The Neopian Stock Market
Have you ever considered investing in the Stock Market, but didn't know where to start? If so then don't worry, this guide was written for the thousands of Neopians who, just like you, have heard that the Stock Market is a means to make your fortune but are not quite sure how the whole thing works.
Nigel the Stockbroker Chia says "Have you considered investing in TSRC?"
What Are Stocks?
In real life, a stock (also known as a share) is a little piece of the company; if you purchase stocks, then you own a tiny percentage of the company you have invested your money in. Say, for example, you decided to purchase a stock in a new company for $1. Over time, that company might increase in value as they earn more money, until that stock which you originally only paid $1 for is now worth $5. If you owned several thousand of these stocks, you would be looking at a very large profit.
It can work both ways though. The company you invested in might lose a lot of money and the value of the shares you bought could fall to 50 cents each, or even worse, the company could go bankrupt and then your shares would be worth absolutely nothing! In the real world, investing in stocks can be a big gamble: sometimes it will pay off while other times it won't.
The Neopian Stock Market
Although they share some resemblance, the Neopian Stock Market has many differences from the real world stock market.
In the Neopian stock market, you can buy and sell shares in 43 different companies. (There are another 13 that have gone bankrupt over the years, so you cannot trade with those.)
Stock prices update every 30 minutes (plus a few seconds). There are no times when the market is "closed"; the stocks will update throughout the day, every day. Not every stock will change price at these updates; in fact, most of them will stay the same. The daily statistics of volume (the number of shares purchased) and opening price are reset at the 4pm NST update. A stock's value can never go below 6 NP, though they have no known maximum value.
Other than the current prices, the different companies are functionally indistinguishable. Years ago, the Stock Market was actually influenced by how well certain Neopian businesses did; for example, Hubert's Hot Dog stocks went up and down in value depending on how many items the shop of the same name sold. However, this led to pockets of users grouping together and buying out entire shops to inflate the value of their stocks, so The Neopets Team put a stop to that. These days, stock price updates are random, though do follow some patterns discussed later in this article.
Buying Your Stocks
The best place to buy stocks is from the Bargain Stocks page. This is a list of the cheapest stocks in Neopia at the moment. I would bookmark this link, or use your Jellyneo Dailies Service to remind yourself to visit each day.
You are only allowed to buy shares that are currently trading for 15NP or more each. When choosing a stock to purchase, the rule of thumb is "buy low, sell high," so it is best to only pick stocks trading for 15NP as that is the cheapest you can possibly purchase. However, if you choose the Cheaper by the Dozen boon from the battleground, you may purchase stocks that cost as low as 10NP!
Scroll down the list of stocks on the bargain list (the one you come to when you clicked the link above) and find the first company whose shares are trading for 15NP.
Here is a quick break down of what all the numbers mean:
- Icon: A little picture of what category it belongs to; this doesn't really mean anything, it's just a fun way of differentiating between companies.
- Ticker: A 2 to 5 letter ticker; think of it as a nickname.
- Company Name: You can find a complete list of active companies here.
- Volume: Running total of the number of that stock which has been bought that day.
- Opening Price: How many Neopoints each stock was worth at the last daily reset.
- Current Price: How many Neopoints the stock is currently worth.
- Change: Percentage total of how much the price of that stock has changed during the day. A green number indicates an increase, a red number indicates a decrease.
Let us pretend that the above screenshot is what you see when you go to buy stocks for the very first time. You can see that Stuff-A-Pet Inc. and The Neopian Auction House are both trading at 15NP per share, so you could choose either one of them. To buy stocks, click on the ticker for the company you wish to purchase and you will be taken to an utterly pointless screen which lists the other companies in that category. Just click on the name of the company again and you will be taken to a screen which looks like this:
Click on the little button and presto! Congratulations, you just bought your first set of stocks! The maximum you can purchase each day is 1,000 stocks. It is up to you whether you want to buy them all from one company or whether you want to buy a few hundred from lots of different ones.
As you buy more stocks each day, you will want to diversify your portfolio, which is just a fancy way of saying "don't put all your eggs in one basket." Stock changes are random, and it can take a long time for a company's stock to reach a point where it's worth selling. To improve your chances, you'll want to invest in as many different companies as you can. If you're choosing between multiple companies with 15NP stocks, buy the company you have the least stocks of, or buy an even amount of all of them!
The Waiting Game
Once you have bought your stocks, there isn't really anything else for you to do but to wait for them to increase until you are happy with the profit margin. It is a good idea to check your portfolio at least once a day (or more often if a particular stock is doing particularly well and you are considering selling). Here is an overview of the portfolio screen and what it all means.
Boxes with column totals will also appear at the bottom
- Sell: Clicking on this little triangle opens up the option to sell those stocks
- Icon, Ticker, Opening Price, Current Price, Change: Same as before.
- Quantity: How many of that company's stock you currently own.
- How Much You Paid: Self-explanatory, but crucial to obtaining the avatar!
- Worth: How much your stocks would be worth if you sold them right now.
- Change Since Buying: How much the stock has changed since you purchased them. As before, green indicates an increase and red indicates a decrease.
You will want to pay particular attention to the current price, as ultimately this will determine whether or not you want to sell your stocks. How long you wait is entirely up to you, though most players choose to sell at 60. It's a good idea to set yourself a cut-off point and stick to it. If you would rather have the Neopoints as quickly as possible then you might decide to sell off stocks once they reach 30, or even lower if you are really impatient. The only "wrong" time to sell is when your stocks are in the red, so you would be making a loss. It may seem like the best option to cut your losses and sell up before you lose even more money but hang in there, in time they will slowly start to rise again.
Years ago, companies would on occasion go bankrupt, and all money invested would be lost forever. However, it's generally believed that these were actually manual interventions by TNT, and has not happened since November of 2004, which is to say it's no longer worth being concerned about.
Unlike the real world, you are guaranteed to make a profit on all of your stocks eventually; it's just a matter of waiting.
When your stocks reach that "magic number" and you want to sell them, it's time to pay Nigel the Chia a visit. On the portfolio page, click the little triangle to the left of the icon on the stocks you want to sell. You will then get a little drop down menu asking you how much of the quantity you want to cash in.
Each batch of stocks you bought will be grouped separately, along with the individual prices of each set when you bought them and the respective increase/decrease in value. You can choose to sell all of them at once, or you can hold back some number just in case the value rockets up further. Yet again, it is entirely up to you how many or how few you choose to sell and when you choose to sell them. When you sell your stocks, you have to pay Nigel a handling fee of 20NP, however, and you can sell as many batches of stock as you like from as many different companies as you like at the same time and he will only charge you the single fee of 20NP.
Stocks in the Neopets Stock Market are what statisticians call Markov chains. All this means is that (1) they change values randomly and (2) the only thing that determines their next price is their current price. All stocks at a given price will behave the same. The table below shows why 60 is a popular and wise selling point—it's statistically unlikely to go much higher. However, if against great odds it makes it above 100, it's worth holding onto until the price gets near or over 200!
|Current Price||Minimum Change||Maximum Change||Average Change|
|7-20||-1||+1||Stay the same|
|21-40||-2||+2||Stay the same|
|41-60||-3||+3||Stay the same|
|201-250||-5||+5||Stay the same|
|301-350||-7||+6||Stay the same|
|401-850||Unknown—we have not seen stocks in this range for a very long time!|
|851-900||-4||+4||Stay the same|
|901-1,000||-5||+5||Stay the same|
|1,001-1,200||-3||+3||Stay the same|
|1,201+||-4||+4||Stay the same|
The Stock Market Boon
Certain factions give the opportunity of activating the Cheaper by the Dozen boon if you side with them and they emerge victorious from the Battleground of the Obelisk. This boon allows you to purchase stocks that are selling for 10NP per share as opposed to the usual 15NP restriction, meaning that you make even more profit when selling them later.
- Use Bargain Stocks page to look for stocks
- Only ever buy stocks that are 15NP each or 10NP if you have the Cheaper by the Dozen boon active—if there are none the first time you look then try checking back later in the day
- If you can afford it, always buy the maximum allowed 1,000 shares per day
- Buy stocks from different companies whenever possible
- Never sell at a loss
- Have at least 20NP on hand to pay Nigel when selling
Nigel the Chia
When you visit the Stock Market, you will be greeted by Nigel the Chia again, who will try to wow you with his flashy gadgets and his boast of owning the only car in Neopia. Don't let him fool you though: he has absolutely no clue what he's talking about when it comes to stocks! The random event where he suggests investing in a particular company is truly random; he has no insider knowledge.
This game guide was written by: Kenny and Weepit