Web Winners |

Posted: August 26, 2007

The volatile markets of late had us wondering how prospective stock traders might safely learn the game. We found sites to practice market skills - and some warnings against falling into the world of day trading.

Virtual stock. The online trading game from MarketWatch is one of many places online to learn and test yourself on market skills. Players pretend to trade stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq, and the Amex. The site allows users to compete with other players to create virtual fortunes without the risk of losing money - or any hope of actually making it.

SEC warnings. The Securities and Exchange Commission provides a number of warnings and guidelines for day traders, or folks looking into the activity. For one thing, day traders on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq "must have at least $25,000 in their accounts and can only trade in margin accounts." The links here include one on the subject of problem gambling (see next item).

Problem gambling. The SEC links to this Web page at the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, which offers several articles on the dangers of gambling in the financial markets. Some investors are at risk for out-of-control behavior when it comes to trading stock, and this site offers a questionnaire to help determine if you fall into the risky category, or are already in trouble.

Movie madness. Here is an alternative to actually losing (or making) a market fortune. Remember, notes the Hollywood Stock Exchange site, "it's not who you know, it's who you own." Players start this game with $2 million in fantasy Hollywood Dollars to buy and sell "moviestocks" and "starbonds." If you manage to run your fake account up to $10 million, then throw in $10 of real cash, you can buy a T-shirt.


Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or rkanaley@phillynews.com.

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