I’ve been telling people about Practice Shares for a few months now, and I’ve been surprised at how polarizing they are. Some people love them, some people hate them. Here’s the key: try them if they’re right for you. It’s about buying an experience, not shares.
After a lot of Investing Practice, when you’re ready, choose a company you LOVE and buy a few shares to see how you respond emotionally and how to work out the logistics with your stock brokerage. You can turn around and sell the shares right away, or keep them forever. It doesn’t matter: it was about the experience.
When you’re finished, take a minute and think over the process. What was complicated or surprising? What was simple? Take note of both so that when you buy shares for real, with real money, you’ll be confident and you can notice the differences.
If you want to, buy some more Practice Shares. Stick with Practice Shares until it’s easy and the experience of buying the real thing is entirely about the company you’re purchasing, not the trepidation of the purchase.