written by: Dave Guilford•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 10/21/2010
Stock market games help beginners become better traders. Here are some of the best available stock market games.
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Paper Trade Your Way to Investing Success
The best stock market games for beginners are those that most realistically reflect actual trading in the stock market. Stock market games are nothing new. Most beginning investors do a little “paper trading" before committing real money to the stock market. However, the results of paper trading can vary wildly, and are therefore only effective if the stock trading simulation is done under strict controls.
It is a myth that only beginning stock investors play games and paper trade. With the help of sophisticated software, even some of the most seasoned traders test new trading systems before committing real dollars to them. It only makes sense to test a theory in real-world circumstances to see if it will be effective.
Some of the best stock market games for beginners are made even better by the fact that they are free. Providing real-time quotes and executions on trades, these simulators remove the human element from the simulation. When paper trading, humans will naturally give themselves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to trading, often convincing themselves that they purchased at the low of the day and sold at the high of the day. On-line trading games provide more accurate results, perhaps lowering anticipated returns but providing invaluable feedback in the form of a realistic simulation.
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Top 3 Best On-line Stock Market Games
One of the most popular stock market games is Wall Street Survivor. In addition to being a realistic trading platform, Wall Street Survivoroffers the additional benefit of a real cash prize to the best traders every month. Competing against other traders makes learning the stock market faster and more fun.
Another excellent paper trading platform is the Investopedia Stock Simulator. It offers the trading platform, plus volumes of educational information on investing techniques and terminologies. In addition to the simulator, there is an Investopedia Stock Simulator Blog to keep you up to date on the system.
Finally, another very popular stock simulator is Fantasy Stock Market. FSM offers league play as well as individual trading, so it is a good way to test out investment club strategies and to compete with and against friends and family. The top traders are listed on the home page every month, and the most active stocks traded are listed separately.
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On-Line Futures Trading Game Too
It bears mentioning that there are also games and simulations available to those wanting to learn to trade stock index futures. Futures entail a great deal more risk than stock trading, but the increased leverage can mean much higher returns.
A good place to start is at Mock Trading. This is a paper trading simulator for futures. Beginning investors will find stock index futures there, as well as dozens of other commodities. Paper trading is especially important in the futures market because the market can move against an investor very quickly and decimate his entire portfolio.
It is important to know when to stop paper trading. Once you've earned consistent gains in a stock simulator, it is time to commit your money. It doesn't do you any good to be up 1,000% in a fake account. Once you are comfortable trading for fun, it's time to get into the market and make some real money!