Optimal Strategy seeks to Maximize Return On Investment (ROI).
Early Stage Strategy
For simplicity this document will only approximate the optimal solution. Please be aware of several assumptions.
1) Have not factored in upgrades.
2) Have not factored in continuous compounding. e.g. You can buy several lemonaide stands before the newspaper stand completes, receive several cycles of earnings and use those earnings to buy several newspaper stands just before it completes. Even though adding a newspaper stand only adds 20 per second, the full cycle gets you 60, so several purchases in the last second would provide a much larger amount
3) When the ROI is approximately the same (takes within seconds to get money returned), I group several purchases together.
4) To go along with #2, I have not compared the value of putting money to work at a lower rate of return as opposed to saving up. In other words, it assumes you have enough money to buy every single stand and take zero seconds to make the purchases.
5) Speed bonuses are factored in partially. However, the decisions leading up to them don't consider when it may be better to sacrifice short term profit to get closer to the upgrades. Rather decisions are mostly evaluated on the basis of buying the next item.
Approximating The Early Stage Strategy Optimal Solution
Follow below in the following order (Total amount you should own):
1) 6 lemon stands
2) 2 news and 7 lemon (total)
3) 3 news, 11 lemon
4) 7 news, 18 lemon.
5) 21 lemon, 8 news, 1car.
6) 32 lemon, 10 news, 2 car.
7) 35 lemon, 10 news, 3 car
Truncated the details for simplicity:
8) Before buying pizza shop, accumulate 46 lemons (leaps to 57 if you can get the upgrade), 16 news, 5 cars.
9) Before buying donut shop, accumulate 67 lemon, 25 news, 14 cars, 6 pizza.
10) Before buying shrimp, accumulate 89 lemon (100?), 36 news, 31 cars, 19 pizza (25?), 14 donut.
11) Before buying hockey, accumulate 117 lemon, 45 news (51), 41 car, 34 pizza, 31 donut, 13 shrimp.
12) Before buying movie, 138 lemon, 60 news, 57 car, 46 pizza (52), 43 donut (51), 33 shrimp, 15 hockey.
13) Before buying Bank: (not calculated)
14) Before Buying Oil:(not calculated)
Adjustments to counter the assumptions:
The strategy typically unfairly represent a strategy that favors buying more larger earnings earlier than you should, you should typically adjust by buying more of the smaller items. You should also aim for getting enough to get the speed bonuses more often. It may be best to just have 7 news and 25 lemons first since the rate of earnings on lemons will double. Then you can increase the news and others. Buying more smaller items early allow you to increase rate of earnings. You also should put your capital to use a bit more so when in doubt, buy a few more smaller items. The other side of that is that as soon as larger items that normally take a long time are close to completing a cycle there more value in buying them than is expressed. Aim for upgrades that multiply profits. When you have these upgrades focus on buying more of the items with the upgrades than without. The multipliers make purchases multiple times more lucrative
Point at which an additional investment will take over 5000 seconds to get return (83m)
Point at which an additional investment will take 50000 s to get return (13.889hours)
Point at which an additional investment will take 100000 s to get return (27.78hrs)
Point at which an additional investment will take 1000000 s to get return (277.78 hours)
Planning for later In the game:
Located in the angel upgrades, There are some upgrades that reward you with up to 75 businesses for a relatively low cost. Buying them is not increasing costs of businesses you buy for cash, so you should not worry about buying them as long as they don't lower your amount of angels by more than 1% (don't worry about using Quik Buy to purchase them). Sometimes it's even profitable to buy them for more than 10% of your angels if you have a leading business that is very close to next milestone, but those few businesses you need cost a lot of cash.
Moon (for now only on Kongregate, Android, and Steam versions):
(this needs a lot more expanding)
The ability to launch to the moon appears to carry over resets. Angel investors are separate in each game, so your angels from earth are different from those on the moon. Resets on the moon and Earth are separate.
First impression for the moon is quite different strategy is needed. Building production speed does not increase with unlocks. Also buildings are balanced quite differently. For early early game oxygen bar seems the most profitable. After that the cheese mine seems the most productive, though at a slower rate.
Exchanging money from earth to moon does not appear to be possible (yet).