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Stock Market Fantasy Fanatic

A year ago on Halloween, I gave up gambling. Fitting because I was being "tricked" more than treated. The slot machines were robbing me and blackjack, my game of choice, hadn't been added to WV casinos yet. On the eve of my reformation, I wagered and lost enough Money that even I had to question my ability to bet with my head, not over it . So, I quit.

While suffering from withdrawal, I played free slots on the web and from the casino games CD's I've collected over the years. The thrill just wasn't there. On day my husband said, "As much as you like to gamble and research on the Internet, why don't you try your luck on the stock market?" I've never had any interest in the market and weeks before I put my retirement money in fixed interest accounts to wait out the market's menopausal mood swings. I wasn't keen on risking my money to learn the hard way so I looked online for a place to practice stock trading.

The Wall Street Survivor
fantasy game was my choice. It's free, fun, competitive, and educational. I set up an account and started a portfolio with $250,000 of the game's funny money. The basic workings are the same as my husband's Scottrade account except there are weekly, monthly, and grand money prizes for the traders that do the best job of increasing their portfolio's value. The site has several aids to help Survivors research and pick stocks. The Community forums put you in touch with other Survivors to have your questions answered, get terms clarified, discuss strategies, or just chat. The rating section is my favorite because you get to see where you stand in relation to the other 47,000+ players.

I've been a Survivor for less than a month, but I'm doing well for a newbie. There is no fear factor since I have no real money involved so I test my theories and play hunches. I've have discovered that dancing with the stock market is dominated by men, even though, I believe that women are much better prepared to trade. Don't we understand mood swings, adjusting and readjusting, tweaking, saving and buying? A fellow Survivor, wineandcheese, purposed some great ideas to make the market woman-friendly. "I honestly think the stock market should be run more like an online shopping mall. Open 24 hours with sales and clearance items, and weekly advertisements." She also suggests getting money-off coupons for stock prices as email bonuses for agreeing to receive the company's newsletter. Amen, sister! We'd give the economy a kick in the butt for sure.

Of course, there is a downside to my new-found pastime. It's an addiction far worse than a longing for the slots. To meet the one-armed bandits, I had to leave home. With stock trading, I can do it in my nightgown while sipping my morning coffee. If I'm making the bed and one of my stock picks soars to a new high, with a couple of keystrokes I sell for a profit. I have a computer on both floors of my house so I can check the market often. Playing the market has consumed much more of my time than I've spent in casinos. I research, buy, and sell stocks while my carpets need swept and my laundry piles breed. I can't help myself. Pitting my mind against other market players (real and fantasy) is challenging and stimulating. Gambling whether a stock value will rise or fall is every bit as addicting as spinning slot reels. My casino habit was kept in check by the amount of money I felt I could lose. In the Survivor game, I can borrow funds when I run short of cash. Luckily, I never asked a casino to float me a loan.

Am I ready to take some of my retirement savings and entrust it to the stock market? Nope, not yet. I don't know her well enough.

This post first appeared on The Balancing Pole, please read the originial post: here

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Stock Market Fantasy Fanatic


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