A new online game from investment manager Fidelity aims to introduce investing novices to the tricky world of asset allocation, and to teach them the basics of investing.
The game, called “Beat the Benchmark”, challenges players allocate assets in various ways, in an effort to outperform a benchmark that is randomly chosen by the game.
Fidelity said they developed the game with input from consumers, with the goal of producing a unique educational experience.
That’s nice, but does this really model a realistic path for a lifetime of good investing? Novice investors certainly need to understand the mechanics of asset allocation, but they also need to develop a set of realistic expectations based on the prudent assessment of risk.
Moreover, novice investors need to get a feel for the ups and downs of markets. It would be nice to have a game that models, say, a large stock market correction 10 years in. Or a family medical emergency 15 years in, that might cause an investor to prematurely tap into their portfolio, (and, by the way, learn all about exit fees).
To be fair, Fidelity says that their new game is a work in progress. It’s produced by the firm’s technology unit, Fidelity Labs, and is only out in a trial version. Fidelity wants people to try the game out and give feedback, so the firm can improve it.
So, give it a whirl and let them know what you think.
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