Life can't be all work and no play, right?

Here at Strong Towns we are passionate about linking our pattern of development to our financial situation (and not in the classic, mindless mantra of more infrastructure = more houses and more commercial businesses = more jobs = effortless prosperity).

To understand the intersection of land use and finance requires an intimate knowledge of planning, engineering, finance and markets -- professional silos that historically have had only superficial and largely counterproductive interaction.

How the values of our development pattern are actually reflected in the market is an interesting study, one that we are always trying to in examine from different angles. As we were pondering ways in which to do this, we came up with an intriguing and fun idea: The Strong Towns Market Challenge.

In a format similar to fantasy sports, the Market Challenge invites participants to model a theoretical portfolio of stocks and then compete over time to see whose perform the best. To give it that Strong Towns twist, we have modeled a stock portfolio of "Old Economy" stocks so that we can watch, in terms of stock prices, how those companies fare as our economy resets and transforms.

And, of course, we are all trying to beat the "Old Economy" with our picks.

If you are interested in taking part in the Strong Towns Market Challenge, please sign up. It is free and I've yet to find any annoying ads or solicitations with the platform we chose. Your theoretical account will have $100,000 and you can pick and choose whatever investments you want. We plan to run the game through the end of the year and then reset on January 1 for a new game in 2011. We have no prize except bragging rights, but we will report here on the standings as things progress.

Use the information and directions below to join the game.

Game ID: Strong_Towns 
Game Password: ThomeismyHomey

  1. Open this link and read the competition summary:
  2. Click on the 'Join Game' link.
  3. If you are an existing Virtual Stock Exchange member, enter your Email address and Password in the login panel and get set to trade. If you are a new user, follow the link to register - it's easy.
  4. Follow the instructions and start trading.

We've already set up the "Old Economy" portfolio. Join us for some fun and see if you can beat the returns on this collection of companies:

  1. Wal-Mart
  2. Home Depot
  3. McDonalds
  4. Starbucks
  5. Ford Motor Company
  6. Exxon Mobile Corp.
  7. D.R. Horton, Inc.
  8. Pacific Office Properties Trust, Inc.
  9. Kimco Realty Cooporation
  10. Las Vegas Sands Corp.


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