Sound investments are necessary to propel your business forward financially. However, the stock market can be a scary place for uninformed investors. Fortunately, an investment simulator can provide a platform for you to learn about investing in stocks without the fear of losing money. Investment simulators are based on the real-world stock market, but use dummy stocks. You can gain enough confidence to enter the real-world stock exchange after testing various trading techniques with dummy stocks.
Creating an Account
Stock simulator websites require membership, but most are free. You can create an account with minimal information, such as your name, username, password and email address. When the simulator creates the account, it adds virtual money for you to purchase virtual stocks. The given amount is usually the maximum the game allows, and can range from $100,000 to $1,000,000.
Virtual investment games are based on real-world stocks. Because the success of a company determines the value of its stock, research the entities you are considering before creating a portfolio. You can read each company’s financial statements on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website, learn about recent developments from various news sources and visit online investment portals for an analysis of each company’s stocks. Popular investment websites include eTrade, Ameritrade and Fidelity. Create a list of criteria against which to measure each company’s stocks. The best match would be the stock that favorably satisfies each of your requirements.
Buying Virtual Stocks
The simulator mimics the real-world process of purchasing stocks electronically. You can enter the ticker symbol of the stock and the number of shares in the appropriate boxes on the trading window. The trade is executed when you click a button. Like the real world stock market, some virtual stock markets are active between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday. Any action taken during this time is immediately executed but trades conducted outside of these hours will be executed when the market opens again. Other investment games allow members to trade at any time.
Playing the Game
You can gain insight from trying different trading tactics to test results without fear of losing real money. It is rewarding to watch your portfolio gain value over time, but when it doesn’t, it can also be satisfying to figure out the reasons behind its failure. Some investment games give awards to players who attain certain levels. You can end the virtual investment game at any time when you're ready to apply what you have learned to the real stock market.
Tina Amo has been writing business-related content since 2006. Her articles appear on various well-known websites. Amo holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information systems.