virtual stock trading

Best Stock Trading Simulators

Stock simulators utilize popular analytical tools, such as financial ratios, the larger economic picture, and business-related news to predict effects on the market and stock prices.

Several years ago, stock market orders were written on paper and then rushed from a brokerage firm’s order desk to a floor trader through “runners”. The difficulties with traditional paper trading were endless, posing a variety of hazards.

Today, computers, software, the internet, and all its associated technology are deployed to trade in the stock market.

One of the major advances made possible by the development of sophisticated computer programs is the ability to create the best stock simulators or trading simulators for practicing trading techniques and testing out trading strategies.

Individual investors seek out the best stock simulators that will guide them in becoming better investors.

The stock market simulator serves as an excellent practice tool for making investments and trying out trading strategies. Simulators can help traders or investors learn how to factor in trading costs, sell short, and perform stock analysis.

This article aims to discuss selected stock trading simulators based on the following parameters: how well these simulators meet the specific individual needs of the traders; How they have consistently received high marks from both users and reviewers.

Recommended Stock Trading Simulators

  • Wall Street Survivor

Wall Street Survivor is like an improved version of HowTheMarketWorks.com with additional features. It has been available for quite a while and it is rated as one of the best stock simulators.

It offers huge personal finance and investment knowledge for investors to digest. While you’re practicing and becoming more proficient at trading, you can also effectively be earning a graduate degree in investing.

Articles, videos, and other source materials are updated daily, to provide adequate information for users. Users can also assess their skills or knowledge with hundreds of tailored quizzes that are designed to help investors or traders digest and integrate information that they have studied.

Wall Street Survivor can be used to attain the uppermost tier of investors into stock trading. As users put into practice the investing skills they have learned, they can earn additional virtual cash, badges of achievement, and prizes that include eBooks, subscriptions, and even real cash. So, Wall Street Survivor might be a good choice if you need some extra investment capital.

Setting up Wall Street Survivor account is simple. Potential users can just create a login and provide an email address, and they are pretty much ready to start trading.

Once the account is set up, go up to the “Portfolios” tab at the top and start adding stocks to your portfolio. All you have to do is drop a ticker symbol in the search and select “buy.” From there, you’ll be allowed to buy, sell, short or cover any publicly traded stock – virtually.

Wall Street Survivor also allows users to easily set up stock trading games with friends, family, or classmates. There are also scores of games going on that you can join. If any user sets up a game to compete with others, you can also employ options trading – which puts this a cut above the others.

  • HowTheMarketWorks.com

HowTheMarketWorks is among the free simulators designed for the beginning investor, it is a streaming stock market game played in real-time. It’s used by nearly half a million investors, financial professionals, and school classes every year.

HowTheMarketWorks offers all the educational materials and tools needed to obtain a firm, basic understanding of how the stock market works.

This simulator isn’t just for beginners though. It offers sophisticated trading and investing simulations with the ability to practice trading global stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and even commodity futures.

It offers access to thousands of articles, quotes, charts, Wall Street analyst ratings, news, and financial statements from publicly traded companies. HowTheMarketWorks provides users with tools such as financial calculators, lesson plan rubrics for teachers, and hours of informative and entertaining videos.

This simulator has gained a wide following among educators because of its suitability for classroom activities. The gaming features include the opportunity to create customized, private competitions for individual classes, grades, or other groups.

You can design competitions or tailor-made investing scenarios with specialized rules such as specific commission rates, trading competition time frames suited to the term of a class, and varied initial cash balances.

Setting up the HowTheMarketWorks account is also simple. Users can just create an account, decide how much cash they want to start within the account, and get trading. The tabs at the top of the dashboard offer a glimpse of the user’s virtual portfolio. And that’s where they’ll find the place to start trading.

This stock trading simulator also features the ability to set up a trading game with friends to compete for the best returns. The major disadvantage of HowTheMarketWorks is that it features the ability to trade only stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – no options or futures trading is available.

  • MarketWatch

The MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange (VSE) Game allows users to create a portfolio and trade stocks in real-time. Once you’ve joined a game, you can discuss strategies with other players. You can also develop your own game for others to join and compete in.

You begin by choosing a list of stock symbols to trade in your portfolio and then develop a custom Watch List alongside your holdings. When you’re ready, turn on advanced features like limit and stop-loss orders.

By providing access to interact with other traders, this program offers the opportunity to learn from a variety of skilled traders with diversified backgrounds and trading strategies. In the end, this stock simulator can be an excellent platform to help you build up your investing muscles.

The set-up process of the MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange (VSE) is complicated compared to others. Users have to start by setting up a custom game.

The user can select how many players they want involved (or just play by yourself), and then users can choose the indexes they plan to access. Users can also choose the starting balance in their account and select which trading choices they would like to access.

  • Thinkorswim

Thinkorswim is an educational tool developed by TD Ameritrade which is a full-service brokerage regarded as one of the best in the business. Once users set up a Thinkorswim account, they can choose what kind of securities to practice with.

They can choose equities, options, futures, forex (foreign exchange) markets, and ETFs. Once the account is set up, the user will be prompted to download an application to commence trading.

The only disadvantage of Thinkorswim is that it does require a download instead of being able to be used right in a web browser.

  • NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader is also a simulator that has an exceptionally robust toolbox available to its users. This trading simulator has a proper brokerage service platform.

Users can back-test their strategies, run real-time screeners and do some advanced charting. Its most interesting feature is the ability to turn back time and see how you would have done in different periods.

The only disadvantage of NinjaTrader’s free simulator is the requirement to download and isn’t simply available online.

But the set-up process is still straightforward, and it’s easy to get started. Users only need to create an account and give their email address; they’ll get temporary login credentials once the download is complete.

Conclusion

Trading stock markets is a tricky business and there is rarely a single investor – beginner or otherwise – who becomes hugely successful from the beginning. Hence, practicing stock trading can become a very valuable aid in becoming a super-successful investor.

Using a stock market simulator allows you to practice the art of trading and investing; ideally helping you to ultimately become a more skilled and successful investor in real life.

Please note that these simulators are provided in no particular order hence, they are subject to the choice of the investors or traders.

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