‘Little Traders’: This Addictive iOS Investment Game Is Trying To Change The World, One Tiny Investor At A Time

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Little Traders is an addictive new iOS game that teaches players about the world of investing. With it, developer Sebastian Kuhnert hopes to inspire players to explore the stock market both in the game and iTunes

When you hear the word “stock market” chances are you think of falling shares, lost pensions and fat cats getting fatter, but app developer Sebastian Kuhnert is hoping to change that. Kuhnert is the CEO of Tradimo, a free financial online training school and creator of the Little Traders iOS game. With it, the CEO hopes to change the world of stock market investments, one tiny investor at a time.

The Little Traders game is set during the 1920’s stock market, and involves opening your own small investment firm on the dirty basement floor of a New York high-rise. You take on clients and do your best to invest in stocks that will pay them dividends. During the course of the game’s market day, you buy and sell stocks, hoping to make a profit. If you do well, the customers come back and you make some cash yourself which you can use to build your business. With the money you earn you can decorate, rent more floors, and hire employees, allowing you to attract more customers with larger amounts to invest.

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Little Traders is a ton of fun while also teaching valuable lessons about trade in the stock market. Photo: iDigitalTimes

While the design and graphics of the game are simple, the gameplay is quite engaging and even addictive – particularly for anyone who enjoys simulation or empire building games. But with it, the developers hope to pique players’ interest in doing some real-life investing of their own.

“It has always troubled me how few people have a relationship with the market,” Kuhnert told iDigitalTimes. “They often find it too abstract -- what financial markets are and how trading works. Anything that’s just a little too complicated involving the stock market turns them off.

Only 7 percent of people in the world participate in the financial markets currently -- this includes people’s pension contributions,” Kuhnert continued. “When you compare that with the 20 percent that is active on Facebook on a monthly basis, it tells you how bad the financial industry is at engaging people that aren’t in the financial market. So we set out to create something that is simply fun and can be a door opener towards the financial world.”

While Little Traders can be played at a very casual level, for those interested in learning about investments and the stock market, the game and the company behind it offer a wealth of free lessons and tutorials that allow even the most regular of Joes to understand and start investing in the stock market.

Throughout different parts of the game, players are given the opportunity to complete “quests” for extra coins. These quests involve going through short investing lessons aimed at teaching the common person how the stock market works. For those who find the quests fascinating, the Tradimo website offers even more in-depth lessons and tools for getting started into long term investing or even day trading – all free of charge.

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The Little Traders gamer offers mini-missions through Tradimo to teach players about real world investing. Photo: iDigitalTimes

Getting “normal” people interested in investment is the passionate mission of Tradimo, says Kuhnert. The CEO sees it as a way to help close the income the gap between the very rich and the rest of us.

“Everyone is really good at fighting for the people that are already trading or doing hedge funds,” Kuhnert said, “but only a tiny amount of people are concerned with bringing regular people back into the market … that’s also a part of the growing income inequality problem we have in the world. If only a small percentage of people are participating in the stock market, then only a small percentage can profit from it.”

And indeed, interest in stock market investments has seen a sharp decline in the United States over the last decade, since the crippling financial crisis of the late 2000s.

In 2007, Americans investing in the stock market was at an all-time high with 65 percent participating in some capacity. In the years following the Great Recession, interest in investing waned with just 52 percent of Americans vested in the stock market in 2013. In the past two years, the numbers have increased slightly to 55 percent

little traders ios game teaches investing investment game tradimo Sebastian Kuhnert best new iphone games
- Photo: Gallop

Interestingly, a recent Gallop Poll showed that the one sector where stock market investing is making a comeback is with the 18-34 age group, as the percentage of individuals investing in that age group has increased from 41 to 49 percent in the last five years, while the percentage of investors aged 35 – 54 have continued to decline from 63 to 58 percent in the same time period.

little traders ios game teaches investing investment game tradimo Sebastian Kuhnert best new iphone games
- Photo: Gallop

While Kuhnert hopes to inspire anyone to start investing, the app specifically targets this growing demographic of 18 to 34-year-old users who have a  strong interest in mobile devices and gaming.

“We believe that our target audience – which consists of people who haven’t yet made the conscious decision that they want to trade – spends the majority of their leisure time on their mobile phones,” Kuhnert said. “So that’s the place where we needed to reach them.”

The idea of investing might seem daunting but Kuhnert assures anyone, no matter how much or little they have to invest, can get involved.

“The amount you have to invest is not important -- it’s all about starting the learning process and get more motivated about saving. If you have, say, $1,000 invested and you see that you make a steady return of even a conservative 4 percent, it gets you excited about saving more and investing more, because if you get 4 percent return on that then it becomes much more intriguing.”

If you want to try Kuhnert’s Little Traders investment game, you can download it for free on your iPhone from the Apple App Store. Or to learn more about Kuhnert and his work, visit Tradimo.com.

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