In 2008 there was a major rice shortage in the world. Prices surged, and people were hurt/killed. This year (2011) we had another rice shortage, except this time it wasn’t a shortage. The world had a surplus of rice, yet the supply was cut off from the consumer. Governments refused to export rice, mainly from fear that they wouldn’t have enough for their citizens, but some also stopped exports because they knew they could profit from a shortage under-the-table. Some government officials in Southeast Asia profited by selling their stockpiled rice at very high prices. By stopping their exports, they created a fake shortage. There was plenty of rice to go around. Yet many people couldn’t buy rice for their family.
Recently I’ve been reading about the upcoming hard drive shortage. Thailand, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hard drives has been suffering from heavy flooding. This has created a shortage. There’s no doubt about it. However, that shortage was projected to increase prices by around 10%. Instead, tech merchants started sounding an alarm that there was about to be a major shortage, and prices have jumped by as much as 180%. Many people I know are rushing to buy hard drives that they don’t actually need, just to avoid paying much higher prices for them later. This is a terrible time to buy hard drives. Sure their prices will be higher for a few quarters but eventually they’ll drop back down to what they are now. In fact, they’ll probably plummet as soon as production kicks back in to top gear. There will be a huge surplus of drives as everyone realizes they don’t really need as many as they bought. Merry Christmas, everyone!
I’ve always wanted to be a day trader. There’s just something about the chance of making money from nothing but clever buys/sells. The only problem is, I’m broke. Just to start an account at most brokers you have to have $1,000. I may have the money but I’m not at the point in my life where I can throw it into some stocks.
What’s more, I don’t even know how to buy/sell stocks to begin with. Well at least I didn’t. That is changing for the most part since I joined (for free) WallStreetSurvivor.com. Now I can lose money with the best of them. All joking aside, I’ve really learned a lot about the market from this site. For instance, I had no idea what selling short and buying on the margin were before I started playing this game.
There’s also some really cool tools in the game such as performance charts. There’s a ticker showing some of the latest trades by other players. Oh I forgot to mention that you compete against the other players for prizes.
I had an idea for something like this a couple of years ago, but my version of the game was setup more like an online casino atmosphere. I’m not sure if any of you have played Texas Hold’em on the old online poker sites but that was the idea I wanted for my stock simulator. People could compete in tournaments. There would be an entry fee, and the house would get a bit of a cut from the pool. Hey, I had to run the website with something. Unfortunately, that idea never took off, mainly because I didn’t want to research the legality of such a business indeavor. I may actually start working on that idea and give WallStreetSurvivor.com a run for it’s money.
I used to play this online stock market sim that was pretty cool. Actually, my friend Lynn and I would play it during the day at work, that’s basically how we got into online stock trading. I remember Sirius Satellite stock was going for around $0.18. It was up to like $4.00 before the economy imploded.
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The game would give you $100,000 of fake money to play with. You would then basically just compete against everyone to see who could make the most money. It was a fun game.
Development ended on the game. It went the way of the Dodo. Since then I’ve been looking for a stock market sim to take its place. I even thought about creating my own (which I may still). However this stock market simulator seems to do everything I want to build into mine.
Not only do you compete against everyone in real time with fake money. You can also win prizes. I’m guessing the site can afford these prizes because it makes money from advertisements.
In case you missed it, here is the link again:
Fantasy Stock Market Game | GotMineForLess Blog.