Financially Educating Families since 1903!

Has anyone actually finished a game of Monopoly? Sure, at first you are keen and ready to go, even so much as excited! But after about the 6th hour and you look down and you measly “empire” and your beloved thimble being in jail for the 9th time you begin to wonder; what exactly is the point? However, according to the world’s leading expert in the game (yes, there is such a thing), a lot of the game’s strategy can transcend off the board and into the player’s real life.

Philip Orbanes has been the chief judge of world Monopoly tournaments (again, yes, there is such a thing!) for 30 years and has worked as a Senior Vice President at Parker Brothers, the company that released Monopoly. He argues that the aim of the game is not to financially cripple your opponents to the point where they literally have nothing left. On the contrary, the aim should be to build you own personal wealth and equity. It is just the format of the game that depressingly leads to many bankrupt and vanquished opponents.

The advice that Orbanes gives in order to succeed in Monopoly, he claims, can also result you being financially successful in the real world.

Spread Your Wealth

Monopoly attempts to teach people the importance of diversifying their assets. You start the game with $1550, and if you just remain dealing in cash, it will be a quick demise. If you obtain properties and potentially even a few other assets (Electric, Water, Train Stations), you start to see a return on your investments very quickly. In life, it is similar (minus the demise we hope!), real wealth does not come from storing money away in a bank and letting it gather interest. Spreading your money across a number of things – such as stocks, bonds, real estate – will enable you to build wealth in the safest way possible. If you put everything into one investment, there is a chance you can lose it all.

Which leads to the next point….

Do not buy into fashionable investments

Apparently, one of the greatest fallacies within Monopoly is the glory of owning the dark blue properties, Park Lane and Mayfair. The prestige attached to them, purely because they cost the most, can be the downfall of players who do everything the can to control them. According to Orbanes, the best property colour to own is actually Orange. It is an idea distance from the jails and since players frequently are put in jail, its perfect to get a good return. Like your life investments, Orbanes stresses the need to you to consider all sorts of variables when making decisions, but always look for the long-term. Location, value for money and performance are examples of important things to consider when making judgment call on what to put your money in to. This is just like choosing which properties you want to build up first in Monopoly in order to get the early upper hand on your opponent.

Do not sell your investments short

If you want to shoot ahead early in a game of Monopoly, Orbanes says be the first to earn three houses on each square before you look into investing into hotels as the largest increase in rent between two and three houses, staying on two would underutilize your rent potential. This teaches people about the returns on their investments and what they need to do in order to make them successful. If you invest enough in your assets, you will get a larger payout in the long term, ensuring you will get more then your initial investment.

Do not run your wealth and success in other people’s faces

In every game, there always comes a point where deals have to be made in order to get properties that you want. The outcomes of these deals generally decide who the winner is in the end (granted, I am yet meet anyone who has actually reached this point in a game). So, like life, no one wants to make a deal with the arrogant, disrespectful player. We want to see that person lose out, and if you have to power to do this, you will. Don’t be nasty; be smart. People will be more inclined to open dialogue with you if they believe that you are considering their best interests. Whether or not you actually are is your own prerogative!

Do not get complacent

Watch the market. If you believe you have shot out to an early lead and begin to relax, the market has the ability to change without you even knowing it. Complacency can kill you in the game, as well as the real world. Players and people have to understand that whilst there is a difference between asset rich and cash rich, both have the ability to control the power in terms of negotiation. If you are in a good financial position, it certainly does not mean that you can stop paying attention to the conditions around you.

So are you feeling the strains of the financial world? Dust off the iron and the car and lets get cracking! You may learn a few things!

… Let’s see how long you last without throwing it against the wall and losing a few friends…

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