Establishing your account

Creating your portfolio

Stock trading information

Your Excel spreadsheet

Grading Rubrics


back to AP Economics


Creating Your Portfolio
  1. After joining the game - and clicking the link under the game name that says "My Portfolio" - you should see a screen that looks similar to that below.

    [Your screen won't say "Edit Game" because you didn't create this game! If you're jealous start your own game!]

  1. Your portfolio should show $100,000 in cash. [It might show a little more, due to interest paid on your cash account.]
  2. Click the "Make a Trade" link at the top left of the page. Make sure you select the correct game to make the trade in! It should look like this:

  3. Enter the ticker symbol of any company listed on a US stock exchange. For example, enter HPQ if you want to buy HP stock. Click "Go" and you should see this screen:

  4. Choose the order type, enter the number of shares you wish to trade, choose the term of the order and choose the pricing type. Then click "Preview Trade." For an explanation of what these different words mean, click here. [We'll talk about these in class eventually.]

    "How do I know what stock to buy?"

    "How do I know how much to buy."

  5. Click on "Preview Order."
  6. Verify your order and click on "Submit Order."
  7. It will take a few minutes for the order to be placed. [Note that if you place an order during a time when the stock exchanges are closed, the order will not be placed until the market opens, which might be the next day.]
  8. You must buy stock in at least ten companies. Your portfolio must total at least $80,000. You can buy and sell stock - long and short, but you must always own (or have sold short) at least five stocks worth at least $80,000. You'll know you've done this when your "Cash" is less than $20,000.

"How do I know what stock to buy?"

You don't! So don't worry too much about it!

The markets are very efficient. What this "efficient markets" hypothesis means is that it takes the stock market just a few seconds to fully absorb news that will impact the financial performance of a company and reflect that in the price of the stock.

So what chance do you have to know something that someone else doesn't know so that you can profit on a forthcoming change in the stock's price? Not much.

In fact the best estimate of the future price of a stock is the current price of that stock. When you pick a stock, whatever stock you pick, you have about a 50% chance of doing better than the market. By "better than the market" we mean that your chosen stock will outperform the market average. For example, if the market increases in value by 10% over a given period, and your stock increases 12%, it has outperformed the market.

Want some ideas about companies? Click here for "Stocks for Teens to Consider" from The Motley Fool.

Back to stock trading instructions.

"How do I know how much to buy."

You need some information about your company. You especially need to know how much a share of stock is selling for. Then you divide the amount you want to invest in that company by the stock price to find the number of shares you want to buy.

For example if I want to invest $10,000 in Gateway and it's trading at $5.01/ share, I want to buy $10,000 $5.01/share = 1,996 shares

You can look up stock information by entering the symbol here.

MoneyCentral Stock Quote
Enter Symbol(s) 

If you don't know the symbol, you can find it on the Virtual Stock Exchange site or use one of the sites listed below.

MSN MoneyCentral CBS Marketwatch CNN Money
Reuters Motley Fool Smartmoney

Back to stock trading instructions.