18xx with Ambie: Personal vs. Company Money

May 6, 2020

18xx with Ambie is Ambie's video series about 18xx board games featured on The Dice Tower's YouTube channel.

In this video, Ambie talks about the separation of personal and company money and ways to get more personal money.

Hi! I’m Ambie, and this is my video series about 18xx games. If you’re not sure what 18xx games are, check out my 18xx intro video. In this video, I’m going to talk about the separation of company and personal money.

I think one of the more difficult things to grasp when you first start playing 18xx games is the separation of company money from personal money. Even if you're the President of a corporation, the money in that corporation does not belong to you. Even if it has a bunch of cash at the end of the game, that won't help your score at all. So during the game you need to figure out how to make the corporations work for you and make money for you personally.

Firstly, you should keep the corporation money physically separate from your personal money to help you remember that they’re separate. Corporation charters usually have a space reserved for their treasury, so you can place all their money and assets there. For me, it’s helpful to have all of my corporations on one side of my play area, and then have my personal money on the other side, maybe separated by the shares that I own. That way, I won’t mistakenly think that my money is company money or vice versa.

With that out of the way, you might want to know how you actually can get money out of your corporations. In my last video I talked about Private Companies, and selling your private companies is one way to get a bunch of money out of a corporation. But there are plenty of other ways to profit from the corporations you invest in.

A basic way that you get personal money in the game is when corporations pay out dividends to their shareholders. Whenever a corporation runs its trains, it makes money and the president can usually decide whether it will pay dividends or withhold the money into the corporation. When it pays dividends, then every shareholder gets a portion of that money paid out to them in cash.

Also, whenever the stock price goes up, the value of each share you hold goes up, and that value is included in your total score at the end of the game. So anything that makes the share price increase is giving you more money for each of those shares that you own. In a lot of 18xx games, when a company pays dividends the stock price also goes up, so you can get a lot of money when companies pay out dividends!

But note that both of these things affect every shareholder of the corporation, not just you! So in addition to making sure you get personal money instead of just corporation money, you also want to make sure that you’re making more money than everyone else. If you have the same amount of shares in a company as someone else, then you’re both making the same amount of money from whatever that company does!

So that brings me to another way you can make money: selling shares. Selling shares gives you cash immediately that you can use somewhere else, but just that alone isn’t really giving you extra money since you get your share value at the end of the game anyway. But when you sell shares, the share price goes down after you get the money for it, so you’re indirectly making money by making everyone else’s shares of that company worth less! Figuring out whether you want to sell shares and when to do it to get the best value out of them can be a big part of 18xx games.

Thanks for watching 18xx With Ambie! You can email me at ambie@dicetower.com with any questions, comments, or suggestions for future videos!
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