Stock Investment Games

Playing stock games prepares you for risking real money in the market.
i John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Want to get involved in the stock market and really make some money, but fear you don’t know what you’re doing and afraid to admit it? If so, stock investment games provide an outlet where you can learn about trading stocks without worrying about risk. Many online investment games help both beginners and advanced traders. Schools are even using stock market games for students to learn about investment strategies.

Learning the Ropes

Stock investment games allow you to practice and develop trading skills. You can learn or improve your knowledge on the highs and lows of stocks and when to invest by showing you profits and losses of your imaginary investments with games such as HowTheMarketWorks and Young Money Stock Market Games (see Resources). You get a better understanding of such strategies as implementing market, limit and stop orders. Practice the management of your stock portfolio and how best to distribute your investments. You can learn when diversifying works best for you or how to take chances with high-risk stocks that bring you better returns when they succeed.

Don’t Get Carried Away

Even though you eventually learn to make big bucks in a fantasy world of online stock trading games, know that investing and trading in the real world have different consequences. You might do extremely well for a certain time period, but this could stem from a strong period on the market while you play your games. Critical issues, such as a bull market or declining market, come into play when you use real money. Timing plays an important role in investing. Don’t think you’ve become a stock pro just because you had a good ride for a few days with stock investment games.

Deeper Impact

Emotional issues become more serious when you really play the stock market, according to Barry D. Moore at Liberated Stock Trader. You can take bigger risks when playing stock market games, betting on high-risk stocks because you don’t have to use your own money. You might use the same methods when you choose to invest in the real market, only this time conditions have changed because uncertainty or panic has entered the market. You could lose a big chunk of change, money that you need, and this time it’s for real. This hits your self-esteem and your pocket suddenly with deeper emotional consequences.

Continued Education

Stock investment games provide you with an education about the advantages and risks involved in investing. Virtual games, such as the Wall Street Survivor, offer resources for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels (see Resources). The site also provides forums to discuss investing. National SMS has lesson plans and online tutorials for teachers to instruct their students on managing fantasy stock portfolios (see Resources). However, you also need to research and read about investing, attend workshops or discuss techniques and future goals with your financial adviser to invest wisely in the real stock market.

the nest