My Empire Avenue Strategy and Tips

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If you like these tips, please consider investing in me (if I’m a good investment for your strategy). You could, of course, follow me on Twitter, comment on and thumbs-up all of my my YouTube videos, Like my Facebook fan page, too. ;)

This document outlines my general thoughts, experiences, and opinions. It was designed to help provide you with a better understanding as to how this site works (and can work better for YOU). I fumbled through Empire Avenue for the first couple of weeks before I figured out a few formulas for success – and I still haven’t figured everything out! :)

The content may or may not be updated regularly, but the advice may change between the time you read it and the time I’ve figured out a better way to do something. Moreover, look for clarifications in the comments below, as I’ve likely not explained everything perfectly and have missed a few tips. Or, leave a comment, yourself?

Before you go any further, I suggest you install this open source Pirillo Power Pack for Empire Avenue Google Chrome extension that (e)RINGLE, (e)GEEKLAD (and possibly others) have developed, courtesy of the EAv API and a few of my suggestions. It’ll calculate current ROI (based on the weekly dividend average and current share price) on any given profile page (and inject it under the stock symbol in today’s site design). It will also allow you to hyperlink (e)STOCK symbols on twitter.com – when you see one, press the Empire Avenue logo in your omnibar and voilà! With the extension, you’ll get more information on a profile page before and after purchase, and you’ll see more information in portfolio view to boot.

I must also begin by thanking all of the long-time Empire Avenue community members for helping me refine this document, including (e)ANGLER who helped with a few finishing touches.

The Long and Short of It

Before you TL;DR me, here’s a synopsis of the game mechanics before I dive into the introduction:

  • You increase your dividends by being interactive, on-site and off-site.
  • You increase your stock price by being purchased (on-site), and by your social activities. Experienced users are absolutely attracted to stocks with consistent high dividends, not necessarily those with high stock prices.
  • You increase your share percentage for your shareholders by providing higher dividends.
  • You collect the best dividends from stocks with a higher daily yield percentage [(dividend per share / share price)*100] also referred to as ROI (Return On Investment)
  • If your stock price is “high” and you’re not producing as many dividends as similarly-priced stocks, savvy investors may not want to buy into you.
  • If your stock price is in a possible free-fall or declining trend, your shareholders may dump you, your stock price will go down, and you’ll need to increase your dividends to bring them back.
  • The amount of shareholders you have has no bearing on your stock price, other than pushing it up a bit when they purchased stock in you. They are always going to love you more if you produce more dividends for them.
  • Eventually, no matter how great your stock is, you will start a day off in negative territory. Investors may be tempted to sell you on these days – but don’t panic. Concentrate on your dividend and the investors will follow.

The motif in all of the above: dividends, dividends, dividends. This encourages activity, activity, activity. It reinforces everything you’ve already been doing on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, your blog(s), etc. People aren’t dividends – their actions are.

You’re not buying people – you’re buying into, reinforcing, and encouraging further action in “social media.” ;) It is my honest goal to encourage people to do better than me; unlike some users who are power-hungry, I recognize that I only win if YOU win.

Introduction

Empire Avenue, if you’ve not heard of it, is a site that combines the game mechanics of a stock market with the interconnectedness of a social network. With a free account, you can add several of your social media profiles (Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc.) to your profile – and, within a week’s time, Empire Avenue will be able to show you and the world just how “influential” across those networks you TRULY are.

You can buy and sell virtual currency, known as “Eaves.” At the moment, they hold no extrinsic value – but Eaves are everything in relation to how much you can invest in other stocks. The more you have, the more better you can connect with other people and brands – specifically, those you weren’t already aware of. You’re not buying and selling people, folks: you’re buying and selling value, based on the velocity of a stock price… which is based primarily on the activity a user has either on-site or off-site (in their aforementioned connected social media profiles).

This isn’t Yet Another Social Network (YASN). This isn’t just a game. This is what Klout dreams to one day become. Empire Avenue’s mechanic encourages the crux of social media: to connect and share with others. The more you do, the more people INTERACT with what you do, the better you do. The best way to understand it is to just jump in. The water’s fine. ;)

You already have shareholders in your community – giving them a chance to play with you on Empire Avenue (even if you only sign up for an account and never return) is at least letting them see even MORE value from what you’re already tweeting, uploading, blogging, sharing, and… get the picture? You’re finally delivering the elusive ROI of social media.

If you don’t understand what this is today, perhaps look into your crystal ball and guess where it’s headed. To me, it’s perfectly clear, perfectly fun, and perfectly practical. I’m not the only industry veteran with such a belief.

If you tried it before and were confused, read this post, try my suggested tips and tools, and see if you fare better?

If nothing else, realize that once you’ve connected external accounts to Empire Avenue, it will help you keep track of your gains and losses (followers, Likes, etc.). For that, and that alone, this should be worth your time.

How Do You Use Empire Avenue?

The following tactics have helped some users increase their enjoyment, their Eaves’ return speed, their portfolio, and their shareholders’ happiness. The math works for my strategy, as I’m sure other math works for other strategies.

Yes, I like to take the “ROI or bust” approach to using Empire Avenue. I just want to scan the screen, make a decision, and go. And I do. And it works. And I meet tons of new people.

The object of the game isn’t to get friends – it’s to make friends and help each other grow, to extend your reach beyond your traditional community circles, and (largely) to do well for either yourself, your shareholders, or both. None of these ideals are mutually exclusive.

Or, as my new friend e(RYANJZ) said: “Making friends and getting friends is akin to mass following people on Twitter versus following people that you have spoken with.” In related terms, ‘Klout’ is largely irrelevant.

You find more people, more people find you, and you grow by helping each other grow. Everybody is encouraged to participate, as that only increases their mutual value. Nobody wins because everybody wins.

EAv (Empire Avenue) isn’t a replacement for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.. Don’t treat it like any other social network you’ve joined. EAv takes all your social media experiences and places a relative value on them – people can invest time in you and see value in investing time in others. It’s helped expand my own community in the time I’ve been playing it.

I’ve never been so addicted to something I was doing anyway – and now I can show anybody my profile and prove that I am active across multiple networks and sites.

Don’t just think you can jump in, throw a whole bunch of spam into the mix, and expect to get away with it. If you’re not engaged, you’re not likely going to go anywhere. This is a potential boon for those of us who have already been very active (and interacted with) on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and beyond. I’m not doing anything differently than I was doing before, and while my volume may only be up slightly – my engagement ratio has grown concurrently, so I’m doing something right.

So, Why Do Social Media “Experts” Dislike It?

Because, unlike other social networks, your value on EAv isn’t based on name recognition alone – it’s based on action. I don’t care if you have a zillion followers on Twitter; if you aren’t driving good dividends to me, you’re not a good investment on EAv. I don’t care who you think you are. I will help everybody do better, either way – THAT is the idea!

It’s less of a system failure and more of a failure of the system to stroke their ego unconditionally. More promotions of a stock doesn’t necessarily yield better returns for shareholders, either. A higher stock price isn’t a good thing if your dividends aren’t congruent! I’ll explain more soon.

Empire Avenue the antithesis of every other social network we’ve seen, and (yet) the best one I’ve ever joined.

Some have argued that there’s no business model in Empire Avenue. They see it as a frivolous waste of time. I’m sure they said the same thing when twttr started, too. I, however, think there are strong possibilities for brands and advertisers here. I had the same vision for commercial viability of email newsletters in 1996, for blogs in 2001, for RSS in 2002, for podcasting in 2003, for live video streaming in 2007, for… well, I’ve been at this for a long time.

Seemingly, most who pooh-pooh the site have never used it, have the wrong idea about it, and… are nothing more than armchair analysts. They might get in, can’t figure it out, and leave. Worse yet? When that happens, people keep investing in the stock. Ugh. Even worse yet? The ROI on that account is typically abysmal, but people keep buying it because they think the user is participating.

Should brands and corporations pay attention? Don’t take my word for it. Are brands already engaging on Empire Avenue? All signs point to YES. Some of these “celebrity accounts” leave and their stock eventually becomes a good buy if they connected external mechanisms (which drives dividends). That said, most “celebrities” have had some of the worst returns on the entire site – but the onus is on them to be worth our time, energy, and virtual currency.

Is the “attention economy” no longer en vouge?

The “Problem” with Empire Avenue

EAv is a completely new idea; you have to treat it like more like what it is – not what it isn’t.

The world had the same kind of perception issue when it came to the iPad. before it shipped, many were quick to dismiss it as a failure-to-launch. Why? I detailed that in another blog post a long time ago. I believe that Empire Avenue suffers from the same “problem.”

Some users work EAv as though it were Facebook, and treat it as such – with investments and recommendations being equal to “friending.” No. That’s Facebook, and Empire Avenue is a stock market that merely leverages your gestures FROM Facebook. Some may get upset if you first buy (then sell) their stock. Friending will happen over time, but bonding over buying is only half the process.

Friending a person by investing in them is just… not really all that wise, from an investment standpoint. They may not have dividends and a share percentage to match their stock price. If you want to show them you care, show them how this type of stock market works so they can play the game instead of playing with the game. Buy a big name if you’re in for a possible long-term investment, but by doing so, you run the risk of not being able to accelerate your money in other investments in the meanwhile – wait for the value to bounce before you buy.

Rather than putting eaves into an established stock that has reached a flat growth, look for stocks with on an upswing (in share price) that produce a “decent amount” of dividends.

If you want to invest in a “poor investment” because you hope they’ll notice you, why not give ‘em tips on how to increase their dividends to make you happy instead of reinforcing their rather… well, lackluster returns. You may also want to make multiple, small purchases of 5 – 25 shares over a period of time rather than dropping a large wad all at once. This benefits both you and your investment with EAv activity.

Let me further clarify: just because you’re a bad investment doesn’t make you a bad investor or a bad person. If your object of the game is to do better and meet people, you have to decide how you care to excel. If you want to be a good investment, don’t beg people when you know you’re not at a stage to be a good investment AT THE MOMENT. If you want to be a good investor, pick wisely and at your own pace.

In either case, your worth as a user is equal to everybody else’s in EAv.

This is a stock market with social layers – and it’s a total blast to play once you throw previous “social networking” constructs out the window, too. In fact, I’d bet you see your existing social media efforts accelerating once you become involved in EAv. Suddenly, there’s a direct benefit to participating. Do not underestimate the value of virtual goods.

Stock price (alone), Net Worth, or portfolio are not metrics of your value as an active member of the community.

Restart Your Strategy

Rookie mistakes: (1) buying friends who are not engaged, (2) buying established big brand names outright, (3) buying the first thing they see, (4) buying shares because someone asked them to do so, (5) investing in everything they see; (6) holding onto every single stock you purchase forever; (7) buying the highest-priced stocks blindly.

It’s never too late to turn things around, though. Every minute is a new minute, and yes – you can turn things around THAT quickly. Analyze and dump those non-performers (low ROI, slow appreciation) if you want to see immediate results. How do you know if a stock is a good short-term performer at a glance? Yes, I’ll get to that – but because there’s been so much pushback from would-be users, I’ve wanted to de-explain / re-explain Empire Avenue first.

My strategy dictates: maximize revenues for you, maximize returns for your shareholders, maximize your network connections, maximize participation, maximize . That means: accrue the most amount of Eaves in the quickest way possible. The way to do this is to look for what I have started to refer to as “sleepers,” or deals that are seemingly too good to be true in terms of the returns you’ll get for such a low-Eaves investment.

You get more Eaves, you find more people to invest in – you give out great dividends to your shareholders, they get to invest in more people, consequently. It’s the circle of life.

It’s not just ABOUT YOU. Well, to me it isn’t.

And that’s why everybody in this game is a winner (and if I repeat myself, it’s only because this point is very important). You make more dividends, your shareholders are happy. You invest in better-returning stocks, you get more eaves to spend on investing in more people. Or, you show people how “the math” works to help them return more dividends for their shareholders (whether you are a shareholder in them or not).

You see, Empire Avenue isn’t a competition, it’s a collaboration.

How Do You Know It’s a Good Investment?

As e(GEEKLAD) explains: “I see now how how the ROI calculation is being made, which is simply the estimate of how much in dividends per share daily divided by the price per share. To put it in stock investment terms, this ROI calculation provides the dividend yield. So there are essentially two ways to make money in EAv buying stocks. With good dividend yields, as well as ‘capital appreciation’ (also stock investing term), i.e. an increase in the price of a stock.”

The key factor on investment may NOT be picking the highest stock price in the charts. You cannot base a solid decision on one number in a stock market. In fact, frequently a stock price could be overinflated in relation to your dividend returns – and THAT is what matters most (dividends, dividends, dividends). The stock may be growing, but if it’s dividends are not growing to match it’s price… there’s incongruence.

If you’re looking for a faster way to generate more Eaves by spending less of them, don’t buy without knowing you’ve got an up-and-comer with a tremendous ROI (1.0+). The less you spend on a stock, it seems, the more quickly you can get your investment back. I wouldn’t necessarily invest less than 100 shares in someone, but only because It’s a nice round number and shows that I’m dedicated to watching that stock climb (immediately and into the future).

And, here’s another little tip I picked up along the way: it might be just as good (if not better) for you to buy fewer shares on lower-priced stocks with high ROI (1.5+) before you go all-in on larger-priced stocks with smaller ROI. Why? Well, smaller stocks will likely grow (capital appreciation) and turn your Eaves around faster.

There is also some risk with investing in the lower-priced stocks, as they likely have not been on EAv all that long. A burst of engagement on their part that may show as a high ROI – when, in reality, the user engaged quite a fair amount on one particular day (resulting in a great dividend), but disconnecting several days subsequently, leaving you with a low or zero dividend. True, the larger stocks should be producing higher dividend yields – but they are bigger investments. A big advantage with high-priced shares is that they need to maintain a good dividend over time. These should be used to balance your portfolio. You will need to decide on the mix of new and mature stock you hold.

My General Strategies (Today)

  • If it’s a hot (new) stock, I’ll go all in at 200 shares – knowing full well I may have to dump ‘em when the stock peters out (which it would likely do – if the stock owner doesn’t engage). You can set price alerts when you buy the stock, setting the low limit to the buying price and the upper limit to a few eaves above the purchase price. If the price exceeds the high price set, bump up both alerts. If the price hits the bottom alert, it may be that you cut any loss and sell.
  • If a stock is producing a crazy amount of dividends (200,000+ per day), I usually go all in – between 200 and 500 shares.Here is a great place to start looking for the high dividend-paying stocks.
  • If a stock belongs to a user who is dedicated to having their stock and dividends grow (and is active on the network), I’m more than likely to go in between 200 and 500 shares. Depends on the ratio between number of dividends and their stock price.
  • If a stock belongs to a brand or known personality, I don’t buy in at all unless they’re offering killer dividends or I get in at the very beginning (see my “hot stock” strategy).
  • If it’s a high-priced stock (75+), I look at how many dividends the person is producing, how active they are in social media, how active they are on EAv.
  • If it’s a new user (1 – 7 days) with absolute promise, I go all in at 200 shares. They appear to be interacting on-site, commenting, they have active social media profiles, their stock is still reasonable (~30 – 50), and their ROI is ~1.3.
  • If a stock has been flatlined for a while, it may make a great long-term investment for your portfolio – especially if the dividends are plentiful and the stock price is reasonable in contrast.

Huh? I Hate Math.

A current ROI doesn’t give you any idea as to how long it’ll take to earn your Eaves back. It just warns you that anything below 1.0 may be a slower-return on your investment – BUT if a stock has an ROI less than 1.0 but yields higher dividends, and is trending / on the rise, it may still be a good investment.

Understand, too, that today’s ROI is not yesterday’s, is not tomorrow’s, is not next week’s. Its calculation is actually delayed! e(POD101) explains that there is still some incongruence between data points.

Now, if you find a stock with a 2.0 ROI – do not pass Go, collect 200 shares. This doesn’t mean these stocks are producing stellar dividends, mind you – it just means that for every Eave you spend, you know what you’re getting in return. If your own ROI is below 1.0, well… you may have some work to do on beefing up those dividends.

It gets more and more difficult for higher-priced stocks to maintain a 1.0 ROI, which (unfortunately) means that they may be less quick to turnaround your initial investment. Ease into some of these stocks with caution, 25, 50, or 100 at a time.

To reiterate; when in doubt, side with a high dividend count – but not at the peril of a really bad ROI (generally in the .50 range).

A stock with an ROI of 1 will typically take 100 days to double your investment provided the dividend stays inline with the stock price.

Remember, in selling and buying you will incur a 5% fee – so if you were to buy a stock priced at 10.00e, it would cost you 10.50e per share. Purchasing a lot of 200 shares would cost 2100 eaves. In order to make a real gain, not taking dividends into account, you would need to sell that stock for at least 11.06e before you make any profit on the stock. If you scale that up to the high end stocks, buying a stock priced at 100.00e would not be profitable until the stock reached 110.60e. This doesn’t mean they are poor investments, it just means they should be bought on a long term basis.

Again, the Google Chrome pluign we’ve created will help you with this.

Which Stock Has More Value?

Try this: find two stocks that are roughly the same price. Click the Buy button and enter “100″ into the shares-to-purchase field. It will show you an estimation of how many shares you’d receive for that buy. Then, if you can compare that number to another similarly-priced stock, you’ll get a better idea of their respective near-term ROIs. Why buy 100 in stock for a 60e dividend when you can buy 100 in stock for a 300e dividend?!

Long-term investments will not likely yield much in dividends in the short-run (that’s what makes ‘em long-term). You may always keep these in your portfolio – but if you’re running low on Eaves (and we all do), you may have to dump them if you see a potential (better) short-term performer, and short-term gains is your strategy.

Just because a stock has a low price and isn’t producing a lot of dividends, remember that it’s relative. You may not have paid a lot for shares in that stock, so… it’s not a huge deal if you’re in it for the long haul (for your portfolio), or you’re watching it grow, knowing when it’ll be time to liquidate your shares (partially or in full) and reinvest in other stocks.

In the beginning, I was buying and dumping what I believed were “poor stocks” left and right – and that’s really the wrong way to go (for a LOT of different reasons). I was guessing, and I didn’t have the right tools or knowledge at my disposal to make good investment decisions. It’s my hope that by outlining my ever-evolving strategy for you that you will be a better player, a better investor, and a better investment for everybody in the game. We all win. ;)

Can’t You Make this Easier for Me?

I can try. Of course, my suggestion is that you install the aforementioned Google Chrome extension for now (I have no agenda, but I also know it’ll go a long way in helping automatically calculate a few important numbers).

  • STOCK1: Stock at 28.15 with a 1,708 / .17 ratio
  • STOCK2: Stock at 27.95 with a 3,704 / .36 ratio

Which one is the better investment for 200 Eaves that day? STOCK2. More dividends, and you’re paying slightly less for a share in STOCK2 to boot. Bear with me here, folks. I was an English major. :)

I look at a stock’s price, its growth that day (shown in green or orange next to the stock price on a profile page) and then its share percentage (ignoring the decimal in the shares for a moment). Using STOCK2 as an example, If the share number (.36) and dividends (3,7) are “higher” than the stock price (27), we may have a good ROI here – short-term, unless they continue to grow.

The closer a share percentage gets to 1.0, the better (ALWAYS). In fact, I do typically hold onto stocks that are providing amazing dividend returns on a continuous basis, even if their numbers don’t line up exactly as I’d prefer. These are usually the accounts which have a 1.x+ share for me. Those are usually keepers, especially if they’re consistently growing (or on an upswing). I know I’m at least getting “1″ back for every “1″ I buy. If the ROI and share percentage both dip below 1.0, I may trade unless they’re offering beefy dividends.

AGAIN – these numbers can fluctuate. Every day. The game changes that quickly. It adapts to our behaviors. If we behave.

As much as you would might be looking for good investments, other people may be looking for the same ratios in YOUR stock. If the your stock is abnormally higher than is share percentage and dividend count, it’s not readily clear to a short-term investor that you’d be a wise choice (or a long-term one, for that matter). If you want to be a good investment and offer great dividends to your shareholders, work to increase your valid on-site and off-site activity.

Users generally want more Eaves – it’s the way the EAv economy flows.

If people beg you to invest back in them, don’t do it as a social gesture – UNLESS they’re a GOOD investment or you believe they have promise. Most aren’t. They are trying to be most popular. Well, a stock market ain’t about popularity, folks – it’s about dividends. Or, think about it another way: your popularity will come if you create a true value for your shareholders (by offering them more dividends for their investment in you).

Rule: if the dividends don’t match, it’s either a bad OR a good catch. I’d always err with a dividend ratio that seems higher (even if the ROI seems lower). If someone is seriously into the five-figures with their dividends, they’re likely a keeper.

It’s wise to look at the past “30-day Share Price” chart as well. Are they flatlining? They may be a better long-term investment. Are they growing at a pretty good clip? They may be both a good short and long-term investment. Are they new to the site? It could go either way.

Don’t the Popular Users Always Win?!

When you find a “sleeper” – someone who has an amazing stock price to dividend / share ratio, an amazing ROI, and is generally not active on-site or heavily invested in – tell everybody you know. Shares won’t be diluted, and you’ll have elevated a user that the world may not have known about before. Cool, eh?

No more of this “I’m an influencer, so I should be on top” game – it’s about what value you drive to your shareholders, not the value they drive to you. Cool, eh?

Haven’t social media “experts” been preaching this as a virtue of their cause for years, yet never have been able to find a way to do it where everybody truly wins? Tweeting out incessantly speaks nothing to your value of those “followers.” Asking a user to comment on your blog doesn’t necessarily do anything for that user – but when the user knows that participation within your community will yield a better score for him/herself AND you (if you’re an investment), we’re closer to a win-win scenario.

I’ve met more people OUTSIDE my normal circle who have been far more influential to me than some of the people you’d likely consider to be leading “influencers.”

This, my friends and investors, is the genius of Empire Avenue.

Why Wouldn’t I Want to Buy a Hot (New) Stock?!

If you’re looking for MORE Eaves faster, don’t jump on a hot (new) stock before you invest in a sleeper that’s been on the site for a while. I’m telling ya. Yes, you can buy a hot stock if you think it will eventually gain you more Eaves – but at the peril of you having fewer eaves to invest as you roll along that day.

My experiment involved BIGBRAND (flooded with investors) versus NOBODY – I purchased 200 shares in each at the same time. Hours later, with more people piling on top of the hot BIGBRAND stock: 200 shares of BIGBRAND were valued at a stock price of 53.13 with a net gain of (+232.60); 200 shares of NOBODY were valued at a stock price of 16.29 with the net gain of (+685.85). Do the math. The 16.29 sleeper had a .41 share and a congruent dividend, and was MORE likely to grow into a better investment in the future.

Only buy a HOT stock if you’re one of the first to see it before commissions jump (temporarily) to 30%, or if you’re certain it’s going to pay out. If you’re too late, you’re probably wasting your Eaves. You’re better off buying a sleeper or two to get a better return on your investment faster. Run your own experiments. Follow me on Twitter and fan me on Facebook for the latest hot stock tips, if you want. I *try* to publish them before a 30% commission kicks in – or I tell you to quickly invest in a Twitter username if I know they’re about to join.

How Much Should You Invest at a Time?

Oh, jury’s still out on this one. It’s completely up to you.

I’ve taken to the tactic of going all-in on a “sure bet” (great price, great ratio, great ROI, known-quantity, outstanding dividends – or a hot stock that’s likely to spike and may die in a few days).

I’ve also found success at stair-stepping my way into a stock I’m not so sure will pay off, too. Then, if you get a great return from them, invest more. From what I can gather, many long-standing community members take this approach in their investments, and their approach has most certainly paid off.

You’re helping your investments by going ALL IN, of course. They could use the Eaves – which they may (or may not) spend on you. If you’re in good standing with those dividends and a great ROI, you should be a shoe-in.

If you find a promising stock, tell others. You’re driving up that stock price, which (if they’re a good investment with a good ROI) should only pay off in droves. Not just in Eaves, but in relationship value as well. Let’s not forget the people / brands behind these stock ticker symbols. ;)

If you can’t afford the “big” stocks, buy smaller ones to build up to the bigger ones with good ratios. It’s possible. Or, spend money in the shop. Which brings me to…

Luxury Items and Upgrades

Want to jump start your portfolio and help the Empire Avenue team at the same time? Buy extra Eaves -but don’t waste ‘em! For $50, you can get 90,000e. Not bad! Consider how much you spend on entertainment elsewhere. Re-budget. ;) Now, it’s highly unlikely to happen, but it’s theoretically possible for someone to buy their way to “the top,” but it would just be a waste of money to accrue an amazing portfolio and give investors virtually nothing return. Why? Bragging rights? Pfff.

After your first week has passed, you can buy upgrades (with Eaves outright, or with fewer Eaves and some real money). Certain upgrades enable you to invest up to 500 shares in other users! After a week, other users who have upgraded their own accounts can buy up to 500 shares in you (even if you did NOT pay for an upgrade). This won’t influence your rankings, either way – it just allows you to invest more in stocks that are giving you amazing returns (or for your shareholders to buy more into you if you’re doing well for them).

Don’t buy luxury items if you’re trying to build Net Wealth immediately. They’re largely status symbols, and won’t give you a return on your investment as quickly as investing your Eaves in “good” stocks. The only possible luxury item I considered first is The Castle. You can spend $100 (real money) on this item, which will produce an extra 25,000e for you a week, and a Net Wealth increase of 4,000e a day – which is awesome. Since you could spend $100 to purchase 180,000e outright (if you wanted), you may be better off buying The Castle, waiting 7 weeks for the ROI to kick in, and then have the same, guaranteed returns indefinitely with this item. “Sports Car 2″ is another good luxury pick, and for that you get 1,000e Net Wealth increase per day and 2,500.00e per week.

Omar Habayeb (awesome and active community member) offered this experience to me when I asked more about the true value of the luxury items. e(OKMMH) explains: “About a month ago, I liquidated about 1.5 million of my portfolio and purchased all of the luxury items in the auto, home, and boat section. I also own two of the planes. I receive 13,726e daily in Net Wealth increase for having those luxury items. This has provided me with a net increase in my wealth of about 417,500e a month. Because I purchased the Castle for $100 and Sports Car 2 for $10, I also receive 27,500e each week. This has provided me with about 119,166e a month. So basically, having ALL of those luxury items is increasing my wealth: 536,666e each month.” That’s regardless of any further activity, in perpetuity.

Spend the (real) money if you have it – the Empire Avenue development team will love you for that! But wait until you’ve built up an insanely wonderful portfolio (like Omar did) before dropping Eaves into anything but good stock investments.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • Check out the Leaders page and look for the top payouts over the past week: “Weekly Dividends.” You should be invested into the top 10, no questions asked. These people will give you more dividends, outright. You may have to accrue enough Eaves to get ‘em into your portfolio, so it’s best to add ‘em one at a time – and it’s a good bet to go from the top down. You’re not going to see much movement here, unless there’s an up-and-comer who shoots up the charts.
  • I’m less likely to invest in a lower-priced stock with four-figure dividends if it doesn’t seem they’re very interested in interacting / playing the game. Five-figure dividend earners get a bit more attention from me at 1.0% ROI. There are only so many eaves in a day.
  • Find your own strategy among this mix. But stick to it when you figure things out for yourself.
  • You might be impressed with a user’s Net Wealth, but… that’s really of no concern to you. It may show that they’ve been around for a while, it may not. Look at their ROI, their dividends, their activity.
  • I wouldn’t recommend buying the “My Stats” agents until you’ve been active for a few weeks. At least, the current iteration of the agents seems to be more useful after more data has been gathered.
  • To hyperlink to a username on-site, you simply wrap it with an ‘e’ and parenthesis. My ticker symbol link would be: e(PIRILLO).
  • If achievements matter, cool. They’re fun, but kinda fluffy (at the moment). The site will reward you for doing things you’re already doing on Twitter, Facebook, and beyond. Easiest achievements you’ll ever earn is by doing things you’re already doing!
  • Remain active on EAv. Once a day is fine – or once a week. Comment. Helps keep you ever-present. You increase your own (direct and indirect) value by participating on-site or through your connected accounts. I can’t get enough of this experience!
  • Connect ALL your social accounts. Do it. Add as many blog RSS feeds as you possibly can, and get your community to endorse them immediately. Look to the “My Connections” tab on your Profile page to add RSS feeds to your blogs. Be sure to submit the feed as a blog feed so it will count against your dividends.
  • You can see your current Dividends / Share levels directly underneath your social profile icons. In the current site design, you may have to toggle the view.
  • You might wanna do this, too.
  • THIS IS A GAME WHERE EVERYBODY CAN BE A WINNER! That’s not a tip, it’s just a reminder. ;)
  • Set alerts for price lows / highs if you feel a bulky investment is risky, but could have good returns if it maintains its present course.
  • Keep in mind, there’s a 5% buy commission and a 5% sell commission. Commit to a stock you believe will give you a return, whether you buy it for the long-haul or the short-term. Flipping stocks too quickly could actually lose you money.
  • Want a free 50,000e? Send out your custom invite link. Click the “Promote Your Profile” link on your Profile page. I’d be careful about sending out an invite to your address book, though – some people hate those kinds of invites. You can also earn extra Eaves by participating in various offers.
  • It should be noted (as pointed out by e(SHARONHAYES)) that if a user is active less than 7 days on the network, their ROI won’t be accurate at all. Only after the 7th or 8th day should you have a prime indicator on whether this person will be a good investment. Only go in on people you STRONGLY believe will be good long-term investments. Sycophants should likely just stick to fawning after celebrities on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.
  • In the leaderboards, understand that position may be irrelevant to actual value. The charts are interesting and fun to watch, but… aren’t really going to provide much useful information beyond knowing who has the highest dividend payouts, who has the strongest gains, or potentially valuable up-and-comers. I don’t care if someone has a high-priced stock – don’t buy it if they’re not returning a fair chunk of dividends to you.
  • Are you using Ping.fm? If not, consider starting now to update your status across Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and beyond. The chances of someone following you in every network AND seeing everything you publish is very small at this point (not based on empirical data, but my own experiences). This is an easy way to drive up activity without putting too much more effort into it. Your dividends should increase, accordingly.
  • Your return will likely be higher if you engage with other truly engaged users, not with “celebrities” and brands which aren’t participating actively.
  • I have people now watching my feed(s) actively to pick up on new finds. At one point, I thought this could hurt me – but that was a mistake on my part. If you heard this advice from me before, ignore it. :) I’m doing my best to keep this page up-to-date, and of course, sharing my tactics openly with other EAvers.
  • NOTE: “Your dividends DO NOT drop when you release new shares. There is no dilution! Your dividend per share is calculated and that number is multiplied out to your shareholders, no matter how many shares you have in circulation.” e(RYANJZ)
  • A smart investment right now is not always a sure thing a day from now.
  • “Thumbs up” entries when users mention you elsewhere, at least, while you can – and it’s worth a couple of achievements. Comment prolifically.
  • If you’re confused by the current site design for Empire Avenue, try the EAv Facebook app.
  • So, you don’t produce a lot of YouTube videos? Fine, but all of your YouTube activities (like commenting, rating, etc.) are tracked as gestures in your EAv account. That means y’all should be commenting and thumbs-upping every single one of the videos I make. You’re helping me, and you’re helping yourself at the exact same time. Deal? :)
  • What happens when you don’t log into the site after a while?
  • Keep your eaves level as close to zero are humanly possible. Grow that portfolio as soon as possible. Re-circulate eaves immediately. Make that money work for you.
  • You can turn off the chat by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.
  • Hint: you can tell a high stock price won’t likely have great dividend returns if the user didn’t bother to connect any of their blog RSS feeds (only the orange icons count towards their score).
  • You can certainly be more cavalier with your investments as you accrue more and more “disposable” Eaves. Just don’t do things willy-nilly without making sure your investors are happy, okay?
  • The communities feature is nice, but… it’s a bit of a kludge for some people to navigate right now (they’re working on it). To me, the real action takes place on your home page and on user pages. That IS the community.
  • You can invest in unclaimed Twitter accounts, too. Your eaves won’t move quickly here, and this is really only best to do on a hot tip or an inkling that a prolific Twitter user is about to join. Even then, if they don’t engage beyond the IPO, dump ‘em within a day because they’re wasting your opportunities to turn those eaves into more eaves.
  • If you want to see how much a user has invested in you, click their “Shares You Own / Worth” directly below their social icons (to the top, towards the right).
  • Just because someone’s stock price goes down doesn’t mean you need to jump ship. Actually, that may not be wise for a few reasons – primarily, because they may still be paying out wicked awesome dividends. Secondarily, the dip may only be temporary (which might happen over the weekend). Monday may be the best day to eliminate non-performers.
  • Why did my share percentage suddenly go down?! Watch this video by e(POD101).
  • The [X] next to a username is not a token granted by Empire Avenue. In fact, it may actually be violating the EAv terms of service, but that’s another discussion for another day. That’s all I’m going to say about it.
  • Watch your own Portfolio, frequently. Get to it by clicking the “Portfolio & Lists” tab on your Profile page. This way, you can see who is doing well, and who is not. The worst thing you could have is a portfolio that isn’t doing well. Well, that’s not the WORST thing – but I like knowing who is growing.
  • #1 is a temporary title.
  • If your stock flatlines, it could be that there’s no demand for it. To create demand, go into your user settings and toggle the “Disable Share Upgrades” setting. This will lock the amount of stocks available, then you can tell your existing shareholders that they better buy in now before they’re all gone! Just like the real world. Maybe some shareholders will leave, and existing shareholders will buy up the remaining stock – if you keep the shares ceiling in place, that may very well improve your ratio and make you even MORE of a hot property. Damond Nollan is blogging his experience with this. It’s generally not advised unless you have a very popular account.

Conclusion

If you think your ROI is amazing (1.0 or much higher), and you’re returning five or six-figure dividends, please let me know – I might invest when I have the extra Eaves.

But (remember) this is a stock market, not Facebook or Twitter. I’ll drop (or decrease) my shares if you’re not giving me a fair chunk of dividends. Nothing personal. I’ll snap you up again when the ratio to accelerate my earnings returns. Trust me. I’ll buy and sell your stock if it’s valuable. Doesn’t mean that I’ll stop participating with you, either – I’ll still be ever-present on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and beyond. I’m not going completely unfollow / unfriend you (nor should others).

Again, I’m not buying and selling YOU.

If you find a sleeper and want to “thank” me for helping you out with this document, please email it to me before sharing it with the world. ;) You have my email address: chris@pirillo.com. Together, we can rule the Empire, like father and… oh, wait. Nevermind.

Epilogue

I’ve never played the real stock market. The only reason I got a B- in high school Economy class is because the teacher allowed me to retake the test in the library over that lunch hour – provided the student could only score as high as a B, even if they aced it. I’d purposefully guess during the test, since he’d review the multiple choice test answers in front of the whole class. What I did was memorize the answer in relation to the question with impromptu pneumonics, so that when I took the retest, I was able to breeze through it and accept a B.

True story.

Recently, I interviewed Aaron K. White, the Director of Digital Alchemy at Empire Avenue. Videos from the interview can be found here. Many of the tips and tricks offered in these videos have since changed, and those changes are present in this article.