We all know how addictive video games can be, and how mind-numbing they are at times too. However, sometimes it is nice to get into something that exercises our minds, gives us some amount of useful skill, and a little rush of success all at the same time. Welcome to the Hollywood Stock Exchange, let’s play!
Dipping Your Toe in the Stock Market Without Risk
The Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) is actually not that new, having started in 1996. The concept is quite simple, a stock market with Hollywood being the basis of what is traded. If you love stocks, or have been intrigued by the stock market but are nervous to invest money while you learn how it works, this is a great option. There is no money required to join, and no money exchanged for playing. Instead, when you register your free account, you are given H$2 million. There are a number of various “investments” you can make to try to grow your virtual wealth. As you learn more about the various types of investment tools, this knowledge loosely translates to those available in the financial stock market. However, what you will learn here is not a substitute for working with a financial professional.
The primary investment tool on the HSX is Moviestocks. The movies that offer stocks are those in development, those that are proposed, and those soon-to-be and recently released. Unlike real stocks, these “cash out” after 4 weeks following wide release, and 12 weeks if it remains in limited release. The cash out price reflects the amount it pulled in at the box office, with H$1 reflecting $1 million in box office sales. If you purchase a stock at H$30, you expect the movie to make at least $30 million. If it makes more, then your profit is the difference between the price at which you purchased the stock and what it cashes out for. You can always sell it early, and reap the profit of what the market currently projects from the box office.
Like the financial stock exchanges, HSX offers several funds in which you can invest. Some of these are studio funds, while others are funds of particular interests or genres. These are long term investments that change the composition of the fund with new movie securities.
Derivatives & Warrants
In addition to regular stocks, you can purchase short-term event derivatives and warrants. These include special stocks for opening weekend, award ceremonies, and other events. During the 2020 election, there were even derivatives for both Democrats and Republicans controlling the Senate.
Starbonds & Celebstocks
You can also speculate on actors, actresses, directors, and other celebrities. Their price is determined by the average box office gross sales of their films. The better their films do, the more their stock is worth.
Television stocks are another short term derivative that speculates on upcoming television shows. These speculate about whether you think the upcoming show will get canceled early or will continue. The stock cashes at H$1 for each episode it airs. So if you pick up a stock at H$8, you think it will air at least eight episodes before being canceled.
If music is more of your cup of tea, HSX has you covered there as well. The various music stocks look at the Record of the Year award nominees for the Grammys. The winning album cashes out at H$24, while the rest cash out at H$0.
Tips & Tricks
As you can see, there are a lot of options for speculating on the entertainment industry and seeing how in tune you are with what people like. Given all of these options, there are some ways to get a better performance from your portfolio. First, you can do more than just purchase a stock. For instance, if you think a particular stock is overpriced (say it is trading for over H$200, which suggests it will pull in more than $200 million at the box office), you can short the stock. That means when the stock price drops below where you shorted it, your profit goes up. It is essentially betting on the poor performance of the movie or star. When you want to reap the profit of a shorted stock, you then “cover” it. If the price of the stock is greater than what you purchased it, then you lose money when you cover it. You can also use limit orders to help automate when you purchase or sell a security. If you use a limit order to sell a security you own, you ensure you sell it at a top-end you determine.
For instance, if you are not sure something is going to keep rising, you can set a limit sale to reap your profit. Likewise, if there is a stock you want to acquire, you can set a limit buy, and automatically purchase it when it hits a price you are willing to pay. One of the best times to begin speculation of stocks is to pick them up the day they start trading. You can both purchase the stock and short it on the day trade initiates. If you aren’t sure what the stock will do, you can see what other traders think. Each security tells you how many shares are held in short and how many are held normally, called long. Head over to www.HSX.com, and register your free account to get started. Spend a few minutes and watch to see if your knowledge could bring you a virtual fortune!