Sharpen Your Investing Skills with These Stock Market Games
It’s no coincidence that kids love to play. In fact, it’s not only in human youngsters that the imagination and energy that fuelling their playful streak is at its peak in childhood. Puppies, kittens and the young of all mammals play with the greatest intensity in their former years because games are one of the best ways to learn real life skills. Kittens learn to hunt by pouncing on each other and children learn cognitive and physical coordination through games.
While we play games most as children, their enjoyment and effectiveness at communicating messages and knowledge persists into adulthood. That’s why many professional training sessions take the form of interactive activities that are in their essence, games. Games engage our minds and enthusiasm and that is the key to learning. While investing for a stable financial future is a serious endeavour, investment games can also be a great introduction to investing for beginners.
Books and articles are a great way to learn the theory behind successfully investing online but there’s nothing like practical experience. The problem with investing is that initial practical experience can involve some poor choices. Making poor choices and figuring out why they went wrong is part of the path towards acquiring knowledge and skill. But when it comes to online stock trading that valuable experience can come at a cost. Games involve losing or gaining virtual money. This means the pain of loss is not quite the same but it’s as close as it gets without putting your own hard earned money on the line. So let’s take a look at some of the mobile app games that offer a risk-free introduction to online stock trading.
Invstr: a ‘freemium’ model that is a little more advanced than other online stock trading games, Invstr is worth the effort so don’t be put off if, as a beginner, it seems a little overwhelming at first. Created by a London-based company, the Invstr app gives you $1 million in virtual currency to invest in the stock market. It’s well designed and while its depth means functionalities and navigating around the app require a bit of time, it has good usability.
The app is gamified through a social platform and ranking tables. It’s biggest plus is that if offers a wealth of content from a high quality news feed to professional analysis on companies and industries. Live market data is also provided. The basic content such as news is offered for free with users paying for market reports.
Another plus of Invstr is that through a partnership with an online stock broker, once you feel confident enough, you can actually invest real money. You can even do so more cheaply than normal as it is possible to buy ‘fractional shares’ which are, as the term suggests, a fraction of a whole company share. In our view, Invstr is the best game out there to learn the ropes of investing online.
Bux: created by a Dutch company, Bux follows a similar format to Invstr but is a little simpler. The app initially takes users through a theoretical education, explaining how to search for companies whose financials suggest they will be a good investment, stock market terms and jargon and the mechanics of buying and selling shares.
Like most games in this genre, the player is given a virtual stock trading account, this time loaded with 1000 bux, and set loose in the markets to sink or swim. But if you do sink, no harm done, just start again and try to do better using the lessons learned!
Stock Trainer - Virtual Trading: this game has no freemium features and is completely free. Stock trainer uses real market data and is essentially simulates a real life online investing account. The app is still in Beta version and more educational features are due to be added in the future.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
There is no obligation to purchase anything but, if you decide to do so, you are strongly advised to consult a professional adviser before making any investment decisions.