Overall Rating of HowTheMarketWorks: 10/10
HowTheMarketWorks is the best free stock market game I have seen. They had the most polished stock game. It includes supplemental video tutorials and user guides. They made it easy to get started and jump right in. There are great research tools built into HowTheMarketWorks.com. It even had a massive education center where beginners can always find something new. Every few months when I come back to the site, there are always new features or tools. I love that it works hard to keep things fresh.
For Schools: 11/11
The free stock game at HowTheMarketWorks is one of the only free options I have found. It focuses most of its attention on the classroom. It supplies teachers a massive amount of resources to work with. That includes class reports and lesson plans. Their investor education center has over 600 investing, personal finance, and economics articles. These are designed to be easily understood by students. Teachers can assign reading for students. The articles are fully integrated into the stock game.
Students need to read the articles and take the quiz to get credit. These quizzes appear right in their virtual trading portfolio when they log in. There are also class rankings. Since all the trading is in real-time, I couldn’t find a single contest where anyone could cheat.
For Your Own Contests: 6/6
HowTheMarketWorks.com had the most fluid contest creation I have seen on any stock market game. One screen with about 20 common-sense rules. It took less than 5 minutes to create my account and have my custom class contest set up ready to invite my friends.
Using It On Your Own: 6/6
Individuals will get as much from this site as teachers and students. There are great research tools (with historical prices, SEC filings, research by sector, and a lot more). Professional analytics are built into the trading platform.
My review of HowTheMarketWorks
HowTheMarketWorks is an education tool with a free stock game. Anyone can sign up an account and start trading in their portfolio in less than 3 minutes. Out of all the sites I have reviewed, this one definitely is the fastest getting a trader “on their feet”.
The stock game is “front and center,” rather than something tacked on as an afterthought (like I found with Investopedia and Marketwatch). On the whole, the website was very user-friendly. HowTheMarketWorks is well thought out. It is a great tool that I keep coming back to again and again.
Registration was super simple. It just requires a username, password, and first name. This is great for schools that have privacy concerns for their students. You can also register using your Google or Facebook account.
Once you add this information, you’re signed up and logged in automatically. There is no waiting for a confirmation email that probably gets caught by spam filters. You are greeted with a “getting started” guide. The guide takes you straight to the tutorial videos that can walk you through how to trade and manage a portfolio. It also includes an Education Center where you can read about investing basics, or just straight to trading.
The Stock Market Simulator Game
The stock market simulator game on HowTheMarketWorks is world-class. I have seen this site evolve a few times over the last several years. Each change makes things easier to use, faster to trade, and just generally more fun to use.
There are great tutorial videos that get updated regularly. There are user guides that can help you with whatever you need. Best of all, if you have any questions, they even offer a live chat support desk. This is an absolute first for any free game I’ve seen.
Trading stock is also super simple, even for beginners. You can look up stocks either by their ticker or just by typing the company name. The trading page includes company names and logos. It is easy to recognize that you are looking at the right stock. There are colorful charts showing how each stock’s price moves. The trading game also has mutual funds.
The contests on HowTheMarketWorks are the best I’ve seen. You can choose all your contest settings. You can even configure things like the portfolio currency. Everything is all done in one step. Creating a contest takes less than 5 minutes. A Live Chat isbuilt right into the page if you need help.
It is easy to join contests. Contest creators can give a direct link to anyone that will join them. You can look at the list of public contests and join one at any time. HowTheMarketWorks has contests with prizes every month that are open to the public. I join these contests regularly. I don’t see any of the unfair rankings I’ve seen elsewhere. HowTheMarketWorks always uses a real-time bid/ask prices for all orders so there is no way to cheat.
Other Site Perks
HowTheMarketWorks is all about the stock game. There is a lot less “in the way” between you and your portfolio. When you log in, you get a clear and concise dashboard. You can use to see all the parts of your portfolio, along with the links to tutorials and help if you need it.
There is also a great Education Center. There are many very well-written articles for beginners. If you want to use HowTheMarketWorks in a class, you can also add many of these articles as “required reading” using their Assignments feature.
HowTheMarketWorks is easily the best free stock game I have ever seen. It includes the Education Center, Stock Game, super easy Contests, and great support.