1. Simulator How-To Guide: Introduction
  2. Simulator How-To Guide: The User Interface Tabs
  3. Simulator How-To Guide: Purchasing Stocks
  4. Simulator How-To Guide: The Portfolio Summary Page
  5. Simulator How-To Guide: Ticker Symbol Look Up
  6. Simulator How-To Guide: Stock Quote Information
  7. Simulator How-To Guide: Diversified Portfolio
  8. Simulator How-To Guide: Selling Stocks
  9. Simulator How-To Guide: Advanced Trade Types
  10. Simulator How-To Guide: Short Selling
  11. Simulator How-To Guide: Covering Short Positions
  12. Simulator How-To Guide: Cancelling Orders
  13. Simulator How-To Guide: Margin Accounts
  14. Simulator How-To Guide: Buying Options
  15. Simulator How-To Guide: Options Usage
  16. Simulator How-To Guide: Conclusion

We have covered a lot of topics in this How-To Guide, and the numerous types of investment styles and vehicles may have come as a bit of a surprise to you. We first learned how to conduct basic market buy and sell orders and how to interpret the Portfolio Summary. Coupled with financial analysis, you're now able to undertake building your own diversified portfolio and execute buy and sell trades as your investments progress over time. You have also been sufficiently introduced to the use of advanced trade types, such as short selling, margin accounts and even options trading.

While the focus of this How-To guide is to teach you how to use and navigate the stock simulator, we also hope that you managed to gain some insight into investing and stocks in general. The investing techniques we have covered here all have their supporters and detractors. The key, however, to being satisfied with your investment decisions is to make sure they are best suited to your individual risk preferences and investment objectives.

If those of you that are interested in actively managing your own portfolio of stocks in practice or in real life, the best thing is to keep up-to-date with the financial markets by regularly reading business and markets news. Also, while the simulator only offers stocks and options, there are other types of safer investments that investors can buy in real life. For example, many investors are most comfortable putting a portion of their savings into the stock market, combining equity investments with safer bonds or other fixed-income securities.

For a good start to understanding bonds and other types of investments, we encourage you to read our extensive online resources, such as:

Bond & Debt Basics - A great tutorial for those new to the bond markets.
Advanced Bond Analysis - Solid bond analysis tips in this outstanding tutorial.
Diversification Beyond Equities - Learn to diversify with different investments.
Ten Tips For The Successful Long-Term Investor - Great tips for every investor.

For those investors who do not feel comfortable making investment decisions entirely on their own, it might be worth considering less self-directed forms of investment, such as actively managed mutual funds. Read our Mutual Fund Basics Tutorial to find out about the pros and cons of these types of managed investment vehicles.

Alternatively, if you wish to take your financial future into your own hands (something we think everyone should do!), it's worth considering hiring a qualified financial planner or full-service broker who can help determine your investment objectives and provide guidance in the decision-making process to help you avoid any big and costly mistakes (after all, losing real money is a lot different than losing virtual cash).

Thank you for taking the time to read our free Simulator How-To Guide. We hope you've found it worthwhile and will continue to practice the lessons you have learned in your Simulator account to hone your trading skills! If you have any comments or questions regarding this How-To Guide, or would like to provide us with feedback or request future sections for our How-To Guide, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

Cheers,
The Investopedia Team!


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