share Price, Net Wealth, & Portfolio Wealth for players before their first anniversary!

Zark7. New Awards  As things have grown along the Avenue, the initial awards were left behind by the leaders.  EA has done a bit of adapting…things like an award for 500,000,000 (e) in Net Wealth that I noticed on a profile I watch carefully.  Let’s mark this one a hopeful work in progress.

8. New Pie  This seems to be easy and required to continue to grow the game for the top of the leaderboard.  Now that I have caught up a bit, I can say it is a great thing.  I was worried about catching diabetes with so much pie flying around there for a few weeks.  I did think it was extremely awesome that EA provided a pie upgrade to go along with the last [X]Pendapalooza event.

9. Mission Dashboard Creating a dashboard where you can see and manage all your missions is a great improvement.  Fewer wasted clicks and errors in creating missions are a welcome result of this innovation.  This is a great start to making missions easier to create and manage.

10. Owning the Problems  In the few months that I have been around, there has been a sea change in the attitude from the EA staff.  I used to see ignoring, defending, explaining, and denying as the primary communication from EA.  Dups gave back eaves when he saw missions that did not act as promised.  Dups owns they stink at replying to tickets. Dups restrains promises.  Dups has lead this effort.  It feels like a real commitment to me.  I believe EA wants growth and improvement.

a. New User Onboarding  I have not set up a new account; so I only have rumors on this one.  I hear there are significant improvements.  I notice fewer accounts without avatars; so something is better there.  If that process is smoother, more folks will survive the chaos of initiation.

The Empire Avenue team is small.  They seem to be listening and trying diligently.  I know that everyone has a list of suggestions and concerns.   I am glad to listen, but what I am really interested in today…What have you noticed in the past month or few by way of  repaired bumps on Empire Avenue?

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