A game that teaches kids 20 years of investing in 20 minutes
November 18, 2018 2:29 PM   Subscribe

A game that teaches kids 20 years of investing in 20 minutes: MeFi's missjenny writes, "High school kids are still learning investing the way I did in the '90s: get a large sum of imaginary money and buy individual stocks for 8-10 weeks. Basically the exact wrong way to learn a lifelong investment strategy," as another source discusses in detail. "We created Stax to take down 'the stock market game.'" [Via mefi projects]

Further info: "In 20 minutes, it teaches the value of passive investing, a good emergency fund and the importance of diversification.

And it uses actual financial data [PDF]. Each game session covers a randomized 20-year span between 1980 and 2018.

You can play as group or solo. In either scenario, the computer invests only in index funds, giving a benchmark to see how difficult it is to use stock picking to beat the market."
posted by Wobbuffet (64 comments total) 110 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow, fantastic! I definitely got the "here's 6 weeks and $1000, buy some stocks" lesson in 6th grade. My picks were terrible and now I invest in index funds!

(From looking up the teacher on LinkedIn, he's gone full time into the financial advisor / financial literacy profession -- maybe I'll add him and show him this game...)
posted by batter_my_heart at 2:55 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]


This was pretty cool, good job to all involved! My dad would love this; he's the one who got me interested in all this stuff as a kid.
posted by some loser at 3:02 PM on November 18


A friend of mine got that lesson when we were kids, and somehow he turned $50,000 imaginary dollars into $20 million imaginary dollars. He has always refused to invest in real stocks, because he says it's a lot easier to make bundles of money when there is nothing real at stake.

I was taught exactly zero about finances, which is why I am as financially fucked as I am. This game is educational for me, a grown adult, although in my experience I have never encountered a savings account that accrued even close to that much annually.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:06 PM on November 18 [7 favorites]


Not joking at all: is there something like this, but for debt?
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:09 PM on November 18 [17 favorites]


this game ends at a simulated 2007, presumably to avoid giving everyone simulated heart attacks
posted by BungaDunga at 3:11 PM on November 18 [50 favorites]


oh, I see the time period is a bit randomized. So I was just lucky that the game didn't cut off at 2009 instead.
posted by BungaDunga at 3:13 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]


Ok, what macroeconomic event caused CD rates to go from 10% at the beginning of the game to like, 3% by year 15? Why is the market high AND gold high? And where is my 401k / HSA? How did I ever win at a game show (I have the world's slowest reflexes)?
posted by batter_my_heart at 3:14 PM on November 18 [2 favorites]


I've just been playing it safe and avoiding stocks, commodities, and gold. My girlfriend asked when I wasn't taking any chances to make more money, and I realized I wasn't playing to get lots of money, I was just playing to fantasize about having basic financial security :(
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:25 PM on November 18 [29 favorites]


So, funny story, when I played the “bad” version of this game in the early nineties, my mom invested a tidy sum in the stock I chose, Apple. So in a way, that game has lead to her being able to retire without the help of me and my siblings. Of course, that’s not really a sound and repeatable strategy.
posted by advicepig at 3:27 PM on November 18 [15 favorites]


Does not seem to work in Firefox even after I deactivated all defense systems. The savings account doesn't show up, I'm stuck in Year 0 and can't do anything.
posted by hat_eater at 3:49 PM on November 18


shapes that haunt the dusk: Not joking at all: is there something like this, but for debt?

Not that I'm aware of, but this game appears to be connected to Next Gen Personal Finance (a 501(c)(3) non-profit; more at their About Us page), which does have another simulation oriented toward preventing student loan debt.

hat_eater: Does not seem to work in Firefox

Working OK in Firefox on a Mac for me--their devs may need more details.
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:00 PM on November 18 [2 favorites]


CD rates apparently used to be 17% in the early 80s. Trouble was, inflation was almost that high.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:02 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]


Not joking at all: is there something like this, but for debt?

I suspect you're after an educational lesson in the dangers of credit cards, but you could just as easily be talking about:

- student loans
- investing on the margin
- shorting stocks, commodities, or other securities
- buying a home with a mortgage

Borrowing is not good or bad; it's the spending beyond your means part that's dangerous, and lending can obscure what the means are for naieve borrowers.
posted by pwnguin at 4:02 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]


Wow, fantastic! I definitely got the "here's 6 weeks and $1000, buy some stocks" lesson in 6th grade. My picks were terrible and now I invest in index funds!

(From looking up the teacher on LinkedIn, he's gone full time into the financial advisor / financial literacy profession -- maybe I'll add him and show him this game...)


I did really really well on this in school. I subsequently managed to avoid losing any money on the stock market due to my stock picking hubris by never having enough money to invest mostly because I somewhat unwillingly spent it all on student loan payments.

I invested in myself. So far the return is....unimpressive.
posted by srboisvert at 4:08 PM on November 18 [15 favorites]


Haha, my index fund completely tanked right at the end because apparently my game ended in 2008, but I still made a killing. Sure would love a harder version where you don't get to play in baby boomer mode.
posted by davejh at 4:13 PM on November 18 [6 favorites]


No, I mean getting out of debt once you already have it. The problem is that there's tons of resources that aim to educate people on avoiding debt, but a lot less for those of us who are deep underwater. It's student loan debt in my case, but I mean, why not diversify and cover all the ways you can fuck yourself financially?

Literally nothing is more disheartening than looking for advice for dealing with debt and reading "just avoid going into debt in the first place!"
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:14 PM on November 18 [29 favorites]


The savings account doesn't show up, I'm stuck in Year 0 and can't do anything

Welcome to the working poor. Now, decide between life-saving medication for your kids or food for your kids.
posted by NoMich at 4:30 PM on November 18 [35 favorites]


High school kids are still learning investing ...
I definitely got the "here's 6 weeks and $1000, buy some stocks" lesson in 6th grade...
My dad would love this; he's the one who got me interested in all this stuff as a kid...


lolwut?? Learning investing in middle school? When you were a kid? What fucking planet are you guys from? I got to learn how to use a shovel in middle school.
posted by NoMich at 4:33 PM on November 18 [20 favorites]


This is oddly hilarious because today I set up a 401(k) and I turned 30 a few weeks ago*. I spent about 20 minutes reading the prospectus and settled on a moderately conservative, passively managed plan...

which was the default plan

*I was eligible for a 401(k) at my last job** but I didn't trust those pirates much less a fund that involved company stock so uh I upped my pre-tax contribution from 3% to 6% to my new 401(k)

**seriously, these fuckers are raiding pension funds now***

***capitalism can end any time now
posted by lineofsight at 4:46 PM on November 18


This is really, really great.
Assuming you do what I did and just constant fill up your index fund and buy bonds.
posted by GuyZero at 4:50 PM on November 18


lolwut?? Learning investing in middle school? When you were a kid? What fucking planet are you guys from? I got to learn how to use a shovel in middle school.


yeah, i had a one semester (elective!) Economics class as a senior in high school that barely had enough time for a 10,000 foot view of classical macroeconomics.

as far as money works in the real world, I graduated not even knowing how to balance a checkbook, let alone what the heck a mutual fund was.

my parents were middle-class academics with a state pension plan so i don't think either one of them gave the stock market a moment's thought.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:52 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]


what macroeconomic event caused CD rates to go from 10% at the beginning of the game to like, 3% by year 15

Have we truly reached the point where people don't know about the inflation of the 70s? This feels like some kind of inflection point for popular economic awareness.
posted by praemunire at 4:54 PM on November 18 [9 favorites]


"is there something like this, but for debt?"

I heard of times in the great before when it made sense to invest money while you had student loans because a decent CD had higher rates than federal loans. This is not the case anymore, and as far as I can tell, we're stuck trying to get a decent-paying job, living extremely frugally, dumping as much money as possible into the loan with the highest rate, and praying no medical emergency will put us on the street. It doesn't lend itself to very interesting choices in a game.

Plus, I've heard of games like this that try and teach kids to budget, and in some cases they've had the unintentional effect of making kids less empathetic towards poor folks. They're usually designed without all of the factors that prevent less privileged people from "winning" and it's much easier to let your digital avatar live meagerly for twenty minutes than it is for a real person to do so for twenty years.

Sorry for being a bummer. What we really need is a game about eating the rich.
posted by davejh at 5:03 PM on November 18 [25 favorites]


Have we truly reached the point where people don't know about the inflation of the 70s? This feels like some kind of inflection point for popular economic awareness.

And that might be for the better. Economists have been obsessively battling the last war on inflation forever to the detriment of sensible fiscal policy during the Great Recession. Most people have taken absolutely the wrong lesson from that period and perhaps better they forget it entirely.
posted by JackFlash at 5:14 PM on November 18 [6 favorites]


lolwut?? Learning investing in middle school? When you were a kid? What fucking planet are you guys from? I got to learn how to use a shovel in middle school.

Yeah teaching people that they should, personally, learn to play around with investing in stocks rather than leaving it up to the experts, and that their retirement depends on their personal luck/skill, is pretty fucking dumb IMHO.
posted by Jimbob at 5:17 PM on November 18


lolwut?? Learning investing in middle school? When you were a kid? What fucking planet are you guys from? I got to learn how to use a shovel in middle school.

We had Junior Achievement, or some vague imitation of it, at my grade school. We picked stocks. I happened to pick an airline whose stock soared in the middle of the game for reasons no one, including our teacher, could explain. It was probably a buyout offer or something. I don't know. Index funds 4 lyfe.
posted by sockshaveholes at 5:19 PM on November 18


This is not the case anymore, and as far as I can tell, we're stuck trying to get a decent-paying job, living extremely frugally, dumping as much money as possible into the loan with the highest rate, and praying no medical emergency will put us on the street. It doesn't lend itself to very interesting choices in a game.

I want to make this game just so people who tut tut about poor financial decisions will maybe shut the fuck up and quit feeling so smug for a minute.

Nah, realistically they'll play it and conclude, like the hyperintelligent machines that they are, that it's "an interesting game; the only way to win is not to play."

"I recognize that it's hard to live like this, but it's not my fault people have gotten themselves in these situations -- after all, the trades were always an option, no one NEEDS to go into debt for school."

Then they'll presumably go back to enjoying things like home ownership and stuff.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:27 PM on November 18 [4 favorites]


If you want something more working-class, my school never did stocks but we did "paper farming" instead. You'd choose what to plant, whether to irrigate, whether to spring for crop insurance, stuff like that. The overall lesson seemed to be that you'd always lose money if you farmed cautiously, but you'd eventually lose everything in a disaster if you made profitable choices.

If they were trying to get us to stay in school instead of dropping out to work on the farm, it mostly worked.
posted by traveler_ at 5:29 PM on November 18 [11 favorites]


lolwut?? Learning investing in middle school? When you were a kid? What fucking planet are you guys from? I got to learn how to use a shovel in middle school.

Don't get too excited. The shit they taught me was so wrong as to be actually dangerous, and then nobody ever taught me any better. It was simplified to the point of actually being misinformation. I'd probably have been better off if they'd skipped it entirely.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:29 PM on November 18 [4 favorites]


I got most of my economic education from Jones in the Fast Lane, which explains why I got a degree from Hi-Tech University and went right to work at Factory.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:36 PM on November 18 [6 favorites]


I want to make this game just so people who tut tut about poor financial decisions will maybe shut the fuck up and quit feeling so smug for a minute.

Better yet, they play this game and crank their "Anything that makes life enjoyable" slider to 0 and their "Dump money into paying off debt" slider to 100 and tut tut when the game informs them they paid their debts off in record time. It's easy to min-max a game, because you don't have to experience the hardship of making your simulated self scrape and save every penny, but you still come away feeling like it was as simple as setting some priorities rather than subjecting yourself to a crushing lifestyle for years on end.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:38 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]


My third grader is in a stock market club at her school.
posted by drezdn at 5:45 PM on November 18 [2 favorites]


At the age of 10, my wife gathered the money given to her by relatives on holidays, walked to a bank by herself, and somehow managed to buy a certificate of deposit with a two year term without her parents knowledge. She carefully held on to that piece of paper until age 12, went back to the bank, and got back 110 percent of her original investment.

Meanwhile, as a kid, I got a five dollar weekly allowance, which I used to buy computer games.

Explains a lot about the dynamics of my marriage.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:11 PM on November 18 [23 favorites]


My third grader is in a stock market club at her school.

That's incredible. My third grader is in a LOL doll at her school. (there are no typos in that last sentence.)
posted by NoMich at 6:26 PM on November 18 [2 favorites]


In my defense, re: inflation of the 70s -- at the point of my posting that, I'd forgotten that these numbers were based on historical record and not the vagaries of some random number generator.

Nevertheless, now having looked up the numbers -- why did CDs rates stay high in 1989 (that's when my two decades started) when inflation seemed to come back down by 1983? Is this some kind of lack of confidence that inflation is going to stay low resulting price stickiness?

[unfortunately I used too many of my college credits on intro economics courses, thinking that I would go into Finance as my dad told me to, and this is all I have to show for it]
posted by batter_my_heart at 6:31 PM on November 18


Answering the question about what happened to CD rates, I don't have any authoritative source, but I suspect it's a combination of Greenspan keeping rates low to revive the equity market during the tech bust of 2000-2003 and the influx of cash from China looking for somewhere to park their gains from their industrialization. Higher supply, lower demand.
posted by morspin at 6:49 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]


In my defense, re: inflation of the 70s -- at the point of my posting that, I'd forgotten that these numbers were based on historical record and not the vagaries of some random number generator.

Sorry if that came off as snarky. After all, we are talking about something a good thirty years ago. It was genuinely interesting to me that the phenomenon might be dropping out of the popular consciousness altogether, which is bound to happen sooner or later!
posted by praemunire at 6:54 PM on November 18 [1 favorite]


I love it. In the game, I made pretty good money mostly by investing in index funds, though my cautious streak also made me sock a fair amount away in a savings account. That's pretty much what I do in real life, too, which is why I was able to retire. All my money is in conservative stuff now, which means it doesn't go up or down much any more.

I weathered 2008 just fine because I had really low expenses and debt and didn't look at my financial statements AT ALL during the bad period, so when it came time to retire it had pretty much recovered.
posted by Peach at 7:13 PM on November 18 [1 favorite]


lolwut?? Learning investing in middle school? When you were a kid? What fucking planet are you guys from? I got to learn how to use a shovel in middle school.

Well it didn't do me much good because in 20 years in the game I only came out with like $300k due to boredom mostly - i started making bets on random stocks without even reading their prospectus because time was passing quickly and i had all this money burning a hole in my pocket.
posted by some loser at 7:43 PM on November 18


also my dad had built me a sandbox in the backyard so I guess I already got my shovel and bucket learning done at an early age.
posted by some loser at 7:44 PM on November 18


I got really overwhelmed by how quickly my pocket cash kept adding up. This is *not* a problem IRL.

But I really like the game and found it very useful.
posted by bunderful at 7:59 PM on November 18 [10 favorites]


lolwut?? Learning investing in middle school? When you were a kid? What fucking planet are you guys from? I got to learn how to use a shovel in middle school.

In 8th grade my gifted education class participated in this thing. We had zero prep, and came in with zero clue. I think one week we even fucked up the scantron sheet you mailed in with your orders. I advocated we invest in SGI because Jurassic Park. Their headquarters is literally now a museum to computer history. It was largely a lesson that 14 year olds have no business picking stocks.

During senior year of high school Yahoo! ran a stock market simulation exercise, and I did well by investing in Geocities. It was at least interesting because you could click around and see financials, even if you have no idea what "yoy" means or what a 10-K is. In college, someone in the dorm put together a stock market game, but we quickly discovered it would let you trade after hours at the current closing price. It basically became a game of scouring the earnings releases calendar, finding major upside surprises, buying them and then selling them at market open. The hardest part of this strat was waking in time for market open.

This game seems a like a lot better exercise, although one wonders how the leaderboard dynamic works even at the classroom level. If you're set on beating the class, you still invest in the riskiest, most volatile asset class you can find. As an exercise I tried to beat the computer just now. My general "strategy" was buying stocks that fell hard the previous month, ended up winning the largely by being out of the market during a major market crash. Once my lead was 50k I just threw the porfolio into CDs and coasted to "victory."
posted by pwnguin at 8:02 PM on November 18


I like the idea of creating a "fake" RPG/Dungeon Hack n' Slash like Diablo where the real lesson is to just put your gold in the bank and live off of interest and investments.

So essentially you can compare yourself against the battered adventurers who are accumulating injuries and slowly aging themselves out of their profession, while you slowly amass a real estate empire in the village and laugh all the way to the bank.

The character progression design would be a sort of S-curve or even inverted U curve for the adventures.

They'd gradually get better and better gear, until life catches up, then they'd begin their inevitable descent:

Moldy Stick>Rusty Sword>Steel Sword>Flaming Sword>Sword of the Gods>Battered Sword of the Gods>Sold Sword of the Gods to pay for medical bills but pawned it for enough to get a decent steel sword>Hit a run of bad luck against the Wyverns, but this cudgel isn't so bad and I don't need to sharpen it.>I miss that cudgel but I needed to pay for my crippling addiction to red health potions, this moldy stick will the job against those sewer rats.

Meanwhile, if you choose the banker/shopkeeper/clerk route you'd start off doing menial tasks until eventually you get better 3 piece suits etc. Eventually you'd die of a chronic disease in middle age. You'd get to the point where you hire out poorer players to work for you and gather resources.

Would teach valuable lessons about labour and capital as well.

Actually, let me repackage my idea. I like the idea of creating an RPG that pretends to be a bit of escapist fun, but actually traps you into the same treadmill of despair you are trying to forget about in real life.
posted by Telf at 8:19 PM on November 18 [10 favorites]


Telf, I don't know if you think you are being funny, or just don't follow indie RPGs like I do, but that game already exists.

It's called Red Markets, and its creator, a Midwestern Marxist schoolteacher, describes it as a poverty simulator with a thin veneer of zombie apocalypse on it in order to not be actively insulting to people in real poverty.

Its brutal, simple, elegant system is designed to almost always make sure you never have enough, you are continually ground down, always disappointing yourself and the people you care about and watching them fade further towards a bleak death.

Here is one review, and another one. One of the game's taglines is "The world has ended, but your rent is still due." Another is "Cut-throat capitalism with its knife on your neck." And I am still just stunned by the fact that the author added a zombie apocalypse into his game in order to make it less depressing.

It is starkly beautiful and awesome and I can't find anyone who wants to try and play it in any of my local groups.
posted by seasparrow at 8:44 PM on November 18 [29 favorites]


Learning investing in middle school?

I think calling it "learning investing" is a stretch, but "The Stock Market Game" was sort of A Thing for a while in the 80s and 90s. I didn't know that it was still around. It's apparently a product of the SIFMA Foundation, "the leading trade association for broker-dealers, investment banks and asset managers operating in the U.S. and global capital markets".

What I remember from it was mostly trying to interpret the stocks section of the local newspaper and keep track of our gains/losses on graph paper. It was more Bob Cratchit than Gordon Gekko.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:54 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]


Wow, great game, I finally understand some concepts that have always confused me. I'm going to share it with everyone I know.
posted by Emily's Fist at 9:50 PM on November 18


seasparrow,

Small correction. I was being funny and I didn't know about that game.

Other than that, sounds interesting!
posted by Telf at 10:26 PM on November 18 [2 favorites]


I'll see you in hell, Signet Jewelers.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:30 AM on November 19 [2 favorites]


I heard of times in the great before when it made sense to invest money while you had student loans because a decent CD had higher rates than federal loans.

In Ontario a bunch of lucky students would buy the houses they lived in during university. A little help from mom and dad for the downpayment and then federal and provincial student grants + roommates to cover the mortgage. The very year I started university paying 100% of my own way grants were almost completely phased out by a number of 'common sense' political revolutions. I paid off the last of my student debt at the age of 50.

It's like every monster movie where the people who safely escape lock you in with the monster in order to save themselves. The worst part was that the people who were sealing me in with the monster where my parents.
posted by srboisvert at 5:39 AM on November 19 [3 favorites]


I like the concept behind this but I don't love the execution.

The longer time-horizon on which to track your investments in great but one of the redeeming thing about The Stock Market game is that they don't just setup the rules and turn you loose, they teach students some of the statistical concepts behind investing. Things like measure of volatility, expense ratios and transactions costs. You get together in your small groups and talk about what to invest in and why it seems like a good idea.

It's great to have a bunch of different investment vehicles but it doesn't really give me any information about them. Show us the company's basic financials, YTD, 1yr, 3yr, 5yr returns, etc.

While I know that a lot of people invest in government bonds buy directly buying bonds, far more people invest in bond funds which gives you a lot more liquidity and works better as counter-cyclical investment for stocks/equities/stock funds. You're not really after the return from the interest payments exactly but the fluctuation in bond's value in relation to that interest rate. Usually when the stock market goes down there is a flight to stability which is usually government bonds. The Fed will also typically lower interest rates to stimulate an economy in recession which has the effect of increasing the value of current bonds as they'll have a higher rate.

Investopedia has a simulator that will let you simulate investments of nearly any kind and gives you all of the information you could want to research them. Combine that with the use of historical data over the same 20yr time-frame and this would be a much better teaching tool.
posted by VTX at 7:54 AM on November 19 [1 favorite]


Telf, I feel like Darkest Dungeon approaches a similar topic from a slightly different angle. The twist is that you're never the adventurer, you're always playing the middle manager who organises and funds the expeditions into the dungeon. After a while, you realise that caring for the physical and mental health of your adventurers is dreadfully un-profitable when you have a ready supply of eager fresh blood waiting to replace them...

I'll give the designer enough credit to assume that the implications are fully intentional.

Anyway, I remember the "stock market game" as well. I don't remember what context I encountered it in, because my high school offered statistics as an alternative to economics, so I took stats instead. (Even before my explicit slide into whatever category my lefty politics fall under now, I was never particularly interested in being a good little capitalist.)

The stock market game always struck me as profoundly stupid, and I'm glad to see alternative pedagogies arising to compete against it. Simply by including investment options other than individual stocks, this already seems a lot more comprehensive and realistic. Playing around with individual stocks is something you only do if you've already got a well-diversified portfolio and emergency fund. (And, hey, major props to this game for also advocating the idea of an emergency fund and attempting to model some of the random life events that might force you to draw against it.)
posted by tobascodagama at 8:39 AM on November 19 [2 favorites]


I got the time period 1988 to 2008. My great success was to only end up with 8,000 less than my total investment income. Not very optimistic, but I beat the computer.
posted by meinvt at 9:00 AM on November 19


I played.
Did OK from 1990-2010 with index fund.
Grumpy that there was no bond fund.
posted by davebarnes at 11:09 AM on November 19


The first time I played, I played during 1981-2001 without knowing it. And so yeah, I rode HP under the name "Nicholson Tech" to something like a one hundred percent return, crushing the computer and its index-based approach $672,153.72 to $384,381.12.

It was wild, and has not, how you say, been replicated in subsequent rounds, where shoving your money into CD's early on, and then exercising fiscal discipline and shoveling money into index funds is clearly the way to go.
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:26 AM on November 19 [3 favorites]


So apparently one of the bottlenecks of expanding the stock market game to allow for different types of investing has never really been the platform itself, it's teaching the teachers administering the game - the game runs for K-12 - which is apparently a whole other ball game. So stocks (and technically etfs as well) it is. And outside the game itself (which has always been kind of geared toward short-termism, unfortunately) there's always been the essays about your justification for investing in a particular set of stocks, which has always been the more interesting part of the program, I thought. But I say this on the administering/judging/testing side, rather than as a participant, since a lot of the employees of sponsors are roped into judging.

And to be fair, stocks/etfs only is kind of more realistic for an investing game if you look at the average American household. I mean, less than 2% of households in the US hold a bond directly in any way, for example, compared to 14% for stocks, outside of a retirement fund.
posted by crankytalking at 11:33 AM on November 19 [1 favorite]


I just invested in learning how to make deadfalls and other human traps/barricades to protect my shelter (made of tarps and can lids, natch) from the other climate change refugees.

Let's see who has the last laugh.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:46 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


Brain Gremlin: Well, it's rather brutal here ... we're advising our clients to put everything they've got into canned food and shotguns.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:49 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


one of the redeeming thing about The Stock Market game is that they don't just setup the rules and turn you loose, they teach students some of the statistical concepts behind investing.

I'm not sure many participants are given the experience you're describing. But maybe mine is the outlier.
posted by pwnguin at 2:40 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


For those looking for a simulation game at the other end of the economic scale (where you don't have $2,000 a month that you can punt into index funds), the game Spent is pretty hardcore.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:34 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Who has $2000 extra a month to invest or save? Not me.
posted by greta simone at 12:37 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


You get $2k to invest every 6 months in the game, but yeah... still not me at the moment.
posted by davejh at 4:13 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Thanks to this game, I just set up a CD for my 1-y-o niece at my local credit union. A week ago I was scanning everything trying to figure out what the hell to do. Now I know some basics at least.
posted by Philipschall at 6:05 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Have played a few more times. I wish it gave more information at the end of the game. The history of the stocks I picked, changes in rates of return. And "you invested in Exxon Mobile. the best investment for this time period was actually (other thing)." I'm not good with numbers and forget how much I paid into things and can't easily [at all] calculate interest rates in my head "So if I put $x intot the CD and now it's 6 months later and I have $xx then I'm getting an interest rate of ..... hmmmmm..... ... carry the one .... oh I have to pay for a funeral now.

If I have to write this down it would be good if I could pause the game. It's less overwhelming now than the first time I played but it's gotten me more curious and now I want to understand this better!

BTW none of the financial hardships it hits you with are truly devastating. I guess b/c it's just for education on investment not for all the things that can go wrong in life. "You have cancer! Here's a bill, and another bill, and another bill, oh hey your car died."
posted by bunderful at 5:23 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I mostly invested in municipal bonds, and usually beat the computer. It was the closest option I could find to investing in socialism, and I'm pleased to see it did well.
posted by aniola at 8:36 AM on November 25 [2 favorites]


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