5 Virtual Stock Market Games That Help You Learn How to Invest
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Dipping your toe in stock markets for the first time is intimidating, even for those of us who consider ourselves financially savvy The 1% Rule for Financial Freedom The 1% Rule for Financial Freedom Small changes can make a big difference in your finances. Make a few of these easy "1% changes" and you'll reap the rewards later! Read More . But other than paying a financial specialist for advice When to Hire a Financial Advisor (And Where to Find One) When to Hire a Financial Advisor (And Where to Find One) Hiring a financial advisor can be expensive, but there are a few times when it's absolutely worth here. Here are five of those times, plus resources for finding the best professional for your situation. Read More , what other options are available?

Luckily, there are a variety of stock market games and simulators available for users to get a feel for the industry. And best of all, most of them are free.

Games are often used to educate children Teach Your Kids Essential Financial Skills with These Fun Games Teach Your Kids Essential Financial Skills with These Fun Games Financial topics aren't always exciting for kids, but they're essential to learn. Use these fun games to entertain and educate your children at the same time. Read More — but there are also games that can teach adults a lesson or two. From simulators that feel incredibly realistic to user-friendly games, here are five stock market games that will prepare you for the real thing.

1. Wall Street Survivor

With the creators dubbing it “the web’s best stock market simulator,” Wall Street Survivor uses fake cash and real stock price tracking The 10 Best Ways to Check Stock Prices Online The 10 Best Ways to Check Stock Prices Online You always need to keep a close eye on how your stocks are doing. Here are some of the best websites, tools, and tickers that'll keep you up to speed. Read More to teach players how to invest. Since it’s a browser game 12 HTML5 Browser Games That Don’t Need Adobe Flash 12 HTML5 Browser Games That Don’t Need Adobe Flash Can't install Flash at work or don't want to use it for security reasons? You can still enjoy some awesome games -- here are 12 of the best HTML5 games around. Read More , you won’t need to download any app or software to play.

You only need to sign up for an account and jump right in.

Rather than only providing a simulator, Wall Street Survivor‘s site also provides tips, glossaries, and courses to help you understand stock markets. When you want to play the game, you can choose to join a league or create your own. There’s a practice league for newbies, so you’re not thrown into the deep end and forced to compete against experienced players.

You start off with a balance of $100 000, which you can invest as you choose. Since it’s a practice league, you don’t have to worry about all your in-game money.

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All these features add up to an experience that is perfect for those who are serious about learning the ins and outs of the stock market. And best of all, you use your in-game currency to purchase perks. These include actual learning courses — which means you don’t have to doll out your actual money to enroll.

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Play: Wall Street Survivor (Free)

2. Best Brokers: Stock Simulator

Of the games on this list, Best Brokers: Stock Simulator gives the widest range of stock markets to invest in. A welcome feature of the investment app The Best Smartphone Finance Apps for Budgeting, Investing, & Saving The Best Smartphone Finance Apps for Budgeting, Investing, & Saving There are a number of fantastic apps that can tackle nearly any financial goal you have in as hands-off a fashion as possible. Read More is that it has a whole separate tab for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum Is There Ever a Safe Time to Invest in Bitcoin or Ethereum? Is There Ever a Safe Time to Invest in Bitcoin or Ethereum? There will always be a measure of risk when "investing" in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other form of cryptocurrency. However, that risk can be managed. Here's how to do it. Read More — hot assets on the markets.

The app’s versatility also shows through its other features, including a news reader, friends list, and messaging functionality.

In terms of learning, Best Brokers offers a series of videos for you to watch. The app’s FAQ is also handy — it outlines trading hours, order functionality, and other useful information.

When ordering outside of trading hours, the app lets you know how long until the specific market opens. This is extremely useful if you’re not familiar with stock market opening hours.

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Thanks to its user-friendly interface, sleek appearance, and variety of investment options, Best Brokers is a great option for beginners who might feel overwhelmed by other stock exchange apps and games. It has a casual feel that won’t deter those who might be put off by a wall of text and statistics.

Download: Best Brokers: Stock Simulator for iOS | Android (Free)

3. Investopedia Stock Simulator

The financial site Investopedia has its own comprehensive stock simulator. This lets you log into an advanced online suite that includes stock research, stock analysis, advanced portfolio summaries, and more.

Investopdeia’s offering is one of the most user-friendly, yet realistic, stock simulators on this list. The way that real stock news and insights integrate into the simulator makes you feel like you’re in an official trading app.

Despite so much depth in the simulator, there is also a great competitive and gamified aspect to it 3 Unusual Ways Gamification Is Changing Your Life Today 3 Unusual Ways Gamification Is Changing Your Life Today Gamification is about motivation, participation, and loyalty. It is a popular trend and a powerful business strategy. But have you noticed its subtle impact on your daily life? Read More .

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You can join quarterly competitions, which rank you according to the growth on your stock investments. This adds some personal validation for users — even if you are only in 109th place.

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Meanwhile, the fact that you can earn awards adds extra motivation. These awards are achievements that you can unlock, with each having a certain number of points allocated to your overall “Street Cred”.

Play: Investopedia Stock Simulator (Free)

4. Stock Trainer: Virtual Trading

While Stock Trainer: Virtual Trading isn’t the most attractive app, it has all the functionality and features that those who want to learn about stocks need.

Unlike other stock trading games, this app doesn’t default to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Rather, users can choose from a variety of regions — making it much more likely that you can access the stock market relevant to you.

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While the user interface (UI) of the app isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, the app is simple to figure out and provides a great deal of information.

Another helpful feature is the news articles that appear right below the trading options for a company. This means you can see the latest news relevant to those specific stocks.

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Meanwhile, the app also tracks the top movers, provides suggested stocks, and summarizes your portfolio in a user-friendly way. The only real downside of the app is that it is only available on Android Android Only: 10 Apps That Aren't Available on IPhone or IPad Android Only: 10 Apps That Aren't Available on IPhone or IPad The iPhone used to be home to all the best exclusive apps, but times have changed. Now we're taking a look at ten of the best Android-exclusive apps out there. Read More .

Download: Stock Trainer: Virtual Trading for Android (Free)

 5. MarketWatch

MarketWatch is another browser-based stock exchange simulator. Like the Investopedia simulator, it is hosted within an official financial website for monitoring markets. 10 Financial Websites That Help You Stay On Top Of The Market 10 Financial Websites That Help You Stay On Top Of The Market If you want to make the most of your money, you're going to need to stay on top of financial news. Here are 10 sites that make it easy. Read More  It has the added bonus of being powered by Dow Jones itself.

The official status of the simulator is furthered by the appearance of the platform. Your homepage includes a summary of different indices, the latest in stock-related news, and a summary of the S&P 500’s top movers.

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Within the platform, you can choose to run a game with virtual stocks (as opposed to real ones). You can either choose to join an existing game or create your own.

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You can create either a private or public game — and in-game chat is also available. This is a great feature if you want to interact with other players in the community. Rankings and game leaderboards are also available — adding an extra element of competition.

It can be daunting for stock exchange novices to try the simulator. But MarketWatch provides a great a balance between friendly competition and verified learning.

Play: MarketWatch (Free)

What’s Your Favorite Way to Learn Stock Trading?

Even for people who don’t have an affinity for numbers and statistics, these various simulators and games offer an accessible way for you to learn about the stock market. This can give you the confidence to begin some hands-on trading How to Start Investing in Stocks Even if You're a Total Beginner How to Start Investing in Stocks Even if You're a Total Beginner Entering the world of investing isn't easy, but thanks to new algorithm-based online tools you can get involved even if you're a beginner. Here are six of the best. Read More . You might even have some fun along the way, thanks to friendly competition without risking real cash.

On the other hand, it can also settle whether you should personally trade at all. Maybe you should rather use a financial advisor, pre-planned investment schemes, or even a robot investment tool Robots Can Manage Your Investments: What You Need to Know Robots Can Manage Your Investments: What You Need to Know Managing your finances can be intimidating. It's tempting to let someone else handle investments for you, but can you trust a robot to oversee your money? Read More .

Do you think simulators and games can teach you the right skills for investing in stocks? Or would you rather choose to learn from approved courses? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. RealWorldGuy
    November 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    An interesting article, but all of these simulators seem to assume that my first experience will begin with $100,000. What would really be useful for beginners is an article that highlights simulators that allow the trader to start with a realistic amount, say, $5,000. Lose $2k out of a real $100k, and you can still sleep at night. Lose it out of the only $5k that you can afford to trade, not so much.

  2. dragonmouth
    November 5, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    The title of the article is misleading. It should be "...... how to trade". Games and simulators teach you how to buy and sell stocks to take advantage of day to day price fluctuations. "Investing" is for the long term, years or decades. Therefore, it cannot be simulated in real time. Stocks good for trading usually do not make good long term investments.