Learn About the Stock Market: Lessons, Games, and More
Are you baffled by the stock ticker numbers you see on the news or on financial websites? Don't worry
you are; no one is born understanding the stock market. But with a few key pieces of information,
can enter the investing world with confidence.
The first stock market was started almost by accident back in the 17th century. The Dutch East India
Company sailed lengthy voyages all over the world to buy spices, silk, coffee, and other foreign
and bring them back to Europe. They were making money, but the voyages were getting more expensive
the time. Eventually, they decided to offer well-to-do citizens a chance to invest in these voyages.
return for some up-front cash, which the company would use to buy ships, pay sailors, and so on,
investor would get a share of the profits from that voyage. The first stock market was set up to
Fast-forward a few hundred years and we can see stock markets all over the world. Most transactions
use computers instead of paper shares. The stock market is worth $50 trillion in the United States
alone, but despite its size, the modern market works much like the first one did. Investors can
shares (or stock) in a company, and the company uses the money from that purchase to pay workers,
equipment, or pay down debt. In return, the investor gets a percentage of the company's earnings for
long as they own the stock. If the company does well, the stock price goes up and the investor's
is worth more. If the company does poorly, the opposite happens. That's why it's important for
to be well-informed about where they put their money.
So why should we care about the stock market? Stock investing isn't just for day traders and hedge
managers. For many of us, saving money for retirement is an important financial goal. The money we
for our later years is usually invested in a mutual fund, which is a collection of stocks. Whether
invest in individual stocks and bonds or put your money in a set-it-and-forget-it mutual fund,
understanding the stock market is important. Knowing how to make your money work for you helps you
make good decisions at key points in your life. You'll also be able to tell when you have saved
Introduction to the Stock Market: This site helps teach basic stock market terminology,
it also touches on why the stock market works the way it does and a few strategies for
- Investing in the Stock Market: This
walks you through some financial definitions and also covers some helpful basic math. Students
learn how to read a stock report, how to calculate stock prices, and how to track stock price
- The Most Valuable
Companies of All Time: How does the Dutch East India Company stack up against modern
corporate heavyweights? See this comparison to learn more.
- History of the Stock
Market: Want to learn more about how
stock markets came to be? Check out this brief history, which gets the major points across and
teaches some stock market concepts along the way.
Next Big Thing: This worksheet guides students through reading stock market quotes over
multiple days. This can really help you to understand a stock's performance.
- Stock Market Glossary: If
market lingo doesn't make sense to you, check out this site. It covers the basics to get you
- Bonds vs. Stocks:
and bonds go hand in hand, but they're quite different. This site will help you learn the
differences between them and the advantages of each.
- Stock Analysis
Checklist: This site gives you everything you need to evaluate a stock plus links to
you can do additional research. Follow this checklist and you'll know whether that stock you're
eyeing is a winner or a loser.
- NYSE Made Easy:
lesson plan simplifies the concepts behind the New York Stock Exchange. It features individual
group activities as well as a learning assessment game.
Card: Enter any stock ticker symbol and get a report card for that company. It's always
to do research for yourself, but this is a great way to see a snapshot of a stock's outlook.
Fund Investing for Beginners: For many investors, mutual funds are their primary
the stock market. Learn all about what makes mutual funds tick in this article.
- Stock Market Lesson
Plan: In this mock stock market activity, students select their stocks and then track
for 30 days to see whose stock price increases the most. It's a fun and competitive way to learn
about stock price changes.
Stocks: This lesson plan offers reading, activities, and an assessment to gauge how much
you've learned. It covers what dividend-paying stocks are, how to calculate dividend yield, and
to compare dividends to other income investments.
Investing 101: This free online textbook from the Young Investors Society explains how
choose stocks and how to judge a company's performance. It features stock charts, financial
lessons, and thought-provoking activities.
the Market Works: With in-depth explanations, activities, and definitions, this lesson
has a wealth of information. It also guides teachers and students through playing stock market
Market Bubbles and Crashes: This fun group activity illustrates some of the most
events in the market. How do these stock market bubbles and crashes affect other markets, such
- Price to Earnings Ratio
Worksheet: Price to earnings ratio is one of the many ways we can judge a company's
performance. This worksheet walks you through how to calculate this important economic
- What's Up With the
Market? Ideal for grades 6-8, this collection of activities covers important vocabulary
words and asks students to think critically. It also includes tips for working these stock
lessons into other subjects, like history and language arts.
- Accumulating Wealth, Chapter 1:
Overview of Investing: This
guides high school students through concepts like inflation, investment risks, and
Real-world examples and activities keep the lessons relevant.
- The Basics of the Stock Market: This video introduces
stock market concepts, dispels some myths about investing, and gives real-world advice on how to
- Investing in Stocks for Beginners:
Facebook as an example, this video walks viewers through what happens when stock prices
Colorful graphics and lively editing keep it interesting.
- Investing Basics: Compound Interest: Compound
interest is key to building wealth. This video explains how to make this powerful concept work
- The Stock Market Game: In this
game, students get a virtual wallet and can enter the world of investing with no risk. The game
fun and educational at the same time.
an Investment Game: Students can play this fun game to learn more about the stock
The variety of different scenarios and interactive nature of the game keep it interesting.
- Build Your Stax: In this game, players simulate 20
of financial activity. There are multiple investment types to choose from as you compete in a
or against a computer player.
Kids Stocks: These activities will help younger students understand some key stock
concepts, including financial risk, tracking stock prices, and how to save for a rainy day.