Thursday, October 29, 2009

MBPs musing on Entropia Universe, Online Poker, Spread Trading and Investing in Stocks and Shares

Simple proof that playing Entropia Universe is a bad idea if you expect to make money out of it: Look at all the money going in and all the money going out. All of the money going in comes from players. The money going out goes back to players less a cut for the developer Mind Ark. The total amount of money going back out to players is therefore less than the total amount going it. It follows that on average players get less back than they put in.

The same logic applies to many other activities

Simple proof that playing poker online is a bad investment if you expect to make money out of it: Look at all the money going in and all the money going out. All of the money going in comes from players. The money going out goes back to players less a cut for the casino. The total amount of money going back out to players is therefore less than the total amount going it. It follows that on average players get less back than they put in.

Simple proof that "investing" in spread trading is a bad idea. Look at all the money going in and all the money going out. All of the money going in comes from "investors". The money going out goes back to investors less a cut for the exchange. The total amount of money going back out to "investors" is therefore less than the total amount going it. It follows that on average players get less back than they put in.

Why is investing in normal stocks and shares any different than investing in spread trading? The ONLY reason is because when you buy a share (as opposed to a derivative) you have ownership of a revenue producing asset and you are entitled to dividends from that share. When you look at the total pool of money we have money coming in from investors and money coming in from dividends. Therefore it is possible (though not guaranteed of course) that the total pool of money paid out even after brokers fees and government taxes are taken away is more than the total amount invested.

But but but ... almost everybody who invests in stocks and shares does so in the hope of getting capital growth rather than for the dividends? Well the real underlying value of a share is only the net present value of the future stream of dividends. If the you do achieve capital growth it is only because of an expected rise in the future dividend stream.

9 comments:

Stabs said...

Savings account here. Building Society not Bank.

2.5% interest.

Not terribly exciting but less likely to go up in smoke than most other options.

mbp said...

2.5% is a pretty respectable rate of return Stabs. Certainly better than you would get from investing in the stock market in these troubled times.

Tipa said...

Well, lessee... regular subscription MMOs, your money goes in, Blizzard takes all of it, and you get nothing out.

By that measure, isn't Entropia BETTER?

mbp said...

Actually no Tipa.

I said that "playing Entropia Universe is a bad idea if you expect to make money out of it". The vast majority of WoW players have no expectation of making money so the comparison is moot but there is a whole gold farming industry that shows you can earn more than enough to cover your monthly subscription if you really want to.

Tipa said...

Ah, so you did -- sorry!

mbp said...

Don't apologise Tipa commments are always welcome and when they are comments that I actually have an answer for it's a bonus!

DM Osbon said...

So what are you currently playing, mbp? Other than MMOs...

mbp said...

Flash games!

I kid you not - outside of mmos my gaming is entirely casual these days. I could probably handle a decent shooter though. MW2 looms but as a PC gamer I feel more or less obliged to boycott it over the server issue until I can pick it up cheap in a Steam sale.

By the way DM that photo is gross. I trust you will be returning to the land of the living once Haloween is over.

DM Osbon said...

Yes picture just for Halloween...the old me will return!