From the time we were put in school, we understood how well learning by doing was. From learning different approaches to math, literature, art, or history, studies have shown that humans (generally speaking) learn best when performing hands-on assignments/tasks.
And what about investing?
However, it goes without saying that we can’t just throw thousands of dollars in our trading account and dabble around to “learn”. We would lose our money, our want to trade, and probably a lot of hair. Fortunately for us now, we have a lot of applications and websites that can help us learn how to efficiently trade without losing our money (or our hair!).
The Best Online Games For Learning Stock Market Strategies
1. WallStreet Survivor
In Wall Street Survivor, you can invest $100,000 in fake money through the menu options! Thanks to the help of an animated Mark Brookshire, we can make our decisions through rating numbers when we pick a stock! The rating numbers include fundamentals, survivor sentiment, technical analysis, and even a Motley Fool rating.
Need more help in choosing stocks?
Try the site’s library that has an awesome selection for novice traders, moderate traders, and even stock market veterans! If you’re just starting out, I recommend starting with Investing 101. I have also found one of the best ways to learn is by discussing with other people like you, so definitely check out the forums for questions broad and specific!
If you have absolutely NO idea where to begin, try looking at the pre-made portfolios that were created by successful traders and browse around!
Wall Street Survivor also has a lot of competitions, with the most popular one being the $100,000 one; but anybody can create a contest, with any prize, too! I think the best prize is in the win, though.
2. Investopedia Stock Simulator
Investopedia is one of the BEST finance and investment websites out there (if not the best). It allows us to connect and cooperate with over 700,000 investors from across the globe.
Why does this help?
With that many people and investors working together, it really can open our eyes and broaden our knowledge. We can see how the “competition” is performing. You can even compete in competitions as well.
You can hop into a game, or if you have a good idea for a game, you can create your own. The good thing about this website is you “play” on the website itself, so a download is not necessary. Although, there are benefits to downloading a platform such as ThinkorSwim.
Wall Street Survivor also owns this one. HowTheMarketWorks is an amazing website for investors who desire more experience when experimenting with a new type of portfolio. This website has great information about stocks and indexes, while also providing more content such as Forex, penny stocks, shorting, and mutual fund options.
Try the “Fun Mode”
If you’re new, you can perform market order trades in the no hassle “fun mode” and not be bothered by a maximum number of trades a day, hours, or experiences on orders. Then, when you gain knowledge and feel like you can take the next step, feel free to go to the “realistic mode”, as it gets a little harder and more rigorous!
An additional benefit is you can have a maximum of three stock portfolios and three Forex portfolios. You just choose between $100 and $500,000 and deem a virtual commission per trade.
If you’re learning and don’t care much about working “against” others, you don’t have to worry. But, you can select to have the competition activated.
For the monthly contests, each person participating is given $25,000 as a base. There are also more detailed competitions like only buying/selling penny stocks, shorting only, and more! You can also have your own key that your friends/family know to get into a game, so it becomes a bracket for just the people you wish!
4. Yahoo! Finance Portfolio
Is this a game? No, not really. However, if you want to pick some stocks you are interested in or some you have seen on the news and study, Yahoo! Finance is a great tool to use. Here you can build your own portfolio for stocks you want to monitor for free.
Yahoo! Finance is a second to none financial site that has information on almost all global markets with quotes set in real-time.
It’s pretty self-explanatory. Just start adding stocks you want to buy. You can also edit how many shares you want in each stock, as well as the price of purchase. Though you can see the amount owed by choosing how much you want to buy it at/quantity of stocks, use the real-time price for the best learning possible.
You can also learn the different kinds of technical analysis indicators and launch trades based on technical analysis parameters such as candlestick indicators, MACD patterns or support and resistance levels.
It really is a great portfolio tracker, and it really helps you learn a good bit by creating mock portfolios. The tools and data really help further your experience with trading and investing.
5. Young Money Stock Market Game
Young Money Magazine has a very fun and easy-to-learn game, but they don’t skip on the reality of it.
The amazing reality includes a commission percentage taken out based on rules and market hours. Having this really can make a difference, especially because in trading simulations we tend to over-trade and forget about commissions. Second, the game uses real-time prices.
How can we pick stocks and commodities based on prices that aren’t accurate? This makes the game seem a lot more real. The game is also very easy to pick up and includes a wide variety of icons and definitions to help educate players.Players can create their own contests and set up prizes, but the website itself has a monthly contest. The winner of the monthly contest gets $100 in real cash.
6. MarketWatch Fantasy Earnings Trader Game
MarketWatch has really good contests for its’ players. They have a four-week long contest in which participants win according to the week. The prize for each winner per week is an iPad! You can join anytime, and pick up each week’s competition!
Here's how it works:
You basically just pick your stocks before the Monday of each week and they are “bought” on the opening of the market on Monday. They are then “sold” at closing every Friday, and the winner is announced.
The difficulty is every player can only use 15-20 symbols per week. The game owner also selects the companies from companies that post their earnings each week! All you have to do is drag and drop the logo of the company you select to the “go long” or “sell short” trading card.
MarketWatch is specially designed for beginners because of the 15-20 symbols you can use per week. This benefits your rationing and sculpts your trading mentality to be better.
Similar to Young Money's game, UpDown uses icons that really help beginners learn and navigate freely throughout the site. You can also go to the education center and learn the basics and beginner steps.
UpDown also features some of my favorite community features. They allow you to cooperate with other investors and groups to view the stocks that are sold and bought the most. I especially liked the “watch list” which is an easy-to-use tool that can monitor picks I am thinking about buying/selling.
UpDown also has competitions like the others in the list, and they award winners of their monthly contests with real cash.
Obviously, new beginners need experience in trading, but finding these experiences can be hard. We definitely don’t want to waste a lot of our time and money trying to learn. These games have allowed others (and can allow you) to gain the experience they need, while not costing a dime to them!
Develop Your Trading Strategies
You can actually MAKE money from participating in the competitions they have! You might have heard of opening demo accounts like on Thinkorswim or Questrade, but those aren’t really geared for learning, just working the platform. This article was made for beginners and advanced alike to benefit from stock trading games.
The demo accounts can help show if a strategy or path works and can help you see what profits you might be looking at, but they won’t show you information guidelines and they definitely don’t have a resource library for beginners. Look towards the actual “games” to get a good feeling on how trading real capital feels. Treat games like real life. Imagine it’s your hard-earned money at stake, and your trades either make you more or lose it all.
All of us make mistakes – and it's better to make them before we dive in with real money. Want another tip? Set your game account to the amount of money you think you might start out with on a real one! This will help you create a more “life-like” account, and will be easier to learn from!