FAN FORUMS FOR WALL STREET RAIDER:
From time to time, various Wall Street Raider fans have set up forums or blogs
for players of W$R to swap stories, exchange ideas and game strategies, and check
for developments relating to W$R.
We recently became aware that someone has set up a fan forum for
W$R a year or two ago, at this URL:
RONIN SOFTWARE DOES NOT SPONSOR OR OPERATE ANY SUCH FAN SITES,
AND THEIR CONTENT IS NOT CONTROLLED OR MONITORED BY RONIN SOFTWARE.
New releases of Wall Street Raider or Speculator are also
announced on this page.
CURRENT RELEASE: VERSION 8.56, released April 1, 2019
Version 8.57 is a revision of 8.50 and 8.55, which were released in
December, 2018 and early February, 2019, and which built in an automated
asset allocation system for banks, whereby each bank has asset allocation
percentages for assets other than equities and business loans, which you
can set for 5 categories:
- Cash equivalents (cash and T-bills, the latter being introduced as a
new asset class in v. 8.50);
- Bonds (government and corporate);
- Prime mortgages;
- Subprime mortgage securities; and
- Consumer loans
Also, some players wanted the ability to turn off automatic asset
allocation, so we added a "Turn Off" button to the Asset Allocation
Menu in v. 8.55, and we think we have fixed all of the errors that
were occurring in automated bond trading. Accordingly, v. 8.55 is
considered a "bug fix" and is a free upgrade to anyone who bought
v. 8.50 -- and on Feb. 5, 2019, we emailed everyone who had bought
8.50 a link to download a free copy of 8.55.
One of the major changes in 8.55 was to change the accounting
method for bonds held by banks and insurers, to use their adjusted
cost (tax basis) on the corporate "books," rather than wildly
fluctuating market value, when computing net worth, in order to
smooth out fluctuations in their reported net worth (and stock price)
somewhat, when interest rates are at extremely low or high levels.
Another small change was to compute accrued interest on bonds up to
the date of sale (paid by the buyer, received by the seller), except
on D-rated bonds, which are still traded "flat," to use Street
terminology, since they generally don't pay cash interest while in
We made a number of other improvements in 8.55 and a few in v. 8.56
and 8.57 as well. See the "Update Information"
page on this website for details, which are too numerous to repeat here.
Unfortunately, and this is embarrassing, there were some serious
malfunctions in the way banks traded bonds in 8.50, and another
serious bug that was detected by several users later, in 8.55, which
caused errors that could either unjustly enrich you or impoverish you
if you owned a bank, when it did automatic bond trades, or could even
make a game unplayable in some cases, as one error was actually
corrupting the program code that was in live memory, by some sometimes
trying to do a division operation with a divisor that was zero -- which
microprocessors do not like! That was occasionally causing some strange
results and sometimes astronomical values for money or stock prices, or
sometimes adding up assets and arriving at a total of exactly zero.
BECAUSE OF THESE GLITCHES, V. 8.57 IS A FREE UPGRADE TO ANYONE WHO
BOUGHT V. 8.50 OR 8.55. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an
8.57 download link.
On September 15, 2015, v. 7.80 was released, which we expected would be the
final significant upgrade, as we are about at the end of development of W$R,
due to health problems (somewhat under control now), dwindling sales, and
(mainly) having run out of good ideas for any major new features, after only
32 years of development (the first MS-DOS version was published in 1986). As
such, WSR is probably one of the longest-running programs on the Internet
(and going back a few years before there was an Internet, sold in stores,
bulletin boards, and other places).
However, since the 7.80 release, the urge to tinker with the program never
went away, so we eventually released version 8.0 and several minor upgrades
after it. Version 8.0 was designed to make W$R MUCH more realistic and therefore
more difficult for players to quickly finagle their way into the quadrillions
or quintillions of net worth. The 8.0x versions cracked down on a large
number of "loopholes" in the program, like the ability to buy futures on, for
instance, a thousand times the actual world supply or annual production of
a commodity. (However, I'm sure some users still find loopholes, but maybe not
quite such large ones now.)
Version 8.0 and subsequent tweaks also include convertible bonds,
a feature we had long wanted to implement, but always felt would be
impossibly complex and difficult to build in, particularly when it came
to doing complex transactions like mergers, liquidations, and spin-offs,
if convertible securities of the corporate parties to such transactions
We had built convertibles into our other game, Speculator, but simply
limited such complex corporate transactions where convertibles were involved
in Speculator, to avoid the thorny problems, since players in Speculator
don't control companies and thus can't force such transactions to occur.
After many long nights and much hair-pulling, wailing, and gnashing of teeth,
we found it WAS a ridiculously complex thing to try to make work correctly....
However... we finally were able to implement convertible bonds in Raider, a fun
new tool for investing and after much testing and tweaking, we eventually got
the convertible bond prices to behave in a manner that is almost indistinguishable
from the price behavior of real-world convertible bonds, which seemed like an
almost impossible goal when we started. Players will find convertibles are not
only interesting, lower-risk investments, but can also be issued at much lower
interest rates than a company would have to pay on "straight" bonds or bank
loans, and thus can be a good long-term financing alternative for companies you
Another recently added feature, suggested by a user, was to add stock price
alerts, so you will be notified when a stock you are interested in buying or
selling rises above or falls below a price per share that you specify.
Thinking back over recent years, here is a partial list of major features
we have added at the request of players:
Obviously, we have had a wealth of good ideas contributed by users,
including quite a few that we simply didn't want to take on, like
building in rental real estate empire building and role-playing
features. We have tried to keep the focus in W$R on stocks, bonds,
options, futures, and other derivative investments, and not wander
too far afield, like getting into Dungeons & Dragons, currency
trading, or Bitcoin....
- Put and call options trading.
- Executive stock options and performance bonuses for CEOs.
- Commodity futures trading.
- Ability to invest in and store physical commodities.
- Stock index futures.
- Interest rate swaps (derivatives).
- Stock price alerts, as noted above.
- Automatic "sweeping" of cash balances to pay down a player's margin debt.
- A system where players or companies can put stocks or assets up for sale,
or view a list of stocks or assets being offered for sale (cheap) by other
players or entities.
- Advice ("from your lawyers") as to whether or not you should agree to
settle or go to trial when antitrust suits are brought against your companies.
- An "autopilot" system where you can turn most of the management of
your controlled companies over to the simulation, when you control too
many companies to properly manage them all yourself.
- Cheats that involve being able to trade on "insider" information.
- Ability to set asset allocation percentages for banks you control.
- Addition of Treasury bills as a new asset class to invest in.
for more details on new features in Versions 8.0 to 8.56.
The good ideas from players continue to come in.... Recently,
one user suggested that he would love to be able to set asset
allocation percentages for banks he controls, such as the percent
the bank would invest in bonds, cash and cash equivalents, prime
mortgages, subprime mortgages, and consumer loans. We added that
feature in 8.50.
We were also reminded that corporations in the real world don't tie
up all their liquid funds in bank CDs, so in the version 8.50, we made
things a bit more realistic. Corporations now keep part of their cash
as bank demand deposits (earning no interest), but also keep some of
it in short-term paper, such as T-bills, so we added T-bills as a new
asset class. This change makes banks more interesting, since any
corporate customers they can attract that carry large cash balances
will be providing those deposits to the bank interest-free, though
there are overhead costs based on the total amount of bank deposits,
including CDs (which are now only interest-bearing deposits of "the
Public"). Still, that change can make banks more profitable and thus
more interesting, although we also built in some more banking
regulations and restrictions -- give a little, take a little back....
We've also added a number of new "ethical scenarios" since 8.0,
including a couple more that you'll run into in 8.56, such as one
involving (faulty) self-driving trucks, made by European auto
companies, and some shady practices regarding health insurance
claims denial by insurance companies. Other such "cheat" scenarios
added since 8.0 include one involving autonomous killer robots
(made by defense contractors) and another for a utility company
that builds a windfarm on an Indian reservation, on a major bird
migration route. All such "ethical" scenarios make for quick,
easy profits... unless something goes wrong and backfires!
OUR STOCK TRADING GAME:
Besides Wall Street Raider and Small Business Advisor,
I now also publish Speculator: The Stock Market Simulation,
a "spin-off" from Wall Street Raider that has been a parallel project for
a long time, that I never seemed to get around to finishing.
In Speculator, you are not a billionaire tycoon who
can influence or manipulate stock prices, but just a small, middle-class
investor with a $100,000 inheritance to invest or speculate with. Rather than
having an emphasis on taking over and managing companies, this is a "pure"
trading game (which doesn't let you take over companies). It will that test
your ability to research companies and profitably trade or invest in them.
You may find it a lot more challenging than Wall Street Raider, as you have
to be a nimble trader in stocks, bonds (including convertibles), options
and futures. Besides which, we have made trading stocks or futures
considerably more treacherous and difficult.
For details, or to try out the free (shareware) version,
CLICK HERE. The shareware version (1.23)
now has short sales, options trading and futures trading enabled (but
you have to make some very good stock and bond trades in only 3 years
in the shareware version to become eligible for the more advanced
trading levels -- vs. 30 years to do so in the Registered Version).
W$R YOUTUBE VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE. An ardent fan of Wall
Street Raider has recently been posting very detailed videos on a new YouTube
channel, RakeM, showing users how to play (and win at!) Wall Street Raider,
using versions 7.60 and 7.8x (and probably v. 8.0 soon). These are very well
done, and Rakem (Mark Slatcher) has now completed posting all 55 episodes for
7.60, in which he played a game from start to finish (or to absurdity, with
quintillions in net worth), showing how to maximize the use of various features
and clever strategies. He is a very accomplished player, and found ingenious
ways to generate unbelievable levels of net worth. The creativity of some W$R
players is truly remarkable. (But be aware, that thanks to his discovery of
some massive "loopholes," many of the tactics he shows in v. 7.60 through 7.8x
are now either not possible or have been significantly restricted in 8.0.)
Here is the link to Rakem's newer series on 7.8x, which links to all of his other W$R videos:
Wall $treet Raider YouTube VIDEOS
Rakem has also begun a (free)
on YouTube. The tutorial series will go through every feature of the simulation, showing how each
works. It is not about strategies, unlike his video series mentioned above.
NOTE FOR NEW PLAYERS -- RONINSOFT.COM TUTORIAL: A (free)
step-by-step online tutorial for getting started playing Wall Street Raider, at:
(The current release links from the W$R "Game Options" menu of W$R directly to the
RoninSoft.com tutorial.) This is a VERY basic tutorial for new players, like how to
buy or sell a stock, and so it may not be of much interest to experienced W$R "junkies."
ONE LAST NOTE: I still hope to find a new publisher that would
have the resources to be able to "modernize" the program and still keep it working
correctly, to carry on its development (and market it) for other platforms, like
iOS and Android-based devices. Software firms that have attempted to "port" it up
till now, even as simplified "dumbed-down" versions, have all failed to create a
version that worked, and have given up or run out of funding.
After my continuously tweaking this program to massage every number in
it since I began work on W$R in 1984, it has gotten ridiculously complex,
and it is a minor miracle that it works at all. So I am not too optimistic
about the possibility of finding a well-funded publisher to take it over,
particularly since it is the extreme example of a "niche" program that only
appeals to a small slice of the population -- generally, those of you with
high I.Q.s. :-)
I'm 74 now, so I will not be around indefinitely, but will keep this
website going and continue to provide free replacements for at least the
next few years (hopefully). To all those of you who have supported Raider's
development with your good ideas and by buying the upgrades over the years
(15 times or more for some of you), many, many thanks for your support! I
never made much money publishing Raider, but I have had a great deal of
satisfaction from all the emails and letters from long-time players who
say W$R was what enabled them to embark on and succeed in careers as hedge
fund and mutual fund managers, options floor traders, and finance teachers,
or as successful investors in the market -- not to mention the enjoyment
I've gotten out of the intellectual challenge of matching wits with users,
in my (vain) attempts to plug every loophole! (Sad to say, you guys have
always found NEW loopholes....)
-- Michael Jenkins, May 27, 2019