The Three Best Stock Simulators
The best stock simulators allow the user to hone their investment techniques. Regardless of your level of proficiency with money management and making investments, dealing with the stock market is still always a bit of a gamble. Before the age of the internet, old-school traders, brokers, and certified public accountants (CPAs) used pen and paper for drawing charts and entering orders. (Back in the day when stock market orders were written on paper and then rushed from a brokerage firm’s order desk to the appropriate floor trader, appropriately named stock market “runners” were hired at least partially based on how fast they could run.) The difficulties with the traditional paper trading were endless, posing a variety of hazards that included being unable to read whatever someone scribbled or, at the end of the day, being unable to find all the scraps of paper that documented the day’s trading.
Enter the present day and the advantages offered by high-speed computers, software, the internet, and all its associated technology. One of the major advances – and a boon for money managers, brokers, and financial advisors of any type – made possible by the development of sophisticated computer programs is the ability to create the best stock simulators or trading simulators for practicing trading techniques and testing out trading strategies.
Simulators – Tools for Professionals or Individual Investors
Anyone who is either in the business or interested in the business, of serving clients involved in stock market investing wants to take advantage of the best possible tools available that will help them serve clients better. Individual investors seek out the best stock simulators software programs that will guide them to becoming better investors. The choice of the best stock simulators for you to use will depend largely on how well a given simulator meets your specific individual needs.
There is no one stock market simulator that we would point to and declare as “THE best”, for all users in all situations. However, the three examined below are, at the very least, “among the best”, and have consistently received high marks from both users and reviewers. We urge you to examine them in more depth, and from the perspective of your own specific needs and wants in regard to such a program.
Using Simulators for Practice and Strategy Trials
A good, solid stock market simulator serves as an excellent practice tool for making actual investments and trying out various trading strategies. Additionally, it offers the opportunity to learn and master finance and investing basics, such as factoring in commissions and fees, shorting stocks, and utilizing popular analytical tools such as financial ratios like price/earnings and debt/equity. Simulation trading can also make it easier to perceive how the larger economic picture and business-related news affect markets and cause price movements in stocks.
#1 Wall Street Survivor
Wall Street Survivor is a tried and true stock market simulator that has been “in the game” for quite a while and definitely qualifies as one of the best stock simulators. Part of the appeal of this site and simulator is that it offers a wealth of personal finance and investment knowledge for you to take in and absorb at your own speed. While you’re practicing and becoming more proficient at trading, you can also effectively be earning a graduate degree in investing.
Articles, videos, and other source materials are updated and added on a daily basis, so you’ll never want for information. To assess your skills or knowledge, or to test what you’ve learned, you can take one of the hundreds of tailored quizzes designed to help you digest and integrate information that you’ve studied.
From there, move right on to using the stock market simulator and the play money it provides to trade your way to the uppermost tier of investors playing the game. As you trade and put into practice the investing skills you’ve learned, you can earn additional virtual cash, badges of achievement, and prizes that include eBooks, subscriptions, and even real cash (so Wall Street Survivor might be a good choice if you want to try to earn some extra investment capital while you’re learning).
Another veteran entry in the world of stock market simulators, HowTheMarketWorks is near the head of the pack when it comes to free simulators tailored for the beginning investor. This simulator is a streaming stock market game played in real time and used by nearly half a million investors, financial professionals, high school, and middle school classes every year. HowTheMarketWorks, just as its name indicates, is ideal for beginners because it offers all of the educational materials and tools needed to obtain a firm, basic understanding of how the stock market works.
This simulator isn’t just for beginners though. It offers sophisticated trading and investing simulations with the ability to practice trading global stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and even commodity futures.
As soon as you sign up, you are instantly offered access to thousands of articles, quotes, charts, Wall Street analyst ratings, news, and financial statements from publicly-traded companies. A complete package, HowTheMarketWorks provides users with tools such as financial calculators, lesson plan rubrics for teachers, and hours of informative and entertaining videos.
This simulator is noteworthy because of its suitability for the classroom, and it has consequently gained a wide following among educators. The gaming features include the opportunity to create customized, private competitions for individual classes, grades, or other groups. You can design competitions or tailor-made investing scenarios with specialized rules such as specific commission rates, trading competition time frames suited to the term of a class, and varied initial cash balances.
#3 MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange
The MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange (VSE) Game allows users to create a portfolio and trade stocks in real-time. Once you’ve joined a game you can discuss strategies with other players in the groups for your game, as well as develop your own game for others to join and compete in. You’ll begin by choosing a list of stock symbols to trade in your portfolio, then develop a custom Watch List alongside your holdings, and when you’re ready, turn on advanced features like limit and stop loss orders.
By providing access to interact with other traders, the program offers the opportunity to learn from a variety of skilled traders with diversified backgrounds and trading strategies. In the end, this stock simulator can be an excellent platform to help you build up your investing muscles.
Amazon Financial Modeling and Valuation Course
Want to learn more about how to value large public companies like Amazon? Check out CFI’s Advanced Financial Modeling Course on Amazon. In the course, you’ll learn how to build a detailed financial model from scratch and use discounted cash flow analysis to calculate the net present value of Amazon’s shares.
The above image shows the detailed dashboard you’ll create by the end of the Amazon Course.
The Bottom Line on Stock Simulators
Trading stock markets is a tricky business and there is rarely a single investor – beginner or otherwise – who becomes hugely successful right out of the gate. It’s a simple fact that, as is the case with learning and developing any new skill, practicing at stock trading can become a very valuable aid in becoming a super-successful investor. Using a stock market simulator allows you to practice the art of trading while you’re learning the real-life game of investing, and ideally will help you ultimately become a more skilled and successful investor in real life.
Read More About Investing
CFI is the official provider of the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification. To prepare for the FMVA curriculum, these additional resources will be helpful: