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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 percentage of Americans investing in stocks has remained steady since 1999, according to a report by
The Best Online Games For Learning Stock Market Strategies
Here are some of the great platforms where you can learn, play and even win a prize:
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.
Make your own private class or club competition. Set the contest dates that work best for your class schedule, the initial cash balance, and other contest rules such as commission rates.
4. Yahoo! Finance Portfolio
Is this a game? No, not really. However, if you want to pick some stocks you are interested in or have seen on the news and study, Yahoo! Finance is a great tool. Here you can build your 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 technical analysis indicators and launch trades based on technical analysis parameters such as candlestick indicators, MACD patterns, or support and resistance levels.
It is a great portfolio tracker, and it helps you learn a lot by creating mock portfolios. The tools and data help further your experience with trading and investing.
5. 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.
6. Stock Market Game
The Stock Market Game is a popular virtual trading platform that simulates real-time stock market trading. It offers participants, including students, educators, and individual investors, an opportunity to learn about investing and practice trading stocks without using real money. The game provides a realistic environment where players can create virtual portfolios, buy and sell stocks, and track their performance.
Participants start with a virtual cash balance and have access to real-time market data, news, and research tools. They can choose stocks from various exchanges and industries, just as they would in the actual stock market. The game allows players to execute trades, monitor their portfolio's performance, and analyze the impact of their investment decisions.
One of the key benefits of the Stock Market Game is that it provides an interactive learning experience. Participants can test different investment strategies, learn about the risks and rewards associated with stock trading, and gain a better understanding of market dynamics. It also promotes critical thinking, analytical skills, and teamwork in a competitive setting.
The Stock Market Game is often used in educational settings to teach students about financial literacy, economics, and investing. It helps participants develop a foundation in investment principles and prepares them for real-world investment scenarios. Additionally, the game offers valuable insights into the importance of research, diversification, risk management, and long-term investing.
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 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 don't have a resource library for beginners. Look towards the actual “games” to get a good feeling of how trading natural 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.
Always remember: We all make mistakes – and it's better to make them before diving in with real money. Want another tip? Set your game account to the amount of money you think you might start with on a real one! This will help you create a more “life-like” account and be easier to learn from!
Which Brokers have Demo/Simulator Accounts?
While apps offer free stocks, trying a demo account is a good idea. A demo account is a type of trading simulator that allows people to practice day trading on various financial products and assets, such as stocks, CFDs, options, futures, and cryptocurrencies. It is a risk-free way for beginners to improve their trading skills and gain experience because they do not have to use real money.
Here is a list of brokers that provide demo/simulation accounts:
- eToro – eToro is a popular online broker with over 20 million users globally. Users can gain access once they have opened an account on the platform. eToro's demo account comes with $100,000 in simulated funds.
- TD Ameritrade: This is one of the most well-known and venerable brokers in the United States. As such, it is no surprise that it offers one of the best demo accounts for stock trading. To access the demo accounts, you must create an account with TD Ameritrade. After that, you should install the broker's in-house trading platform – thinkorswim. After completing your sign-up process and opening your account, click on the ‘paper money' button beneath the login box to get started.
- Interactive Brokers: This broker has one of the best demo accounts for day trading, with impressive features and functions. You can access its demo account by downloading and installing the IBKR Mobile app. Once your live account has been approved and funded, then you are qualified to open a demo trading account. Demo accounts on the platform come with $1m in simulated equity.
- Webull – Webull's zero minimum balance makes it a good place for people new to day trading. In addition to a demo account, the platform offers free trading courses and advanced charting features. These features can improve the learning process of rookie traders who want to learn how to day trade stocks profitably.
How Can I Learn Stocks For Free?
There are numerous sources from which beginners can learn about stocks for free without part with any money.
Social media has opened access to multiple streams of learning sources, making it possible for people to have access to more financial information than ever before. The major question is their quality of information. If you are new to day trading here are some sources:
- Read Online, Read Books: There is a wealth of online information about trading strategies. In addition to online resources, books allow you to tap into the experiences of others without having to make the same mistake as they did. Make it a habit to read books from successful traders. This would give you an insight into how they think and how you can establish profitable trading strategies.
- Have a Mentor: It is always good to have someone whom you follow his investment ideas or philosophies. A mentor is usually someone with more experience of day trading experience. It could be anybody from your friend or relative, even someone whom you have never met before but may have read about. Mentorship enables you to grow faster because you avoid your mentor's mistakes. A mentor’s experience and guidance in learning the tricks of the trade are invaluable.
- Practice: Nothing beats hands-on experience. If you want to be a better day trader, then you have to put in the work. Reading books and having a mentor would get you nowhere unless you act on the information you have gotten. Learning by experience is the best way to learn as a trader because you understand not only market patterns, but also behavioral attitudes and how you react. You can start by opening a demo account and practicing with paper money before you commit real funds.
Playing the stock market game can inculcate several lessons that would make you a better investor or trader. Because it simulates real-live market scenarios, playing the game can enable people to improve their trading strategies and understand the market better through constant practice.
It also improves financial knowledge and investing habits. Perhaps more importantly, traders would be able to decipher their emotions and understand how behavioral attitudes affect their trading choices and strategies. Regardless of your level of experience or expertise, playing the stock market game is a viable way of improving your craft as a trader.
There is no timeframe for practicing how to trade in the stock market. The assumption that you gain proficiency in trading after a particular time is akin to believing that you know it all. With the stock market, you can never know it all. It is an endeavour of continuous learning.
As economic and business realities evolve due to changes in consumer tastes, technology and social perceptions, so would the trading strategies and valuation of stocks. For example, energy stocks were believed to be the best source of dividends and cash flows.
However, as the push for climate change continues to gain momentum, a lot of attention is being shifted to clean energy stocks.
It is possible to win the stock market game., though this is much easier said than done. Traders must contend with their emotions, limited knowledge, economic cycles and volatility.
One way to beat the stock market game is by investing across different asset classes and financial markets. This diversification strategy helps to reduce risk in your portfolio and hedge against market volatility. It also ensures that your investments continue to generate returns regardless of the economic cycle.
You can practice trading stocks without using real money by opening a demo account. Most brokers provide users with a demo or practice account where they can practice their trading skills and backtest strategies before using them in a live account.
All you have to do is sign up with them and open a live account. This would provide you access to a demo account. The account would be funded with virtual money which would enable you to simulate trades using live market data.
Webull ‘s zero minimum balance makes it a good place for people who are new to day trading who are scraping for capital.
The platform is a cheap and cost-effective way for beginners to learn day trading. In addition to a demo account, the Webull offers free trading courses and advanced charting features to U.S listed equities.
These features can improve the learning process of rookie traders who want to learn how to day trade stocks profitably. This is what makes Webull one of the best stock simulator app.