The main factor that stops a person from investing in the stock market is lack of understanding of the workings of stock markets and fear of losing hard earned money. However, these factors should not be a concern with developing technology and increased access to the internet that has opened doors to an abundance of knowledge that one can gain in any area of our liking.
So why not use smartphone apps that allow you to trade in with virtual money will give you a fair idea of its working and you will be more confident about investing in stock markets?
What are virtual trading apps?
You must have played internet games like farmville where you raise money and build a whole farming business from the virtual crops that you grow. In the same way, virtual trading apps give you virtual money (fake money) of say Rs 5 lakh that you can invest in stocks of various companies and track them.
The purpose of the app is learning to invest and cultivate an understanding of how Indian stock markets work. You will lose as well as gain money. In the process of doing so, you will learn how your actions influence the market. Some of the apps even have gaming leagues that allow you to compete with your friends in making profits out of stock trading and investments. Fun and learning together!
Why should you install a virtual trading app?
- You will literally lose nothing. The apps are free of cost and the money is fake.
- There is no need to take time out your schedule. We do spend a lot of time on playing smartphone games, you can probably commit a few minutes of your day to watch your stock investments during your commute or at lunch break.
- There is an important learning factor. Smartphones are distractive a lot of times, so why not use the distraction to learn something that will benefit you.
- Some apps reward you with real money if you perform well. Yes, that's right. For example, apps have competitions designed especially to target students that will be rewarded a prize if they manage to make Rs 1 lakh profit in a month.
- It's good to test the water before you jump in. You will have a better understanding of your own risk appetite and an experience of what it is like to make or lose money before betting on real markets.
Are these apps available for Indian Stock Markets?
Yes, there are many options to choose from that focus on the Indian Stock Markets as well as world markets. You can learn to invest in stocks, bonds, fixed deposits, mutual funds, etc.
The following are 3 such examples to choose from. Please note that these are just examples based on ratings on the Google Play Store.
1. Stock Market Challenge
This app is by Dalal Street Investment Journal and BSE. It is an online stimulation trading game. It focuses on three categories of people - youngsters, experienced serious traders and those who have lost confidence in the market.
You will be assigned Rs 10 lakhs at the beginning of the challenge. You have demo teaching videos and a game master to answer your queries. There are annual, Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly and Daily challenges for rewards.
It has a 4 out of 5 rating on the Google Play Store.
2. Stock Trainer: Virtual Trading
This app is developed by A-Life Software, LLC, an American software developer and is designed to help you learn real time trading in world markets. It uses real data to give you a real life experience of what would happen to your funds if you had invested in them.
It has a 4.4 rating on Google Play Store.
This Singapore based start up app has an interesting competitive element factor. You can gain "followers" if you are a good performer and these "followers" will pay you a subscription fee.
Similarly, you can follow leading performers to watch what they are investing in. Since the data is real time for upto to 11 exchanges out of the 35 listed exchanges on this app, you can repicate the skills in a real market if you see yourself making profits.
It has a 4.1 rating on the Google Play Store.