In a recent GoBankingRates.com survey, more than 5,000 respondents were asked to identify the number one financial topic they wished they'd learned in school, from a list of six possible answers. The choices were:
- How to create and stick to a budget
- How taxes work
- The importance of credit scores/building credit
- How credit cards, loans, and interest rates work
- Retirement accounts and savings
- How to invest in the stock market
Results, tabulated by age group revealed most young adults – aged 18-24 years of age – wished they'd learned how to invest in the stock market over the other options provided.
Stock market knowledge ranked highest for those in the 55-64 year age group as well and ranked in the top 3 for all age groups.
It seems pretty clear there's a great desire for investment education, from learning why investing is important to how to do it.
So where can you look to start your teen off on the right foot learning stock market basics and more?
While some teens might show interest in pouring over a book, most probably won't. So we've scoured the internet for some of the best online resources and present them below.
Best Online Stock Market Investing Simulators for Teens
Stock market games can help your teen to understand the terminology and the execution side of stock market investing, but they should not be used alone for learning how to invest in the stock market.
Instead, they are a fun tool to use alongside other practical and educational resources.
The websites named below do provide a number of articles and tutorials for learning in addition to the simulation game on their site.
How The Market Works
Online since 2004, How The Market Works, aims to help people understand just that, how the stock market works.
The site has published hundreds of articles, maintains a glossary of the most popular stock market terms, and hosts a free stock market game.
How the Market Works, very popular with professors, teachers, and stock market clubs, has “lesson plans” so teachers and professors can control assignments and participate in what their students/users are doing on the website.
TD Bank Virtual Stock Market Simulation
The TD Virtual Stock Simulation is a no cost, virtual trading platform to teach how our US Stock Market works.
The simulation is used by individuals, and by teachers in the classroom to help students learn about personal finance. Users practice trading real stocks at real prices, without the real risk that comes with real money.
Tutorial and training videos, and an extensive, “learn center,” are available to help users start trading right away.
Wall Street Survivor
Wall Street Survivor hopes to demystify investing and personal finance via interactive and comprehensive education. They break down complex concepts needed to succeed financially into easy to understand lessons.
Free courses, are paired with the virtual stock market, where you practice how to buy stocks under real market conditions.
Their program allows you to purchase stocks in a risk-free way while teaching how to manage your money. Wall Street Survivor strives to turn the fear of jumping into the stock market into fun learning instead.
Virtual Stock Exchange
Virtual-Stock-Exchange is a free global stock market game, with stocks, currencies, and commodities from over 30 different countries around the world.
They offer an extensive learning center with articles, terms, and resources for investment learning, as well as significant amounts of research information on US stocks.
V-S-E helps students and investors from all over the world gain valuable experience trading in global stock markets without risking any real money.
Their site is used to learn about personal finance, investing, economics, mathematics, and social studies.
Investing Knowledge Resources for Teens
In addition to the learning centers on all the above sites, these additional resources offer a vast amount of information.
- TeenVestor – Geared towards 12-18-year-olds, the goals of TeenVestor are to teach young people how to become life-long investors; and help educators expose their students to basic economic and business concepts.
- Investopedia – The Stock Basics Tutorial may be a bit much for teens, but younger adults will find any time spent on the site worthwhile for learning about investing.
- Investor.gov – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's, Introduction to Investing, provides unbiased information to help evaluate choices and protect one's self against fraud
Here we've pulled together some money games and activities for teens.
While there are many resources for introducing investing to teens and teaching yours about the stock market, we hope these will give you a good start on getting them on the path to a stable financial future.
Any experience with the above online market simulators? Did we miss any? Please let us know in the comments below.
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