Chutes and Ladders: Investing Lessons From Famous Children’s Games

Chutes and Ladders is a game that most children play and love. While the game itself is very simple, it can actually have profound meaning in today’s financial world and what to do in investing.

Playing Chutes and Ladders is fun and it is a game that doesn’t require great skill or a lot of thought. The fun part about this game is its unpredictability. Because one minute you can be ahead and the next minute everything can change. As children, this can be a great game of chance, but as adults, it can be a hard fall when knocked to the bottom. You must understand how to play this game to really get the concept by linking it to the financial world.

Like most board games it has a starting and an ending point. The goal is to cross the finish line first. It has a spinner and everyone takes a turn. The spinner will tell you how many squares you can move. As you move along the board, there are boxes with ladders in them. These boxes allow a person to advance or skip over lines. There are also boxes with chutes and if you are the unlucky one that lands on these sections, you must slide back down and start over again.

Usually, the goal of a game is to finish the quickest and get the higher number on the spinning wheel. But in this game, if you roll a lower number, it seems you get ahead further than being a high roller. In other words, the lower and slower you progress on the board, often times the better you fare in the end.

Many people have lost everything in the financial destruction of our economy. To put it in laymen’s terms, there are two roads that we can each take in life. While some may opt to be a high roller and put all of their investments out there, others prefer to take the slow and steady road. They may start with an investment or two and slowly build rather than placing all their money in risky adventures.

Oftentimes, we don’t see the big picture and how many times must we fall to be able to get up again? What is truly fascinating is the fact that by taking a step back, or being forced to go down the chute like in the game, it can give us a new perspective on how to handle our finances. Some people want to put it all on the table and advance quickly to the top. But the problem with that analogy is that often times we over invest and put our money in risky investments, and that can send us right back to the beginning.

Because the stock market and other investments are a big risk, it is better to take it slow and steady rather than having to start all over again. While any money invested is a risk, if you don’t risk it all then you don’t have to start at the beginning again. While it may be a set-back, it isn’t enough to send you back to the starting line. Chutes and Ladders is just a game, but isn’t investing and keeping our nest egg protected?

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