3 Best Stock Market Simulators of 2022

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It’s common for new investors to feel uneasy spending their money on real stocks without knowing exactly how the stock market works. The market is notoriously volatile, and it is easy to lose money quickly if an individual does not know much about investing.

Luckily, stock market simulators make it convenient to practice investing without using real money. Through paper trading, investors can learn the ins and outs of the market without risking their hard-earned cash. 

What Are Stock Simulators?

Stock simulators, also known as paper trading, are a way for investors to try out the stock market without buying or selling stocks for real. Some brokerage firms offer demo or test accounts where clients can practice their trading skills. Firms provide a certain amount of virtual money that clients can sell and buy stocks using a simulated platform that mirrors the real market. Users can choose an investment and see how it performs in the real market. 

Paper trading is an excellent way to test out certain trading techniques without risking money. Investors can see how choices are impacted by the market and modify investments according to lessons learned.

Paper trading also lets investors pick out various companies and stocks to understand how different investments perform. Individuals can use the play money provided by the simulator to see how their choices perform under actual market conditions.

Do Stock Market Simulators Help?

Stock simulators are a good way for new investors to gain confidence and experience without the risk of losing their money. Investing money is a big step for many people, and putting funds into stocks without first testing out a few strategies can be risky. Paper trading allows individuals to try out techniques and gauge those against market conditions before committing real dollars. 

Building Wealth

Some experts stress that investing in stocks may not be the best way for those who are inexperienced to start. Picking stocks and gauging the market is challenging, and some people want a more risk-free investment to test the waters. Starting with a portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds or index funds is a good option for those who do not have the confidence to pick specific stocks.

If investors are committed to buying stocks, stock simulators are a good way to become accommodated to a specific platform. Using a demonstration account or a stock simulator can help individuals get used to buying and selling stocks without investing any real funds. There is a learning curve to the stock market, and paper trading can help investors increase their confidence without the risk.

What Is the Best Stock Market Simulator?

Learning how the stock market functions often takes years of practice. There is a lot to learn, and it is often a gamble for individuals to spend their own money on real stocks without knowing how the market functions. While there is always an element of risk when buying and trading stocks, simulators are free tools that can provide much-needed practice to new investors. 

Stock market simulators or demo accounts are designed to follow real market conditions and exchange rates without financial risk. It is up to each individual to choose the simulator that works best for them according to the types of investments they want to make. Here is a list of some of the best stock market simulators. 

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1. paperMoney by TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade offers a stock simulator called paperMoney, which can help investors learn how to find stocks and perform trades. Ameritrade’s real trading platform is one of the most popular available, giving investors a good idea of how the process works in real life.

Why It Stands Out

Investors can use the platform to learn about complex investments such as futures and forex markets or more basic options such as derivative products. 

Pros

  • paperMoney is free to use and comes with several functions to test basic options strategies.
  • People can also use the platform to test various chart indicators and studies to see how they can help their trades in the real world.

Cons

  • Users cannot use paperMoney to practice trading fractional shares.
  • The trading platform is not as intuitive as other stock market simulators. 

What To Look For 

If an individual wants to use TD Ameritrade as a brokerage firm in the future, using paperMoney is a good choice. All investing platforms function differently, and it can be challenging to learn a platform’s various functions as a new investor. Familiarizing yourself with the platform without the pressure associated with the actual trading process can help new investors feel more confident.

2. HowTheMarketWorks

Unlike paperMoney, which is connected with a real online brokerage firm, HowTheMarketWorks is exclusively for paper trading.

Why It Stands Out

Investors can test market strategies with a simulated portfolio or explore the educational resources on the website. The site is used by over 400,000 individuals every year to learn the basics of investing, and it is one of the most popular simulators available.

Pros

  • HowTheMarketWorks is ideal for novices with limited investment experience.
  • It offers a library of educational materials to learn more about mutual funds, options, exchange-traded funds and commodity futures. 
  • The free virtual stock market simulator works much like a stock market game, where users can register and receive virtual cash. 
  • Each user is given $100,000 in virtual money and can trade in the stock market in real-time or create contests with friends or family members.

Cons

  • This market simulator is not connected with a real platform but still gives investors the ability to learn the basics of investing.
  • It’s limited to paper trading, which may be a drawback for some.

What To Look For

Although it’s limited to paper trading, the game-like interface makes this trading simulation engaging and fun to learn how stocks work. The simulator is sophisticated enough for more experienced investors to practice more advanced strategies.

3. Wall Street Survivor 

Wall Street Survivor is one of the longest-running stock market simulators available and is considered one of the best ways to learn the basics of investing. 

Why It Stands Out

The simulator works as a stock market game by providing players with virtual cash to buy and sell investments. 

Pros

  • Investors can simulate success in the market by trying real-world strategies. 
  • As investors play the game, they can earn more money, achievement badges and prizes. Prizes include subscriptions, e-books and real cash. 

Cons

  • Users should keep in mind that the Wall Street Survivor is not linked to a real brokering firm, unlike some other platforms such as paperMoney. 
  • Opening an investment account with another company is necessary once users are ready to try the real stock market.

What To Look For 

The Wall Street Survivor also offers many investments and personal finance resources users can study at their own pace as they gain more experience with the simulator. 

Other Stock Market Simulator Options

The MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange simulator is another option for beginners wanting to learn more about investing. This simulator works similarly to other stock market games in that it provides virtual money that people can use to buy and trade stocks. The simulator allows investors to start games and compete against friends or coworkers for leaderboard spots. 

Users can register for MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange for free.

This stock market simulator is easy for beginners but has more advanced resources suitable for more experienced investors.

Final Take 

When users feel confident enough to buy real stocks, it is best to stick to a strategy. Success is not guaranteed, but using a consistent approach and avoiding fad investments are recommended.

Information is accurate as of May 18, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Allison Johnson has 5+ years of copywriting experience and has produced content for numerous public and private sector clients, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cancer Institute. She has a Master of Public and International Affairs from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Utah. Her work has been featured in Utah Business Magazine, the Salt Lake Tribune, and the Deseret News.

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