Used by some of the most prestigious universities:
Professor’s Frequently Asked Questions
At Stock-Trak, our mission is to help you teach your students about the financial markets. Whether you are training your students to be billion dollar portfolio managers, or training them to manage their own personal finances, our service will give your students some real-world experience trading stocks, options, futures, bonds, mutual funds, and more. We have designed Stock-Trak to provide your students with the most comprehensive virtual stock market simulation available AND at a reasonable price.
To make sure your students get the maximum benefit from Stock-Trak, it is essential that you, as the professor, understand how we operate. The purpose of this Professor’s Support and FAQ page is to answer any questions that you may have, thereby insuring that your students get the maximum benefit from our service. As always, I welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to call me on my direct phone line at 1-514-871-2222 ext 232.
Mark T. Brookshire
Are any commissions charged on Users’ Transactions?
Yes. We want Stock-Trak to be as close to the stock market as possible. Professors and Individual Investors can edit the commission fees per security type and charge users per transaction or as a percentage. Trades on mutual funds carry no commissions.
Do you have any prizes available for students?
Yes, we have certificates available that you can download and distribute to your class as you see fit.
We occasionally have site-wide competitions open to all students as well with monetary prizes, but these would take place outside your class.
Does Stock-Trak Account For Dividends & Splits?
Yes, each day we receive an updated list of stocks that have split or have paid a dividend. The dividends and splits are then accounted for on the website. If we happen to have missed one, please fill the form below so that we can apply it.
How many schools use Stock-Trak?
Each year Stock-Trak works with over 800 professors from across the country and over 50,000 students. Our customers include colleges, universities, community colleges, private schools, and finance and investment clubs located in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and over 20 countries around the globe. Schools using Stock-Trak in the past have included Michigan, MIT, Northwestern, Penn, Harvard, Notre Dame, Dartmouth, Cornell, and University of Chicago just to name a few.
What are your support hours?
Our customer service hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. During these hours our email support desk will respond to any technical or support question about your account. In general most inquiries are responded to within a 24 hour period.
What exactly is Stock-Trak?
Essentially, Stock-Trak is set up as a discount stock brokerage office. When your students register, they receive a brokerage account with an imaginary cash balance. Once their accounts are activated, they can visit our web page to make trades or email support desk if they have questions about their account. Stock-Trak brokers DO NOT give advice.
What securities can users trade?
Users can trade stocks listed on the NYSE, AMEX or NASDAQ, and OTCBB (excluding pink sheets) as well as stocks on most foreign markets such as Bombay, Brazil, Euronext, Frankfort, Hong Kong, Ireland, Kuala Lumpur, London, Milan, Mexico, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sidney, Canada, Taiwan, Vienna and Zurich.
Stock-Trak also supports trading of stock options, mutual funds, the most popular corporate bonds, treasury bonds, futures and future options.
What types of accounts are there?
We offer three types of accounts:
Professor accounts: these are used by professors to test out the website and to register their classes.
Student accounts: these are used by students to participate in the trading challenge, and are subject to a one-time fee.
Individual investor accounts: which are for all other users and are subject to a monthly recurring fee.
If you are not a professor but would like to register a group, please contact oursupport team as we offer private group contests for additional fees.
Can my students trade after the class has ended?
Once your class ends, your students will not be able to place any additional trades into their class portfolio. However, all students also have the ability to add a separate “practice” portfolio, which will allow them to continue trading as long as they wish.
Do my students have to liquidate their positions before the end of trading?
No, it is not necessary to liquidate the open positions. They are still factored into all relevant calculations at the end of the trading session.
I made a mistake when I created my class. How can I fix it?
Most settings can be changed by going to Admin > Edit Class Variables. If the setting you wish to change isn’t listed there, you can call us at 514-871-2222 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and we’ll be more than happy to fix it for you.
I set the wrong trading dates and my class ended too soon. Can you reactivate it?
Yes, we can manually reactivate a recently ended class. However, the system was not designed for this, so reports will cease to track data after the original end date and we cannot guarantee that students’ portfolios will not be affected. If you see that your class’ end date is incorrect before it has finished, notify us ASAP. If the end date is changed before the class closes, there will be no potential problems. Issues only arise if a class has already ended.
What is the initial cash balance for the students?
You have the flexibility to choose whatever size portfolio you want. We recommend an initial cash balance of $100,000 for undergraduates and $1,000,000 for graduate students.
When does the trading period begin?
The trading period begins and ends at your discretion. When you sign your class up for Stock-Trak, you will fill out a registration form that includes the start and end date of trading, as well as other relevant information.
If you want to know what is the start/end date of your class, you can click on Admin > Class Summary Reports:
Reports & Assignments
I saw “Create Stock-Trak Assignment” when I was creating my class. What is it?
A Stock-Trak assignment is a To-do list created by the Instructor of the class. This list consists of videos to watch, articles with quizzes and specific trades to place. Instructors can create many assignments during an active class. These assignments can also be used for grading purposes, where we display a “Report Card”, which presents the completion percentage per user. Teacher can view and create an assignment by clicking “Create/View Assignments” in the “Admin” tab.
What are Trading Notes? How can I export all my users’ Trading Notes?
Trading Notes are comment and explanations that can be added per each trade and order. Professors can see the reasoning of an action and the comments by adding a Note. To add/view a note, users can click on “Add/View Notes” in the Order History or Transaction History. To export all users’ trading notes, Professors can access the Class Summary Reports located under the Admin tab. An Excel file will be generated when the Professor click on “Export Trade Notes”.
What reports are available to me?
The following Reports are available to you from the Admin menu Tab > Summary Report
Summary Report: This section gives you a summary of your class activity and parameters.
Current Rankings Report: This section allows you to view the current standings for your students or users and explore their individual accounts in detail.
Historical Rankings Report: This section allows you to view students’ / users’ rankings and portfolio values as of a certain date in the past.
Registration File Report: This section allows you to view all the information captured on the registration page for your students / users.
User Summary: This section provides you with an overview of your students’ / users’ accounts, such as trading and login activity.
Reports: Download class reports to Excel for further sorting and analysis (includes Transaction History, Open Positions and Account Balances).
Registration & Getting Started
Do the Professors ever participate?
We actively encourage Professors to personally participate in Stock-Trak! The Professor’s account can also be part of the class, which means the Instructor can participate as well. Also, two free demo accounts are given upon registration. While the Professor account is primarily used to register the class and to view the students’ progress, the demo accounts can be used as a benchmark or can be given to a Research/Teacher Assistant. Professors often use these account as a benchmark for students to compare their returns to that account.
Do you have a student user guide to get started?
StockTrak is designed to be as intuitive as possible for beginners. One of the easiest ways to get started is by taking a look at our tutorial videos, which covers just about everything on the platform.Click here to view our tutorial videos. If you prefer a PDF user guide, we also have a short “Getting Started” guide for new students available when you can click here to view.
How do I register my class?
Getting your class registered on StockTrak.com is simple and takes only 3 minutes. To get this process started, you will first need your Professor Account. Once you log in, you can click “Register Class” at the top of the page to set all of your class parameters.
If you have any difficulty registering your class, you can contact our support team either by email or by phone (1- 800-786-TRAK or 8725)
How do other Professors use Stock-Trak?
StockTrak.com can be used in any class that mentions stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies or financial planning. Have a look at our “New Professor” section to see how other professors use Stock-Trak!
Professors are finding that Stock-Trak can play an integral role in the success of their class. Stock-Trak allows you to blend classroom theory with real world experience, tailored to the level of your students. Stock-Trak is most effective when it is used to complement your lectures. For example, many professors of introductory investments and finance courses have the students make trades in each security discussed in class (in order to avoid confusing the students, many professors also limit the securities traded to those covered in class). Professors use Stock-Trak as a tool to introduce students to the stock market and to create an experience that will be useful outside of school.
How do we pay for the service?
When you register as an individual investor, you input your credit card number, and this credit card is charged at the same day of every month until you choose to cancel your account. When setting up student accounts for their class, the professors select whether the service will be paid for by the students or by the school. If student payment is selected, then students will be asked to pay with their credit card upon registration. If teacher payment is selected, then after all the students register, the school will be invoiced for the entire class based on the total amount of students registered. We accept the following credit cards: Visa and MasterCard.
How long does the trading period last?
The length of the trading period is up to you. We recommend that the trading period begin one or two weeks after your classes have started, and that it ends at least one week before your last class. This will give your students some time to write a summary of their portfolio strategy/return.
I have already registered but would like to change account details, what do I do?
To edit the details of an account, users can click on Dashboard > Edit Profile. In this page, users can change their password, address, etc. If you are having issues editing your profile, please do not hesitate to let us know and we will take care of it!
I would like my students to be able to practice before the tournament starts.
Students have the opportunity to purchase a second practice account for $4, which they can use both before your class starts and after it ends. These are accessible the moment your students register, and remains open afterwards as well. We created these accounts so students could learn how to use Stock-Trak and try out new trading ideas without impacting their class performance.
I would like to have my students practice on their official class portfolio. Can their portfolios receive a reset at the end of the practice session?
While we can reset student accounts at a Professor’s request, this method is not the most practical way to get your students to practice. The reset process takes time, especially if a request is made in the middle of the school semester, which is our busiest time for support issues. Furthermore, the trades made on an account are not reset, so this method of practicing can also leave your particularly enthusiastic students with no trades left for the real class.
What is the “Stock-Trak Professor” Tournament?
All Professors on StockTrak.com are automatically assigned to a “Stock-Trak Professors” tournament, where they can trade against other professors and practice their trading skills. Please not that you can change the active class/tournament that your account is viewing via the “Current Class” drop-down menu.
What is the cost for the student accounts?
The cost per account varies depending on the number of trades required and the length of the trading period. Each service plan corresponds to a number of trades allowed and a trading period that you choose. Please note that costs for accounts outside of North America may vary, so consult the service plans listed when registering your class.
How can a professor view their students’ progress and activites?
When you log on to your professor account, you can view your class by clicking on the “Admin” tab and then on “Summary Report”. Professors will be able to see the students’ rankings and other details such as their portfolio value and account records. You can also export these details to Excel by clicking on the Excel button.
How can I guide my students in creating a diversified portfolio
The Assignment feature on Stock-Trak is one way to guide your students in creating a diversified portfolio. This feature consists of creating a “To-do” list, where students must perform specific types of trades. By doing this, students can discover new markets, securities, order types, etc. Professors can also view the assignment progress of all students, and can be used for grading purposes.
How do I prevent my students from taking very risky positions?
Give the students a disincentive for losing money or under performing the S&P 500. For example, some professors tell their class that the top 3 performing students will get 5 extra credit points on their final exam grade, and the 3 worst students will get 5 points taken off their final exam grade (the professors then give the bonus points but do NOT take off points from the poor performers–just the threat is enough to make the students stay more conservative).
Also, remember that you have a good deal of flexibility when it comes to specifying the simulation you want for your class. You can limit the number of transactions, minimum prices, or type of security. We will work with you to make sure that your students get the most out of Stock-Trak. To force students to diversify their portfolios, and to make the students trade as if it was real money, students will not be able to put “all their eggs in one basket.” Stock, option, and future positions will be limited to 25% of their initial cash balance (note this variable may be adjusted). Accounts that begin with $100,000 will only be allowed to spend $25,000 on any given stock. (Without this position limit, we have seen some students buying on margin and spending $200,000 on one stock; now they can only spend 1/4 of that on any one stock, option, or future.)
My student already has a Stock-Trak account. Could he change that class, or link that account to my new class?
Each student account can only be linked to one class and one tournament. Once that tournament ends the account is frozen and cannot be used for trading. Therefore, student accounts cannot be linked to any other accounts and the tournament registered to cannot be changed.
One of my students has 0 trades made or no change in portfolio value on the rankings and/or claims their entire portfolio is empty and they cannot see their transactions. What happened?
The cause of this is one of two things:
Often students mistakenly trade on their free practice account and do not realize this is completely separate from their real class account. Ask your student if he/she has been logging in and see “Practice-Portfolio” in the “Select Class” drop-down menu. If so, then that is why the portfolio in their class account is empty and/or why they have 0 trades and 0% gain/loss in the rankings.
Another possibility is that the student placed orders, but none of them have filled. This does not happen often, but it is possible if a student only placed a few orders and they were for large quantities that cannot fill due to volume. This is a common issue with option orders.
The registration period has passed and my student(s) did not register. What can I do?
To re-open the registration page, Professors can simply send us a message using the contact form or contact us directly via Chat or Phone. The Support Team will need two pieces of information: