“You only have to do very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” These words belong to Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors of our times. It is kind of ironic because when it comes to investing, people seek to be perfect and avoid even a slight chance of being wrong. They research, study, read guides and investment newsletter, they go to consultations with advisors to get professional advice. Be it for the college of their newborn, or for the mortgage, potential investors effortlessly learn, learn and learn. It is undoubtedly essential to know all of this and the lack of knowledge will negatively affect the outcome of the investment. However, merely theoretical knowledge is not enough to gather the confidence of making the very first trade. So, the 1 million dollar question is – how to gain some practice without losing money? The answer is… well, the title gave it away – stock simulators.
Stock Simulators? Is that some kind of game?
As a matter of fact, Stock Simulators are not such a novel invention, they have been around for a while. Stock Simulators are the virtual representation of stock market trades, some of them are even called stock market games. Google stock simulators and several types pop up: simple, complex, tutorials, so on and so forth. In spite of having different functions, the overall structure of these simulators is pretty much the same. Recently, Stock Simulators have stepped their game up and now most of them have real-life like conditions such as brokerage fees, to make the whole experience more down-to-earth.
Why spend time on this?
What is the point of playing some kind of game if investors learned so much that there is nothing left? Well, for one thing, not all the people are good at theory and in order to have the full sense of what they are doing, they have to practice. As great as it would be, beginner’s luck does not come handy in investing. Starting investment with a loss because of being rookie may be a little discouraging. It is like trying to get driver’s license by learning traffic symbols, rules and read guides on how to drive without actually driving. I can guarantee a fail- no one will give that person a driver’s license. Life-like practice is essential in investing and Stock Simulators graciously provide that very opportunity.
Examples of Stock Simulators
Investopedia, being one of the best websites about finance, could not miss having a simulator and came up with one of the most trustworthy ones. They have done a really great job with including actual and up-to-date data in their simulator. Investopedia Stock Simulator has the stocks of the 3 most prominent stock exchanges – New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq and the American Stock Exchange (AMEX). Once registered, it gives $100,000 to start with and the fun journey of virtual investment begins.
Similarly, there is the Wallstreet Survivor simulator. Unlike Investopedia, this one is a little more gamy although the content is still precise and informative.
Besides these two, there are some other games and simulators. App Store and Google Play also have related games but they are elementary and for someone, who already knows the very basics of stock investing, it will be just an additional revision.
From Virtual to Real Life
The next step after learning about stock investing is action. Thanks to the current digitized world, there is no need to risk money for practice and mistakes will not cost a penny. Warren Buffett is right, not doing many things wrong is indeed important but let a fake investment be one of them.