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7 stock trading games to master your craft

Learn the fundamentals of stock trading with these 7 popular games.

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Game of chess with stock market chart overlay

Stock trading can be a good way earn some extra money and invest for the future — but it can also be risky. With so much conflicting information on which stocks to buy and how to invest in general, it can be hard to know where to start. Enter: stock trading games. Many of them simulate the stock market so users can practice trading using fake money.

Learn how to develop an investment strategy without putting any of your own money on the line. Practice makes perfect.

Note: all dollar amounts on this page are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

How do stock trading games work?

Most stock trading games offer a real-time simulation of stock market investing. These games provide you with a set budget of pretend money. You can then use these virtual dollars to “buy” your very own portfolio of stocks.

Among other skills, stock trading games can teach you how to:

  • Research companies
  • Place different trade orders
  • Build an investment strategy
  • Minimize losses

What online stock trading games are available?

Some of the online stock trading games based on different markets are:

1. MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange

This is one of one of most well known stock trading games. Players can choose from many different scenarios – with company prices mirroring real, live market prices and a standard brokerage fee per trade.

An online portfolio allows you to monitor your stocks, compete against friends and other virtual traders and have a chance to see what the outcome of your investments would have been if you’d invested real money.

2. HowTheMarketWorks Stock Market Game

Another popular option is the HowTheMarketWorks game, which gives you a budget of $100,000 that you can use to manage your own fantasy stocks portfolio. It’s free and aims to offer an experience as similar to real-life trading as possible.

The game allows you to buy and sell stocks, keep a record of your trades and your stock portfolio, test out trading strategies and see how your performance stacks up against other traders. HowTheMarketWorks is often used in university classes, high school classes and all around as a learning tool before people invest real money.

3. Investopedia Stock Simulator

The Investopedia Stock Simulator is another free share trading game designed to give you a taste of stock market investing. Players are given a virtual budget of $100,000 to invest and can compete with more than 700,000 other traders from around the world.

Join or create challenges to test your skills against other investors, such as who can achieve the best investment results each day.

4. Wall Street Survivor

Wall Street Survivor is a fun and educational game that gives competitors a budget of $100,000 to invest in whichever stocks they like. Features include simple-to-understand stock ratings and advice, a huge resource library and tips on company research. It’s a useful educational tool if you’re looking to find out more about investing in stocks.

5. Stock Trak’s Virtual Stock Market Simulator

StockTrak’s market simulator and virtual trading platform are designed to help investors practice trades without risking capital. The service is available to the general public but also comes equipped with academic simulations for college and high school students and stock market widgets for corporate clients.

The service is $16.98 monthly and can simulate stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, futures, commodities and forex trading across more than 50 global exchanges.

6. Warrior Trading Paper Trading Simulator

The Warrior Trading simulator is a desktop application equipped with real-time Level 2 data from the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange. Traders start with $200,000 in buying power and can execute stocks and options trades.

You can analyze your strategies with advanced performance reports and create hotkeys for stop orders, profit targets and more. The first month of Warrior Trading’s simulator is free but after that, you’ll have to shell out a whopping $197 monthly for the service — although this fee also provides access to Warrior Trading’s chat room and Warrior Starter classes.

7. Webull’s Paper Trading

Webull’s paper trading account is free to use and can be accessed directly from Webull’s website. Traders start with $1 million in buying power and have access to the same market data and charting tools Webull offers to brokerage account holders.

Traders also have the opportunity to put their investment strategies to the test through regular paper trading competitions with monetary prizes.

Take an online course on stock trading

Pros and cons of playing stock market trading games

Pros include:

  • Learn how to trade. Stock trading games allow you to gain an understanding of how the stock market works, and how you can buy and sell shares to generate wealth.
  • No money at risk. Stock trading games let you gain trading experience without actually investing any of your own money. This means you won’t end up out of pocket if you make a mistake.
  • Put theory into practice. Stock trading games allow you to put some of your trading ideas and investment strategies into practice without exposing yourself to any risk.

Cons include:

  • Unearned confidence. Games are never the same as the real world. Despite their benefits, playing a stock trading game is never the same as investing in real life. Your appetite for risk and overall investment strategy is always going to be different when you’re not actually risking any of your own money.
  • Short-term. Many stock trading games only run for a limited period — 10 weeks, for example — which is not enough time to get a full understanding of how the stock market works.

Ready to try the real deal? Compare stock trading accounts below

Use our comparison table to quickly compare fees and supported assets on some of Canada’s most popular online stock trading platforms.

Note: The dollar amounts in the table below are in Canadian dollars.

Name Product Available asset types Stock Fee Option Fee Account Fee ETF Transaction Cost
Wealthsimple Trade
Stocks, ETFs
Get a $25 bonus when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $100.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
$1.50 min. per order
$0 (if monthly commissions are greater than or equal to US$10.00)
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
Access market data 24 hours a day, six days a week and invest in global stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds from one single account.
Qtrade Investor
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, IPOs
$6.95 - $8.75
$6.95 - $8.75 + $1.25 per contract
$0 if conditions met, else $25/quarter
$0 - $8.75
Qtrade Investor offers low trading commissions and an easy-to-use platform with access to powerful tools and a wide selection of investment options. Trade 100 ETFs free of charge and thousands more for $8.75 or lower.
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
$9.95 + $1 per contract
Opt for self-directed investing and save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio and take some of the guesswork out.
Scotia iTRADE
Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities
$9.99 + $1.25 contract ($4.99 + $1.25 contract if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
$9.99 ($4.99 if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
Buy, sell and trade ETFs, Equities, Options and more with competitive commissions.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Stock trading games are a fun way to get started in the market, but the strategies you develop when using fake money may cost you if you start investing with real money. Always educate yourself before investing your hard-earned cash.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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