What is a Stock Simulator?

A stock simulator is essentially a type of game or app that players can use to learn more about how the stock market operates. Many graduate schools and colleges use these programs in higher level classes to help financial students learn how to make decisions regarding when to buy and sell, and others encourage students to play these games on their own. The simulators are popular with those who want to invest in the stock market too.

Types of Simulators

A stock simulator typically falls into one of two categories. The first is a financial simulator. Players receive currency that is only valid within the game. They can then buy stocks on the virtual market and later sell or trade those stocks. Many use data from the real stock market but place a lag inside the game to prevent players from winning based on inside information. The second type is something called a fantasy simulator. A good example is the Hollywood Stock Exchange, which lets players invest in their favorite actors and celebrities. Instead of using real commodities, fantasy games feature unique and unrealistic stocks.

Free vs. Paid Programs

Free programs are great for those who want to learn more about the stock market without spending any real money. They can play these games over their own computers and have fun making virtual money through stocks. Paid programs often require that players buy the game before playing, but there are others that are free to download. Players will then need to exchange real money for in-game currency to actually play the stock market.

Cell Phone Apps

Those who want to have fun with a stock simulator without investing a lot of time or money can download a free or premium app to their cell phones. Stockfuse is a fun game for iOS devices that lets players invest in the stock market and then monitor their portfolios as the market changes throughout the day. Stock Wars is a similar game that goes into greater detail about real stocks. It shows players how much they paid for specific stocks, the value of that stock and how much it increased or decreased during the day. They can also view similar details about stocks they want to buy.

Benefits of Simulators

Lisa Smith points out that one of the biggest benefits of using one of these simulators is that beginners have the chance to practice their skills. Investing in stocks and bonds can make new users thousands of dollars or cause them to lose their entire investment. With these simulators, they have the chance to learn more about buying, selling and how to make decisions in the real stock market. It also allows students to see how their decisions can impact their stock portfolios, which is especially important for those who want to work as financial analysts or investors.

Who Can Use the Programs?

Though some think that a stock simulator is best for college students or beginning investors, this simulators also work well for those who have full-time jobs as investors. Even those who work around stocks all day may need to refresh their skills and look at the market with a fresh eye. Some college professors even use these apps to keep an eye on how the market fluctuates to better talk about the stock market with their students.

Investing in the stock market is tricky because investors never know when they might win or lose big. Apps and computer programs now let them have fun playing the stock market. A stock simulator is suitable for everyone from college students and professors to analysts and beginning investors.