“Investing” is a double-edged sword. People that invest well are at the receiving end of valuable windfalls, they profit from smart investing moves, and they are familiar with a process most people are not. That seems like too much learning to take risks with your hard-earned money. The savings account will do just fine, right?
What if there were options available to you to allow you to learn to invest with no risk to your cash?
What if a simulator exists that offers a simulated account that actually interacts with global markets? Here is all the learning you need to make wise investing decisions without risking a single dollar. From forex (foreign exchange) to futures, there will follow websites for beginners, or for those that want to hone their skills and intuition.
Each selection weighs account permanence, information available to learn from, and how involved the company is with your participation.
Oanda is a forex trading platform that provides a simulator with a $100,000 balance with which to experiment. The trial duration of this site is unlimited. It means that once created, you can practice all you like. These are the kind of sites you want. Their resources are innovative, offering features like correlation tables, and volatility graphs to analyze your risk. They also have an ongoing innovation department called OANDA labs, which develops better currency tools and updates.
On the con side the web platform takes a long time to load, and is dependent on which browser you use. You cannot use it with Chrome.
The Manhattan Beach Trading Services, Inc. provides simulators for a variety of trading options. You can open an equities/options, forex, or a futures account. This site is thorough and they take their clients seriously, simulated or real. They are a secure company that keeps your information private, and does not try to sell you extended services or products, according to www.forexpeacearmy.com.
The con is a lengthy, and highly detailed enrollment process. The upside to the process comes if you decide to open an actual account. They already have all pertinent information to open one for you without any further hassle.
Go to www.investopedia.com, and at the top of the page click on Simulator. Investopedia is the go-to source for all things financial. Their simulator, depending on the game or group you join, offers between $5,000 and $1 million accounts with which to trade. The format is website only, so there is no need to download any extra software to run the simulations.
Investopedia is also the source of a (pardon the pun) wealth of financial information. They have a dictionary, provide articles on relevant financial topics, and will even help you prepare for your exams if you are studying to get your CFA, or Series 6 licenses just to name a few.
With the information available on Investopedia you can invest your time into learning about interesting investment, market, and accounting knowledge. A recent search yielded over 20 relevant, up-to-date results on forensic accounting, including several articles on making the profession a career.
According to Investopedia ETFs are now using forensic accounting to eliminate stocks with the worst earnings quality. Investopedia is an excellent resource for investment knowledge, as well as an excellent simulator.
The cons are a tricky combination of investment rules, and the simulator format. It does, however offer a series of tutorials just beneath your portfolio home page on stock basics and picking, on options, short selling, and a direct how-to guide on using the simulator. You can use the simulator to compete with people around the world, which may or may not be intimidating depending on how you approach learning something new.
Investopedia is also a good place to network with other players, and learn some insights by investigating their past transactions within the game. Their records are available to everyone.
There are many simulators available online, but few offer unlimited time use, offer sufficient resources to make good decisions, and involvement of the company in your interests. A serious student needs time, and excellent, up-to-date resources to make good investment decisions they can be comfortable with. This will allow you to learn all you need, risk nothing, become comfortable with the investing process by making and learning from all your mistakes, and have a little fun.