Investing for the truly nervous
It was a Bull market for attendance this year, with only 17
in attendance - a sharp decline from last year, although there
were more choices for attendees this year on Sunday morning.
The first round saw two tables of six players, and one table
of five. The 5-player table took the entire two hours, while
6-player tables were adjudicated (with a two-turn notice). Advancing
to the final round were the top two players from each table.
This comprised: Tom Cannon, Charles Ellsworth, Bob Foster (who
bowed out, needing to catch a plane), Chuck Foster, Ken Gutermuth
and Darren Velez.
In the final, Cannon and Foster leapt to an early lead, riding
Stryker Drilling. Stryker Drilling, normally the most risky commodity,
had had a fairly stable day, actually registering four straight
increases at one table in the preliminaries, splitting after
it reached $200/share.
Sadly, Cannon and Foster kept their Stryker stocks too long,
and by turn 5, it had gone belly-up. In all, four players lost
all their shares in the bankruptcy.
Cannon was the first to go out, as well, falling prey to the
"margin call." Basically, he didn't have enough cash
to pay for his interest - rules state, if you sell even one share
of a stock you purchased on margin, the entire balance must be
paid. He only had two other stocks - United Auto and Metro -
both purchased on margin, and, as luck would have it, both had
their stock prices cut in half due to business failure checks
one turn after he purchased them. There was no feasible way he
could pay his balance, and he was mathematically eliminated.
Meanwhile, Ellsworth was quietly playing his hunches right
- he bought bonds at the most expensive point in the game, and
sure enough, they increased in value the following turn. Foster
had diversified enough to stay competitive, but Gutermuth needed
something desperate, and began buying Uranium in droves.Velez
had remained a quiet threat, but he was seeing his
stocks dip each turn, and couldn't sell any, due to the pending
margin call (i.e., he'd face the same fate as Cannon).
Uranium began a rapid climb in price, and Gutermuth began
swapping stocks fast. He sold his Uranium to buy MORE Uranium
and then, dipped into Stryker. In the end, however, it was too
little, too late...one mediocre rise by Stryker, and the game
was over. Foster made it close, but Ellsworth's careful buying
strategy, and reliable stocks secured the win.
As an added tidbit, Ellsworth was the only player to not buy
anything on margin. Consequently, his entire yield (which was
substantial, owing to the tax-free bonds), went towards purchasing
smaller stocks, which he rode for a few turns at a time.
There will be substantial changes made next year - in the
preliminaries and the finals. Firstly, it's quite possible the
two will be held on separate days. Although only two people showed
up for the training session, a great many more were unfamiliar
with the game during play, which caused the games to take longer.
Optional Rule 10.3 (Insider Trading) will be dropped, joining
Optional Rule 10.7 (selling short). Thus, the only rules used
will be 10.1 (Tax-free bonds); 10.2 (IRA) and 10.4 (margin).
Additionally, we will use random seating at all tables, and we
will definitely begin to employ the simulataneous purchasing
originally seen in Stocks and Bonds. Otherwise, with savvy players,
someone who is trailing, and always going before the leader,
has NO chance of victory.