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Do You Play Pokémon GO? Here’re 1 Investing Lesson You Might Not Want to Miss

It might be an understatement to say that the mobile game Pokémon GO has taken Singapore by storm.

Avid players are camping out in different locations in the island in search of new Pokémon to complete their Pokédex or capture strong Pokémon to conquer Pokégyms.

As a Pokémon Go player myself, I noticed that there were some interesting parallels between the game and investing.

Looking at the world with new eyes

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game.

The game’s map mirrors our actual surroundings, including roads and buildings. But there is a difference. The Pokémon GO map also shows us where Pokéstops are located. These are stops where players can collect items for later use in the game.

In this sense, the map gives us “new eyes” for looking at the real world, where obscure monuments could turn out to be useful Pokéstops. There is a parallel to investing in this.

In the investing world, there might be too much attention given to stock prices and daily price movements. But stock price movements represent merely what is going on at the surface. If we enter the world of Foolish investing, we will be looking past the stock price and into the businesses behind the ticker.

For instance, we could be sending our car for a mundane vehicle inspection at any one of Vicom Limited’s (SGX: V01) seven inspection centres located across Singapore. On the surface, a car inspection business might not sound exciting.

But if we can dig a little deeper, we can enter the investor’s world and look at the stock with a fresh pair of eyes.

A dig beneath the surface with Vicom will show a company that has generated $5.5 million in free cash flow in its latest quarter and one that has $95.8 million in cash and zero debt on its balance sheet. We would also find a company that has been able to grow its free cash flow and earnings steadily over the past decade.

vicom-net-income-and-free-cash-flow-from-2005-to-2015
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

The investor’s map here shows us so much more important information compared to what we see on the surface.

Foolish takeaway

Our map of the investing world could be things like the strength of a company’s balance sheet or the ability of a company to generate free cash flow. Like Pokéstops, these could contain useful information for us to make better investing decisions.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong owns shares in Vicom.