Personal Finance Lab Rules

1. Registration Period - The registration dates for Personal Finance Lab are displayed in the “Contest Parameters” on the “Accounts Balance” page. Personal Finance Lab administration reserves the right to limit or turn off registrations as it deems necessary.

2. Trading Period – The trading period for Personal Finance Lab is displayed in the “Contest Parameters” on the “Accounts Balance” page. Participants may place orders any time after the market closes one business day prior to the Trading Start date. Those orders will execute at the market open on the Trading start Date.

3. Initial Cash Balance - At the beginning of each new challenge, participants will be given an initial cash balance of virtual funds in their portfolio account that can be used to make simulated buy or sell transactions as described in more detail below.

4. Eligible Securities – Personal Finance Lab offers a wide variety of over stocks that are listed on the NYSE, AMEX, NASDAQ and the selected international exchanges being offered. In order to be considered for trading, stocks and or securities must meet specific criteria including pricing, market capitalization and average daily volume. In addition, the security must also be traded on a recognized marketplace. To see which stock exchanges are available for this simulation click on “Trade Stocks” under the “Make a Trade” tab, and then click on the drop down arrow under the heading labeled “Exchange”.

There are several ways to find out whether your stock or option is on the list:

  • Symbol: If you know the symbol of the security you are interested in, get a quote for that symbol.
  • Name: If you know the name of the security you are interested in, you can determine whether or not it is available for trading from the “Symbol Lookup” page.

5. Order Types and Trade Execution - Market, limit, and stop orders can be accepted for stock orders (as well as option orders where applicable) at the discretion of the site administrator. All orders for the stocks on US exchanges are executed at the real-time bid/ask prices as provided by our data vendor when placed during market hours. International exchanges other than the USA will display a delayed price estimate of the price until 15-20 minutes has elapsed. The transaction will automatically appear in the Trader's Portfolio and Transaction History.;

Market orders placed while the markets are closed or before the market opens will be executed as market conditions permit shortly after the market opens. If the stock requested has not traded that day then the trade will be canceled. Trades placed after market hours can be viewed in the Pending Orders screen. Pending orders can be canceled until 25 minutes past the hour prior to the exchanges open on the day the trade is scheduled for execution in its market country. Pending market orders placed on halted stocks will be canceled if trading does not resume by the end of the day. Limit and stop orders may be placed as "Day" orders which are good for the day only, or as "GTC" orders, which are good until canceled.

Options orders are buying and selling long positions of calls and puts using market, limit and stop orders. Each account is limited to a certain amount of trades during the trading period (to verify the maximum of trades limit, refer to the “Contest Parameters” on the Account Balance page).

Some exchanges may use delayed pricing data to execute orders. Exploiting these delayed prices to gain profit in a contest portfolio is not allowed, and is grounds for disqualification.

6. Commissions - Each trade will incur a broker commission fee set by the site administrator which will be subtracted from the participant’s virtual cash balance. The commission fee structure is displayed in the Contest Parameters table on the Account Balance page.

7. Buying on Margin - This simulation may or may not permit you to “buy on margin”. If buying on margin is enabled for this simulation, it means that the participant can borrow additional fictitious funds from the fictitious broker/dealer based on an initial margin requirement percentage and a minimum marginable stock price. When applicable, these margin requirements are displayed in the Contest Parameters table.

8. Splits, Dividends and other Corporate Actions - Most stock splits, dividends, and other corporate actions reported by the news wires will be accounted for after the markets have closed and prior to the next market opening. These situations may cause account values to be misrepresented until the reconciliation occurs for the next open business day.

9. Trading Halts - Halted, restricted, and blocked stocks will not be available for trading. Any trade that is confirmed after trading has been halted will be reversed.

10. Canceling Market Orders - Participants cannot cancel market orders placed during market hours.

11. Position Limit - Position limits are set by the site administrator and can be verified by referring to the “Contest Parameters” on the Accounts Balance page.

12. Discrepancies - Participants should report any account discrepancy within one (1) week from the transaction date. Simulator Support Services Group will, at its sole discretion, investigate and adjust any legitimate discrepancy. Discrepancies reported after one (1) week may or may not be adjusted. To contact the Support Services Group click on “Contact Us” at the bottom of the page and fill out the brief form. Replies are usually sent within 24 hours by return email.

The Simulator Support Services group also may conduct routine audits of any portfolio during or after the trading session to ensure all portfolios are free of pricing or corporate action errors. The Simulation Support Services group may correct any such discrepancies at any time, including after the trading period has ended. The results of these audits and any portfolio adjustments are final and not subject to appeals.

13. Transaction Limits – Participants may invest a maximum percentage of their simulated portfolio value in any one stock. The transaction limits may also vary by security type. To verify the transaction limits which apply to this simulation, refer to the “Contest Parameters” on the “Account Balance” page. There is also a limit on the total number of transactions that may be placed in any given contest. Please also refer to the Accounts Balance page to see this limit, along with how many trades that have already been placed in your portfolio.

14. Day Trading & Short Selling – Both may or may not be allowed for the purposes of this simulation.

15. Interest – You will earn interest on positive cash balances in your account and interest will be charged to your account for on margin loans. Interest rates for this simulation are displayed in the “Contest Parameters” on the “Account Balance” page.