Dipping your toe in stock markets for the first time is intimidating, even for those of us who consider ourselves financially savvy. But other than paying a financial specialist for advice, 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 — 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 to teach players how to invest. Since it’s a browser game, 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.
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.
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 is that it has a whole separate tab for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum—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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Download: Stock Trainer: Virtual Trading for Android (Free)
MarketWatch is another browser-based stock exchange simulator. Like the Investopedia simulator, it is hosted within an official financial website for monitoring markets. 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.
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.
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. 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. It’s also worth keeping in mind that while some apps are popular among beginners, they may not be best for you. Take a look at these reasons you shouldn’t invest with the Robinhood app.
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!
Image Credit: winterling/Depositphotos