Stock Market Simulators
Due to the uncertainty of investing in the stock market, it is often been compared to playing the lottery. Both activities are popular and can be fun but neither offers a guarantee for the money invested. In fact, fortunes have been won and squandered in both pursuits. The benefit of investing in the stock market however, is the ability to pick between risky and more conservative stocks and bonds. Study of the stock market can be used as an indicator of economic stability and as a tool for teaching students about investing.
Defining the Stock Market
The stock market is a term used to describe the business of buying and selling stocks or shares in a company at an agreed upon price. Stocks represent a small percentage of a companies total worth and are sold to raise investment capital needed to support business growth. Buy selling stocks companies are able to avoid going into debt and taking out bank loans in order to finance business growth. Once a stock is purchased, the buyer becomes a shareholder in a company. If the value of the stock increases, the shareholder will reap the benefits; however if the stock price goes down profits will fall. The stock market offers a centralized place for average individuals and professionals to trade stock under carefully regulated rules and regulations.
Stimulators in the Classroom
Stock market simulators provide all the educational benefits of investing in the stock market without any of the risk. Instead of investing real dollars, simulators allow students to practice selling and buying stocks, bonds, commodities, and mutual funds. Done with virtual money but in real time, simulators are becoming a valuable tool for teaching financial literacy for elementary to college aged students. Most financial simulators give each user a predetermined amount of virtual money upon signing up and trading periods may be designed to last for several weeks or months. At the conclusion of the trading period, the student with the strongest portfolio is declared the winner and prizes may be awarded to top performers.
In a classroom setting, these interactive games are useful for teaching finance, economics, business, social studies, math, technology, and current events. Simulators provide updated financial news and research sources to aid students in making factual decisions about which stocks to pick to create a strong investment portfolio. The innovative learning approach also helps to increase critical thinking and problem solving skills. Teachers can choose to split students into groups to encourage healthy competition and development of cooperation and communication skills. Individual instruction is also beneficial to promote good research skills and help students learn patience and useful strategies for handling rising and falling stock prices.
Teachers can use stock market simulators over the entire course of the school year to get students passionate about learning. Simulators are useful aids for teaching stock market terms, supply and demand, and budgeting. Some simulators include lesson plans for the classroom or teachers can create their own. Activities such as having students write a research report on the historic stock market crash of the 1920s can be useful in showcasing the risk of investing. Classroom visits from investment advisors or field trips to a brokerage firm help stimulate interest in math based careers and show real world use of the strategies learned in playing the stock market.
Stock Market Stimulators & Games
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