"Investing 4 Fun": Learning to Crawl Into the Game
Who doesn't love a good game? From watching sports on TV to board games with our friends to playing Angry Birds on your smartphone - everyone loves a good game (there, I confirmed it!). Personally, I think the stock market instantly appeals to anyone and everyone once it stops looking like a drag on their life and resources and more like a game to prepare for the future.
You may be thinking, yes, I want to invest and play this "game" but I'm not willing to risk the money I have right now and I'm not confident enough in my own abilities to do stock analysis.
Fear not! I am here to help!
For ways in which you can make investing in the stock market fun for your kids, CLICK HERE to read my advice from a family who is extremely investing-savvy.
However, if YOU are the one who is looking to see the market as a "game" there is a great way to do this, and this is through the creation of a mock portfolio. There is no risk to losing any money - it is all done with fake money so you can experience what it is like to invest and either gain or lose money. In college, my Portfolio Management class each ran their own mock portfolios throughout the semester to put their skills to the test.
One of the best programs is through Investopedia's Stock Simulator or through Wall Street Survivor's Stock Market Game, which allows you to join leagues and put your portfolio up against different opponents and demographics - sounds fun, huh? And NO risk to you! Who knows, you might even be better than half the portfolio managers out there!
The idea is simply to put your skills to the test without an inherent risk to your money. Believe me when I say that this is not a test of luck, it can and should be about refining your skills to the point where you feel comfortable going out to grow your money for real.
One bit of advice to you when you invest in these games - be sure that you use as much of the fake money as possible, from the beginning to maximize usage. Why? A portfolio that is mostly cash does not, unfortunately, grow. That fake money may as well be sitting under your fake mattress forever - HAVE FUN and PUT THAT CASH (or sorta cash) to WORK!