For a while now I’ve wanted to enter the stock market and buy some shares that will hopefully offer good returns and not bomb as soon as I click “buy”. But, weeks and even months have passed, and I still haven’t gotten around to doing it.

My knowledge is non-existent and I have way too many questions running through my mind, like:

•    Which stocks should I buy?
•    How many should I buy?
•    Should I buy once off or on a monthly basis or when the prices are high or low?

And these are just some of my concerns. Fact is, buying shares is intimidating especially if you’re none the wiser and don’t have a broker or someone in “the know” to guide you.

Enter Fin24, who’ve come up with an ingenious way for first-timers and wannabes like me to test their hand (or, depending on how you look at it, try their luck) at investing, without spending a cent of their own money.

Virtual transactions

The concept is really simple, and fun too. The Spring Break Challenge gives each person a R100 000 of fake money, which you can then use to invest in any shares you like, at any time, by the click of a button.

Although the money and buying is not bona fide, the share prices and specifics are authentic and it gets updated in real time. The site’s layout is really user-friendly too, which makes the whole experience that much better.

You’re essentially learning the ropes of the stock market, and will be able to see how your stocks are getting along, what the other stocks are doing, and how the other contenders are faring.

And the best part? They’re offering a prize to the person who ends up at the top of the investor’s log.

The prizes include the following:

1st place: An ETF account sponsored by SA Stock Brokers worth R15 000.
2nd place: An ETF account sponsored by SATRIX worth R10 000.
3rd place: Charting software sponsored by Prime Charts worth R7290.

So, I’ve decided to put the buying of real shares on hold, while I try my hand at investing online with fake money.

Hopefully, at the end of the month long challenge, I would have learnt enough to invest some actual money!

Will you take part in The Spring Break Challenge?