Monday, March 24, 2014

Do Not Attach Ego to Share Price on Empire Avenue

Share price seems like an important metric in the social media game Empire Avenue (EAv). It features prominently on your profile. It affects the number of shares other players can buy. 

The portfolio page allows you sort by share price, and EAv recommends you "buy low and sell high" in the FAQ, so it must be important, right?

Not exactly

A high share price indicates that many players own your stock, so it does measure your popularity to some extent. However, a player with a lot of social activity outside EAv may maintain a high share price without interacting on the site much at all.

A rapidly falling share price sometimes means that a group of players have lost confidence in your stock, but it may also indicate the exit from the game by a couple of large shareholders. 


As long as you keep playing Empire Avenue by connecting with new shareholders and maintaining a minimum effort on social media, your share price will go up over time. EAv is an ever-expanding universe where most players exit the game leaving their investments intact. Meanwhile, new players come on board every day looking for new investments.

You share price will fluctuate from day to day. Some players sell off chunks of their portfolios to raise funds. Others formally withdraw from the game, refunding you for the shares you own. When several of these transactions hit you at once, your price will dip.

So what? Now, you're a little less expensive. When your price goes down, your yield goes up, so you are also a little more attractive to some players. 

Just keep playing the game, and your share price will start climbing again.


The most important reason I see for detaching ego from share price is to protect yourself from bullies. There are players who manage several accounts and will threaten to block on all of them simultaneously if you do not take a particular action they command. 

This does not happen often. However, when it does, the only way to stand up to a bully is to remember that a down shift in your share price will not matter in the long run. 

Ego detachment should also help you keep perspective when a player dumps your shares for some unknown reason. So your price is a little lower. So what? 

Focus on dividends

I saw a couple players pooh-poohing the loss of a significant shareholder the other day. They feared the sudden sale of 2000 shares would exert downward pressure on their share prices at the next rollover. If they could not sell 2000 shares to other players before then, they might start out "in the red."

Many people run "buy me" missions to fight the sink in these situations. I think it is more productive to focus your energy on building your network scores and improving your dividends. Those investments pay off for at least thirty days. 

But it's fun

We all enjoy tracking our share prices rising over time. Many players celebrate as they cross price thresholds. Friends get involved and run missions.

I do not mean to begrudge you that fun. Just remember that the higher your share price, the fewer shares an individual can afford to buy from you AND the less attractive your yield will be. The best buy is not necessarily the most expensive stock.

Therefore, try not to take it personally if you see a negative morning from time to time. It will not matter in the long run.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Getting Started on Empire Avenue

The online stock market game Empire Avenue (EAv) can be confusing for new players. This Getting Started checklist will help ensure you have touched all the bases your first day in the game.

1. Create a profile with a photo.

Nobody wants to invest in the invisible man. If you already have a profile photo or brand logo on your other social networks, use it to build a consistent image of you or your brand. 

Keep in mind, you must own the rights to the photo or have permission to use it.  

2. Connect all your networks.

Your social networks are your capital on Empire Avenue. In order to interest people in buying your shares, you need to show what you are worth. 

Do not worry that a network is as yet underdeveloped. Get it connected so you can start tracking and improving it.

3. Define your purpose for using the site. 

Players have many different reasons for playing the game. 
Are you here to:

  • Make friends? 
  • Play a game and accumulate virtual wealth? 
  • Evaluate your brand's online engagement? 

Your purpose will guide your investment strategy, the content you share and your style of play.  

4. List yourself on the stock market.

You must be listed in order to connect with investors. 

5. Pick up free shares in Invest missions.  

Invest missions allow experienced EAv players to give free shares to new players. You find these freebie investments by clicking the Missions button and then either clicking the invest icon or choosing Invest from the Category Filter drop-down menu.

For me, invest missions are gravy. You get free shares and future dividends. I recommend new players check for invest missions every time they visit Empire Avenue. 

Keep in mind, there is an etiquette to completing missions. At the very minimum, you should like the mission and leave a thank-you comment. After you do the mission, you can reload the page to get the feedback option and give the mission creator positive feedback. Finally, if the mission creator is not the same as the account whose shares you received, it is customary to leave a timeline comment, "XXX shares courtesy of (e)MISSIONCREATORTICKER." 

  • Like
  • Thank you
  • Positive feedback
  • Credit when due

Why go to all that trouble? Two reasons. First, liking, leaving a comment and giving positive feedback to a mission creator whose shares you own contributes to the dividends that creator's shares pay to you. Second, doing these things will help you build a positive reputation in the EAv community. 

6. Pick up free eaves in Gift missions

Gift missions are another category you can access from the mission page by clicking the icon or choosing Gift from the Category Filter.

Again, you must mind your manners in missions, especially while you are building a reputation on EAv. Even when the eaves are free, some mission creators expect you to like, comment and give positive feedback, and all of them appreciate when you do.

Watch out for gift and invest missions that have added requirements like, "Follow me on Twitter." These missions may not align with the spirit of EAv's intent for these mission categories, but your best bet for positive feedback and network growth is to avoid missions you do not plan to complete the way the creator asked. 

By the way, if you are not already maxed in the creator of a gift mission, you might use the gift eaves to buy shares. Your call.

7. Thank new investors. 

Buy back at least one share in each new investor. Respond to messages left on your timeline, and leave a message when you purchase shares in others. 

A note about Empire Avenue timelines: On Facebook and other networks, your timeline or wall is usually a curated stream of content about you. 

On Empire Avenue, your timeline is more like a guest book. Visitors to your profile leave comments to let you know they were there. Some of these shouts will be self-promotional. You can remove messages you find offensive if you want, however, I have heard some players claim that these shouts on your timeline are good for your EAv network score. 

8. Join two or three communities.

At the very least, you should join the Empire Avenue General Discussion. Most communities will tolerate one Hi-I'm-new-and-excited-to-be-here post from a new member that will attract a few investors. Read the About description for the community to be sure.

9. Polish your other network profiles.

As I said in #2, your social networks are your capital. EAv is a great accelerator, but you must have something going on elsewhere if you want to make yourself visible in the game. Do all your connected networks have your profile photo? A completed bio? Recent, public activity?

At the end of the day, your Empire Avenue playing strategy will likely include developing a strategy for your other social networks, unless you already have extensive relationships and engagement elsewhere. 

Any questions? 

Drop a comment below. 

Are you ready to get started? 

Feel free to click through on my referral link. Empire Avenue is free to join and play, and my referrals benefit from my support and attention.

Full Disclosure:

I am an Empire Avenue affiliate. If you join using my referral link, I may receive a commission on any future purchases you make on the site.

Image credit

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Selling Low-ROI Stocks on Empire Avenue

Empire Avenue is a virtual stock market game where players earn dividends based on the social media activity of their stocks. Many new players seek to maximize the return on their early investments by making high-yield purchases.

I promote an investment strategy that includes a mix of high-yield investments and reciprocal purchases. I do not, however, support the practice of sorting out the low dividend stocks and selling them. 

Keep these factors in mind when you are tempted to sell "low-ROI" stocks in your Empire Avenue portfolio.


Selling stock to invest in other stock fritters away portfolio wealth. You are going to spend at least 9.75 percent on commission fees if you pay 5 percent on the sale and then another 5 percent on a purchase. 

That is a minimum of 9.75 percent. 

Commissions rise as the number of shares you hold in a player increases above 500 shares. Also, hot stocks can be subject to a fast-mover commission of 15 or 30 percent. So, if you sell hundreds of shares of low-ROI stock to buy a fast mover, you will be bleeding your portfolio equity.

Yield Is Not a Retroactive ROI

Yield is a simple calculation we use to evaluate the ROI of a stock based on the current price and dividends.

Yield = 100 x (dividends/share price)

However, we have to remember that when a stock's yield goes down because the share price went up, the amount we previously invested does not change. As a stock's price goes up, we do not spend any more eaves to own those stocks. 

Active Players Show Steady Growth

Active players increase in value over time. Dividends reach a maximum for long-term players, but their share prices keep rising and driving down their yield.

However, these are the most active participants from a limited pool of players. You will want to network with them to get ahead in the game. 

Also, if you are playing with a basic EAv membership, you can only receive dividends from a total of 5000 accounts. Once you reach that milestone, yield will no longer matter as you seek to own the 5000 players paying the highest dividends regardless of share price.

For these reasons and many more, I have found that selling an active player today often leads to buying that player again later at a higher price.

Yields Are Shifty

Dividends fluctuate due to a variety of factors like: 

  • Increased activity around a launch or life event,
  • Decreased activity during a vacation or health event,
  • Social platform reset or change in data sharing with EAv,
  • EAv algorithm tweak.

Stock prices are even more fluid. When a stock hits a sweet spot with yield, investors snap it up and push the share price higher based on what may or may not be typical dividends. 

Social Cost

Empire Avenue is a social network. Churning shares may create a backlash against your account in the community, especially if you tell players why they are suddenly unattractive for you. 

Keep in mind, if you padded your portfolio with invest and gift missions--a smart practice in my mind--you must think twice before selling those shares. Players will not take kindly to your selling the shares they bought for you, no matter how low their yield is.

Bottom Line

Some players have adopted a strict no-sell policy on Empire Avenue. They buy for life. I am not that extreme, but I think it is wiser to consider your purchases carefully than to plan to sell them off at a later date. 

What About You? 

Do you have a policy for selling off non-productive stocks? Please share your views in the comments. 

Would you like to learn more about Empire Avenue? 

Feel free to click through on my referral link. Empire Avenue is free to join and play, and my referrals benefit from my support and attention.

Full Disclosure:

I am an Empire Avenue affiliate. If you join using my referral link, I may receive a commission on any future purchases you make on the site.

NYSE photo courtesy of thetaxhaven.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Find High-yield Stocks on Empire Avenue

When you start playing Empire Avenue (EAv), you have limited resources. Investing in high-yield stocks allows you to maximize the return on your investment and begin building your residual fortune.  

Empire Avenue (EAv) is a social stock market simulation. Players buy stocks in one another using a virtual currency, eaves (e), and these stocks pay daily dividends based on social media activity. 

However, this simulated economy does not work the same as a real one. Most players do not speculate on the rise and fall of share prices to make a profit. Instead, savvy EAv investors amass their fortunes with residual income earned as daily dividends. 

Calculate Yield

Imagine you are comparing two players with share prices of 100e. One pays an average of .50e per share in daily dividends, the other only .20e. Obviously, the first player offers a better return on investment.

This is the logic behind investing for yield. Empire Avenue players use the following equation to calculate yield: 

Yield = 100 x (dividends/share price)

For our example, the first player would have a yield of 0.5 percent and the second player only 0.2 percent.

100 x (.50e/100e) = 0.5%

100 x (.20e/100e) = 0.2%

Find High-yield Stocks on Empire Avenue is a useful tool for sorting and managing your EAv holdings, and, like Empire Avenue, has a free, entry-level membership plan. With it, you can easily find high-yield investments.

Once you join and log in, click the View Ticker button.

Next, you need to import your Portfolio and Ticker data using those buttons on the screen.

When has your current information, you can then use the Stockfinder to search for high-yield stocks. 

You can choose your search criteria in the drop down menus. You might start by searching 10, Stocks Not Owned, Div Yield %, Highest to Lowest, and then click the Search button. This will show you the ten highest-yield stocks you do not own. 

Click on an account's icon to go to Empire Avenue and make a purchase. 

Watch out for Fresh Face stocks. These stocks appear to have high yields because their prices are so low, but new players often abandon the game before the week is out. Your eaves might bear better fruit in a more experienced player who has committed to the game. 

You can spot Fresh Faces on the list by the green icon next to their names. I am not saying never buy newbies, but when you start out on EAv, you should focus your high-yield investing on players with extensive networks.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Some players call the yield calculation "return on investment" or "ROI" for short. While this designation is true when weighing a purchase, I think it is a misleading phrase when reviewing your current Empire Avenue portfolio for potential sales. 

For example, at the beginning of March, I saw a thread in the Empire Avenue General Discussion community about an active player who accidentally cancelled his ticker. He rebooted from scratch, and I seized the prodigal son opportunity.

I bought my first 200 shares of Jose Antonio at 20.45e. As I write this, his share price is 310.31e and his average dividends are 2.23e. So far, he has a respectable .72 percent yield. 

If I am considering a new purchase, then, yes, that .72 percent yield is indicative of the ROI on those shares. However, the true ROI on the first batch of Jose's shares I bought is closer to 10.90 percent. 

100 x (2.23/20.45) = 10.90%

Free Shares Have an ROI of Infinity

Consider also the ROI of the shares you receive free in invest missions. Those holdings have an ROI approaching infinity. 

Some players look at today's yield and mistakenly believe low-yield shares are poor investments to hold, when many times they were never truly investments in the first place. They were gifts.

Tomorrow's post will delve deeper into the folly of selling for ROI.

What Is Your Investment Strategy?

Please comment below and share your tips for finding good investments on Empire Avenue.

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Stock market news photo courtesy of AndreasPoike.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sorry, Charlie, Your Content Stinks

When I was young, StarKist tuna commercials featured a hipster tuna named Charlie who would try to convince the brand that he had the good taste to be a StarKist tuna. During each ad, you would hear something like, "Sorry, Charlie, StarKist doesn't want tuna with good taste. StarKist wants tuna that tastes good."

For a long time, I did not understand this contrast: good taste (discernment) versus tastes good. My parents tried to explain it, but the meaning was lost on a preschooler. I would puzzle over the words trying to make sense of the ads. 

Finally, light dawned on Marblehead one day, and I understood the difference. Having good taste is not the same as tasting good. I get it!

Empire Avenue Tuna

I have run into a few Charlies on Empire Avenue (EAv). 

Charlie misunderstands how social works, but he has racked up some stats that assure him he is a genius. Question him and he will point to a Facebook status with triple digit likes as proof of his expertise. 

Do not doubt he is here to do damage; he bounces G+ circles to warm up each day.

When you visit Charlie's content--the meat below the headline, the link beyond the tweet--you find it stinks. He shares content that lacks substance, originality, logic or basic grammar, perhaps even all of these at once.  

Sometimes, Charlie sends you to his Twitter stream asking for retweets, and you see his last twenty tweets were retweets. 

Does he ever have an original thought? Does he want you to retweet him retweeting someone else? How many mirrors do you think this guy has in his house? 

The Hazards of Paid Engagement

When Charlie is able to purchase social interaction, his metrics are high, but he must track everything because this engagement does not come cheap. He notices a lot of his interaction comes from low-quality contacts, and he looks for someone to blame. When his paid support network starts to fail, he panics because his numbers plummet.

Rather than improve his content or test different strategies, Charlie rails against the system.

  • Someone should set standards.
  • Someone should enforce community rules.
  • What happened to the good old days?

Too bad about the good old days, they lulled Charlie into complacency. They rewarded mediocre content and failed to discourage Charlie from producing more of the same. He watered the wrong plants and now no one is buying his crop.

Sorry, Charlie, Your Content Stinks

Sorry, Charlie, Empire Avenue doesn't want content with lots of likes. Empire Avenue wants likable content that players will not be embarrassed to share. 

If you feel you have to buy engagement, you ought to invest your money and effort in improving your content. 

EAv is a great place to get initial exposure for your content. You can connect with experienced professionals who will advise you. You can gather an audience of interested listeners across several social platforms. 

But you must share quality content in order to get quality engagement. The people worth buying are not for sale on EAv, not in missions anyway.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Empire Avenue Invite Bonanza Pays One Million Eaves to New Members

Join Empire Avenue (EAv) during Invite Bonanza, and you can earn 1,000,000 eaves to jump start your investments or fund your first missions. Invite your friends to join as well, and you may earn up to 25 million eaves. 

What is Empire Avenue?

Empire Avenue is a social stock market game where stocks pay dividends (eaves) based on their activity on several popular social networks. Players use the eaves they earn to invest in others and to fund missions that increase their online visibility.

In addition, players can complete missions to earn Vees redeemable for gift cards, music and other rewards.

As a freelance writer, I use Empire Avenue to:

  • Track my social media efforts, 
  • Boost exposure for my content,
  • Network with people all over the world. 

Why Join Now?

Empire Avenue is hosting an Invite Bonanza event right now that pays 1,000,000 eaves to each new, invited player and to the player who issued the invitation. Here's how it works:

1. Sign up via my invite link.
2. Verify the email you used to enroll.
3. Connect at least one of your social networks.
4. Complete all these steps by 11:59 p.m. G.M.T. on March 11, 2014. Extended to 11:59 p.m. G.M.T on March 14, 2014.


What's the Catch?

No catch. Empire Avenue is free to join and play. You will not need a credit card to sign up, and you are under no obligation to make any purchases.  

Want To Take It Even Further?

After you sign up and complete the steps above, you can invite your friends to join via your own invite link. You will earn an additional one million eaves for each of your friends who follows your link and completes all of the steps during the Invite Bonanza, up to a 25 million eave maximum. 

I hope you will reach out to (e)TAMMIKIBLER on EAv to let me know you have joined. I will want to be sure we are fully connected. 

Full disclosure: 

I am an Empire Avenue affiliate. If you join using my invite or referral link, I may receive a commission on any future purchases you make on the site.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Are You Watering the Wrong Plants on Empire Avenue?

Gardeners have a simple trick for growing the healthiest, strongest plants. They sow several more seeds than they need, then they discard the least favorable shoots a few weeks later. 

They shower all their attention on the plants showing early promise, in order to ensure the best return on their investment.

Reverse Agriculture

On Empire Avenue, some players seem bent on the reverse. 

They chase down seeds that did not sprout. 

They demand more output from stunted shoots. 

They waste their time and energy on unproductive relationships rather than nourishing the ones that have taken root. 

Even worse, they throw public tantrums with no regard for how these might damage their social standing.


Rather than combing a completed mission list looking for players to chastise, you should be following up with those who look like the best prospects for developing long-term relationships. 

That's social.

Skip the name calling and blacklisting. Go out there and find the folks who resonate with your brand and content. Figure out how to engage these players further, and adjust your missions so they filter to these relationships. 

Would you like to learn more about Empire Avenue? 

Feel free to click through on my referral link. Empire Avenue is free to join and play, and my referrals benefit from my support and attention.

Photo of watering can courtesy of oatsy40