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 trialsÃ‚ 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.