Here’s how to register for the stock market game at Marketwatch.com
1. Go to www.marketwatch.com
2. At the top right you will see a button to Log In. It’s in the green header band. (See screen capture below.)
3. Click on it see the login pop-up (if you have pop-ups blocked you will have to allow this one.)
4. Click on Register near the top.
5. Follow the instructions to register.
6. You will get a confirmation email from Dow Jones to complete your registration. (It might go to your junk folder.) Follow the instructions.
7. After you complete the registration, click on No thanks, go to the home page.
8. At the far right of the same header bar you used in 2. above, click on Games
9. Click on Find a Game
10. Enter UNMEcon212Fall16Pre (or UNMEcon212Fall16 for the main game) and you should see the class game.
11. To join either game enter the password: Econ212Fall16
Now you’re in. Look around a bit. You can research companies/stocks, buy and sell shares. The simulation is quite good, except that it isn’t in real time (I think it’s delayed,) and any money you make doesn’t get deposited into your bank account. (Notice you didn’t have to provide any financial information to register for the game.)
If you try to register and at any time you are asked to supply bank or credit card information, you are on the WRONG website. Bail and review where you went astray.
Remember the February month is practice. You have lots of other things to do, so don’t become a day trader. Allocate your time wisely.
You are “competing” against the S&P500, not each other. Everyone can win!!
Now that you’re registered, what next? The goal of the game is to out-perform the S&P500 index (some people refer to this as a benchmark index.) If the S&P500 increases by 5% during February and your portfolio increases by 10%, then you out-performed the index by 5 percentage points. Well done! If the index fell by 4% but your portfolio only fell by 2%, then again, well done!
I’ll post an announcement (as well as provide a link on the Learn website) concerning how the game will be scored, but now you know the basic premise.
What should you do now, before the scoring phase? Practice! And the best way to start is to Trade. There’s even a button called TRADE NOW.
Once you click on that you’ll see a list of companies in the news. Click on the tickers of a few (the ticker is the symbol of the company. Apple’s ticker is APPL for example.)
You’ll see lots of information (that I will talk about during this class, but that’s still some weeks off unfortunately. We must walk before we run, grasshoppers…)
Simple rule: if a company seems to be on an upswing, buy some shares of it. Check in tomorrow. If it’s still going up, hold. If it’s going down, sell. It’s probably not the best rule, but it will show you how things work.
And you’re playing the game! Jump in, get wet.
I realize many of you have never played a simulated stock market game before (even though many of you have.) Some of you may be helped when starting off by reading a “how to” guide. There isn’t a how-to for the Marketwatch game exactly, but I found a guide to another similar game. Check out How to Play the Investopedia Game. It’s not the same as the Marketwatch Game (which used to be called Virtual Stock Exchange) but you will certainly see the general method.
When I tried to teach my daughter how to drive (and I’m a pretty good driver, having taken advanced driver ed. and raced a little) I couldn’t. I can teach her how to solve a differential equation, or cut a dovetail, but I couldn’t teach her how to drive. I said: just get in, turn the car on. Check your mirrors and when clear, drive off. I guess it is just so natural to me that I couldn’t explain it to someone who didn’t have my experiences. I think it’s the same with the stock market game. As I said before, the idea is to buy low, and sell high (or sell high then buy low, but more on that later.)
You just have to go Nike (just do it!) It’s play money, and you have over a month to practice, and you can play two games for a whole 2 months.
How is the game scored?
The game runs for three months, with the first month, September, being a practice month. You should start to buy and sell stocks now. You start with a portfolio value of $100,000. Your portfolio value over March and April will be used to calculate your Game score for the class. (Worth 200/1000 points.) Here’s an example of how it will be scored:
Let’s say your portfolio is worth $110,000 at the end of February. You continue to trade over March and it’s worth $115,000, which is a 4.54% monthly gain. During the same month, the S&P500 only gains 2.00%, so your relative gain is +2.54 percentage points (pp).
Even if your portfolio value goes down, but less than the S&P500 index goes down, you would still show a relative gain.
If you match the Index, your relative performance would be +0. This will be converted to a score of 180/200 (an A- on that score alone.)
If your best relative performance is +X, then your score will be 180+(3X), so if you outperform the index by +10 percentage points, your score will be 210/200 on the game.
If you don’t beat the Index, your performance will be -X, but I am a kinder, gentler drPhil on the negative side, as the factor is 2X rather than 3X. If, for example, your relative performance was -5 pp, then your score would be 180-(2X) or 170/200.
Your game score will be calculated based on the best performance over the two months: the highest relative performance for the first month, or the second month, or both months.