Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to Practice Trading

Earlier this week I reviewed the Virtual Stock Exchange stock simulator, which was well setup and easy to use. Today I am covering the stock simulator that almost everyone has either heard of or uses, the Investopedia Simulator. Not only is it free to use, but it can be your ticket to some serious online trading practice.

Registration Trick, Ignor the Offers

The investopedia simulator is free to use, and registration is pretty straightforward. The only thing to watch out for is on the 2nd page, you will be asked if you want to participate in a wide variety of free trials from sites. The trick is to scroll to the bottom, ignor the address fields, and click, “I’m not interested, take me to the simulator”. Visual below.

investopedia-registration.JPG

Again this is on the “free offers” page, click the bottom and you are ready for the simulator.

Using the Simulator for Placing Trades

Investopedia has made is extremely simple for you to join new games, create games, and trade stocks in your portfolio. The big plus about Investopedia is that everything is free game: market orders, limit orders, stop orders, buying on margin, and even trading options.

The order forms are very simple to understand, and are very similiar to making a real life stock trade online. Image below.

investopedia-trade-stock.JPG

Once you click to “preview order” it will tell you if you have enough money in your account to make the trade, and some other simple financial details. It takes 20 minutes for the trade to show up on your portfolio overview page, and that is being covered next.

The Portfolio Overview Tracks Your Positions

So once you register and make your first trade and it shows up in your portfolio, you will see exactly how that position is performing. The overview page will show you:

  • The stocks you currently hold, full names and ticker
  • The quantity of shares you currently own
  • The purchase price of those shares
  • The current price of those shares
  • The total value of those shares
  • The % change of those shares
  • The total current Gain or Loss on the position

Below is a screenshot taken from my portfolio, only can fit the far right, but it is for my Amazon.com positions which I purchased earlier this year.

investopedia-simulator.JPG

From the portfolio overview page you can also write notes to yourself which you can look back on and read. These help when it comes to learning as you go, and for instance one of my notes from 2006 reads, “Don’t buy options so far out of the money. In the money isn’t bad! There is a reason why they sell for $.10 a contract.” A newbie mistake for sure, just because they are cheaper doesn’t mean they are better right?

Closing Notes

Overall I really enjoy the investopedia stock simulator. I have used it for a few years and will continue to use it for years to come. Even as your trading progresses it still can offer you a way to practice and improve your investment skills. Best of all being free you really have nothing to lose but your time for practice. Practice makes perfect.

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Comments

  1. says

    Blaine, which one do you prefer most ? Visual Stock or Investopedia ?
    Don’t you think that practicing in a fake environment makes you do trades that you would not do with your own money? I started to trade a different (but really risky!) way. I took a line of credit and invest most of it in the stock market. Fortunately, it went super well. Mind you it was 2 years ago. Even a can opener could increase in value back then. I am not sure I would do the same thing today!

  2. says

    I wold say investopedia for me only because though i’ve used them for literally a few years. When it comes to practicing in a fake environment, it really comes down to I think how serious you want to take it. Naturally though I am bit more risky as well :twisted:

  3. says

    I also prefer Investopedia. The only gripe I have with them (and I could fix this by changing a setting, so its my fault I guess) is that when you control a large portfolio… say $2,000,0000 (1 mill CND + 1 mill USD) then you have to make what seems like hundreds of trades just to buy the amount of stocks you want, even if you only purchased 5 different stocks. Then it shows up on seperate lines instead of just showing an average price paid. So when I log in to a large $ account on Investopedia, expect to see 15 lines showing shares from each company.

    I think besides changing diversification and trading rules I should just use a smaller portfolio to avoid this. Ie, $100,000 portfolio instead of $1 mill.

  4. says

    I’ve used Investopedia quite a bit. I really liked it. I still prefer the Caps system over at Motley Fool. There is more of a community feel to it and everyone is helping everyone out.

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