The title says it all. I'm looking for a simulation stock market to play around with. One that is, ideally, as close to the real thing as possible.

I've heard that Investopia is a pretty good resource for all things 'stock' and found they have a simulator available. However, before I comit to using it, I'd like to know if you guys could recommed a better alternative.

The simulator will, preferably, have a 'learn as you go' theme to it. Something that's friendly for a beginner.

  • 1
    Why not use a real stock market (but with fake money: i.e. pretend you were buying and selling on a real market, using real/actual prices and fees, and keep score).
    – ChrisW
    Jul 9 '11 at 2:50
  • That feels as if it'll make the learning experience a bit more complicated.
    – Dave
    Jul 9 '11 at 4:00
  • @ChrisW - that assumes you know all the rules. For example, how dividends are handled with short positions. A good simulator will expose you to those little surprises.
    – James
    Jul 10 '11 at 18:06

There is a site that treats you like a fund manager in the real market, Marketoracy, http://marketocracy.com/.

Each user is given 1 million in cash. You can have multiple "mutual funds", and the site allows use to choose between two types of strategies, buy/sell, short/cover. Currently, options are not supported.

The real value of the site is that users are ranked against each other (of course, you can op out of the rankings). This is really cool because you can determine the real worth of your returns compared to the rest of investors across the site. A couple years back, the top 100 investors were invited to come on as real mutual fund managers - so the competition is legitimate.

Take a look at the site, it's definitely worth a try. Were there other great sites you looked at?


Thinkorswim's ThinkDesktop platform allows you to replay a previous market day if you wish.

You can also use paper money in stocks, options, futures, futures options, forex, etc there.

I really can't think of any other platform that allows you to dabble around in so many products fictionally.

And honestly, if all that "make[s] the learning experience a bit more complicated" and demotivates you, well thats probably a good thing for your sake.


Many online brokers have a "virtual" or "paper" trading feature to them. You can make trades in near-real time with a fake account balance and it will treat it as though you were making the trade at that time. No need to manage the math yourself - plus, you can even do more complicated trades (One-Cancels-Other/One-Triggers-Other).

  • Hi Jimmy. Can you please give few examples of such brokers which also have an API and trade in US markets? Thanks!
    – Eugene S
    Aug 25 '13 at 15:23

Stock market is like poker: you don't take the same risks when it is fake money and thus you don't learn the same lessons from your mistakes.

I would recommend instead to play with real market and real money (rule #0: use only money that you don't need).

Start with safe products and go to the bath progressively. It took me about ten years and I am still learning.

  • 3
    -1 for starting with real money. That's the hardest way to learn, as it will have negative psychological effects from the "learning curve". Virtual/paper trading from stock brokers is close enough to real time to build confidence in your trading system.
    – Jimmy
    Jul 10 '11 at 17:54
  • 1
    @Jimmy - So what makes you think after playing online you will be any better.
    – DumbCoder
    Aug 11 '11 at 8:12
  • It's mostly a matter of training yourself to use a stable system (planning your entry point, exit point for profit, exit point for loss). It also introduces you to the psychological effects of market swings, though not as severely since you aren't actually losing real money. I'm not guaranteeing you'll make better trades (though that's one goal), but you'll learn not to let your emotions control your buying and selling habits.
    – Jimmy
    Aug 11 '11 at 15:14

I have a free account on http://optionshouse.com/ that allows me to invest fake money into different stocks and test their tracking software. It is free and easy to do, just create an account there and they give you $4000 (fake) to invest in the stock market. They do this so that you can test their tracking and other assorted tools, in hopes that you'll choose to invest your real hard earned money with them.

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