Allianz Guru Series by Henry Yang: What Video Gaming Taught Me About Managing Finances

Before I became an investor, I was first and foremost, a gamer (Hint: I still am). I’ve spent countless hours playing video games, and surprisingly, I've also learned valuable lessons from them. Please don’t misunderstand, this article isn't about justifying gaming habits to your parents or partners.

This is about sharing my discovery that some concepts, such as managing finances, can be learned from something fun like video gaming. Does this idea sound challenging or disconnected? Read on to see how I applied the lessons in real-life scenarios!

 1st generation pokemon choice bulbasaur charmander or squirtle

A very common question by adults seeking investments is “What is the best investment?” or “What is the best fund?”. For gamers like me, this is similar to “What is the best Pokémon?”

A fire Pokémon is highly effective against a plant type but weak against a water type. The same is true for different financial instruments—what’s important is to understand the goals that can be achieved and the risks present. For example, your savings account keeps the amount of your money intact, but surely, the value of your money will be eroded by inflation. This means a savings account is perfect for emergency funds but not advisable for growing your retirement funds.

city building simulator game

Having played SimCity without a long-term vision, I realized that my cities had terrible designs. Intertwining roads, unplanned buildings popping out of nowhere, and more disaster risks from buildings too close to each other. Emergencies that required my attention would come one after another, and I felt these were cities I wouldn’t be proud of building.

The same goes for managing your finances. Without a long-term plan, years can quickly pass without any progress. Your financial goals or plans don’t have to be complicated—a good starting point is to work backwards. For example, to reach your desired retirement age with financial freedom, ask yourself, “How much do I save monthly?”

baldur's gate 3 character exploring the beaches

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to be the best in everything. In games like Baldur’s Gate, I experienced the need to have diverse characters for different purposes:

  • A fighter to act as a tank absorbing the enemies’ attacks
  • A mage providing support magic or dealing area-wide damage
  • A rogue sneaking behind enemy lines to eliminate opposing threats

Looking into our investments using a portfolio approach is valuable to minimize risks. Equities provide growth opportunities when the economy is strong and corporate profits are soaring. Bonds improve the stability of the portfolio. Having the right mix of each asset class is crucial to owning a portfolio that delivers your intended return while staying within your comfortable risk level

And the list goes on! Resource management, prioritization, continuous learning… the gaming world, designed for an exciting experience, has many parallels with the real world. One advantage of non-monetary video gaming is that you can still learn important skills that you can apply to real-world settings, such as managing your finances more effectively. 

Playing video games can teach us valuable lessons about investing and managing finances, such as understanding trade-offs, building a long-term plan, and diversifying investments. However, having a long-term vision is crucial in both gaming and investing. If you’re keen to explore various investment funds but are not sure where to start, talk to an Allianz Life Changer™. Our certified, licensed financial advisors are dedicated to providing you with guidance and support every step of the way.

Gg! ㋡

Head of Investments
Henry Yang is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) holder and a graduate of the University of the Philippines with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He spent the initial years of his career in building maintenance, electrical design and installation of construction projects, and teaching engineering. Later, he pursued his Master's in Business Management from the University of the Philippines - Los Baños as well as held investment-related roles at a top local bank, a U.S.-based investment company, and a global insurance competitor. Currently, he serves as the Head of Investments at Allianz PNB Life Insurance, Inc.