Learn How to Invest With These 5 Stock Market Games

Have you ever wondered how you can learn to invest without risking your hard-earned cash? Stock market simulators may be the magic ticket. Most major brokerages offer online stock trading simulators that allow you to invest with pretend money, helping you learn the ropes before you plunk down real cash.

Your account comes preloaded with a lump sum of pretend money, and your trades and investments fluctuate based on real market conditions, allowing you to see how they'd actually perform. Ready to get started? Try one of these five stock market simulators, and get comfortable with investing without risking a single hard-earned dollar. (See also: The Best Ways to Invest $50, $500, or $5000)

1. TD Bank Wow!Zone

TD Bank's Fantasy Stock Market game is designed for kids and young adults, but its stock market simulator is a useful tool for all beginner investors. Players start with a $100,000 play money portfolio balance and can trade on any of the U.S. stock exchanges.

2. optionsXpress by Charles Schwab

If you have more advanced market knowledge and want to test a new trading strategy before risking your own investments, try optionsXpress by Charles Schwab. Here you can trade stocks, options, and futures, place advanced orders, and play around with 40 trading tools to help you analyze market conditions. Your account comes preloaded with $25,000 in virtual cash. Sign up for your free optionsXpress account to get started.

3. ScottradeELITE

Similar to optionsXpress, the ScottradeELITE virtual trading platform allows users to place mock trades, access research tools, and test trading strategies. Accessing the platform requires software installation.

4. Wall Street Survivor

Wall Street Survivor's interactive platform has been recommended by Forbes, and it promises to teach users the fundamentals of personal finance, trading stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, currencies, and options. Users gain access a full suite of online resources, including virtual leagues, courses, videos, and article archives on investing topics and ideas.

5. Investopedia

Investopedia's stock simulator is one of the most robust platforms available for those just starting out. The website also offers free basic investing education via Investopedia University, along with thousands of insightful articles, and in-depth "how to" guides ranging from Investing 101: Introduction to advanced trading strategies. All users start out with an account balance of $100,000 in virtual capital.

What's your favorite investing simulator or game?

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