Games of Life

Peck, Maureen
June 2005
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun2005, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p8
Academic Journal
The article presents the author's views on the value of wealth in the lives of every individual. We were thinking about board games and noted their parallels to our financial lives. There are many games, but we chose three classics, still played today, for their use of values, risk, strategy, and luck in the realm of finance: monopoly, acquire, and life. All three games end with the same objective: the player with the most money wins. But the way to a successful financial finish can vary. Acquire follows the same theme and likewise tests your skill at empire-building. Heavy on strategy, it's all about growing your fortune through corporate know-how. Milton Bradley, first a successful lithographer and then a game inventor, introduced The Checkered Game of Life in 1860. The goal was to attain old age happily, rather than fall upon financial ruin. A player's destiny relied on a numbered spinner and a path over a game board of 64 squares whose colors. Games are box-sized versions of life. And life is a game of sorts, checkered with success and failure, serenity and anxiety, plans and surprises, happiness and pain, strategy and luck--all part of games, all part of life. Planning is a wise approach in both cases. The difference, of course, is that if we make imprudent financial decisions in monopoly and lose the game, it's not a big deal.


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