Courtney Tudor, a 1994 M.B.A. graduate, likes to play at getting rich in the stock market. He opens his board game and throws down $100,000 on a growing company, pretending to be a big shot and laughing all the way up the board to his million-dollar fortune.
It may be only time, though, before he’s really laughing all the way to the bank. After five years of grueling research compiling financial data on more than 500 companies, Tudor developed Mr. Bigshot, a board game that is to the stock market what Monopoly is to real estate. And though he’s spent nearly nothing on advertising, Tudor’s real-life gamble caught the attention of two of the largest online toy sellers, Amazon.com and Toysrus.com, just before the Christmas season.
Tudor got the idea for the game when he first entered the market in 1995 and realized how little he knew. He wished he had a game so he could practice. “When I first started investing I was just guessing,” he says, “and I thought, Wouldn’t it be nice to play the market without all this risk.”
So he started doing the research, squeezing in weekends at the library while working as an engineer at GE Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati. He finished in 1999, cashed in his investment portfolio—“It was successful investments that helped me put this together,” he says—and took the game to the streets. Now, for $29.95, anybody can play the market without the risk. “You can guess just like your stockbroker does,” he says.