There's nothing like the virtual thing
- Friday, April 30, 1999
But alas, times have changed, and once again the impetus is the Internet. By providing wide access to research and real-time business news, the Internet has changed the face of investing. In addition, novice investors have the opportunity to trade without any consultation from brokers as online trading becomes more widespread.
However, there is an element of danger when an inherently risky practice such as investing becomes available to people who lack experience and professional consultation. While the recent increase of opportunities has been exciting, it is important to acknowledge the potential risks.
Fortunately, the Internet has also provided a solution to that problem. At crosswalk.com you now have access to a mechanism that will allow you to practice your investment skills at no cost. Monopoly fans will appreciate this procedure -- once you log into the Virtual Stock Exchange, you receive $500,000 in play money. Because there's "nothing like the real thing," VSE imitates the process of investing buy allowing you to do your own research, follow your own instincts, and make your own decisions. The only thing that's not your own is the money because -- newsflash -- you won't make any. BUT, you won't lose any either and therein lies the value of the game.
In the mean time, those who are beginners will learn more about their abilities in the investment world. Over time, those fledgling investors may decide to test their wings in the real market. Or perhaps VSE players will simply engage in the game to learn about the economics of business. We have seen an overwhelming response from children and students who are learning the ins and outs of corporate America by "virtually" investing. We have even discovered some budding talent among students whose VSE success may be indicative of good judgment. Others have signed on simply for the sport of competing against players across the country
But most importantly, VSE teaches investors that investing is part art, part science, and part reacting to the sometimes unpredictable turns of the market. Preparing investors for the inevitable downturns of market cycles is imperative and, for a market with so many novice investors, the inherent strength of the system increases when investors learn to stay the course of their investment strategies rather than pulling out of the market when it goes down.
So click here to try your hand at the Virtual Stock Exchange, and
"Do not pass go and collect your $500,000."
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