"p.s.--your software is so 'lifelike'; it is almost as if one were viewing the 'real' ticker from the NYSE!" -- Jack B. (User, in Alberta)
Learn all about the highly sophisticated and completely addictive stock market with the corporate financial simulation games known as "Wall Street Raider" and "Speculator." These Windows games from Michael Jenkins are widely recognized as the ultimate in sophisticated financial simulations.
Wall Street Raider
"Wall Street Raider" (Version 9.75, released in 2023) is a sophisticated corporate finance and stock market simulation game, with its realistic mergers, tender offers, liquidations, LBOs, IPOs, greenmail, spin-offs, tax strategizing, and all the other tools of high corporate finance. All action occurs in a "live action" economic environment, with a moving simulated stock ticker and scrolling news ticker. Sharpen your business I.Q. and your investing skills with this extraordinarily realistic and addictive simulator.
In "Wall Street Raider," you start out as a billionaire and can immediately take over and manage companies, seeking to increase their earnings and stock prices, as well as passively investing and trading, while "Speculator" is purely an investment and trading game, where you start out with only a $100,000 inheritance, as a middle-class "newbie" investor.
Download and try a free copy of the "Wall Street Raider" shareware version, the basic version with simulated stock and bond trading, commodity futures (gold, silver, oil, wheat, corn) trading, simulated cryptocurrency (Bitcoin and Ethereum) spot and futures trading, and all types of complex corporate transactions enabled (mergers, spin-offs, liquidations, etc.).
Or get your copy of the full version of "Wall Street Raider," which also enables stock and commodity charts, short selling, and put and call options trading, plus other derivatives trading (interest rate swaps), in addition to the stock, bond, and commodity futures trading permitted in the basic (free) version.
"Speculator" (Version 4.10, most recent release August 14, 2023) is a stock trading simulation game, with a simulated "live" investment environment that is similar to "Wall Street Raider." In "Speculator," you are a middle-class, small investor, starting as a novice, with only $100,000 you have just inherited.
It's a highly challenging game since in Speculator you are strictly an investor or trader, unlike Wall Street Raider, in which you are a billionaire who can take over companies and manipulate their stock prices or dominate entire industries. As such, in this simulation, you have to do proper investment research, perusing information on the 1000+ companies, to sniff out undervalued stocks and bonds (including convertible bonds) to get ahead. The game is remarkably realistic and will hone your "real world" investing skills, as you learn to read balance sheets and earnings reports and analyze stock and commodity charts.
Initially, as a novice trader in "Speculator," you can only invest in stocks and bonds and aren't allowed to buy stocks on "margin" (borrowed money). As you increase your portfolio, your broker, McSwindle, Churn & Tout, will gradually allow you to use riskier and more advanced strategies, initially using margin debt, then short-selling of stocks, then options trading, and if you grow your account to $500,000 or more, you will be allowed to engage in VERY risky commodity futures trading.
Version 4.0, released in December, 2022, added several new and useful features, including an Advanced Options Trading Station, similar to what various (real world) online brokers offer to options traders. The new Trading Station for options allows you to create complex options positions, such as staddles, strangles, bull or bear spreads with puts or calls, calendar spreads, Butterfly spreads, Condors, Iron Butterflies, and Iron Condors, and execute up to 8 options trades at the same time. Detailed instructions are immediately accessible, explaining how to structure all of those sophisticated options trading strategies, which are used by professional options traders. the options Trading Station screen also allows you, with one click, to close all your options positions (long and short, puts and calls) on a given stock. New Version 4.10 added an automated trading feature, which lets you pick one of 14 complex options strategies, which the software instantly creates on a stock you choose in the simulation, and posts the terms on the Advanced Options Trading Station screen for you to approve or edit, before you click a "Submit" button to execute all the put and/or call trades simultaneously.
Version 4.0 also added alerts that a player can set to be notified when a commodity or cryptocurrency in the simulation reaches a price level specified by the player. (A previous version had introduced stock price alerts for any of the 1,590 corporations in the simulation.) Interest rate alerts for various interest rates and alerts are also available when economic (GDP) growth rates rise to or fall to certain percentage growth rates. Version 4.0 added new database search criteria, so you can search for companies that are projecting positive cash flow, which may make them attractive investment candidates, plus the ability to search for stocks that are likely to be profitable short sale candidates.
Version 3.0 of Speculator, released in 2021, provided for extreme risk-taking, by adding two new ETFs that invest over 90% of their assets in cryptocurrencies -- one holds Bitcoin while the other holds Ethereum, thus each ETF's share price fluctuates almost as wildly as the underlying cryptocurrency. You can even trade put and call options on the shares of the ETFs, for maximum volatility, if you have nerves of steel. In addition, Version 3.0 built in inflation to the prices of gold, silver and the cryptocurrencies, allowing you to use the crypto ETFs or precious metals futures as inflation hedges, if you can survive the volatility of those assets.
Version 2.0 of Speculator, released in 2020, also added some exciting new features, including cash flow projections and alerts for corporations, stock price alerts you can set on any stock, a rare but brutal "pandemic crisis" scenario that can devastate your investments, and 5 new ETFs ("exchange-traded funds"). The ETFs include 3 bond funds: a government bond fund, an investment grade bond fund, and a junk bond fund. The other two new ETFs are 3X (triple-leveraged) stock index funds, one of which is a bet on a rising stock market index, the other a bet that the stock index will fall, if you feel like gambling wildly on short-term market trends.
Who plays "Wall Street Raider"? This financial game for Windows is played by registered users, ranging from nine-year-olds to hedge fund managers and corporate CEOs in 118 countries and territories around the world. It is licensed to home schools, elementary schools, and high schools, as well as to advanced university finance classes in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It is easy to play, but challenging to master. You don't need to be a rocket scientist of hedge fund manager to play and enjoy it, but it is sophisticated enough to be played by hedge fund managers and other Wall Street professionals (some of whom tell us they have played it since they were teenagers, and have never tired of it, since no two games are ever the same). It is easy enough to play, that we've had reports of 9-year-olds who love the game, though we suspect that the avereage 9-year-old may not be into playing financial games!
This Wall Street investment simulation is widely recognized as the ultimate in sophisticated financial simulations. It's a corporate takeover and stock market game, in which players strive to build their corporate empires by fair means or foul, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the SEC, IRS, Justice Department, EPA, Congress, powerful unions, and deal with corrupt governments. Meanwhile, ruthless (AI) competitors will seek to crush you if you fall into a weakened financial state. You must also survive various man-made and natural calamities and economic disasters ("black swan" events), such as wars, pandemics, hyperinflation, or depressions.
Wall Street Raider has been under constant development by the author since 1986, and upgrades/updates have usually been released at least once a year. In the newest version (9.75, released January 1, 2023), an Advanced Options Trading Station has been added, to facilitate doing complex put and call options trades such as straddles, strangles, calendar spreads, bull and bear vertical put or call spreads, Butterfly Spreads, Condor Spreads, Iron Butterflies, and Iron Condors, all of which are esoteric trading strategies used by real world options traders. The Trading Station allows a player to execute up to 8 option trades at once, and detailed Help File explanations of all of the above types of option strategies are a mouse click away.
Alternatively, an "Auto-Trade" button on the Trading Station platform will present a menu of 10 major options strategies, so the player can select one and the software will instantly create all the necessary options positions on the stock that was selected, assuming the player or his company can meet margin requirements. Other new features in v. 9.75 include the ability to not only set stock price alerts, as in prior versions, but also to set price alerts for when any of the commodities, cryptocurrencies, or the stock price index reach a level specified by the user. In addition, rate alerts can be set to notify a player the instant an interest rate (prime rate, long bond rate, or short bond rate) or the economic growth rate reach a specified level. Other new features include the ability to set the maturity date of a bond issue, when a company you control is issuing bonds to raise capital, with shorter maturities able to be floated at lower interest rates than longer maturities.
Version 9.75 has also added new database search features, enabling a player to search the game's large database for stocks of non-banking companies among the 1590 companies in the simulation that are projecting positive cash flows for the next three months. Or, for bearish players, a new database search feature lets you search for companies whose stocks appear to be good candidates for selling short. Also, when your industrial companies are buying or selling capital assets (plant, equipment, etc.), those routines have been simplified and streamlined in this edition of the simulator.
Some of the important new features added to the simulation in the previous release (v. 9.50, in 2022) included trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies and futures on each, plus built-in inflation in precious metals and cryptocurrencies, and the ability to play in a "lawless" environment by turning off antitrust civil or criminal penalties, or both, making it easier to dominate an industry. The previous release, Version 9.0 (January, 2021) added detailed 3-month cash flow projections for corporations, and automatic warnings to you if any company you control is facing a near-term "cash crunch" that would cause forced sales of assets, giving you time to change policies such as capital spending, R&D spending, or dividend payouts, or to raise new capital, to avert such a cashflow crisis.
Other new features in 9.0 included the addition of 5 more Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) to the existing 15 equity ETFs in prior releases. Three of the new ETFs are bond funds -- a government bond fund, another that invests in quality corporate bonds, and the third is a high-yield ("junk bond") fund. The other two new ETFs are both triple-leveraged (3X) Stock Index funds, one for short-term bets on a rising Stock Index, the other a "bear" fund for betting on a decline in the Stock Index. Another new feature, in response to user requests, is a "pandemic scenario" that can occur (very rarely) in a game. When it does, this "black swan" event can drag on for years and cripple hundreds of companies in most industries, though a few, like gold miners, can flourish during the hard times.
In addition to managing your own corporate empire, Wall Street Raider now allows a financial company you control to become the (paid!) manager of any of the ETFs in the simulation, and possibly earn large incentive management fees, much like a hedge fund manager, for outstanding performance of the fund you are managing. Recent versions allow you to invest in convertible bonds or have your companies issue convertible bonds as a lower interest rate financing choice. Other recently added features include the ability to reset the default currency exchange rates and a new stock price alert feature which will alert you when a stock reaches a price you have specified, as well as various other types of notifications when you need to take some acticon, such as when options or futures are expiring soon.
Mainly, however, the focus in all recent versions is on increased realism in the simulation, especially with regard to trading derivatives (options, futures, and swaps). Other features added in recent upgrade releases have included:
The ability to set asset allocation percentages for various asset classes, for any bank you control, which the bank will strive to maintain, except in extreme conditions when doing so would be too risky
An Advanced Options Trading Station screen for structuring complex option strategies, with up to 8 options trades able to be executed simultaneously, plus an automated options trading feature that lets you pick one of 14 complex complex options strategies from a menu, which the software instantly creates and posts to the Trading Station for your approval or modification
A "cheat menu" that lets you engage in nefarious behavior, such as "insider trading" -- paying serious money for tips on upcoming mergers or major turnarounds at certain companies, for a quick kill trade -- but risking possible prosecution and massive fines
The option to play against multiple (up to four) computer players
One-year cash flow projections for players and cash flow projections for corporations, plus cash flow warnings for companies you control if they are facing a cash crunch in the next 3 months of game play
A setting to turn off cash flow warnings, if you control a large number of companies and are getting annoyed by too many such warnings
Performance ratings for ETFs
Players or their companies can now list stocks or assets for possible sale to other players or companies or buy items offered by other players or companies that are "listed" as being for sale
It is possible now to "look under the hood," at corporate data to see which companies have positions in all of the various types of assets or contracts (such as interest rate swaps, futures, options, subsidiary holdings, etc.)
An ability to put companies you control on "autopilot" (self-managed—by the program), when your corporate empire grows to include more companies than you can effectively manage yourself
Stock index futures trading
Investment management contracts for financial companies that manage ETFs and the ability of the player who controls the financial company to manage the ETF's investments and earn incentive fees
Five-year charts for the stocks of each of the 1590 companies in the simulation, plus charts for commodities, interest rates, economic growth rates, the Stock Index, and each player's net worth
Players or companies can now invest in ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds), or investment companies, each of which invests in a particular industry sector and in some cases in options, commodity futures, stock index futures, or other derivatives
Interest rate swaps (derivatives—"bets" on future interest rates) that you negotiate have been added as another tool for hedging or speculation
Commodity futures trading (short or long) was added for speculation on oil, metals, and grains, plus hedging of those commodities by companies that use or produce them. Buying and storing of physical commodities for all companies except banks and insurers is now possible as well. Version 9.50 added futures trading on Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies, and the ability to buy the "physical" cryptos
A player can be granted executive stock options after becoming CEO of a company, and CEO bonuses are now closely correlated to company earnings performance
Short-selling and highly realistic put and call options trading were added several years ago
For a detailed description of new features in recent versions, click here