Over the past year, I've encouraged anyone new to use a stock market simulator. For the most part, I use the Investopedia Stock Simulator. It's fairly easy to use and I like the interface better than some others that I have used. One of the great features of the investopedia.com is the there are a large number of contests you can join and also you can message the participants. You can also set up your own games and invite your friends to play along.
We live in a time when you can practice stock market investing so much easier than in the past. Used to, to practice, you had to "paper trade" and do everything manually. It kind of reminds me of the old fantasy football days when everyone did their picks manually and someone calculated the statistics by hand each week. Thankfully, those days are gone and it's the same with investopedia.
If it were me though, I'd probably put the simulator together a different way. But for practicing, it does the job. Keep in mind that a simulator is just that, it's not the real thing. But professionals in all walks of life use simulators including airline pilots. They use them to hone their skills and prepare them for scenarios they may never face. Investing today requires the same approach.
While your life isn't at stake when you are practicing your stock market investing skills, you can derive as much benefit from as those pilots. How? By developing a system to your trading before you invest hard earned money. As I've tried to detail on this site, you want to follow this plan:
- Learn how to determine the market trend.
- Learn to screen for stocks.
- Analyze the charts for those stocks.
- Start picking buy points to watch for.
- Practice buying those stocks in the simulator so you can track the mechanics of what you have to do on a daily basis.
- Make checklist of those steps.
- Refine the checklist from what you learn practicing.
- Start investing real money and learn for real.
Investing with real money is the real true way to learn the skill of investing. Simulators like investopedia don't provide the same emotion or the same market conditions that investing with real money does. Get to the real money phase as soon as possible. Take the time you need, but that's when the real learning will take place.
Good luck investing!