Getting Started

If you are NOT a teacher or student, please skip to the next section below…

What is HowTheMarketWorks?

HowTheMarketWorks is the #1 FREE stock market game site designed for use in high schools, middle schools and even elementary schools. Last year, over 500,000 students used the site to learn basic stock market vocabulary, concepts, and practicing investing with a virtual $100,000 (or whatever initial balance set by the teacher).

With HowTheMarketWorks, teachers create a custom stock market game for their class by setting the trading dates, initial cash balance, and diversification rules. Then they can set up an Assignment which integrates some investing lessons. Through the teacher reporting, teachers can monitor the performance of their students in the stock investing and in the Assignments.

To get started, teachers must first register (yes it is free). To register, all we need is an email address, username and password. Once registered and logged in, you will immediately have a virtual $100,000 to explore the site, but you will also have the ability to “Create a New Contest.”

Now click here to view the Teacher Starter Guide.

What if I am not a high/middle school teacher or student?

If you are not a student or teacher you can still use the site, but please consider our other sites that might be more appropriate:

  • General Public: Please visit where users also receive a virtual $100,000 to practice investing. This free stock market simulator site also features 25 concise (2-5 minutes) courses to help you get started, and reviews of the top brokerages and stock newsletters to help you get started investing with real money.
  • College Investing Classes: Please visit where students can trade stocks, options, futures, bonds, mutual funds, forex, and even cryptos
  • College Personal Finance Classes: Please visit the Personal Finance service level at that features a personal budgeting and banking game, along with a virtual trading account features U.S. stocks bonds and mutual funds.

What about a personal budgeting game or other financial literacy games?

If you are looking for a personal budgeting game or other financial literacy games, then please visit This is our upgraded site that includes:

  • a personal budgeting game that teaches students how to build a budget and rewards them for staying on a budget
  • other financial literacy tasks like banking, managing a debit and credit card, writing checks, paying bills, building an emergency savings fund, etc.
  • a stock market game account so once students learn about budgeting and saving, then the can learn about investing with real stocks at real prices
  • a resource library with personal finance, investing, business, and economics lessons that can be integrated into the budget and stock market games.