Who remembers the first video game they’ve ever played?
I actually can’t… but I do remember the great classics I still enjoy today and look back fondly on. Games like Commander Keen, Novastorm, Halloween Harry, Doom, Quake, etc. Days of whiling time away at the school computer lab with a freeware installed that the librarian knew nothing about… hah! Those were the days!
Saying that video games had a huge impact on my upbringing is definitely an understatement. Not only did I enjoy playing them, they were partly the reason why I decided to do computer science in JC. After graduating from university, I then went on to join a AAA studio for a few good years to help ship games that sold for millions of copies.
But I digress..
Hmm, investments as a video game. I’m not talking about things like Cashflow 101, but rather to adopt the mindset of treating investments like playing a video game. Let me briefly explain what I mean.
In a typical video game, there are:
– a protagonist (a.k.a. the good guy, usually you, the player)
– a clear end goal (a quest, or an objective)
– a good number of obstacles preventing us from reaching the goal (perhaps in the form of enemies, a concept, or the manifestation of the concept)
– a few mini-quests
Mapping this into the world of investments:
A.k.a. You! Nothing much to elaborate here
A Clear End Goal
For most people, this should be relatively simple — the end goal being financial independent. The ability to work because we want to, not because we have to. But you have to think of your end goal yourself. It’s unique to each individual, and because of that, the route taken is different too.
The obstacles in a game seek to prevent you from reaching, or to distract you from your goal. In investments, this could be any of the following:
Yourself (Fear / Greed)
Wants (that branded watch, bag, etc)
Your wife (kidding)
These usually serve to either assist you directly in achieving your goal, or to just give the player a more immersive experience, i.e. to just enjoy the journey of playing the game.
Again, we could map these to:
Subscribing to a Rights issues (a direct correlation to our goal)
A simple dinner treat to reward ourselves (immersive experience)
The End Game
So what’s the point of this short pseudo-intellectual journey of associating investments to playing a game?
I’ve always believe in doing something that one finds joy in. Be it learning a new skill, blogging, or even going to work (I know at least one person who would disagree with me on the last one). Life would be so sad and depressing if we do not learn to find joy in our day to day lives!
The journey towards financial independence is like a marathon, not a 100m sprint. We get there, inch by inch, kilometer by kilometer. It takes time – years in fact! We see our dividends trickle in, drip by drip, slowly building up to a puddle. This takes years.
Having a clear end goal is important – and some of us may have different end goals. And because of this, the route taken is different. What works for one, may not do the same for the other. You mean you bought that counter I advised you not to (just because it doesn’t fit into my own objectives)?
We will have to watch out for the antagonists, and it’s easier to identify them if they are ‘known unknowns’, so we can be extra prudent and wise in dealing with them when they appear.
The mini-quests, the icing on the cake, help to create a more immersive experience along this long journey.
But most important of all, treat it like a game – don’t forget to have fun!