6 Things Monopoly Can Teach You About Life

1. Monopoly Will Teach You About Capitalism

Mike Curry takes a dim view of Monopoly. He writes:

2. Monopoly Will Teach You About Socioeconomics

The outcome of the game could be decided in the first quarter. Landing on the more profitable squares early on could set you up for financial success. One could argue this is reflective of the card you are dealt in life. You can no more control the family you are born into than you can control the outcome of your rolls, but just because a player takes the lead with the more lucrative blue properties does not mean they will know how to manage their resources. A person could build too fast, diminish their funds, and find themselves trapped when someone else’s hotel takes a substantial bite out of their collection. It is hard to become wealthy, but it can be just as hard to maintain that wealth. Someone is equally able to come out ahead from a weaker position, as I’ll explain in a moment.

3. Monopoly Will Teach You to Budget

In the beginning, your goal should be to buy everything you can. Unlike real life, you want to spend down, because unlike real life, your money is not earning interest. Therefore, coming out of the gate, your objective should be to control the board. Similarly, young adults should invest their money somewhere, almost anywhere, rather than keep it stagnant in some low yield account, or worse, under a mattress.

4. Monopoly Will Teach You About Market Cycles

In one roll, you could find yourself paying $1,200 to Pacific Avenue/Regent Street. This could send you into negative figures. You start considering the properties you will need to mortgage to remain afloat, but in the next roll someone ends up paying you $1,000 for the rent you collected on Illinois Avenue/Trafalgar Square. The figures here are arbitrary, but the point is that your value will drop and sore without your control in much the same way the housing bubble popped in 2008. At other times the impact on your value could fluctuate similar to the effects of COVID-19, where properties outside of crowded coastal urban environments started looking more appealing. Don’t be afraid to take risks, especially if you have comfortable reserves, but understand your value could be swung by macro factors outside of your influence.

5. Monopoly Will Teach You About Building Relationships

Trading in Monopoly is essential. I can’t think of a scenario where a person could win a game without trading properties to get ahead. Every transaction should be strategic. Don’t complete someone else’s set unless you will complete one of your own sets, or unless you are desperate. Regardless, you should always be a good sport. No one has to accept your deal. The more considerate you are, the more likely someone else might take pity on you later and cut you a lucrative transaction to help keep you afloat. But, don’t be so nice that you just prolong the game. Eventually someone must win.

6. Monopoly Will Teach You to Think Long-term

Different people will recommend different strategies to win Monopoly. I think the strategy you choose will depend on the specific round: the number of players, their style of investment, the quality of properties you collect early on, etc., but I will give you two pieces of advice:

Final Thoughts

Because I am a competitive player, losing at drawn out games like these can almost feel demoralizing. Dramatic? Absolutely. Who wants to lose after investing so much effort at creating what you think is a good strategy? It should just be a game, and while I am congratulatory toward the people who soundly beat me, I walk away from the round contemplating the various ways I could have done better.

Next Steps

If you don’t have a Monopoly set in your home, you can grab one from Amazon. This is an affiliate link and helps this blog earn a little change.

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Like Mr. Fortune Cookie Fortune Writer: Though the tablet is small, my message never will be! Or, that’s the hope. :)

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Joe Orozco

Joe Orozco

Like Mr. Fortune Cookie Fortune Writer: Though the tablet is small, my message never will be! Or, that’s the hope. :)