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II. Frequently Asked Questions

  1. General Game Questions


  2. Questions about Your Portfolio


  3. Questions about Buying & Selling

  4. Questions about the Game Periods

A. General Game Questions

Q. What is the purpose of the game?

The purpose of this weekly game is to buy and sell stocks and mutual funds so that you end up with the most valuable portfolio of all of the players who have competed in the week's game.

Q. Is the game for real? Can I lose money?

This is a simulation, meaning the game is NOT for real. While the stocks, mutual funds and prices are real, the money we give you to trade is play money and has no relationship to the real money that you may have invested in stocks and funds. Therefore you can NEVER lose any money.

However, the game tries to approximate real trading by using the names of real stocks and telling you how you are doing in terms of building a nest egg.

Q. When does the contest start and end?

Each weekly game period begins on the first trading day of the week (usually Monday) at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time and ends on the Friday of that same week once mutual funds are settled, after 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Each Friday, the unofficial final standings will be calculated and posted after the end of the contest.

At the beginning of each week we will start you off with $200,000 in mock money and delete the securities you had in your account from the previous week. There is no need to sign up for each new contest. You may place orders over the weekend in preparation for the new game, and those orders will be processed at approximately 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, or at least 30 minutes after the opening on the first trading day of the week (usually Monday).

Unofficial final standings will be posted after each contest. Official standings will be posted after a review of the final standings.

Q. What are the main areas of the game?

Q. Technically, what do I need to play?

A Stock Market Challenge account, and a browser capable of supporting tables, such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, versions 2.0 or higher. You can download these browsers for free by going to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/default.asp or at http://channels.netscape.com/ns/browsers/default.jsp.

Q. Are there prizes?

No, we do not offer prizes.

Q. How do I interpret my ranking in the standings?

The computer automatically ranks your score, so if it says "With $210,000 you are number 45 of 800 players," it means that you have the 45th highest score of the 800 people who competed in that week.

Q. When are the standings updated?

The standings are updated ONCE DAILY at 1:30 am Eastern Time after every trading day. New portfolios will only show up in the rankings at midnight of a trading day after that account has been activated -- not immediately upon registration.

B. Questions About Your Portfolio:

Q. How much money do I start off with?

Once you create an account we automatically put US$200,000 in play money into your portfolio. You use this money to buy stocks and mutual funds.

Q. What can I put in my portfolio?

The Max's Investment World Stock Market Challenge currently allows you to buy and sell stocks and mutual funds traded on the NYSE, AMEX, NASDAQ national market and NASDAQ small cap stocks. OTC-BB stocks are not allowed in the game. You can also purchase various classes of stocks and preferred shares. The various stock exchanges handle symbols for special classes and preferred shares of stock differently, so if you are having trouble finding a particular symbol, try looking it up in the company search area on the "Buy & Sell" page. Note that you can not purchase stocks or funds that cost less than $5 per share.

Q. How much of each stock can I buy?

You can invest up to 25% of your portfolio in a stock at one time. For instance, if you have $200,000 in your account you may purchase up to $50,000 of any one stock. If you already own $30,000 worth of a particular stock, you will be allowed to purchase up to $20,000 worth of additional stock as long as your total portfolio value is equal to $200,000.

If your portfolio value drops to below $200,000 and you own $50,000 worth of a particular stock you will be allowed to keep what you have but will not be allowed to purchase any more of that particular stock. You may still invest as much of your $200,000 as you like in stocks, provided that no one stock represents more than 25% of your total portfolio value.

Q. Do I get interest on cash in my account?

No, accounts do not accrue interest.

Q. How many accounts may I have?

You may have only one game account.

Q. What about confidentiality?

During the course of the contest, your trades are kept confidential. However, your username and portfolio value will be available to all players from the standings page in the game.

Q. Why is the trade I made not reflected in my portfolio?

Your portfolio probably has not been updated yet. Stock orders are not executed until 30 minutes after you make them during trading hours or at least 30 minutes after the opening of the next trading session if you have made them outside of trading hours. Mutual funds do not get updated until 8 P.M. Eastern Time. To see your pending orders, go to Your Portfolio and look below the table where your current holdings are shown.

Q. In my portfolio, some securities are not listed, have no value, or have the wrong value. Why?

The stock has likely dropped out of the data feed we get from the exchanges. This could happen because the company merged, went bankrupt or for some other reason is not being traded or listed. To make sure that a stock has dropped out, try checking its price in the trading area. If the computer can not find your stock using its symbol, it has dropped out. Note that stocks with a value of $0.00 usually reflect their real price after some time. So if a stock suddenly plummets to zero, check back later and it will likely reflect the correct value.

Q. Why is the value of my portfolio not accurately reflected in the standings?

The computer probably has not yet updated the standings, which it does ONCE DAILY at 1:30 A.M. Eastern Time. Check again tomorrow.

Q. Will I be able to view the previous week's portfolio when the game is reset each Monday?

No. Transactions can be viewed for up to three months, but we do not keep a record of end of week portfolios. If you wish to retain a record for yourself you must save it to your computer or disk before the beginning of the next week when portfolios are reset. After that there is no way for us to retrieve this information.

Q. Can I have a different portfolio for each competition I join?

No. You will use the same portfolio for all of the competitions you join or start. For example, if you have IBM and Microsoft in your public competition portfolio, they will also show up in your private competition portfolios.

The key difference is that you will be ranked differently in different competition standings. For example, you might be ranked number 3, 200, and 15 for the week, monthly and since inception in the public competition but number 7 in the private competition you entered. To find out how you’re doing in private competitions you entered, merely click on standings and click on the name of the private competitions you may have entered.

C. Questions About Buying & Selling

Q. How do I find the symbol of a stock?

Go to the bottom of Buy & Sell page where it reads: "Looking for a ticker symbol?" and type in four or more letters of the company, stock or mutual fund you are looking for and then press the "Go" button.

Q. Do you charge commissions on my trades?

Yes, there is a $10 fee per transaction.

Q. When can I make trades (buy or sell)?

Whenever you wish. However, trades made during trading hours will not be executed until 30 minutes after you place them. Trades made outside of trading hours will not be executed until at least 30 minutes after the next trading session begins, normally the next weekday morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Mutual fund trades will be executed after 8 P.M. Eastern Time.

Q. Can I buy stocks that have a value of $5 or less?

No, penny stocks are not a part of this game.

Q. If I put in an order to buy or sell securities, at what price are they executed?

They are executed at the current price at the time the order is executed.

Q. If I place an order before the market opens, will I get the opening price when my trade is executed?

No. All trades are executed starting no earlier than 10 a.m. Eastern Time, based on the price of the stock at approximately 9:45 a.m.

Q. Can I cancel my pending orders?

Pending orders can be cancelled up to 10 minutes after they have been placed. If more than 10 minutes passed since you placed the order, it cannot be cancelled. If a stock is not actively trading in the real world it will not trade in the game. There must be a minimum of 500 shares of the stock bought or sold in the real world in order for the stock to be bought or sold in the game.

Q. Can I sell short?

No.

Q. Can I trade on margin?

No.

Q. Can I place non-market orders?

No.

Q. Do you adjust for splits?

Yes, we adjust for splits before the beginning of the next trading session.

Q. Do you pay dividends?

No.

Q. Why can't I get a price for a certain stock when I check a quote?

The stock has likely dropped out of the data feed we get from the exchanges. This could happen because the company merged, went bankrupt or for some other reason is not being traded or listed. To make sure that a stock has dropped out, try checking its price in the trading area. If the computer can not find your stock using its symbol, it has dropped out. Note that stocks with a value of $0.00 usually reflect their real price after some time. So if a stock suddenly plummets to zero, check back later and it will likely reflect the correct value.

Q. If I have a problem, how do I contact you to fix it?

Just go to the Contact Us page by clicking here http://www.the-stocks.game.com/feedback.php and following the instructions to submit your query.

D. Questions About the Game Periods

Q. When do you reset portfolios?

Portfolios are reset just before the start of each new contest, sometime before the market opens on the first day of the new contest. We remove any existing stocks from your portfolio and start you off with a new $200,000.

Q. What are the Game start and end dates?

There are three types of Challenges that a player can take part in:

1) The Max's Investment World Stock Market Weekly Challenge officially starts at 9:30 AM Eastern time every Monday morning--except for holidays--and ends at 11:59 PM Eastern time on Friday.

2) The Stock Market Monthly Challenge officially starts at 9:30 AM Eastern time on the first day of every calendar month and ends at 11:59 PM Eastern time on the last day of the month.

3) A Private Stock Market Challenge can be created by any player who wishes to invite friends to join a private competition. A private competition can run up to a year.

Players can take part in as many different Challenges as they want.

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