Chris Lau - Seeking Alpha

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Introduction to video game-style investing:

I signed up an account at this past summer. Kapitall is a web-based game that introduces new investors to the complexities of the stocks, mutual funds, and exchange traded funds (ETFs).

This is accomplished by allowing users to create virtual portfolios and to manage play money.

Most recently, the site allowed users to open a TD Ameritrade account via Kapitall. Trades on Kapitall can be replicated on TD Ameritrade.

Since staff at Kapitall include game designers and former staff of Morgan Stanley, the site user interface is very unique.

This friendly environment will be very appealing to individuals who have never invested real money in the market. The industry and company filtering will also help individuals find relevant information very quickly.

The company information tab also points the user to SEC filings. This is useful feature for experienced investors looking to complete more extensive research on companies.

Below are some screen shots to illustrate some of Kapitall's functionality. Images are from my account.

1. Top Bar shows total return (27.6%), company search, skill level (bronze) and number:

2. A $100,000 portfolio ($100,000 portfolios are available when skill level increases)

3. A number of portfolios were created. 'Chinese Stocks' was a template portfolio. 'Speculative' is
a portfolio that was created to copy the moves of various hedge fund managers.

4. Holding Details for the 100K portfolio. Yep, cash is still king in this speculative trading environment:

5. Kapitall displays companies related to Microsoft, lists that include Microsoft, and funds that hold Microsoft. Why include Microsoft as an example? The market is under-estimating the impact of Windows Phone 7 (WP7), the value of Bing (0 to over 10% search traffic in a year is impressive), and long-term cash flow growth from sales of Windows 7.

According to CruncBase, Kapitall has 60,000 active monthly visitors. For readers who sign up, look me up and connect as a contact.