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Subject: What's the point in shares sales??? rss

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Sergii Arnaut
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Can't get any ideas why should i ever sell shares.
During all games i've played, players were only buying shares.
There's no profit (I mean "long term", strategical) in shares sales to market, cos' all available shares are instantly bought by other players.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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angel0ne wrote:
Can't get any ideas why should i ever sell shares.
During all games i've played, players were only buying shares.
There's no profit (I mean "long term", strategical) in shares sales to market, cos' all available shares are instantly bought by other players.


1. Certificate limits eventually mean that this is the only way to buy better/more useful shares.
2. Selling someone else's shares pushes the price down, hurting their portfolio.
3. manipulating the order in operating rounds.
4. dumping a company.

B>
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Tim Benjamin
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Getting cash to float a new company at high par.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Since being President typically involves a responsibility (for example, to help the company buy a train if it needs one and can't afford one,) you might sell shares to stop being President of a company that's in trouble, or to make sure you don't become President when someone else sells shares.

In some games (such as the 1829 branch games, including 1860 and 1825, there is no Presidential responsibility. In these games you still dump shares, typically because you envision a period of withholding dividends and dropping share prices as the company saves up for a new train.
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J C Lawrence
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The simplest and most direct reason is because there's a better (ie more profitable or lower risk) place to put your money. A simple example:

Bubba has a company full of trains that is paying big dividends. He owns 60% of the company and you own only 30% (someone else owns the last 10%). Bubba is making twice as much money as you are and is thus winning. This is of course, intolerable.

You sell your shares in Bubba's company and use the money to float a new company which buys up enough trains that all the trains in Bubba's company rust. Bubba's company is no longer very good any more. Your new company is doing much better and is paying great big dividends with all its new trains. This is even better if Bubba must damage his position in order to buy his company a train (eg sell shares he really wants to keep).


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Tim Skirvin
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angel0ne wrote:
Can't get any ideas why should i ever sell shares.
During all games i've played, players were only buying shares.
There's no profit (I mean "long term", strategical) in shares sales to market, cos' all available shares are instantly bought by other players.


Getting companies into the yellow/orange/brown zones can be quite helpful.
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Tom Russell
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I'm still very new to the 18xx, so I'm mostly just going to say "This." a lot.

thepackrat wrote:
1. Certificate limits eventually mean that this is the only way to buy better/more useful shares.


This. I find it useful in the early game too, especially because money's very tight. Rather than wait a couple more OR to have the money to buy a share, why not sell a share or two of X to pick up a better-paying share of Y?

Quote:
2. Selling someone else's shares pushes the price down, hurting their portfolio.


This. Clearclaw wrote a very good and eye-opening essay about this.

Quote:
3. manipulating the order in operating rounds.
4. dumping a company.


... or to prevent a company from being dumped on you.

... or to prevent a company from being dumped on someone else. Example: 3 player game of 1889. P1 owns 10% of Corp. X, P2 is president with 50%, P3 owns 20%, with 20% in the IPO. P1 has priority and, with one of her companies acting last in the previous OR, she bought a train and rusted all of X's trains, as well as all the trains for another P2-controlled company. P2 is in the lead, followed by P1, with P3 dead-last. P2 won't go bankrupt buying trains out of pocket but it would allow P1 to finish first should the game end in the next set of OR (and it likely will) and sees P3 as an easy target for a dump. But P1 has priority. She buys a share of X, then sells both shares to the Pool. Now P2 can sell at most 3 shares-- which means the company doesn't dump on P3, and boy is he happy about it. P1 advanced her position by protecting P3's, or more precisely, by preventing P2 from defending hers. (It was really cool.)

RaffertyA wrote:
Getting cash to float a new company at high par.


This as well; it's hard to get a permanent train for an older company without a newer one that's flush with cash (especially if you strip that older company of money to buy your privates).
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Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
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To get back to the original poster's question, it depends a lot on which 18xx game he was playing. There are games (and playgroups) where you can win by simply identifying the good shares and buying them, especially after all available companies have floated.

Stock marker churn does have its downsides -- while player A is actively trashing stock, player B is quietly buying up the good shares.

However, if there is so much money floating around your games that every available share is snapped up, the person who breaks the pattern by aggressively floating new companies may find themself in a better position.

What games are you playing, and how many rounds do they last? A common error among newer players is not pushing the trains hard enough, and creating slow, wealthy, less-dynamic games...
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Maybe we can put it this way: because of the way later trains make earlier trains obsolete, it's rare that one company is the best company (the one that adds the most to your net worth for each share you own) all through the game. Thus, in ideal circumstances you would keep changing your portfolio so as to own the shares that will be best next.

In practice, this isn't achievable, because in many cases if you get rid of shares, the company's stock will be bought by others and you will not be able to buy the shares back. But in some cases it makes sense to shuffle your portfolio. One of your jobs as a player is to figure out when these opportunities are present.
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