I am currently involved in the high stakes game of buying and selling of stocks. With a wad of cash in my hand, $5000, I will see how much I will win or lose.
For those wanting to learn how to buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and/or index funds, http://www.morningstar.com/cover/Classroom.html and http://www.investopedia.com/university/ provides free online courses that will teach one the basics of investing. Investopedia also has a Virtual Stock Exchange.
For those wanting to test their investing skills in the real stock market without risking a penny, http://vse.marketwatch.com/Game/Homepage.aspx and http://www.investopedia.com has a Virtual Stock Exchange game that will allow anyone to see if he/she really has what it takes.
As for me, I am currently losing money. Fortunately, I am not betting real cash. Although, I am still learning the stock market game. Once I get the hang of it, I may invest real cash in risky stocks. On the other hand, I may just play it safe and purchase index funds and/or blue chip stocks.
A list of best online brokers can be found at http://www.smartmoney.com/investing/stocks/smartmoney-2009-broker-survey/?page=8 and http://online-stock-trading-review.toptenreviews.com/
I prefer TradeKing myself. I have not done any real money trading yet, but based on the fact that I will be a small fry trader, TradeKing will have to do.
The differences between the TSX, NYSE, NASDAQ and other stock markets, and the reason for having them can be found at
As of late 2010, I have entered the markets.