Monthly Archives: July 2015

What to do when you are on bench?


I see many young developers who work for big companies wondering about their future. Well, they are lucky enough, after graduating they got their first job in a big company. Even greater, they are on bench, waiting for an unlimited “training” time. Isn’t it great when you are doing nothing and people still pay you wages?


As a young adult, what are you lacking? Experience, confidence and trust. What do you have? Strength, Innovation power and peerless enthusiasm.

Let’s do a simple calculation. With your skill, you are able to create a value of $10 per day. So your company will pay you 30 x 10 = $300 per month. Let’s say it’s an ok salary for a new graduate. However, are you still satisfied if that salary level last for 2 years? 5 years? 30 years?

Many people think that their salary level will gain with their seniority. I’m sorry, but the market usually pay less than the value you create.

That means if your skills don’t improve or improve little over time, you will soon in a bad shape in the market. The lifetime of a software developer is generally a lot shorter than normal occupations. The world of information changes much rapidly and radically than the world of , let’s say, finance, retail sales or mechanics. If you don’t utilize your strength now to convert them to experience, chance are, you will never have that chance.

Free time

Did that ring any bell?

But wait, you say, I know this person X and Y and Z, they all do their work, repeatedly year by year, but they still live happily. Of course, the general rule doesn’t apply for everyone, do they?

Yes, instead of improving ourselves, there’s an easier way. We can simply spend more time working. If we can spend more time in office, why not? We go home late. We spend less time with our spouse and children. We “dedicated” our valuable time in a way the company never ask us to, so that we can complain how injustice it is each performance appraisal session. No rat race example can be clearer than that.

So you still plan to waste your time sitting there doing nothing? Even if you did bring the pay check home in the end of the month, is your value increasing? Your abilities improved? Your skills trained?

And now you are asking me that you can do what? Doing what?? Am I listening it wrong? You, the ones who are supposed to be the young and innovative energy of the company, ask me what you can do in your free time to improve yourselves? Stop joking! Doing what you feel best. Identify what is your strength, what is your weakness. Find your path.

The resonance of monopoly (3-2): Selecting the right strategy



In the previous posts, we have seen through the history of monopoly game and the source of its popularity. We also see how monopoly is not simply a game of chance. For this blog post, we will answer the question of the previous post: why shouldn’t we choose to invest in Red and Yellow block, while they are great in term of ROI (Return on investment) ?

Every financiers love ROI, not? The number provides a way to compare the benefit we can yield from different projects, given that we don’t have enough money to invest all of them. We need to figure out how, with our limited resource, we get the best result we can get.

But ROI doesn’t mean everything. There are two other key issues here: timing and resources.

We all love ROI, but it doesn’t tell how fast the money will come back to you after your investment. And you need money to invest in other properties and to pay your own rents, no?

Capital Turnover

In the beginning of the game, you have a certain amount of capital, but far from enough. Usually, I will need to calculate very carefully when I have bought my first 7 – 8 properties. You don’t want to over-spend too much that later you need to sell houses to pay for lunch.

And that comes the equation. Providing that the amount of money to buy the Red/Yellow block is fairly high, it is not a good use of money to pursue a domination on Red block. Chance are, if you managed to own these properties, you will run out of money. A property block without houses is like a tiger without teeth: in fact, you can’t sustain a steady income in any property block without houses.

For the Orange block, though its ROI is somewhat less, it’s the block with the highest chance for players to land on. What does that mean? That means it will take less time to recover your investment, and later you will have money to build houses or sustain your business else where, even buying more blocks!


The resonance of monopoly (3-1): Selecting the right strategy

Following the blog post Monopoly: The Game of Finance, we have seen how important it is to realize the “real” value of a property in Monopoly. Needless to say, it’s the same with the property of real life: the business value of a house is not at its price. If you plan to use the building for business, you had better build it where there are lots of people.

Many of beginners make that mistake. They love building on Boardwalk, where they can charge their visitors a hefty price. However, these naive business owners don’t realize that they have to store in a big fortune on these blue blocks too. With the same money, one can easily generate a better income flow elsewhere.

Our question for today: out of all building block in the Monopoly board below, which one yield the best Return-on-investment ratio? That means the block which will give you averagely the highest rents in the same amount of time.

Before you scroll down for the answer, think a minute. It may not be obvious as you think.

Monopoly Board

Have you got the answer? Great!

The property block which will give the best return on investment is the Red and Yellow block. They give great rent for a fairly ok price and their chance to be landed on ranked second in the game! So if you own one of these two blocks, you have a very good chance to win.

But… In the last post, didn’t I advise you to buy the Orange block first?

Yes I did, and it has a reason.

To uncover this reason, you can check my next post.