There has been an unprecedented rise in the number of new Demat accounts that were opened in India after the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. A plethora of new investors entered the equity markets and have started investing actively. For novice investors with little to no experience of investing might face some problems when they start investing their hard-earned money into the stock market. Thus, it is advised by many veteran investors to first get some exposure to investing via a stock market simulator. It will provide a great learning experience to novice investors.
But, what exactly is this stimulator all about? Let’s find out:
What is a Stock Simulator?
A stock simulator is more of a software or computer program designed to mirror the actual stock markets but without the involvement of real money. The features and user interface of a stock market simulator is similar to any real trading platform. The purpose of these simulators is that they help new investors to enhance their understanding of stock picking. It’s basically meant for the practice (using virtual money) of investing in stock markets.
There are many stock simulators available online where you, as a novice investor, can sign up for free and open your virtual trading account. Upon signing up, your account will be credited with some amount that you can use to buy shares of companies. The best stock market simulator is the one that provides real-time information related to the share prices, information about the company, portfolio value, company’s announcements etc. In a nutshell, there is no financial risk in virtual trading or paper trading done on any stock market simulator, as you don’t have to spend any real money of yours.
There are some stock simulators that organize trading competitions as well; wherein multiple investors participate to generate the highest returns from their investment. The portfolio generating the highest returns will be judged as the winner, and he is then rewarded with real money.
Types of Stock Market Simulators
There is no one type of simulator available out there, rather, investors have got a choice here as well. Stock simulators vary from one another on the parameters like features and benefits offered, investment options and choices, availability of trading of complex structured financial products like futures and options, forex trading, commodities etc. However, a basic simulator will comprise of tutorials, quizzes, mock trading, videos on investing etc. Other stock market simulators are the ones where you can compare your portfolio returns with other investors on that virtual trading platform.
The best stock market simulator is the one that suits your needs and is easy to operate, i.e., user friendly. It can provide the basic understanding via educational videos and tutorials and also provide hands-on exposure to trading. On the dashboard of the simulator platform, you can view the portfolio holdings, their value, the total amount invested to date etc.
Benefits of Stock Market Simulators
There are multiple benefits of doing virtual trading on stock simulators that are listed below:
Stock trading with real money can be risky if you don’t have the necessary knowledge. This is where stock simulators come to your rescue by offering a learning medium that would immensely help young investors to gain the necessary skills.
No Legal Documentation:
Usually, when you open a Demat account with any broker, you will have to go through a documentation process before starting your trading journey. This is not the case with stock market simulators, wherein you don’t need to submit any document proofs.
Test Complex Strategies:
These strategies could be taking a straddle or strangle in a call or put option in options trading. You can test these strategies without spending a single penny. Thus, you will not lose any money even if the trade did not go as per your expectation.
Demerits of Stock Simulators
Just like a fair coin with two different faces, even these simulators have a flipside to them that are their disadvantages, as explained below:
No real money is involved is an advantage. However, it can become a disadvantage as well. Since you have not put in your money, there are no emotions involved in this type of trading. Thus, you might be less interested in keeping track of your virtual portfolio and buying the right stocks at the right time and also selling them when it’s the right opportunity.
There might be a situation wherein a trade based on some strategy proved to be successful in paper trading. However, a similar trade on the same strategy might generate negative returns despite using the best stock market simulator for paper trading.
Complex Features Missing:
Although a stock simulator is a carbon copy of a real trading platform, still there are some features and functionalities that might be missing in the simulator. It could be placing a stop loss, it could be placing after-market orders (AMO), it could be applying for an IPO (Initial Public Offering) or an FPO (Follow on Public Order), it could be F&O or Forex trading etc.
External Factors Consideration:
There are many external factors like the US Federal Reserve meeting, inflation data, GDP numbers, union budget, trade barriers, export subsidies, bond purchase programs, etc., that impact the real world stock markets. However, these factors are not usually considered by even the best stock market simulators in India. Thus, you might miss out on the linkages of these external events on stock market movement.
This is all we had for you in this edition of the stock market simulator. We hope you get a fair understanding of the need for virtual trading on these simulators, what these simulators are all about, and what are the pros and cons associated with them. The bottom line is that you can read hundreds of books on investing and stock markets, but unless you start investing by yourself, it is hard to master this craft.
To know more about paper trading, stock simulators and goal-based investing, follow us on Angel One by clicking here. Happy Investing and have a great time practising on stock simulators!