5 Great Games for Learning Stock Market Strategy
The power of hands-on learning is indisputable. But when it comes to investing your money in the stock market, however, making a beginner’s mistake can cost you more than just your self-esteem. Thankfully, the web makes it easy to practice with virtual money.
There are a multitude of online investment games likeInvestopedia and gnuTrade that play with virtual money, but not all of them are easy for beginners. Here are five of the best free (because you shouldn’t have to spend real money to play with fake money) online games for getting your feet wet.
Invest $100,000 in virtual cash via drop-down menu choices. A friendly cartoon version of stock guru Mark Brookshire helps you make your final decision by providing some rating numbers when you input a stock. These include a rating for survivor sentiment, fundamentals, technical and a Motley Fool Rating.
For additional help choosing stocks, the site has an impressive resource library that spans beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Start with Investing 101 and consider taking advantage of the community forums if you have specific questions. Those who need a little help getting started can also choose to adapt one of the preset portfolios created by proven traders.
While the $100,000 competition is most popular, anybody on the site can create a contest. Prizes vary, but most often consist of competitive pride.
Owned by the same company as Wall Street Survivor, this game is great for investors looking to gain experience with a new type of portfolio. In addition to stocks and indexes, there are options to experiment with Forex portfolios, penny stocks, mutual funds and short selling.
Beginners can execute market order-based trades in a “fun mode” without worrying about things like set hours, maximum number of trades per day, per stock and order expiration. A “realistic mode” amps up the complexity after they’ve mastered the beginner level.
Players can manage up to three stock portfolios and three Forex portfolios on the site at once. For each portfolio, they select a starting value between $100 and $500,000 and set how much virtual commission you are charged per trade.
The competition aspect is optional. General monthly contests give each player $25,000 as a virtual starting point. Other public contests include challenging restrictions like “short sells only” or “penny stocks only.” Users can create their own password-protected games as well, which is a feature that teachers find helpful for creating class competitions.
Young Money Magazine’s stock exchange game is easy to learn but also fairly realistic, which is a hard balance to strike.
Realistic aspects include a virtual commission that’s taken out of each trade, adhering to market hours and rules about how you can invest. Unlike many investing games, trades are made at a real-time price. Learning aspects include convenient help icons on key terms and an intuitive tabbed interface.
The site runs a monthly contest with a $100 (real) cash prize that goes to whoever gained the highest percentage. Players can also create their own contests or join other user-made contests.
MarketWatch will run this mock stock market contest for a total of four weeks, awarding the winner of each week with an iPad. It’s on week three right now, but there’s still time to get in on the competition for week four.
You must have your selections picked before the week starts on Monday. The shares that you select are “purchased” at Monday’s open and will “sell” automatically at Friday’s close.
The catch is that all players can only use the 15 to 20 symbols selected for each week. The companies are selected by the game owner for companies that are projecting their earnings during each week. Lining up picks is easy — players simply drag the company’s logo to their trading card and designate if they want to sell short or go long.
Although there are some pros playing, this game is especially manageable for beginners due to the limited stock options for each week.
Like Young Money’s game, UpDown has helpful icons that explain key terms for beginners. More comprehensive resources in the education center mercifully cover even the most basic of investing concepts.
Community features, like the opportunity to collaborate with a group and to see the most-bought and most-sold stocks, are also helpful for beginners. The “watch list” tool provides a convenient dashboard for monitoring potential picks.
UpDown sponsors a monthly contest that rewards players who beat the market with real cash.
SCVNGR Uses Google\\’s Places Database for Aggressive International Expansion
SCVNGR CEO Seth Priebatsch projects that the young location-based startup will hit one million members by year’s end. That aggressive prediction is based in part around today’s news: SCVNGR has gone international and just went live in more than 70 countries.
SCVNGR is leveraging the Google Places database to power the international expansion of its newly improved iPhone and Androidapps. The startup is the first to publicly launch with the Google Places API, which is currently limited to select parties as a developer preview.
The default SCVNGR interface for international users will be in English, but application users can add content and create custom challenges in their native languages.
The decision to piggyback on Google’s comprehensive place database was a necessary one, especially considering the startup does not have its own proprietary database for places — like Foursquare, for instance. It has, instead, been using Twitter-owned GeoAPI for U.S. place data. SCVNGR will solely use the Google Places API moving forward.
SCVNGR’s success stateside can be attributed to a number of developments like deep Facebook Places integration, but enterprise partnerships and retailer rewards have also been key factors contributing to growth. Internationally, SCVNGR may be a bit of a underdog in the location space. Priebatsch admits that the company has yet to forge relationships with international retailers around rewards, but does say that one partnership with a London brand is in the works.
Prior to today, SCVNGR was available in the U.S. only. Despite this obvious limitation, the startup has still managed to attract more than 500,000 members in just a few months time.
his could be very addictive: Google () is teaming up with board game maker Hasbro to launch a Google Maps () version of Monopoly (). Monopoly City Streets, which launches Wednesday, allows users to compete in a live, worldwide version of the popular game, creating the biggest Monopoly tournament ever played.
It’s an ambitious venture that we’ll confess to being fairly excited about: players will literally be able to buy any street in the world, and compete with every other player on the “board”. You start with 3 million Monopoly dollars, and can build not only hotels and houses but also football stadiums, castles and skyscrapers, reports the UK’s Guardian. Downing Street in the UK will cost $231,000, while Pennsylvania Avenue will cost $2 million.
The preview site reads:
On the 9th SEPTEMBER, a world of property empire building on an unimaginable scale will be launched! A live worldwide game of MONOPOLY using Google Maps as the game board. The goal is simple. Play to beat your friends and the world to become the richest property magnate in existence.
Own any street in the world. Build humble houses, crazy castles and stupendous skyscrapers to collect rent. Use MONOPOLY Chance Cards to sabotage your mates by building Hazards on their streets.
What the coverage doesn’t mention is the level of involvement Google had here: while in theory this could have been built on the Google Maps API with little input from the search engine maker itself, all reports seem to indicate that Google had a direct role in bringing the game to fruition.