Your questions and comments, and our answers
Question Answer

It's great you have the Hall of Fame stuff, although we have trouble figuring out exactly what goes into the Investing IQ. 


There are a number of factors that make up the formula that calculates a players IIQ. These factors include the number of times you have played the game (we work on the assumption that it will take a player two or three games to get up to speed with how the game is played), how fast you take your turns (faster turns improve IIQ), and most importantly, a players wealth at the end of the game. 

We also look back at recent games to see how a player scored, so it's not only the last game but other recent games also that matter.

After three games players should see an increase in their IIQ, and after 10 games they should be scoring highly. 

Having looked at the playing habits of the Golden Guru Club members, the reasons they have an investment IIQ of 160 are:  they trade very fast (probably each turn takes less than 15 seconds); they move to a +$55k salary position early in the game; and they make "brave and bold" investment positions when markets look to have recovered from a downturn. - Frank Newman


We don't understand the logic behind how you are restricted from buying derivatives by value. 


In the game a player is always able to buy a minimum of one derivative contract but any more than this is restricted. The restriction is that the combined transaction and deposit value amount can't be any more than 5% of the player's net worth wealth. In real-world investing there is no restriction, but I think it is fair to say that most derivative traders don't punt any more than 5% of their wealth on any one time because they are so speculative (they in effect have 20 to 1 leverage, compared to a maximum of 10 to 1 in this game for property and 2 to 1 for shares).

Derivatives are useful as a hedge to reduce risk (as detailed in the Rule Book) and the a 5% wealth limit does not inhibit them doing so.  

The other thing is that I did not really want to turn the game into a derivatives contest. The wealth accumulation strategy that this game tends towards is gaining a high paying job, investing savings in property and shares buy buying low and selling high, while using risk minimisation techniques like hedging. - Frank Newman


The trend lines on the graphs don't mean anything that we can figure out. The trend lines show the past trend, nothing more. In the long-run the trend lines will be slightly positive for the share and property markets so a downward trend line is likely to be reversed in the long-run as prices recover. - Frank Newman


It would be great to get clarification on what is an appropriate job to apply for. 


The most important factor in deciding whether a new job application is successful is the % difference in salary (education and time in the job are also important but not as important). For example if you are on $44k, and apply for a new $100k job there is virtually no chance of getting the job, but if it were $47k the chances are very high. In other words, applying for jobs with a small % increment will work better than going for a big hit. Remember, in the game, the first salary target to aim for is $55k as this is the threshold level that kicks in more staff shares (15,000 instead of 5,000). - Frank Newman


I am running the game under Windows 7. Every time I start it, it asks me to register, which I've already done. Also, the market data graphs don't update during game play, though all other parts of the game seem to be working fine. Are these known bugs? Do you have a patch?


Thanks for this. New security features included in Windows 7 may affect the security features within the game. To remedy this, to run the game highlight the Investment Game icon on your desktop, right click the mouse and click “Run as administrator”.  The game will function normally. We will address this issue in our regular updates. (To receive updates, make sure you are online when you start a new game. The update will load automatically.)  - Frank Newman
Just wonder how often the database of the game will be updated online in order to track the real life experience. - Tony

A fresh data base is generated every time the game is loaded… no two games are the same.  As you can imagine, I have played the game thousands of times and every game is unique and interesting… I still get a buzz out of playing it!   We are planning to do updates each month, and then add new features on a less frequent basis as we develop them as players give us feedback. I am sure you will not only be pleased with it… but blown away with how “real” it is.  - Frank Newman



Does the game run on a Mac? The INVESTMENT game has been programmed to run on Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista or later operating systems. If you wish to run the game on an Apple computer you must be using a virtual environment such as Parallels or VMWare, or dual-booting software such as BootCamp. - Kim Shpeherd


When a player lands on Auction Property, how many attempts to buy or sell a property can they make? One or numerous?


Just one. If I have a property and prices are a bit on the high side I usually try to sell at market price plus a margin. If prices look cheap, and I have the cash available, I will try to buy a property at a discount of at least 10% so if I resell the property at my next turn I can cover my selling costs and leave a profit margin. - Frank Newman
Frank's predictions are not accurate, he continued to say that the share-market was stable, yet it successively dropped from $1.12 to $0.45. As with all advice there must be a time frame attached to predictions: Short-term? Medium term? Long term? In the game the advice is based on medium and long term, so the immediate changes may not be as predicted in Ask Frank. In my view this is a perfect representation of real world investing in that in the short term prices tend to behave randomly but within a long-term trend. 

If Ask Frank predicted prices would be stable at around $1.12 and they actually fell to 45 cents that to me would suggest its a screaming buy at 45. Invest in more, to bring your average price down, even if that means taking out a margin loan. Or you could take a long derivative contract and use your Share Wild Card or the Any Market squares to trigger a change in the share price. - Frank Newman



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