As this site is there for learning, it will have the biggest impact if we can get more people playing.
The year long Investor Challenge is great at teaching people that it’s generally impossible to beat the market, without a lot of luck or taking on additional risk. It’s a great lesson to learn, and I highly recommend that anyone who thinks they can pick shares should play, but the problem for most is that it takes a year to see the final outcome.
With that in mind, I’ve developed some shorter games to get the lessons across much quicker. They last on average just 60 seconds, and teach some very important lessons. Give them a try below, I think you’ll enjoy them:
The “Market Timing” game
In this game you are allocated a random 20 year period in the history of the S&P 500 index, somewhere between January 1871 and today. You’re then given a $100 000 investment account, and all you need to do is sell when you think the market is high and will drop, and then buy back in again when you think it’s bottomed out.
It sounds simple but is it actually? Give it a try here.
The “Buy the dips” game
This game was inspired by a user on the fantastic Mr Money Mustache forums named JAYSLOL. As he rightly pointed out, most people don’t have $100 000 to invest up front. They earn a salary and have some left over to invest every month.
He suggested a game where you can invest monthly, but wanted it to be flexible in letting you choose the amount you invest per month, the amount you increase this investment by every year, the number of years you invest for, and also the speed of the game.
I do love a challenge, and this one had a good lesson behind it, so it was made. In this game the money builds up in your bank account until you hit the buy button, at which point it all gets allocated to the S&P 500, again using a random period in it’s history.
Of course it wouldn’t be any fun unless you had to compete with something, and in this case you compete with an investor who has his buying set to automatically happen every month.
I was personally surprised to see how this game was even harder than the previous. Clearly in practically all cases it’s far better to buy as soon as the money hits your account.
Give it a try here and let me know if you fair any better!
If you have any other ideas for quick games that you think would be interesting send me a mail at [email protected]m