Lessons from Monopoly

The game Monopoly is probably well known to most of the people who is reading this?

My memory of Monopoly was one of a number of board games I played in my childhood, where you bought and sold things. Recently, I suddenly got bitten by the “board game bug” and ended up buying “Monopoly – World Edition”. Although I have not played it very often, I was sufficiently interested that I decided to also buy a version for my iPhone.

After playing the game on the iPhone against the AI engine for the last couple of days, I have come to realise a few things. While chance/luck is an undeniable factor in the game, there are some strategies that can maximise one’s chances in winning, despite having rotten luck some of the time.

In fact, although Monoploly is supposed to be just a game, some of the things I have listed below does sound eerily similar to the typical investment or financial planning advice we see on TV or in magazines!

  1. As the saying goes, “cash is king!” By this I mean, it is important to have sufficient liquidity so that you can a) buy the right property at the right time, b) build houses/hotels to maximise your earnings through rental, c) scrape through the bad times such as taxes or paying heavy rentals.
  2. While having many properties can mean more rent-generating points in the game, it is even more important to concentrate on properties that will generate the maximal income, e.g. those which are connected and be built on, even if this means bypassing opportunities to purchase additional properties.
  3. Strategic trading of properties can do wonders! In other words, in this game, there is always a bit of give-and-take. One can’t always expect good things to come our way only!

Any other advice that can improve my chances of winning? 🙂

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