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Copyright © 2023, Michael D. Jenkins, Esq. and Ronin Software
All Rights Reserved




  • WHAT IS THE "SPECULATOR" SIMULATION? Speculator is a highly realistic stock market game, in which up to 10 players (9 of whom can be computer players) compete among themselves, trading in the treacherous stock, bond, options, and commodity futures markets, to try to grow an initial stake of $100,000 into the millions -- or lose it all!

  • WHAT IS THE TRADING ENVIRONMENT LIKE? Players do their trading and investing in a simulated "live" stock market environment and global economy, with a constantly scrolling stock ticker and news headlines ticker, while keeping one eye on a "watch list" of stocks whose prices are constantly changing, and flickering, constantly changing commodity prices and interest rate quotes and economic data. Play is occasionally interrupted by important news announcements that can signal major changes in the investment climate, which you will need to adapt to in the best way you can.

    You will quickly find, because of the very realistic stock and bond pricing in the simulation, that "good" companies are almost always trading at very rich prices, and that stocks that look cheap usually have serious problems and will need some good luck (or a lot of time) for their fortunes to change for the better.

    Hmmm.... This investing thing isn't easy!!

    Accordingly, we think you will find that making profitable investments in Speculator is almost as difficult as in the real stock market. If you buy stock of a company that isn't doing well, you may need a lot of patience before it turns around -- if ever. Or, if you invest in a hot stock that is "on a roll," you will usually find that it is already trading at a high P:E multiple, so it will take a nosedive if anything goes wrong, like a "miss" or decline in its earnings, so you will need to keep one finger on the trigger, hitting the "Sell" button at the first sign of trouble for the stock, since there is little or no margin for error with such "high-flyers."

  • HOW LONG DOES A GAME LAST? Each game (which can be saved at any point) lasts for 1 to 30 years, as you choose at the start of each new game. In the "shareware" version, games are limited to 3 years, and the more sophisticated trading tools (buying on margin, short-selling, options trading, and futures trading) are enabled, but you will have to be an excellent stock and bond trader to become eligible to use those advanced methods in only 3 years of play, since you have to increase your initial $100,000 stake to $200,000, $300,000, $400,000 or $500,000 before you are eligible to use those advanced trading tools.

  • WHAT IS THE SETTING? The game assumes you and each other player has gotten his or her "stake" of $100,000 to start the game the old-fashioned way -- you inherited it. You can play in an income tax-free environment (where the money inherited is assumed to be in a tax-free retirement account), or can play at Level 2, where you pay income taxes on dividends and interest you receive, and (at a lower tax rate) on capital gains, if any. Or play at Level 3, which is the same as Level 2, except that companies in certain industries may become subject to special taxes on capital that can reduce their profits, such as carbon taxes, health care taxes, etc., which can make some of the usually profitable industries less profitable to invest in, if or when such new taxes are enacted in the simulation.

  • WHAT IS THE OBJECT OF THE GAME? As you may have already guessed, the object of the game is to increase your initial $100,000 net worth as much as possible by shrewd investing. In the Registered (paid) Version, you are given 30 years in which to try to build this modest nest egg into a fund for your retirement. At the end of each game, the program will tell you what your average annual rate of return was on your portfolio and will evaluate how well you have done. Or how poorly -- in short, whether the result of your investing will be to spend your retirement years dining on lobster and caviar on your yacht, or surviving on Nine Lives Tuna and sleeping under bridges.

    (The other, less obvious, object of playing Speculator is to give you a sense of what it is like to invest in stocks, bonds, options and futures, in an online discount brokerage account, and perhaps teach you a thing or two about the real world of stock market investing, how to do investment research, and to gain a better understanding of what makes stocks and bonds go up or down. In short, learn to invest by doing, seeing what works and what doesn't.)

  • ARE THERE TRADING RESTRICTIONS? Initially, in each game, because you are a "newbie," your stock brokerage firm where you have your account (McSwindle, Churn & Tout, for example) will only allow you to invest your $100,000 inheritance in stocks, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), and bonds, including convertible bonds. Nothing too fancy or risky is allowed initially, since you are considered a novice at investing, until you can prove otherwise, by making good investments. "It's for your own protection...." In short, in each new game you play you will need to demonstrate that you are skilled enough at investing to be eligible for a margin account, or to engage in short-selling, options trading, or futures trading, before your brokers decide that you are eligible to engage in those riskier strategies.

    Once you have doubled your initial $100,000 stake, you will be approved for margin trading (i.e., borrowing from the broker, to buy stocks or bonds). If you can increase your net worth more, to $300,000, you can then begin to also do short sales of stocks, a more risky trading strategy.

    At $400,000, you become eligible to trade put and call options (on stocks), which can be even riskier, but options can also be used in very conservative strategies like covered call writing, if you are so inclined. If you can build your account net worth up to $500,000, you will have become an expert trader, a "gunslinger" eligible for trading futures on any of several commodities (oil, gold, silver, wheat and corn) and futures on the Stock Market Index of the 1,000+ stocks in the simulation. (Once you achieve a new Trader Status, you will not lose that status even if your net worth falls back below the required minimum.) However, if your investments do very poorly, you may go bankrupt, or if your initial account value of $100,000 falls below $10,000, your broker may soon close your (too small) account, in which case you will be ejected from the game. (Game over. Goodbye!)

  • CAN I PLAY IN CURRENCIES OTHER THAN U.S. DOLLARS? Yes, you can configure each game, at the start, in any of 18 other currencies (Euros, Pounds, Pesos, Swiss Francs, Kronor, Ringgit, Shekels, Yuan, Rand, Reals, Canadian, Aussie, New Zealand, Hong Kong, or Singapore dollars, etc.) and each currency has a default exchange rate that was up to date at the time the program was released (and you can reset the exchange rate if the default rate has become outdated or unrealistic). Thus, if you choose to play in another currency, you will start off with the equivalent of $100,000 U.S. in whatever currency you selected.

    (Versions 1.10 or later of the program let you change the exchange rate if you wish, since currency exchange rates change over time.)

  • WHAT ARE THE "ROOTS" OF THIS SIMULATION? Speculator has its roots in the popular Wall Street Raider game, but is considerably more challenging, since you have to make your market profits in Speculator by smart investing (or speculating). In Speculator, you don't start out as a billionaire, but just as a small, middle-class investor, who has inherited a nice $100,000.00 "nest egg." You are not allowed to take control of companies or try to manipulate their stock price, as you can do in Wall Street Raider. In fact, no matter how successful your investments are in Speculator, you are not allowed to acquire more than 5% of the stock of any company -- and even that will be a stretch, considering that you start out with only $100,000 U.S. or the equivalent in any of 18 other currencies. (Euros, Pounds, Yuan, etc.) and that it will usually take at least tens of millions of dollars to buy 5% of a company.

    If you are accustomed to playing Wall Street Raider, you know it is mainly a game of corporate high finance, where you, as a billionaire, are able to take over companies and use all types of complex megabuck corporate transactions, such as mergers, liquidations, buybacks, spin-offs, and interest rate swaps to build a corporate empire, manipulate company earnings and stock prices, and dominate whole industries. In contrast, in Speculator, you are just a "little guy," or "retail investor," trying to grow that initial $100,000 nest egg you inherited into a nice, comfortable retirement fund in 30 years, simply by trading or making good long-term investments.

    As such, you have to acquire the skill to sniff out good investments and sell them when the time is ripe, thus Speculator is designed to realistically test and hone your skills as a value-seeking investor or trader, using the numerous research tools to help you evaluate investments. As with investment advice you receive from professionals in the real world, the advice you receive from the program is frequently bad advice, so you have to use your own judgment as to whether a particular investment is overpriced or undervalued.

    As in Wall Street Raider, all the big corporate transactions (mergers, megabuck swaps derivative deals between companies, etc.) still are occurring in the economic/market model in Speculator, but as a small investor, you are not a deal-maker, or corporate baron, just an innocent bystander, a small investor who simply observes these things as they occur, and tries to figure out how to profit from them -- and how to avoid being trampled by the market elephants.

    For example, as in Raider, you are able to vote your shares of stock on a proposed merger, when another company is proposing a merger deal with a company whose stock you own, which will often make or break the deal; but how you vote your measly few hundred or few thousand shares in Speculator is very unlikely to have any effect on the outcome, when millions or billions of shares of stock are being voted for or against the merger. Thus, like most real-world individual stock investors, other than a few billionaires like Warren Buffett or Carl Icahn, you can only observe the proceedings and try to make sense of what you see and perhaps profit from it.

  • ARE THERE CHEATS? Of course! You can cheat by getting "inside information" that is usually extremely valuable, but you run the risk of being subjected to massive fines for being a "tippee" who has engaged in illegal "insider trading." Or you can simply add up to $500,000 to your account. Naturally, if you use any of the cheats, you will be disqualified from being the winner of that game, but can continue playing. Also, your Trader Status (Novice, Margin Trader, Short Seller, Options Trader, or Futures Trader) will be frozen at the level you had achieved immediately before you cheated, so you can't use the cheats to raise your Trader Status -- you have to EARN your higher trading privileges by making good, smart investments, before your stockbrokerage firm will allow you to dabble in more exotic and risky market tools and financial instruments.

  • ARE THERE VIDEOS? Yes, a British fan, new to the game, has posted a series of videos on Speculator, as he goes through a game, explaining some features as he goes along, on: You Tube.

  • WHAT IS THE LATEST VERSION OF SPECULATOR? On March 11th, 2018, and September 1, 2018, VERSION 1.15 and VERSION 1.20 were released, with a number of improvements, with additional minor refinements in v. 1.21, 1.22, and 1.23, the latter being released on March 20, 2019. On August 5, 2020, we released our first significant upgrade to Speculator, Version 2.0, with many new and exciting new features, including bond funds and 3x leveraged stock index funds.

    Another recent release was Version 3.0, in 2021, which introduced Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies, and ETF trusts that hold them, and an inflation factor has been built into gold, silver, and cryptocurrency prices, so that you can now acquire those assets as inflation hedges.

    On August 14, 2023, we released Version 4.10, a relatively minor upgrade, which added an automated trading feature for creating complex options trading strategies; and v. 4.10 also was updated for currency exchange rates in effect in August, 2023.

    In October, 2022, our most recent major release, Version 4.0, added a number of new features that include an Advanced Options Trading Station feature (a single screen that lets you construct complex options trading strategies -- with how-to instructions -- such as straddles, strangles, spreads, Condors, Iron Butterflies, etd.), commodity price and cryptocurrency price alerts, interest rate alerts, and GDP rate alerts, as well as new database search criteria, such as for companies with positive cash flow and short sale candidates.



  • DOWNLOAD A FREE ("SHAREWARE") VERSION HERE: We believe in "Try before you buy," so you can download a copy of the free "shareware version" by CLICKING HERE. The shareware version is generally the same as the Registered Version, except that games are limited to 3 "years" of play. Also, stock charts are not always available in the shareware version and it uses fictional company names. The Registered Version allows you to play games of up to 30 years in length and stock charts are enabled for all stocks, plus the Registered Version mainly uses real company names for the 1500+ stocks. In addition, the Registered Version comes with a "Customizer Utility" program that lets you change the names, stock symbols, and nation of incorporation for any of the companies in the simulation.

  • VIDEOS: A chap in the U.K. has created a series of YouTube videos, in which he plays and explains Speculator, at THIS LINK. He is running the program on a Mac, apparently within a Windows emulator program called CrossOver, so some of the fonts that didn't translate well to the Mac look a little odd, but otherwise it seems to work pretty well with the emulator. (His first two of the seven or more videos have an audio problem, making it a bit difficult to understand everything he's saying, but the audio is fine on #3 and subsequent episodes.)

  • ONLINE REVIEWS: To see reviews of Speculator, or its sister program, Wall Street Raider, check out WWW.REVIEWNOW.COM. Or post your review of Speculator at:


  • ORDER REGISTERED (FULL) VERSION: If you liked what you saw in the "shareware" version, CLICK HERE to order the registered version ($21.95 U.S.), and start working your way up the investor food chain to Short Seller, Options Trader, or Futures Trader status! (NOTE: The price of Speculator increased from $19.95 to $21.95 on January 1, 2023, our first and only price increase since the program was introduced in 2016.)

  • HALF-PRICE FOR REGISTERED USERS OF WALL STREET RAIDER OR SPECULATOR. The price is reduced to $10.95 for anyone who is a registered user of Wall Street Raider or prior versions of Speculator. (E-mail the author at MDJENK {a t} A O L ... [.] ....C O M for the $10.95 ordering link if you are a registered user.) (NOTE: The price of upgrades increased from $9.95 to $10.95 on January 1, 2023, remaining at half the new customer price.)


  • SCREEN SIZE SELECTION: Note that Speculator has a small main screen (see top of this page, left) on which your account net worth and information about the current "Selected Company" are constantly updated while the stock ticker is running. But if you choose, you can also display a separate "watch list" screen of stocks in which you are interested, or a screen listing current prices of commodities, interest rates and other economic indicators, or both such "streaming quotes" screens (as in the above image). Both of the two subsidiary screens, as well as the main screen, are updated constantly when the stock ticker is running.

    All of the menus for trading, company info, industry info, and economic research tools, and your brokerage account information are accessed from the five red buttons on the main Speculator screen, or by clicking on a displayed commodity price to trade futures on that commodity (once you are eligible for futures trading).

    Alternatively, each time you start the program, you can select from the "Game Options" menu a large screen display with most menu buttons and information displayed on that one screen, as shown below:
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Version 4.0 has added the following "Advanced Options Trading Station," to assist you in creating and implementing (with detailed HELP instructions) complex options trading strategies, including straddles, strangles, vertical bull or bear call spreads, Butterfly spreads, Condors, and Iron Butterfly spreads, all of which are tools of professional options traders. See image below:

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Copyright © 2023 Michael D. Jenkins, Esq. and Ronin Software