Advanced Farming

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Combat frequency of castle in the sky & a magic number for pickpocketing needs verification.
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The Castle in the Sky has undergone some major changes.
This page itself is currently not very useful for farming. Others are working on updating this page and may be done within the decade: the progress on their spreadsheet can be found at http://sites.google.com/site/rikitikilorax/farming-spreadsheets

Cost-effectiveness

When and why would one item be more cost-effective than another item? This question can be answered with an equation:

(price-price of other item)/(payoff-payoff of other item)

(In Economics, this is known as the "Opportunity Cost" Theory, in which you give up one thing for another for either an emotional, physical, mental, or financial profit, or any combination thereof.)

The equation calculates at what point the higher priced item begins to be cost-effective. To show exactly how this is used, here's an example. Let's compare a bottle of single-barrel whiskey (costs 288000 meat, gives 3 drunkenness, and gives 6 adventures per drunkenness) and gloomy mushroom wine (costs 41000 meat, gives 3 drunkenness, and gives 5 adventures per drunkenness). For booze, you've got to put the information in terms of one drunkenness:

(288000/3 mpd - 41000/3 mpd)/(6 apd - 5 apd) = 82333.33 mpa

This means you must be making more than 82333 meat per adventure before using single-barrel whiskeys. If you don't believe this, we can test it. If the meat you make is just slightly below the value calculated above, gloomy mushroom wine should just barely win out:

  • In general: (meat made) = (meat made in one adventure)*(adventures from booze)-(price of booze)
  • bottle of single-barrel whiskey: (82333 mpa)*(18 adventures)-(288000 meat) = 1193994 meat
  • gloomy mushroom wine: (82333 mpa)*(15 adventures)-(41000 meat) = 1193995 meat

Drunkenness is ignored simply for clarity; this is fine in this case since both boozes happen to give the same amount of drunkenness. As you can see, gloomy mushroom wine makes one more meat than single-barrel whiskey if you make 82333 meat per adventure. If you made more, single-barrel whiskey would be more cost-efficient. Of course, this example means nothing unless you can make that kind of meat (if you are, most of us would like to know how).

  • Cost-effectiveness of equipment and food are calculated this way:
    • Getting a negative value means that the lower priced item is always more cost-effective because it pays more.
    • When comparing an item against a pool of other items, you want the one that gives the next highest value. The problem is that you don't know the value of the current item you're comparing. You can usually see which item you need to compare it to, but a reliable and systematic way to find the other item is to do the following:
      1. Compare it to nothing (price: 0; payoff: 0).
      2. Compare it to the item whose value is highest but still below the value you currently have.
      3. Repeat the above step until there are no more items to compare. This is the value of the item.
    • It gets slightly more complicated with accessories with quantity limitations and if you need can only afford a meatspout staff, the only two-handed weapon that affects farming. For accessories, imagine three accessory slots and fill them with accessories with the next highest values possible. Compare against the accessory with lowest value of the three since that is the one being replaced. Additionally, the cost-effectiveness of getting a second accessory is calculated by comparing it against the one with the second highest value. The same goes for the third.
    • The cost-effectiveness for the last booze drunk is independent of the drunkenness it gives, since that last one is allowed to overflow the limit.
  • Effects are compared for straight up profit since having one effect does not interfere with having other effects.
  • The best to way to find out how much meat you make per adventure is to farm for a long time, sell what what you farm, and then divide the meat made by adventures used.

Diet

The general way to profit from food, booze, and spleen is approximately as follows:

  1. Figure out your net profit per adventure. This is how much value you gain on average, minus average loss per adventure (e.g. cost of effects and MP Restorers).
  2. Look at how much a given consumable costs in the mall, or how much it would cost to make it.
  3. Find out its adventures per fullness and price per fullness. Do this by taking the adventures (price) and dividing it by fullness. Check if consumption modifiers would be cost-effective.
  4. Take your profit per adventure. Let's say you make 500 meat per adventure. If you could get 10 adventures per fullness, then the income per fullness would be 5000 meat. In other words, multiply the adventures per fullness times profit per adventure.
  5. Subtract from your income per fullness the cost per fullness it took for you to get the food. This is your net profit per fullness. Your final goal should be to get this number as high as you can.

See Also

Item Effects - Not Updated!

Using consumable items for buffs is a quick way to increase your castle reapings, but needs to be constantly maintained. All of the mpa values below are calculated for farming the The Castle in the Clouds in the Sky, and almost certainly will be different for any other location.

Note that your IFind and MFind do not multiply any of the noncombat gains. This has big repercussions when evaluating the cost/benefit of buffs. There are several formulae for that based upon the buff affect.

For +MFind buffs, the total gain: -[cost] + [turn length of buff]*[Combat Freq]*[avg raw meat per combat]*[buffs MFind]/100

For +IFind buffs, the total gain: -[cost] + [turn length of buff]*[Combat Freq]*[avg raw item value per combat]*[buffs IFind]/100

  • Effects are sorted by profit, with NPC buyable effects (having fixed prices) listed first.
Name Meat Bonus Weight Bonus Item Drop Bonus Price Payoff Profit Comments
Wasabi Sinuses +30% n/a -10% 150 meat (15 mpa) 26.6 mpa +11.6 mpa The Knob Goblin nasal spray can be bought at the laboratory for 150 meat and gives Wasabi Sinuses for 10 adventures, but it takes away 1 substat per battle.
Heavy Petting n/a +5 lbs n/a 250 meat (25 mpa) 21.21 mpa -3.79 mpa The Knob Goblin pet-buffing spray can be bought at the laboratory for 250 meat. The actual benefits of +5 lbs depends on current weight, with lighter familiars benefiting more
Egg-stortionary Tactics +50% n/a n/a ~2000 meat (100 mpa) 76.06 mpa -23.94 mpa Black oyster eggs are fairly expensive, even for 20 adventures, but it's still worth it to use an oyster basket in hardcore; just be careful about your spleen.
Object Detection n/a n/a +12.5% ~200 meat (20 mpa) 15.63 mpa -4.37 A farmer would have to first find out which Dungeons of Doom potion gives this effect.
Blue Tongue n/a n/a +30% ~800 meat (40 mpa) 37.51 mpa -2.49 mpa A cheaper alternative to black is the blue snowcone. Despite the +30% item drop for 20 adventures and its relatively low cost, the fact that it only gives item drop leaves you in the hole.
Cupcake of Choice n/a n/a +30% ~1000 meat (50 mpa) 37.51 mpa -12.49 mpa Granted by using a blue-frosted astral cupcake. Despite the +30% item drop for 20 adventures and its relatively low cost, the fact that it only gives item drop leaves you in the hole.
Red Tongue +30% n/a n/a ~1000 meat (50 mpa) 45.64 mpa -4.36 mpa A cheaper alternative to black is the red snowcone. Despite the +30% meat for 20 adventures, its price still keeps you in the hole.
Peeled Eyeballs -16% n/a +15% 200 meat (20 mpa) -5.59 mpa -25.59 mpa The Knob Goblin eyedrops can be bought at the laboratory for 200 meat and gives Peeled Eyeballs for 10 adventures. This may be focused on farming for a specific item, but not meat farming, as the item boost doesn't even balance out the meat penalty, let alone the cost of the item.
Green Tongue n/a +5 lbs n/a ~2000 meat (100 mpa) 38.03 mpa -61.97 mpa A cheaper alternative to black is the green snowcone. Despite the +5 lbs for 20 adventures, its price still keeps you in the hole.
Your Cupcake Senses Are Tingling +30% n/a n/a ~2500 meat (125 mpa) 45.64 mpa -79.36 mpa Granted by using a pink-frosted astral cupcake. Despite the +30% meat for 20 adventures, its price still keeps you in the hole.
Eggs-tra Sensory Perception n/a n/a +10% ~2400 meat (120 mpa) 12.5 -107.49 mpa Off-white oyster eggs are even more expensive than black ones, and the effect they give does not even come close to being helpful when peak farming.
Black Tongue +30% +5 lbs +30% ~40000 meat (2000 mpa) 83.15 mpa -1916.85 mpa The most coveted of the snowcones, the black snowcone is quite expensive in the mall.
Ermine Eyes n/a n/a +10% 797 meat (159.4/79.7 mpa) 12.50 mpa -146.9/67.2 mpa A Sauceror's Advanced Saucecrafting potion, with Impetuous Sauciness it becomes a bit less useless.


Skill Effects - UPDATED

Taking advantage of skill effects is similar to using item effects, but are more reliable, since costs of buffs and MP are more constant. Again mpa values are based on The Castle in the Clouds in the Sky.

  • MP to meat calculations should be based on the mall price of phonics down as ((mp cost)/48)*240.
  • Effects are sorted by profit.
Name Meat Bonus Weight Bonus Item Drop Bonus Price Payoff Profit Cost-Effective After Comments
Polka of Plenty +50% n/a n/a 6 meat (.03 mpa) 76.06 mpa +76.03 mpa 7 adv An Accordion Thief buff, you must decide whether you want this skill. This should be used in even the most basic farming strategy.
Empathy of the Newt n/a +5 lbs n/a 8 meat (0.03 mpa) 38.03 mpa +38 mpa 211 adv A Turtle Tamer buff, you must decide whether you want this skill. This should be used in even the most basic farming strategy.
Leash of Linguini n/a +5 lbs n/a 87.5 meat (8.75 mpa) 38.03 mpa +29.28 mpa 376 adv This Pastamancer skill can be cast for 10 adventures with 12 mp and only on yourself (self-buff). This means that you will need to either ascend or stay in that class to benefit from this skill.
Fat Leon's Phat Loot Lyric n/a n/a +20% 7 meat (.03 mpa) 25.01 +24.98 mpa 281 adv An Accordion Thief buff, you must decide whether you want this skill.
Transcendent Olfaction n/a n/a n/a 200 filthy lucre Depends (see Comments) Depends (see Comments) Depends (see Comments) This skill comes from the Manual of Transcendent Olfaction. Because you can track a single monster with it, you can potentially track Goth Giants in the castle in the sky for an increased chance in getting Warm Subject gift certificates


Passive Skills

These skills cost thousands of meat, but are bought once and stay constantly in effect. If you plan to peak for a while, these are far more cost-efficient than using buffs or effects. Getting all of these will require multiple ascensions. For each skill, you must decide whether you want it enough to either ascend with it, stay in that class or sign, or not bother. Based on just passive skills in an attempt to get all of them, the Disco Bandit is the best class to settle under for peaking because you don't have to ascend with Nimble Fingers nor Mad Looting Skillz. Staying under a moxie sign removes the need to ascend with Gnefarious Pickpocketing and Powers of Observatiogn. Of course, there are other factors to consider for which class or sign to stay under or whether to just continue ascending.

  • Passive skills are sorted by payoff.
Name Meat Bonus Weight Bonus Item Drop Bonus Price Payoff Cost-Effective After Comments
Amphibian Sympathy n/a +5 lbs n/a 3000 meat 50 mpa 60 adv A Turtle Tamer skill
Expert Panhandling +10% n/a n/a 1800 meat 20 mpa 90 adv A Sauceror skill
Nimble Fingers +20% n/a n/a 6000 meat 40 mpa 150 adv A Disco Bandit skill
Gnefarious Pickpocketing +10% n/a n/a 5000 meat 20 mpa 250 adv Offered under a moxie sign
Mad Looting Skillz n/a n/a +20% 8000 meat 15.72 mpa 508 adv A Disco Bandit skill
Powers of Observatiogn n/a n/a +10% 5000 meat 7.86 mpa 636 adv Offered under a moxie sign
Thrift and Grift +10% n/a n/a ~1000000 meat(mall) 15 mpa 66667 adv Obtained from Hodgman's journal #2: Entrepreneurythmics
Natural Born Scrabbler n/a n/a +5% ~400000 meat(mall) 6.6 mpa 60606 adv Obtained from Hodgman's journal #1: The Lean Times

Once a Day Buffs

These buffs can only be obtained once per day. Effects with the same source are exclusive, thus you can obtain Techno Bliss OR Material Witness in one day.

Name Meat Bonus Weight Bonus Item Drop Bonus Duration Comments
Preternatural Greed +100% n/a n/a 30 Obtained from the Summoning Chamber
Clyde's Blessing n/a n/a +50% 20 Using The Legendary Beat
Dances with Tweedles +40% n/a n/a 30 Using a "DRINK ME" potion, wearing a filthy knitted dread sack, and visiting The Mad Tea Party
Quadrilled n/a n/a +20% 30 Using a "DRINK ME" potion, wearing a bubblewrap bottlecap turtleban, and visiting The Mad Tea Party
Winklered +40% n/a n/a 20 'Bust a move' in the Mysterious Island Arena
Optimist Primal n/a +5 lbs. n/a 20 'Join a drum circle' in the Mysterious Island Arena
Dilated Pupils n/a n/a +20% 20 'Investigate a curious cloud of smoke' in the Mysterious Island Arena
Material Witness +10% n/a n/a 10 Play 'Material Orc' on a clan Jukebox
Techno Bliss n/a n/a +10% 10 Play 'Boom Boom Boom Boomboom Boom' on a clan Jukebox

Equipment

Equipment function similar to passive skills, except you need to use equipment slots for them to work.

  • Ascending is difficult to value and is different for every player; you will have to decide whether it's worth it yourself.
  • Since you can resell most equipment later, the most cost-worthy equipment for peak farming are the ones with the highest payoff per adventure.
  • Items which increase familiar weight are exceptional in that they boost whatever your current familiar boosts. Which is almost always exactly what you want out of the gear you're looking for. Very versatile and perhaps reducing the number of items you seek to purchase.
  • A typical meat finding outfit(which is reasonably attainable and doesn't include IotMs) includes the following:
Slot MFind Name
Familiar 151.75 35lb. Leprechaun
Head 10 ancient turtle shell helmet
Shirt 20 duct tape shirt
Pants 25 poodle skirt
Weapon 25 Coily™
Accessory 20 natty blue ascot
Accessory 11 Order of the Silver Wossname
Accessory 15 pulled porquoise pendant
Fam Equip 0 ittah bittah hookah

Familiar Choice

Before this guide does anything else, I think it is necessary to first explain which type of familiar should be used. By default everyone seems to use a leprechaun-based familiar, but is this really the right way to go about farming? Which is better, Leprechaun or Gravy Fairy?

Let's look at the math:

  • A Leprechaun (at 35lbs) grants a boost to meat drops of 151.7% which translates (using the Castle in the Sky's average raw meat worth per combat of 152.2) to an extra 230.9 meat per combat adventure.
  • A Gravy Fairy (at 35lbs)grants a boost to item drops of 75.87% which translates (using the Castle in the Sky average raw item worth per combat of 132) to an extra 97.5 meat per combat adventure.

This means that without any doubt, Leprechaun-based familiars are far better than Gravy Fairy-based familiars when farming the castle.

A Coffee Pixie, Hobo Monkey, Slimeling, Hound Dog or a similar Mr A. familiar is better, of course. Consider it an investment, if you don't already have one.

Familiars which 'produce meat' or 'produce items' should not be overlooked though. These familiars almost always net results independent of the adventured zone, thus are useful for for those conscious of the bottom line whom are questing in poor yielding zones. Of these familiars which are available to you, find it's average value per turn in meat by multiplying its chance to function per turn by the value of what is produced.

  • The Cocoabo is cheap to obtain yet (at 35lbs) yields around 136.9 meat per combat turn that lasts at least 10 rounds.
  • While the more expensive Rock Lobster (at any weight) yields 2% the value of floaty sand per combat which is currently around 190.
  • The also expensive NPZR (at 35lbs) yields around 242 meat per combat turn that lasts at least 10 rounds... plus toast!

When selecting a zone for farming look up the individual familiars benefit table for its exact value, if it is an item boost, multiply it times the zone's "worth of IFind in comparison to MFind". Then compare that value to your meat or production based familiar's exact boost to determine which is better. To compare these results to production based familiars, multiply it times the zone's average raw meat value.

Zone Analysis

When analyzing a zone the first step is to find the true value of each item which may drop. Check the mall, if several stores list it for the minimum value then assume the value is it's autosell price(but check and see what it smashes into first, list the value of what it puliverizes into if the value of the nuggets/wads is greater than the autosell price). Then for each combatant multiply that value times the chance of it dropping without boosted IFind. Do that for each of that combatants drops, add the results together to determine that combatants raw item value. Once complete, add all the raw item values together and divide by the total number of combatants(if all combatants are equally likely). This will give you the zones average raw item value per combat.

If the zone includes unequally likely combatants the value of each combatant needs to be weighed against its frequency. The current listing of frequencies can (oddly enough) be found at On the Trail. For each combatant multiply its individual raw value by its frequency (of combat encounters only, not including non-combats). This will give you the zones average raw item value per combat.

Next is to look up the average of each combatants meat drop. Add them all together and divide by the number of combatants (if all combatants are equally likely) to determine the zones average raw meat per combat.

Determining the combat frequency is often as simple as looking at the wiki, but some zones may have non-combats which may be skipped that complicate things.

Calculate the average noncombat using the same method as for combantants. Often the chance of item drops is 100% and the math is much simpler.

To determine the worth of IFind compared to MFind, divide the raw item value by the raw meat value. This percentage is useful for determining what equipment to use. For example in the castle in the sky, this number is 86.78%. So an Order of the Silver Wossname is easily identified as being better in this area than a pulled porquoise pendant.

To make things clear, IFind stands for '+item% drops'. Do not treat it as a percentage for the following formulae. And MFind stands for '+meat% drops'. Again, treat it as a whole number and not a percentage. The only percentages used in the following formulae are frequencies.

So with the first 4 solutions and your current IFind and MFind we can calculate your expected yields with the following formula:

(([avg raw meat per combat]*(MFind+100)/100) + ([avg raw item value per combat]*(IFind+100)/100)) * [Combat Freq] + ([Noncombat Freq]*[avg noncombat value]) = [TOTAL EXPECTED YIELD]

Note that your IFind and MFind do not multiply any of the noncombat variables. This has big repercussions when evaluating the cost/benefit of buffs.

An example for determining total yield; in The Castle in the Sky with +300 MFind and +60 IFind without boosted combat rates:

(((152.12*(300+100)/100) + (132*(60+100)/100)) *82%) + (18%*423.75) = 748.41

So one could expect 748 meat per turn. Now lets try boosting that combat, +285 MFind, +60 IFind, +5% combat: ((152.12*(285+100)/100) + (132*(60+100)/100)) *.86 + (.14*423.75)=744.63 .

So at these levels in this zone, 15 MFind is superior to +5% combats.

Odor Extractors & Transcendent Olfaction

Quite simply, Transcendent Olfaction is the holy grail for farmers. It is a skill which allows you to manipulate the combat queue in your favor, to single out a combatant and make it much more likely to appear. Its effects can be duplicated using a consumable Odor Extractor, but for any serious farmer, saving up for the auto hardcore permanent skill is the only option. With access to this skill most zone results can largely be ignored in favor of the single combatant which you are On the Trail of.

Pickpocketing for Farmers

Pickpocketing offers large gains for the farmer, but the math is difficult and time consuming. The chance to pickpocket is not increased with +IFind according to the Pickpocket formula. But several items will increase it or add a second chance. When pickpocketing fails, Disco Bandits can still use Rave Steal to insure one item will be gained(if any are possible).

As an extremely crude guide .3 can be multiplied by your raw item value and added directly to your base expected yield per pickpocket. (Any mathematicians want to derive a more accurate magic number here?)

Rave Steal can even force low chance items to drop at a rate of 1/x with x being the total number of items which are possible to pickpocket (excluding pickpocket only items). If a combatant has several items but the highest valued item has the lowest chance to drop, it is recommended to not attempt a pickpocket and instead rave steal. The effect of rave steal changes the standard yield formula.

For each combatant you use rave steal on, reduce its average raw item value by ([raw avg item value]*([number of possible drops]-1))/[number of possible drops]. Note that you are taking IFind partially out of the grand equation here. But in doing so you gain a separate absolute bonus to your yield of this combatant of: the average value (different from the avg RAW value as this is unaffected by drop rates & at 100%!!) of all its pickpocketable items (not including pickpocket ONLYs).

For example: An Alphabet Giant has 2 drops, a 135 value item with a 39.3% and another item worth 143 at 41.3%. It's average raw item value is 112.114. Using rave steal you get a bonus to your final yield of its average value (143+135/2)= 138.5 . But your raw avg item value will then instead be set to 112.114-(112.114*(2-1)/2) = 56.5. And for this alphabet giant you would expect to gain an absolute 138.5 in items plus another 56.5 worth of items which can be magnified by IFind(capped at 100% drop rate of course). That's 112 versus 195, a substantial gain.

Note that rave steal is not adjusted by drop rate and thus can open up some truly odd possibilities for zone selection. High value items, beware.

Rave Combos & MP Regen

Disco combos can dramatically increase both your IFind and MFind but at a cost of MP. This MP can be recovered with consumables but, in almost every case, it is more efficient to instead equip MP regenerating gear. MP reducing gear/affects are also available but are generally VERY expensive and only become better than MP Regen when attempting to use 18+ mp consuming skills per turn(when compared to a sponge helmet for MP regen).

Advanced Farming+

Because of the fluctuating market it is difficult to place absolute values on items and thus determine the true worth of a zone for farming. All items have an absolute base autosell value, yet some items should always maintain a higher than autosell value. These items generally include: consumable items, items which pulverize into nuggets/wads, and ingredients for superior consumables.

The Castle in the Sky

Average raw meat per combat: 152.12
Average raw item value per combat: 132, see note
Average value of non-combats at D setting: 423.75
Worth of IFind in comparison to MFind: 86.78%

This zone has a 75.5% chance of combat, but because 1/3 of the non-combats can be skipped, the following is the TRUE frequency(verification needed) when the wheel is left at D:

+0 combat, 81.8% combat & 18.2% non-combat
+5 combat, 85.71% combat & 14.29% non-combat.

There are 4 items in this zone you should not autosell: mask(444), needle(448), and whistle(290) which can be smashed for nuggets or sold in the mall. The values listed are fairly firm and shouldn't fluctuate much without a change in the system. The gift certificate(450.5) should be used for 450.5 meat. A spreadsheet containing the total average meat drops, including any modifiers, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/castle-meat-drops-calculator .

The Icy Peak

Average raw meat per combat: 134.7
Average raw item value per combat: 46.56
Average value of non-combats: 778
Worth of IFind in comparison to MFind: 34.56%
Combat Frequency: 85.2%

Currently factored with: ram stick and ga-ga radio being smashed for fractions of a 500 meat wad, crown (489), cheet-o's (941), lager (110), burrito (890), & snow crown (489). When calculating this zone note that the snow queen appears less often than the other two. Item values will vary widely based upon market prices.

Spookyraven Wine Cellar

Average raw meat per combat: 50
Average raw item value per combat: 180
Average value of non-combats: 0
Worth of IFind in comparison to MFind: 360%
Combat Frequency: 100%

High efficiency consumable wine ensures a steady demand. Value of wine was calculated at 300. Prices have historically been stable with this item.

Orcish Frat House

Average raw meat per combat: 31.5
Average raw item value per combat: 137.585
Average value of non-combats: ?
Worth of IFind in comparison to MFind: 427%
Combat Frequency: ?
Pickpocket only drops will add to base combat value
->(hard numbers are being spaded but assumed to be around 380

Two high demand items; Deodorant and a packet of beer nuts(pickpocket only) currently sell for 2k each making this quite possibly the best farming spot in the game for moxie classes without access to olfaction or high MFind/IFind. Results may vary considerably with market fluctuations.

The Haunted Library

Average raw meat per combat: 0
Average raw item value per combat: *special*
Average value of non-combats: 2000
Worth of IFind in comparison to MFind: 99999999%
Combat Frequency: ~99% (when skipping books)

This zone has several peculiar factors which defy the standard yield formulas. The pieces of the scroll of ancient forbidden unspeakable evil are worth more when assembled(2700) than individually, thus your yields could be factored in 2 different ways. Assembled and individual.

With rave steal, disco combos, and pickpocket, 95%+ drop rates can be attained thus leaving open the possibility of using a familiar which produces meat or items and thus increasing your yields beyond the zones typical maximum. LIMIT BREAK! When approaching maximal IFind one could simply assume the value of each turn is 1/3 the current price of the scroll of evil + the average value of familiar procedures + ~14(for autoselling the extra quill and snifter) + ~20(for the tomes).

The Black Forest

Average raw meat per combat: 79
Average raw item value per combat: 177
Average value of non-combats: 0
Worth of IFind in comparison to MFind: 224%
Combat Frequency: 100% (when skipping only non combat)

Items from the black knight which pulverize into wads boost the worth of this zone way up. Currently factored with black armor=900, blackberries=140, and basket=700. Results may vary slightly with market fluctuations.