"You can really learn something about stocks, mergers, takeovers, and the general world of finance, and have a whacking good time in the bargain." -- Computerworld columnist Jerry Pournelle
Adding more players makes "Wall Street Raider" all the more compelling. If you get yourself into a weakened financial situation, the computer players can be very ruthless -- they will "take no prisoners," cutting off your credit, calling in loans, harassing you with lawsuits and other dirty tactics. Engage, if you dare, in risky ventures that could be your financial salvation and crowning achievement of your Wall Street career -- or the end of it! Quickly going from "riches to rags" is quite possible in Wall Street Raider, just as it is on the real WallStreet. (But hey, it's not real money here, thankfully!)
More Game Features
In the highly realistic computer simulation that is "Wall Street Raider," one to five players (including up to four computer players, if you choose) compete to amass fortunes by investing in, or taking over and managing, any of up to 1590 companies in 70 industry groups. You start rich, with up to $1 billion, which is enough to take over one or more decent-sized industrial companies or to start your own company in any of 70 industries, and the idea is to increase your wealth more than any of the other players you are competing with.
Once you acquire control of a company, you and your company will use all the tricks of the trade of real Wall Street corporate raiders, also known as wolves of Wall Street, to expand your empire and net worth. The tactics you will employ include:
Trading or investing in stocks and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), now including 3X (triple-leveraged) bullish or bearish Stock Index funds and 3 different kinds of bond funds, as well as investing in 15 stock "sector" ETFs that invest or trade in stocks, options in certain industries, and in one fund, in commodity futures
In recent versions, become the investment manager of an ETF and possibly earn large incentive fees for superior performance, like a hedge fund manager (or be fired if the fund under-performs the market averages!)
Trading or investing in corporate and government bonds
Investing in corporate or government bonds or financing your companies with "straight" or convertible bonds
Gaining voting control of other companies, to run them (and try to manipulate their earnings and stock price)
Industry domination and monopolization, by increasing your company's market share in its industry
Setting bank lending policies for any banks you control, such as restricting lending to competitors or ruthlessly calling in the loans of corporate competitors or other players, as well as setting general asset allocation policies for your bank(s), between cash, bonds, consumer loans, and prime and subprime mortgages, in addition to lending to corporations and players
Viewing detailed 3-month corporate cash flow projections, or heeding automatic warnings, when it is necessary to make changes in a company's policies, such as capital spending or dividend payout, to avert cash flow "crunches"
Options trading for speculation or to hedge stock positions
Short selling of stocks, options, and commodity or stock index futures
Speculating in or hedging with commodity futures and stock index futures
Speculating in Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies, or futures on either
Trading in physical commodities (oil, gold, silver, wheat, corn) that you buy and store, to wait for a better price
Speculating in ultra-high-risk interest rate swaps, by creating custom-made derivatives contracts (that are bets on the future direction of various interest rates)
Having banks or insurance companies you control invest (speculate) in high-yield junk bonds or risky "subprime" mortgage securities, or by buying up high-yielding but risky corporate loans
IPOs and startups, to raise capital or to create a new subsidiary to enter a highly profitable industry
Private placement stock offerings to raise "outside" private money or from within your corporate empire
Cash or stock tender offers for corporate takeovers, or cash tender offers for LBOs
Greenmail stock buybacks and LBOs to get rid of hostile or unwanted minor shareholders in your companies
Stock-for-stock mergers to diversify or to gobble up competitors and increase industry dominance
White knight defenses to protect your control of a company by bringing in "neutral" corporate shareholders
Buying up distressed debt (bonds) of companies in financial trouble
Launching antitrust lawsuits and other litigation to harass financially vulnerable competitors, or sometimes win large judgments or settlements from the defendants
A new setting in v. 9.50 now allows a player to turn off antitrust laws, creating a 19th century-style "robber baron" economy, where it is easier to create monopolies in one or more industries
Mass layoffs and restructuring of companies to increase efficiency and profitability
Spin-offs or liquidations of subsidiaries, tax-free or otherwise
Earn a lavish salary and executive stock options as CEO of one company you control, plus possible large performance bonuses for increasing earnings
Increasing dividends of companies you own (or cutting their dividends, to conserve cash)
Firing management, in the hope that new administration will be an improvement
Tax avoidance strategies to avoid income taxes and other taxes on capital
Manipulating earnings by increasing/decreasing spending on R&D or marketing, or by using "hidden" accounting reserves as "slush funds"
Using any methods to get a stock price up, in a company you control, including sometimes engaging in "unethical" (and risky) actions
You'll delegate most management decisions in your corporate empire, Warren Buffett-style, by turning on the "auto-pilot" feature, once you have acquired control of too many companies to effectively micro-manage them all. But you will continue to make all the significant decisions for your companies, on choices like which companies to buy or sell or merge with, or which industries to enter or exit
And much more, all in the quest for the Almighty Dollar
An individual game player can engage in risky (but sometimes lucrative) activities for his or her account, such as short selling of stocks, and players or companies can participate in buying and shorting put and call options and commodity futures on crude oil, gold, silver, wheat, and corn, or can gamble with massive leverage on interest rate swaps (derivatives contracts), or speculate on wildly fluctuating cryptocurrencies. Although the U.S. dollar is the default, players also can instantly configure the simulation for any one of 22 other currencies, before starting a new game, starting with the equivalent of up to U.S. $1 billion in Euros, Pounds, Yen, Won, Canadian, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Australian dollars, Rupees, Pesos, Kroner, etc. Use the default currency exchange rate or, in the current version, set the exchange rate yourself at the start of a new game.
Of course, no Wall Street simulation would be complete without ethical challenges. Wall Street Raider frequently presents you with difficult ethical choices, unexpectedly, although you can turn off that feature, if you don't wish to be tempted. Sometimes, by making an unethical choice, you can make a quick killing for your company; other times, such as by failing to recall an unsafe product, you can at best avoid a big expense. In either case, you create bad karma each time you act unethically, making it ever more likely that your bad actions will have severe negative consequences. Successfully running a large company requires the ability to wisely make hard decisions, and WSR will test you to the limit!