Paper trade virtually before you trade real money

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Nov 16 2007
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The closest you can go to gauge whether you’re ready to take the plunge into the pool of real stocks investing or trading is through virtual trading. Call it virtual trade, paper trading, virtual compete or whatever you want but the basic reason is still the same – to prepare yourself what the stocks investing is all about. However one thing that paper trading cannot equip you is the fact that the actual emotion of “fear and greed” are not there. You’re trading virtual money (the same way you’re playing monopoly) and hence the decision to buy or sell stocks might differ from the real stocks trading.

Nevertheless it’s still a good tool especially if this is the first time you’re trying to trade the largest stocks exchange in the global equity markets – the Wall Street. HowTheMarketWorks – the subject of this paid request – is one of the websites that provide the free Virtual Stock Exchange platform for newbies. It only requires your first-name, email and password to sign-up. You can setup up to 3 portfolios to trade virtually. Starting with $10,000 as your initial investment fund, you can increase your wealth (virtually) to $500,000. To make it easier and fun to learn, the website provide the basic ingredients required such as stock quotes, stock charts, symbol lookup, popular stocks (long and short-sell) and even “Throw Stock Darts”.
Virtual TradeYes, for gamblers or people who got nothing else to do you can actually choose throw the darts option and the system will randomly generate the stock for you to trade. Of course in real world or even in virtual trade, you shouldn’t do this. Now what you can trade? You can basically trade stocks and indexes, penny stocks, pink sheet stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and short-selling. However you can’t trade options and I think this is one of the areas the website owner should improve. Another limitation is the stocks quote are delayed by 15-20 minutes, which understandably is quite common to free providers such as HowTheMarketWorks as real-time streaming quote cost real money.

Having said so, the website provides the basic functionalities which can benefits lots of first-timers who would like to get their hands dirty in trading U.S. stocks but are not willing to put their hard-earned money into the trading floor yet. Not much complaint from me since it’s simple, easy, fun and free.

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