Venturing real money in the stock market can be daunting if you lack Wall Street smarts. Most people pay a stock broker to do it because they don't trust their own judgment. But many inexperienced investors have found a fun way to gain investing experience without the anxiety in a virtual stock market simulator.
A virtual stock market game allows investors to get comfortable with the market and dabble with new strategies without putting actual money on the line. Smartstocks.com lets new members up for free. You begin with $1 million in what some would call Monopoly money that you can invest in real stocks as they show on the actual stock exchange. As the stock value rises and falls, your virtual worth does as well.
Not just a fun diversion - it's really invigorating to click the "buy" button and see $200,000 in stocks appear in your virtual account - it's a great way to learn without feeling like a classroom. Many finance teachers in high schools and colleges use the stock market game to give students real trading experience. You can create groups where you can compare and compete with a class or group of friends. Smart Stocks also has entertaining and educational videos and certifications to help participants learn the ins and outs of the market.
If you're just looking for the bragging rights, Smart Stocks allows you to see how you rank among all Smart Stocks players. The stock market game even awards prizes to the investors who make the best investments each month.
Of course without risking real money you won't make any. I still recommend using a stock broker to manage retirement accounts and other real money investments until you build up your confidence and stock savvy. But if you're looking for an educational experience, some meaningful competition, or just some good clean fun, Smart Stocks is worth a look.