Is everyone around you trying to win the day, making a profit buying into and selling out of stocks in the same day?
Seems pretty enticing to see someone make a 5% profit in 24 minutes.
There is a platform called Invstr that runs a fantasy stock picking league where users compete to get the biggest returns.
Trades of less then a day are extremely common. There are boosts you can use to double the return on trades, and you can short stocks at will. Investr says trading with fake money is a good way to practice and learn before you put real money at risk.
But I disagree.
Using fake money causes you to think about the whole endeavor in a very different way.
If the goal is to maximize your gains and the risks only exist in a video game, you are incentivized you explore in very different ways and learn very different lessons.
For example, one user told me she never shorts stocks in real life, but in order to stay competitive on Invstr she has to do so regularly.
When it comes to practicing, it may seem counter-intuitive, but I think that practicing with a small amount of real money is a much better way to go.
I had a basketball coach who would say “Practice doesn’t make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.” The point being that if you didn’t practice in a game-like situation with game-like intensity, you would only be getting better at scrimmaging.
So be mindful of your surroundings. If your goal is to learn more about investing so that you can grow your money in real life, make sure you aren’t surrounding yourself with people who are just playing for entertainment.