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Investing money can be an exciting experience for individuals who are looking for another way to make a profit. While the unpredictability of investing can be thrilling, it can be equally as risky, often resulting in a loss of substantial amounts of money.

They say that practice makes perfect, so why should you go into investing your money blindly? While it’s advantageous to consult with and have a financial advisor in your court, you may also want to do a bit of practicing on your own so that you have a better understanding of how the stock market works. Thanks to virtual stock exchange technology, there is now a way that you can practice investing money without using a single cent from your own pockets. Stock market simulators are becoming increasingly popular amongst timid and amateur investors – and for good reason. See what the hype is all about:

What are stock market simulators?

There are a variety of stock market simulators available to the public, most offering the same capabilities. On average, users are given $100,000 in fake money that is theirs to utilize as they please. The stocks available through these simulators are the same ones that would be accessible in the real-life stock market. In order to give the most accurate depiction of the stock market and investing process, these simulators are created to mirror situations that could influence the way your money performs. For example, a majority of simulators even charge specific fees to show future investors where some of their money will be dedicated to before their investment even begins to grow, so that, if they want to invest a certain amount in stocks, they may need to factor in additional costs.

Are stock market simulators different than the real-life stock market in any way?

While stock market simulators are astonishingly accurate to the real thing, there are certain components that are impossible to factor in. For example, because you are investing with fake money, your level of risk will not be fully represented, which could be a significant contributor in your stock market performance. Also, taxation issues, live stock prices, and the push for diversification will also not be represented accurately in the simulated version of the stock market.

Where can I start?

There are a variety of stock market simulators available to the public. Investopedia’s Stock Market Game is straightforward and easy-to-use, making it a great resource for practicing making investments. Wall Street Survivor is another tool to look into. They offer the same benefits outlined above, while also offering articles and videos for users to peruse in order to increase their knowledge and understanding of how the stock market works to encourage a higher success rate.