Our goal for this site is to teach you about trading and stocks. And part of that is the education of kids in the stock market. We’re firm believers that it’s never too early to start learning about the trading, and that kids actually have fun learning.
With that in mind, we’d like to offer you a Stock Market Game review. The Stock Market Game is geared toward students, and was designed to assist parents and teachers in educating kids about investing. But is it any good? We took a look at the program – here’s what we think.
What is The Stock Market Game?
The Stock Market Game is a program that was created for use in classrooms to teach kids about investing. Teachers (or parents) will register with the site and have access not only to the game but to curriculum resources and lesson plans. It’s meant to be compatible with Common Core educational standards, and can be used across public school, homeschool and after school programs.
The Stock Market Game is a part of the SIFMA Foundation. SIFMA is a non-profit organization which aims to educate young people about finances and investing. The New York based 510(c)3 caters the Stock Market Game to school aged children between the 4th and 12th grades.
The Stock Market Game is recommended for players in at least 2 to 5 member teams, but also includes the option to set up an individual portfolio. Upon creation of a game, students will have access to a virtual $100,000, which they can invest as they choose. The creators of the game claim that it’s useful for not only business education, but also reading, math, social studies and financial literacy.
How to Play The Stock Market Game
There are quite a few stock market simulations available on the internet, but only a few are geared towards kids. What makes The Stock Market Game unique is that it’s realistic. Commissions are deducted from a student’s balance, as well as an adherence to market hours. The kids will learn about bonds, dividends, investments strategies, and more.
The game works similarly to other online trading games, however, in that the children will compete over a predetermined amount of time to earn the most money from their investments. The kids are encouraged to take advantage of market news and analyst reports as well as instruction from their teacher to make the most educated purchasing decisions.
The Stock Market Game: What We Liked
The Stock Market Game could certainly get lost amongst the multitude of other virtual portfolios available today. But the creators designed an easy to use, clean interface for students to learn on, and the site itself is rich in educational worksheets, videos and other instructive materials.
We also like that it’s a SIFMA product. SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association) has been around for quite some time, and as it’s a recognized organization, teachers and parents can be pretty sure that the information on the website is current and legitimate.
Overall, it’s a simple product to use, and like most other virtual stock market games, has potential to teach kids about the markets through first hand experience. Parents may get a kick out of competing alongside their kids, and teachers can offer rewards for participation and the highest earning portfolio.
The Stock Market Game: What We Didn’t Like
It has to be said – we didn’t like the website, itself. Users must register, and as a part of the registration process must specify a geographical area. We entered no fewer than 18 zip codes before finding one that worked. We even tried the zip code “10271”, the site of the SIMFA Foundation headquarters, but to no avail. Whether this is an issue of game popularity or a glitch in the website, it was extremely frustrating to be unable to register.
The website would constantly time out, regardless of the browser we used. We were taken back to the login screen repeatedly, which was borderline infuriating when we were mid-trade. Once we were able to get into the site, however, the game was fun, easy to understand and could be a valuable resource for financial education.
The Stock Market Game: Our Thoughts
Alright, so there are dozens upon dozens of stock market simulations on the web. And as we mentioned, there are a few others geared toward kids. The long and short of it is this: The Stock Market Game has potential to be a great game for classroom use, but it’s imperative that they make the website work. While the developers are working on creating a functional website, we’ll be playing another game, like How the Market Works.
There’s one unique feature to the game, and perhaps the only incentive that we’d have to recommend it over others to classrooms and teachers. The site sponsors InvestWrite, which is a national writing competition solely for game participants. Teachers collect entries from students, and choose the best 10 to submit to the site. As the contest progresses via the website, prizes are awarded, including classroom pizza parties, electronics and gift cards. This is the only game we’ve seen to offer incentives for student participation.
The Stock Market Game Competitors
The Stock Market Game, with the exception of its writing contest, isn’t anything to call home about. It’s based on the same premise as all the others: a virtual portfolio, teacher or parent guidance, and a team gameplay atmosphere. The software has competitors which you may find more worth your time.
How the Market Works – This is a popular, web-based game which allows students to buy shares in their favorite companies and compete to earn the highest investment return.
Investopedia Stock Simulator – Investopedia is one of the biggest names in stock market education, and along with its virtual stock market simulation, kids will have access to one of the largest databases of market definitions and learning resources.
MarketWatch – This game isn’t a student game, but it does offer the benefit of trading stocks in real time, With a bit of guidance from instructors, students could learn a wealth of information about the markets as they build and grow their portfolios.
To summarize, The Stock Market Game is a good tool for use in schools, but there are better. We encourage you to research a few of the other games available before you settle on The Stock Market Game. Use the website for its wealth of educational resources, but play the game elsewhere, to avoid the frustrations of the glitches associated with the site.