Academic Research on Value of Portfolio Simulations

college stock market simulation

Every online resource for the classroom makes claims about its efficacy in the classroom.

But at StockTrak, we have the research to prove it.

Below you can find some of the dozens of papers published conclusively demonstrating StockTrak’s beneficial impact on tens of thousands of classrooms – and millions of students since our inception in 1990.

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Articles on the value of StockTrak in the classroom

Learning Through Equity Trading Simulation

This study explores the effectiveness of StockTrak in enhancing students’ investment knowledge and interest in financial markets across different academic levels and backgrounds.

By Timothy Moffit, Charles Stull, Hannah McKinney, American Journal of Business Education, 2010

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Description: In this paper we report the learning results of using an equity trading simulation across three different classes at a small Midwestern liberal arts college. Sixty-one students participate in a nine-week equity trading simulation exercise. All class levels are represented, and students with a range of prior courses in business and economics are included. Results show sixty-six percent report the simulation is effective or very effective at increasing their knowledge of investments. Most students, 86 percent, indicate that the simulation increased their interest (a little or greatly) in investments and equity markets.

Conclusion: The stock market simulation is an effective pedagogical tool. Students display significant gains in their knowledge of financial markets without lectures or assigned readings on these topics. Students find the exercise engaging and use various resources on their own. Learning is particularly evident among students with less background in economics and business, suggesting this particular simulation is most effective for those students.

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A Comparison of Online Stock Trading Simulators for Teaching Investments

This paper examines sixteen online platforms, including, that offer investment portfolio construction and tracking, with a focus on their suitability for teaching stock, bond, and derivative investment concepts.

By Joel Jankowski and Todd Shank. Journal of Financial Education, 2010

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Description: Computer-based stock trading simulations have been successfully used in teaching the mechanics of investing for decades. However, the use of trading simulators has historically required students pay a fee to open a trading account and to track their investment decisions. This paper analyzes sixteen websites devoted to allowing participants to construct an investment portfolio and track their performance over a period of time (including

Conclusion: The paper analyzes a sample of both free-and fee-based, online simulators with the goal of determining the suitability of each for various courses that seek to teach students how to invest in stocks, bonds, and/or derivatives.

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An Application Of Stock-Trak In ‘Investments’: What Common Mistakes Do Students Make While Studying Socioeconomic Processes?

This study looks at how students use StockTrak software for making investment decisions. It offers insights for teachers in finance and economics, pointing out common student mistakes and suggesting ways to improve investment-related classes using virtual trading simulations like StockTrak

By Halil D. Kaya PhD, Julia S. Kwok PhD Northeastern State U, SocioEconomic Challenges, 2020

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Description: The main purpose of this study is to review practical experience and provide guidance on the use of StockTrak software by students to make investment decisions under uncertainty. The results of the study may be useful to teachers in the financial and economic disciplines in terms of a detailed analysis of the major difficulties encountered by students in using the program and avoiding these errors in their activities.

Conclusion: This assignment (and paper) along with its forms and directions will help professors around the world who teach investments-related classes. We are also hoping that professors improve their classes by taking note of these ‘common mistakes’ that students tend to make and taking precautions beforehand. We recommend professors to focus more on the areas that students seem to fail as explained in this paper. They can do this more efficiently with virtual trading simulations like StockTrak.

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Conducting Performance Attribution Analysis in the Classroom using Real Market Data

This paper provides a practical guide for students, demonstrating the integration of Performance Attribution Analysis (PAA) into STOCKTRAK© Portfolio Simulation, emphasizing its growing importance in the investment community.

By Girard, E., Pondillo, A., & Proctor, R. Journal of Financial Education, 2005

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Description: This paper demonstrates how Performance Attribution Analysis (PAA) can be integrated into an existing portfolio simulation exercise that most students in an investments or portfolio analysis course already complete. Using the STOCKTRAK© Portfolio Simulation, we walk the reader through the entire PAA process.

Conclusion: Performance attribution analysis is growing in importance and popularity among practitioners in the investment community. Therefore, it is crucial that our students be able to perform PAA in a realistic setting. In this paper they demonstrate how this sophisticated portfolio evaluation technique can be integrated into the existing portfolio simulation exercise. First by discussing the development of an appropriate benchmark portfolio. Then, by illustrating how to use the STOCKTRAK© account statements to calculate the weights and returns for the asset classes.

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A Brief Report for Trading Game

This student paper tracks trades, strategies, gains, and losses on STOCKTRAK, highlighting the need for more practice to understand how the market works. The experience offered practical lessons in trading basic derivatives in a changing market.

By Yibin Liu, eSciPub Journals, 2018

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Description: This student paper documents trade details, strategies made, and what the participant learned through trading on the STOCKTRAK site. The report also includes the profits and losses, every trade made on derivatives products, the timing for buying and selling and gain some practical experience.

Conclusion: Student learned they need to practice more to acquire keen sense of the market change. This game let the student experience the dynamic market by means of trading basic and practical derivatives.

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Risky Group Decision Making: A Comparative Analysis of FTF and CMC Teams in Stock-Trak Investment Simulation

This interdisciplinary study explores the influence of communication mode, trust, and personality on information-sharing behaviors in the context of risky group decision-making, using Stock-Trak portfolio simulation.

By Fang He, John Pearson, Peter P. Mykyty, Yihua Sheng. AMCIS 2008 Proceedings

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Description: Hypothesizing that information-sharing behaviors could be influenced not only by contextual forces but also by personality and trust, we integrate communication mode, trust and personality into a theoretical framework, and also examine the possible impact of these constructs on risky group decision-making outcomes. Our interdisciplinary study integrates the fields of information system management, investment analysis and financial education by examining both face-to-face (FTF) and computer-mediated communication (CMC) teamwork in a Stock-Trak portfolio simulation.

Conclusion: We find that contrary to the common wisdom, even though FTF team members tend to feel greater levels of trust, affiliation and satisfaction in their team collaboration process, CMC teams eventually outperform their FTF counterparts by having greater portfolio returns and investor utilities, and teach students how to invest in stocks, bonds, and/or derivatives.

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Proof of the value of trading simulations in the classroom

Stock market trading simulations: Assessing the impact on student learning

This study explores how an interactive stock market simulation impacts students in a college investments course, particularly those with different learning styles.

By C. Michael Smith & Sharon C. Gibbs, Journal of Education for Business 2020

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Description: In higher education, business students with different learning styles may not all respond successfully to a straight lecture format. The authors analyze the impact that an experiential learning activity (an optional stock market trading simulation) has demonstrated on student success in a college investments course.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that students who engage in the experiential learning component earn higher overall grades and demonstrate substantially higher grade improvements over the course of the semester than do those who do not participate in the simulation. This study reinforces the existing literature and supports the hypothesis that experiential learning components do aid in student learning.

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Simulations For Financial Literacy

This study emphasizes the importance of financial literacy in making informed financial decisions. It highlights how simulations are instrumental in enhancing financial literacy by simplifying complex financial concepts through clear language and visuals.

By Angela Hamilton, Electronic Theses and Dissertations 2012

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Description: Financially literate consumers are empowered with the knowledge and skills necessary to make sound financial decisions that ensure their long-term economic well-being. Within the context of the range of cognitive, psychological, and social factors that influence consumer behavior, simulations enhance financial literacy by developing consumers’ mental models for decision-making. Technical communicators leverage plain language and visual language techniques to communicate complex financial concepts in ways that consumers can relate to and understand.

Conclusion: Simulations for financial education and decision support illustrate abstract financial concepts, provide a means of safe experimentation, and allow consumers to make informed choices based on a longitudinal comparison of decision outcomes. Technical communicators develop content based on best practices and conduct evaluations to ensure that simulations present information that is accessible, usable, and focused on the end-user.

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Stock-trading simulations as a resource for management instructors

This article examines the use of stock-trading simulations in management courses, highlighting their cost-effectiveness, provision of real-time data, and customization options.

By Jason R. Pierce, Management Teaching Review 2021

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Description: This article reviews stock-trading simulations as a resource for use in management courses. Stock-trading simulations have three highly desirable qualities for educators: (1) they cost nothing to use—instructors can choose from various free simulators that all have the same general functionality, (2) they provide real and continuously updating data (e.g., company news, stock price movements), and (3) they can be customized to enhance learning.

Conclusion: Feedback from experience, colleagues, and students confirms that all stock-trading simulations can indirectly enrich learning in courses, such as principles of management and strategy, by compelling students to follow and analyze the decisions of corporate managers. Stock-trading simulations also provide opportunities for students in courses covering managerial decision making to directly analyze and learn from their own decisions when they trade virtual shares of companies. The review concludes with a summary of the potential strengths and limitations management instructors should consider before implementing stock-trading simulations.

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Is Financial Literacy Improved By Participating In A Stock Market Game?

This study assesses the impact of using stock market simulations on students’ financial literacy. The test group, taught with SMG and supplementary curriculum, outperformed the control group in financial literacy assessments.

By Cynthia Harter John F. R. Harter, Journal for Economic Educators 2010

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Description: This study investigates the effectiveness of stock market games in improving student scores on a general multiple-choice test covering basic financial concepts. Teachers in the test group used the Stock Market Game and a complementary curriculum in class while teachers in the control group did not. Students in both groups completed the same online pre- and post-tests, demographic surveys, and math aptitude tests.

Conclusion: The results of ordinary least squares regression show that playing stock games along with teaching seven general lessons from the Learning from the Market curriculum improves student performance on the financial literacy assessment.

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