An EAv tactics experiment

There is a metric ton of information about Empire Avenue out on the internet right now. People like Chris Pirillo and Chris Voss have written their own articles and have even done audio and video interviews about the strategies they have employed to get to the top. The problem I have found is that the only concrete data available is that they are at the top of the game and the articles they have written. I respect both of these guys for the work they have done and the numbers they have put up (and the eaves they have made me in-game). I have to point out that both of these guys are relatively well known online and put up a ton of content and SM activity that not everyone has the time or resources to put up, which gives them an advantage over the likes of regular folk like me.

Average users have a hard time catching up with the top guys. I believe that it is totally possible to get ahead because for about 2 months I have been flirting with the top 200 users in the US by wealth. That is until I went on vacation and have been in a 2 week downward spiral. I have been as close as 250k eaves in wealth to the 95th person on the leaders page, but more recently I have fallen to about 800k from the 95th user.

For the last couple months, I have focused on my wealth since it is more difficult for someone with limited resources and time to focus on their share price. In conjunction with my wealth increase I managed to somehow magically get my average div price up between .65 and .70 (who the heck knows why/how). Then I went on vacation for a week and all of that work, except my wealth went to hell.

Besides my at-a-glance value (share price and divs) dropping drastically over vacation, I also started listening to podcasts by some well known economists. What I found out was that I like economists and that many of my thoughts and ideas of how things work and the process by which they come across these answers completely intrigue me. The main way these economists seem to get their answers is to collect data over time and then analyze that data. To that end I came up up with an idea for an experiment with my EAv account. I will attempt to explain my experiment. If you have ideas, suggestions, comments, or just want to troll please tell me what you’re thinking. But if you have crabs or that strange itchy-burning feeling when you pee, keep that to yourself and go see a doctor.

Overall Goal

My goal is to get to the top 100 in overall wealth by pruning and growing my portfolio.

Capturing/Mining Data

The script that I am writing will capture all the data from the API that I can get. This is the basic user information that is available through the API; things like the weekly average divs are not available, but div payouts are so I will do what I can to get this data. I will write a front end for this script as well, that will include a couple graphs of information to make the data easier to read.

Timeline

My start and end dates are TBD, based on the script for recording all this data being completed. I will update this post once I have this date set.

Rules

These are the simple and easy to follow buying and selling criteria that I have come up with so far:

  1. Only buy people who fit the following formula where (div avg * 100) is greater than share price
  2. Only sell people who are trending negative with are showing more than 2% total value or 7 days div payment negative profit, based on current div avg. and no longer fit the formula above.

I am going to record and graph information from my profile page and my personal dashboard page on the spreadsheet here.

Reasoning For these Rules

My goal is to gain wealth and get into the top 100, so buying people who will help me reach that goal is very effective.

As far as selling is concerned these are the things I have found from this second rule:

  • This saves commission costs, by avoiding lots of selling
  • Any tickers who are seriously negative will get sold
  • This gives people a chance to build their accounts back up before I sell them
  • This protects me from losing too many eaves by hanging on to a ticker for too long.

Great people who helped me massage this idea

Thanks to Chris Record for the suggestion on Rule #3, he made an amazing point to me about how ruthlessly selling people off would be quite rude and potentially hazardous to the quality of the game.

Also, thanks to Jake Kern for kicking my ass with this formula: “ROI < Pie < Loyalty < Friendship < Integrity” whereby ROI is the least important factor of Empire Avenue. I agree with this to a point, the point at which I stop agreeing is when people start going psycho and treating Empire Avenue like it is not a game. Empire Avenue is 100% a game, not real life. The REAL part of this game are the people who we are playing with and engaging those friendships, becoming friends with these people, and keeping your integrity is extremely important.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who owns shares in me and who has helped me get to this point in the game. I have really had a hell of a lot of fun playing this game so far. To the point where I have gone to bed seeing tickers and share prices when I closed my eyes. My wife thinks I am nuts but she [so far] is still “listening” to me when I talk about EAv which means that she understands how much fun I am having. I have truly met some amazing people so far and hope to meet tons of new amazing people throughout this process.




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  • http://chrisrecord.com Chris Record

    Great article. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiment with all of us. Now we just need to see the results!

    • http://twitter.com/mbernier Matt Bernier

      Chris – I have the pseudo code and the API class built for hitting the EAv API. I am also still sort of working on my strategy, trying to figure out the rest of the details and hearing out some of my shareholders on their thoughts about this process.

      I am thinking that I could start as early as next week.

      In the grand scheme of things, this really isn’t all that different from what I do currently except that I will more specifically focus my efforts towards people’s current div payouts and whether they go negative, nearly leaving newbies out of my purchases, and paying attention to whether someone owns shares in me when I sell.

      Although, I am still on the fence about the “don’t sell if they own you”. In the real stock market, if Apple was to buy Google stock and visa-versa, do you think that an investor at Google would have any qualms about dumping Apple if they started tanking? I don’t think they would. As an investor, you are trying to raise your bank account with every move, taking into account commissions on sales and whether a stock is up or down. According to that model, if someone was playing this game to win – they would completely ignore the social aspect with regards to owning/selling shares in people. But, because this is a Social game not a ruthless investment strategy, there is a ton of weight to be given to “who” you own on a very personal level.

      I think that adding this sort of moral and social aspect is why people become so intense in this game. It personalizes every move to the nth degree, making it extremely difficult to play the game as an investor. This is especially true when you meet people, talk to them and like them, but their stock is tanking like mine has been for the last 2 weeks. 😉

      My experiment has so many facets that are going to be very hard to track, such as:

      What are the implications of selling someone on your share price, when that person is well connected?
      What about if they are a close acquaintance?
      What if they are a friend?
      How do you know that selling a maven is a bad thing?
      Do people really advertise to their constituents that someone purchased them? (This might be a really interesting thing to add to my strategy – a weekly newsletter thanking the people who bought me that week!) – this leads to less wealth though, because of the newsletter purchase.
      What does not buying any newbies do for a semi-established stock like mine?
      What does only buying newbies do?
      Lastly, just because I have built the great wall of text here: What does buying for only divs do to a ticker’s wealth? – considering that Chris Voss and Chris Pirillo have both mentioned that buying for divs is a great investment strategy, even though they both have quite a few very low-div stocks in their portfolios at any given time.

      Sorry, that was long.

  • http://www.davidsanger.com David Sanger

    There are three ways to make money in EA:

    1. nightly dividends
    2. commission when other people buying your shares
    3. buying new or low-priced shares and selling them when they appreciate.

    You should have a plan for all three. My research shows that most leaders gain more from divs than commission (perhaps twice as much), but have income from both.

    The third option tends to get time consuming beyond a certain point.

    Finding ways to get more shareholders on a regular basis should be a key component of your plan, as well as getting good divs IMO

    • http://twitter.com/mbernier Matt Bernier

      The way that I have been focusing my game up to now is on wealth growth. To that end the ways to make money are very similar, except that you have to tend to focus on keeping people who are net-positive to your overall wealth, not just to your bank account.

      By this I mean that if someone has good divs, but their share price goes down – it might be OK as long as their daily div payout is greater to me than the amount they have gone negative. But, at some point their negativity becomes egregious and they just have to go. Usually, their divs start to suffer as well so its not as big a deal.

      New people are great for selling upon apprciation, but at some point unless they grow quite a bit they are not actually worth the time in managing them. The reason being that a 10e share person going to 15 at 200 shares for being a new face will only gain me about 1000e in the time it takes them to grow, sometimes between a week and two weeks. (sidenote: I typically won’t sell anyone who is staying positive, unless that money is better served elsewhere).

      On the contrary, a person who is 50+e a share, but has .5-1 daily div payout at 200 shares, will give me 100-200 eaves a day, over the same time period. The .5 being not great, but the 1+ actually makes more eaves over the same time period than the newbie. I get it without commissions and more than likely their share price goes up which means that my overall wealth increases again.

      This is why I am lead to believe that for someone who is somewhat established in the game focusing on share price, wealth, and ROI – it makes more sense to buy other established users who are going to pay back ROI because the workload and payout of newbies (unless its a rocket ship like PIRILLO was) just isn’t worth the time expense and sales/purchase commissions.

      The commission that I earn from stock shares is nice, but with the infrequency of actual shares sales and at 25% of the total – there is not much money to be made there. It is absolutely a great bonus whenever this happens, but I definitely make more on the daily div payout. The math on this is simple, I get 50k+ eaves a day in daily div payouts. To make that much in shares commissions I have to sell 3148 shares, according to my current share price and commission rate: 50,000 / (.25 * 63.53) = 3148 shares

      I don’t know the last time I had a 1000 share day, let alone a 3100 share day. Saying that, I have sold over 5000 shares in the last week. I also know that as my share price goes up, my total commission goes up. When I was at 72/share I would have only had to sell 2778 shares which while not that much different seems so much more feasible to me. (said with an air of sarcasm)