Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

The Stock Market Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Suggestions for Stock Market rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Eamon Bloomfield
Germany
23569 Lübeck
Schleswig Holstein
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Like most games on this theme, players, in order to win, pit their wits against the market - buying low and selling high - making their money work to amass more money, which, in turn, is reinvested. Unlike other games, players are not only restricted to the volatile equity shares. They can invest in four different types of share, giving their portfolio a balance between the safe and the speculative.

The game, as published, has three major drawbacks for the serious gamer. Firstly, the market climate is a haphazard affair. Cards are turned, indicating a Bull, Bear or Mixed market and share prices jump up and down as a result. Investors are not encouraged to have any foresight - it is all pure luck and it was this that brought around our major rule change. Only three of the cards supplied are used, Bull, Bear and Mixed. In addition, a new piece of card must be provided with the word STABLE on one side and UNSTABLE on the other. For turn 1, the market is considered Mixed and the Mixed card is displayed. At the end of the turn (Step 4 in the rules), the Broker does not turn a card. Instead, he rolls an 8-sided die and applies the result shown on the following table. Share prices move accordingly.

If it is a Bear Market and you roll a 1, 2, or 3, the Bear Market continues
If it is a Bear Market and you roll a 4, 5, or 6, The Market changes to Mixed
If it is a Bear Market and you roll a 7 or 8, the Market changes to a Bull Market

If it is a Mixed Market, and you roll a 1 or 2, the Market changes to Bear
If it is a Mixed Market and you roll a 3, 4 or 5, the Mixed Market continues
If it is a Mixed Market and you roll a 6, 7 or 8, the Market changes to Bull

If it is a Bull Market and you roll a 1, the Market changes to Bear
If it is a Bull Market and you roll a 2, 3, 4 or 5, the Market changes to Mixed
If it is a Bull Market and you roll a 6, 7 or 8, the Bull Market continues

It will be noted that the table has slight in-built upward bias.

If the Market changes, the change is regarded as a Phase. The die is rolled once more. If the result is an even number, the Stable card displayed. If it is odd, the Unstable card is shown. So now 3 cards are showing. There is the initial card (in the case of turn 1, it is Mixed) and alongside it a card showing Stable or Unstable. Then underneath there is the new card (Bull or Bear in the above example).

Play then proceeds. When Step 4 arrives in the following turn, if a new Phase had been brought about in the previous turn, the 8-sided die is not rolled. Instead, the Broker has to determine whether the Phase was short-lived and the Market has reverted to what it was or whether the Phase has turned into a new Market Trend. (This is always a problem facing investors. Is a Market change merely a temporary one or is it the storm-warning of a of a new Trend in the Market? The Broker does this as follows;
He rolls a 6-sided die.
If the Market is Stable and he rolls a 3, 4, 5 or 6, it reverts back to what it was.
If a 1 or 2 is rolled the Phase becomes the new Trend and in the above example replaces the Mixed card.
If the Market had been Unstable, the Phase becomes a Trend on a 1, 2 or 3.
After this has all taken place, just one card should be left on the table. Either the original Trend or the new Trend. The Stable/Unstable card is set aside until needed again. In the following turn when Step 4 is reached, the original procedure is reverted to; i.e. the use of the 8-sided die. (Note: it is only when a change is brought about by the 8-sided die that a further die roll is made to find if the Market is Stable or Unstable.)

A further problem in the game, is the way shares move up or down. This is brought about by the number of buying vs. selling transactions, not the number of shares bought or sold. So two players selling 10 share, each would make the Market fall even though one player had bought 1000 shares! Because one pays no Brokerage, this results in a Buying/Selling pendulum - everybody buys one turn and sells the next, buys the next and so on. This gets monotonous because it is so predictable. Because it mainly affects the speculative shares, the answer is to make a share shortage by removing a quantity from the game. Experience will tell you how many depending on the number of players and how long you intend to play, but for 5 or 6 players I'd suggest 200 at the least. This will help dissuade players from selling too rapidly if there is likely to be a share shortage and no chance of subsequently getting them back again. Also, we allow the first counter down on the board (or the first written order handed in if you use the system outlined below) to buy as many shares as he wants. In other words, if you are slow to make up your mind, you might be penalised by having no shares available.

Another thing that encourages the Buy/Sell pendulum is the method used in the game to indicate your instructions (you put counters in a Buying or Selling box on the board whilst sand drops slowly through a timer). So once a couple of players sell, for example, most sell because they know the price is going to fall next time. Similarly, when a couple buy, they all buy because the price will go up. This can be overcome by making out a simple form that players fill in and hand to the Broker. He marks them with a number and hands them back. Players then place their markers on the board and he deals with them in number order. This extra action takes no longer. Players merely have to fill in their form in the time allowed but we do make them give the extra information as to how many shares they wish to sell or the total value of the shares they wish to buy (a stated value on Buying is best because, in the panic of the short time allowed, it is not always easy to work out the precise number you will get for the amount you are prepared to invest). So this saves time in fact.

There is one other major problem. The game purposely offers different types of shares as mentioned in my introduction but a game is not real life. In life, you would normally only allot a small percentage of your capital to speculative shares. But in a game one has no interest in coming second or third. You are out to win or lose. This means that the gambler will usually win. Not always the same gambler mind you, but one of the reckless players. The answer is for the same group of players to play regularly and record their results. It is then that the player who normally plays a safer game, never winning maybe but never disasterously losing, could come out on top. But as this is not normally possible, an alternative is for each player to add up his value (just as he does at the end of the game) at the end of every three months. These totals are then added up at the end to decide a winner. This will limit the chances of a player, who realises he is not going to come first, from taking terrible chances on the last turn in one final fling and thereby distorting the balance of the game.

There is one more rule in the game that troubles me. The Broker is permitted to decide if a player who 'bought on the margin' should pay up if the shares drop in price. This seems quite wrong if the Broker is also a player. I suggest instead that you roll a die; If odd he gets away with it, if even he must pay up.

As I said before, it is the number of transactions and not the size of them that affects share movements. This rather bothers me but to change it would bring about a radical change in the game. In theory, a player could buy 100 shares and by buying just one more at each turn, he increases the value of his total holding. This can be game tactics and is, maybe, quite acceptable to you. But a rule I intend to try out is that dealings under a certain value, although permitted, do not have any effect on the Market. I am thinking of a value of $100.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Cole
United States
Superior
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
it is not possible to buy 1000 shares of anything in the game. the most shares that could be bought are 870 speculative or blue chip.

the rule that the broker can put somebody out of the game by a margin call should be sufficient for stopping anybody from leaping ahead at the last minute. and that sounds like real life to me.

i have never played this game with people, but i do play it solitaire.

it's an interesting variant with the card turning, but i couldn't verify how realistic it is. i would think that it simulates reading a chart.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sean dolbee
United States
Grass Valley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have played this game with 4 players and we to made some changes to the buy and sell orders.
we went with the number of shares not the number of players. Made for some of the funnest and intense games!!!! wow...we would all write our orders down and then they were revealed..Incredible game.
With everybody writing orders down it wasn't so much what the cards were going to be Bull or Bear,Mixed,It was what was everybody else going to do..With the cards you had a general idea of the next card that was coming up after round 3 or 4 if you had 2 Bears in the first 4 cards you knew Bears were going to be rare and a Bull was on it's way.
I remember one game Spec was trading at 3 or 4 dollars it was a decision at that time to buy as much as you could or stay away for fear of BK.I thought for sure everybody would look at the stock as cheap but instead they shorted it!!!!! I forget if the card that came up was mixed it wasn't Bear but with so many shorts I was toast!!!
Oh so many tense moments.....
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sean dolbee
United States
Grass Valley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We also played with an unlimited amount of shares on all the stocks oh yeah were there bonds in that game too....
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sean dolbee
United States
Grass Valley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We also added I believe 3 points to Spec for every block of 100 shares short or long.
So if someone was to buy 200 shares and another bought 100 shares and another sold 800 shares that would be -15 points on top of the results.We also did blocks of 100 for determining how to move the stock instead of players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sword of Gideon
msg tools
mbmbmb
Except, if you remove the interactivity of the buying and selling, and the responses, you might as well play "Stocks and Bonds". It sounds to me as though you are after an investor's style game. This game is built around rampant Stock Market speculation, and it succeeds well at this. If you play with enough people (5 or 6) you have enough people to buck a trend, so that if 2 or 3 sell Speculative, the remainder could turn that around by buying - this is why it so important to have the number of people buying and selling also influence the price of the stock.

By the way in the Stock Market of the 1970's that this game reflects, the number of people buying and selling is also very relevant. One or two large investors (like GM) selling off a large number of shares has some impact. A large number of small investors selling off s few hundred shares each causes a mass panic! Because of perception. One person sells 10 000 shares, they might be simply transferring assets to take advantage of a tax loophole, or take advantage of a new market trend. Many, smaller investors is a lemming-like stampede, so I disagree with your variant on that score.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sean dolbee
United States
Grass Valley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We never played it with 5 or 6 only 4 at most.The problem with placing the token in the buy sell place was if one person placed in the buy then everybody placed in the buy.If one person placed in the sell then all placed in the sell.I played stocks and bonds didn't like the game that much.If I remember correctly with stocks and bonds they didn't allow for how many shares where traded or players buying and selling.You would blindly pick a stock follow a trend add shares when it went down sell at the top ect...
With The Stock market game the interaction was before the orders were placed it was almost like poker you had to try to figure out what the "herd" was doing. were they going to let this stock keep going or were they going to sell if you knew some of the players at the table you started to learn the tolerances"s "Jim is to conservative he's going to sell for sure this round and Mike too they will lock in gains because the already made a double".Games went like that it was what was the crowd going to do were they going to panic?With 4 players no body was getting ahead everybody bought the same amount of stocks and bonds and placed in the same buy sell places even if you knew the next card was going to be a bull and wanted to buy if you did you would lose because everyone else placed in the sell even if they sold 1 share each!and you were buying 500 shares!that was 497 shares bought 3 shares sold sorry the stock went down 20 you should of sold....Stock prices move because of supply and demand and we were trying to create that supply and demand with the group.trust me this was no investor's game we were as close to gambling as it gets.In our games no one got to far ahead that they could "move the Market" themselves they still need a little help.The games were unbelievable.In the game the winner is the one with the most money at the end you do that two ways by making more money then your opponent's and by making them lose money.In the real Stock Market for every winner there's a loser.If someone sells a stock to you for 25 and it goes to 50 you made money if you in turn sell that stock for 50 and it goes to 25 and you buy it back winners and loser's.Everyone knows it's not the retail investor that moves a stock.It's the big boys hedge funds.ect We as retail investor's we never pick a bottom and never pick a top were along for the ride.How many times have you read where a company beats earnings only for the stock to drop?So we recreated that in our game we are the Hedgefunds and the retail investor we could set the price for the stock high or low by how many shares we would short or buy...and as far as being the retail investor?In my opinion it gave us the "inside workings"of the behind the scenes.Great fun...I think the game could of been changed to Hedge fund the way we played it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sean dolbee
United States
Grass Valley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
broadsword wrote:


By the way in the Stock Market of the 1970's that this game reflects, the number of people buying and selling is also very relevant. One or two large investors (like GM) selling off a large number of shares has some impact. A large number of small investors selling off s few hundred shares each causes a mass panic!


I disagree with the mass panic if 200,000 retail investers sell 1 share each(asuming the float is larger then 200,000 well say 400,000,000 shares outstanding)thats not going to move the stock at all but let's say Capitol management sells 40,000,000 share's that's going to move the stock! the Market Maker has to make a Market for the stock so when the sell orders start flooding in the Market Maker has to slow the tide how? by dropping the price at which he's willing to buy the stock.if the Price of a stock drops from 50 to 45 and well say you bought it at 50 would you sell? yeah probally right?dedpends were you put your stop loss at?If the stock droped from 50 to say 28 would you sell?how about 18?there are a couple of things you would say"this stock is over sold and if I sell here it will recover some of the losses and I will have sold near the bottom" or "this is were I would buy if I didn't already own the stock" It's the Market Makers job to do that.if he has a flood of sell orders he has to buy the stock so he lowers the price at which he will buy so he can turn around and sell at a higher price.And buy orders? samething if the buy orders are coming in he raises the price till there are no orders at that price he needs to sell high buy low.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sword of Gideon
msg tools
mbmbmb
OK, first you can't buy or sell 1 share. There are brokers who would deal in odd lots, but most round lots are actually 100+ shares. They used to be in tens, but you should think in hundreds.

Second, large Hedge Funds rarely actually hold stocks - they replicate their positions by a very large, and very diffuse set of financial instruments including stocks (usually in large index funds), bonds (and more recently bond funds). It is small-scale (a few million bucks) investors that hold the majority of the stocks today, usually in mutual funds, ETF's and index funds. This usually comes as a shock to most people, but Hedge Funds aren't usually actively trading stocks based on what they think the market is going to do. They trade hundreds of times per second on a very complex set of indicators that aren't so much about whether a stock is going to rise or fall, but what maximises the probability of a certain "benchmark" return. Today, as you can see from shortselling, that isn't the same thing as "Buy low sell high". Hedge funds usually aren't making or breaking the market in any particular stock - that is unfortunately the small-scale investor and speculator, and to some extent, large sectorial index funds. Crashes in stocks don't affect Hedge Funds typically, because they're hedged against that sort of thing, hence their name.

A far more realistic way to do what you're trying to do, is to have a buy and sell limit per turn. That is in fact realistic, because just because you wish to dump 50 000 shares of GM, doesn't guarantee you'll find a buyer fast enough, BTW. Typically, if they think you're wrong, your brokerage firm will take the stocks off your hands, and either take a position in them, or hope to sell them off later. (Check out the concept of "Bid-Ask Spread" on investopedia). If not, you're sitting to find a buyer, and you're going to have to drop your price (Ask) to match the highest Bid. That can quickly get out of hand if other investors sense blood in the water, and they'll hold back, waiting to buy later, thus driving your price down further. This isn't typically what Hedge Funds do, BTW. They usually bet the BIG positions AGAINST the market, something that according to your model would be impossible, since as soon as they place a big bet (say oil futures, or Florida Orange Juice derivatives), everyone will copy them. Well, sorry that doesn't happen, otherwise George Soros wouldn't have made a cool 2 billion betting against the pound when the market bet in favour of it.

I'll email you our buy-sell limits, that worked really well, especially as you couldn't be certain to buy back a large number of shares. BTW, the proper way to play is to be ALL IN in Speculative when a couple BEAR have gone buy. The trick in this game is NOT to do what everyone else is doing, or you can't win! You have to sucker them into being one stpe behind you.

Another thing - don't use the eggtimer with sand. Buy an electronic timer, set it for 1 minute 30 secs, and turn it face away from everybody, so no one is totally sure when the buy-sell round will end.

A limited amount of shares is vital in this game, and you MUST allow naked short selling! That takes care of the guy trying to corner the market, since everyone else just short-sells him till his position collapses! You should also not allow someone to corner the market!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sean dolbee
United States
Grass Valley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
broadsword wrote:
OK,
I'll email you our buy-sell limits, that worked really well, especially as you couldn't be certain to buy back a large number of shares. BTW, the proper way to play is to be ALL IN in Speculative when a couple BEAR have gone buy. The trick in this game is NOT to do what everyone else is doing, or you can't win! You have to sucker them into being one stpe behind you.

I agree you have to sucker them in did you play with written orders?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sword of Gideon
msg tools
mbmbmb
We never play with written orders, since that simulates a different kind of game, and eliminates the "wait and see what the others do" aspect. It is important for your gaming group to realise that if everyone follows everyone else, you're not going to win! You can only win by betting against the market. You shouldn't be thinking about the next card, but what you stand to gain over the next few rounds as people buy and sell...

Try Stocks and Bonds. You'll find it's more of a "long term" game than the Stock Market Game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sean dolbee
United States
Grass Valley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Our game slowly evolved over time. We only had 4 players so if 3 were selling and you wanted to buy you were in trouble or vis-versa you didn't have this problem?
The way we countered this was with block sizes say 50 shares of Blue chip = 1 person that way if 3 were selling a total of 100 shares and you were buying 300 shares it came out as if 4 people were buying.Same for shorting we never did any naked shorts I guess you could say we did we had it where there was no limit to the amount of shares you could short.I believe the game says only 100 shares.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sword of Gideon
msg tools
mbmbmb
The other thing that works quite well is to use the solitaire table after the buy/sell markers have been placed, but halve the number of buy/sell orders from the table, FRU. The table has some surpises for you!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sean dolbee
United States
Grass Valley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a great game. We have had many hours of fun with this game.
When we play It's like you have to take a deep breath before the game starts.I have yet to find any game close.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Cole
United States
Superior
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
what is FRU?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sword of Gideon
msg tools
mbmbmb
Fractions rounded Up
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.