Stock market? Game? Do those words belong in the same sentence? They can, if you’re practicing for your future and aren’t using real money. Truth be told, a lot of people tend to jump into investing without really learning enough about the market and their options first. Using paper trading methods or playing stock market games is a great way to learn without losing your actual hard-earned cash.
Start with Paper Trading
Even big names like Timothy Sykes wouldn’t recommend you start trading without practicing first. One of the simplest ways to practice is on paper. Write down the stock you’re following, the amount you’re investing, and how you’re progressing. Track the market over a certain period of time and make a conscious decision to leave your money in or to sell your stocks. Just as in real life, waiting too long may lose you money while not waiting long enough might results in a lesser gain than you had anticipated. Regardless, you’ll learn great lessons without spending real money.
Wall Street Survivor
Found online, Wall Street Survivor starts you with $100,000 in virtual cash and you can use it to review rating numbers and buy (hypothetically) stocks. There is a library to help you learn how to choose stocks and there are different levels of play for beginners, intermediate, and advanced investors. You can even look at some of the portfolios made by other traders. And if you look around, you may even find a competition with a real prize.
We Seed is another great game you can find and is also free to play. The site combines features similar to social media and gives you $10,000 in virtual cash to use when building your own portfolio. The game keeps things simple by dividing stocks into different market categories – like entertainment or construction – so you can easily find the types of companies you’d like to invest in. There are tools for research as well as tips from professionals and trained investors.
Make no mistake. The stock market is no joke and it’s not a game. But if you’re interested in learning how it works without putting your life savings on the line, games are a great way to turn your mistakes into valuable investing lessons. You may even find you enjoy them enough to go out and get some formal training so that you can build a serious portfolio in the future!