If you’re looking to get into investing but you’re not ready to put your hard-earned money at risk, or you just want to practice your trading skills, a stock game could be a great option for you.
Stock simulation games allow you to “paper trade,” or invest with virtual cash.
A good simulator will imitate the market in real time.
So you can invest your fake cash in real stocks, bonds, and other securities to get a real indication of how your portfolio would have performed if you had invested real money.
In this article, we’ll list our favorite stock games for students that want to get into investing.
Best Overall Stock Game for Students: Personal Finance Lab
Teachers who use Personal Finance Lab can assign their students a customized curriculum.
PFL offers over 300 lessons teachers can assign that meet state and national standards for financial education.
These lessons come complete with quizzes and help set students up to succeed in the stock game and the budgeting game (and in real life)!
The stock game lets students trade risk-free with virtual money.
The teacher can change settings such as regular cash deposits, trading rules, and which lessons they want to correspond with the stock game.
The teacher can also track students’ performance and activity in their portfolios.
The Budget Game allows students to simulate the real-life responsibilities of managing income, paying bills, and dealing with unexpected life expenses.
Students progress through a simulated calendar, with each day bringing new surprises.
Events in the game are random and decision trees are based on probabilities.
A student might be faced with a flat tire or a necessary clothing purchase.
They can choose whether to charge these expenses to a debit or credit card, which will effect their financial situation further on in the game.
Pricing for Personal Finance Lab starts at $10 per student for the Budget Game.
Adding the stock game brings the price to $20 per student, and there are discounts for classes with a higher number of students.
Best Free Stock Game for Students: HowTheMarketWorks
HowTheMarketWorks is another great stock simulation game.And the best part about it is that it’s absolutely FREE!
When you sign up for HTMW, you get a virtual portfolio worth $100,000 that you can trade with as you please.
You can also create custom contests to compete against your friends and family.
HTMW hosts national contests that you can enter to win real prizes!
The Education Center also helps you learn investing tips that can help your virtual portfolio as well as your real one.
Like Personal Finance Lab, HowTheMarketWorks can also be used by teachers and students in the classroom.
Teachers can customize their students’ trading parameters and lessons.
Best Stock Game for Quick Learners: MarketWatch
MarketWatch, the popular stock news platform, has a feature called the Virtual Stock Exchange that you can use to paper trade in real-time.
You can trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, fractional shares, and more.
You can also create or participate in custom games with unique rules.
The best part about MarketWatch is that it is a wealth of educational material on investing, personal finance, and more.
So while you’re trading virtual money, you can also learn more about the stock market and the types of securities you’re trading.
It’s a win-win!
The above stock games are great for students who want to practice on their own, as well as teachers who want to bring financial education technology into their classrooms.
Be sure to check them out and create your own trading contests for friends and family!