Monday, May 24, 2010

Top 6 best Stock Market Simulators

You want to learn about the stock market without risking any of your own money? A stock market simulator would be a perfect solution to try! Forget paper trading, once popular before the internet age, and still recommended by old school traders nowadays. I personally don't like paper trading and never have. I always seem to lose the paper I had my stocks and prices on. Or what would happen on a more frequent basis, not being able to read my own scribbles.
There are a few good stock simulators out there that do a pretty decent job reflecting what it's like to trade for real. Unfortunately they are just good, not excellent like I think they should be. Anyone interested in stock trading should have the best tools available to become as successful as someone that can afford a great stock trading platform from the beginning. However, as it is today, it's simply not available. The big boys still have the best and the fastest tools to trade and the little guy who is interested in making a little money in the stock market has to deal with these 'good' free simulators. But you have to start somewhere right. They do what they are designed to do and that is to educate you about the stock market. Fair enough.
The following stock simulators are all available for free on the web and require minimal sign up information to get started. They are listed in a random order.


The first one is from Market Watch called VSE or Virtual Stock Exchange. It's layout and community is pretty basic. If you have a facebook account you can connect to VSE right away and start trading. Also they don't allow trades under $2.00. So if you are trying to see if your penny stock strategy works, VSE is not for you. Overall it does work well though. I have an account with them for years and never had any major issues. On http://vse.marketwatch.com/

The second one is called Wall Street survivor and is by far one of my favorites! They have an extensive community, news and stock/chart analysis. You can setup several portfolios and enter contests. For beginners and intermediate traders/investors I definitely recommend to give them a go. On www.wallstreetsurvivor.com


The third on this list is called 'How the market works" and is basically a simplified version of 'Wall Street Survivor" listed above. In fact they are owned by the same people at Stock Trak. Its slogan "your simple guide to the stock market!" emphasizes exactly on that. Easy to understand entering buy or sell orders of stocks. Great for absolute beginners but gets old really quick when you have some experience beyond just putting buy and sell orders in, especially when you get the hang of it and have a taste for a little bit more. On www.howthemarketworks.com.


The fourth one is a new comer in the field of simulators with an interesting name WeSeed.com. Their interface looks very modern and clean, but they are very basic.
There is a lack of buy / sell stop and limit orders so you can only enter market orders, one of the things I don't recommend in real stock trading. Basically with a market order your order will be fulfilled whatever the market has to offer at that time. With a buy order this can be higher then what you originally had in mind to pay for the stock. Given the fact that the prices in virtual stock trading are always lagging minutes behind of the 'real' stock quote this can be a problem. Still, absolutely worth checking out, after all it's free. On www.weseed.com.

The fifth on my list is from the well known Forbes company called Investopedia Stock Simulator.
Investopedia is known for its library of topics about trading and investing with complete explanations about how everything works regarding this subject. Did you know they have a stock simulator too? It's interface is not bad. Right off the bat they ask you whether or not you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced investor and set up your account accordingly. It's almost like a 'cleaner' version of Wall Street Survivor. Also they allow option trading!! For anyone that is interested in that, investopia's stock simulator is where you want to be. On http://simulator.investopedia.com/


Last but not least, the sixth one called Umoo. I personally am not a big fan of them because they seem to reflect the stock market as a casino game. Sure, bets can be made in stocks, but only by the inexperienced. I believe with good analysis and research you can pick winning stocks consistently. They emphasize too much on the fun and play aspect of the stock market. Don't get me wrong, it can be a lot of fun to see your stock skyrocketing. But overall I think it's a serious component of our society where money can be made or lost. The good thing is that they have real money making opportunities in their games. Their contests allows you to 'win' real money without putting any of your own money in.
On: www.umoo.com
The free online stock market trading simulator landscape hasn't really changed over the years. In fact VSE, Wall Street Survivor and How The Market Works.com have been around for years and have not made any significant changes to their websites.
Overall the bottom line is to educate you and help you understand how the stock market works a little better. Go ahead and create an account with a few of them and see which one you like the best.
If there are any stock simulators that you know about that are not on this list and worth checking out reply to this post.
(Please don't submit college or school simulators since they are only good for students and teachers of that particular institution.)http://vse.marketwatch.com/Game/Homepage.aspx

Disclaimer:

All opinions expressed, trade recommendations/advice on this website are solely of John van der Munnik and are not affiliated with any investment firm or any other organization. You should not make an investment only based using this website VDM Trading for your trading needs without seeking help from your own financial advisor.