When entering the market you are presented the following screen. As the instructions indicate, press the enter key to continue.
The stock market is open for trading sessions. Sessions last for three hours and then the markets close for one hour while the books are balanced. The market cycle runs 24/7 and is open on all holidays and weekends.
Players make trades through a brokerage account. Once a player selects a broker, they then make a deposit. Funds are available in the trading session that follows when the deposit was made. When a player purchases stock they may sell it as quickly as they like. But the funds will not be released back into their account until the start of the following trade session.
The stock market is largely randomized. Stocks are classified by risk, players will see this represented by a value labeled Risk which may change over time. Risk is valued between 0 and 100 but is based on a curve, so do not think of it as a percentile. A risk of 80 is almost double the risk of 60 but the risk of 10 is almost the same as a risk of 15.
When a player initiates a purchase, they enter the stock symbol, max price per share they are willing to pay and the quantity of shares they want to purchase. Stocks are listed with the bid and sale price which are generally not the same. A stock that costs $5.50 a share to purchase may be selling for $5.25 a share. When a stock purchase is requested, the transaction remains open in the trading session until the purchase is filled or the session closes. All trades happen and are triggered on the game server, the stock prices in the game client do have some delay. Understanding this method of trading may take some getting used to.
Players that take part in some missions may get some insider stock trade information. Just keep in mind that insider trading is illegal.
Selecting a Broker
Before you can trade stocks you must select a brokerage. All trades are made through your broker who acts as a proxy. A player may only belong to one brokerage firm at a time.
Each brokerage house offers different services. The two primary brokerages in the game are DAX Public Holdings and Dragon Trading. These are NPC run brokerages. Players may also start up brokerage houses on their own. When selecting a brokerage, players may assume more risk when joining player managed brokerages. So one of the main features a player may consider is the amount of insurance the brokerage offers on their account. DAX and Dragon offer 100% insurance on all accounts and as a result, charges higher prices for many services.
DAX is a brokerage that only offers standard stock trading. Players must have the full amount of the purchase in their account to make a purchase and after selling, the funds are not released back into the player account until the next trading session begins. A minimum deposit of $100,000 is required to open an account. Stock trades are $25 with a maximum of 1000 shares.
Dragon Trading offers more options. The minimum amount to open an account is $2,000,000. $500,000 is automatically placed into a low risk money market fund. Players pay $15 with a maximum of 10,000 shares. Dragon also offers margin trading. Margin trades up to 50% of the purchase price are accepted with a 4.5% commission when the stock is sold, no commission is charged on the purchase. Players are required to maintain a minimum account value of $500,000. Players that fall below this level must deposit more cash into their account within eight trading sessions (32 real life hours). Accounts that fail to maintain the minimum account value are liquidated and Dragon keeps 50% of the account value as a penalty. For example, if a player has a balance of $100,000 and fails to add money to the account, Dragon will sell all stocks and the player will receive $50,000, deposited into their bank account. Players that do not have an active bank account must pay Dragon a 15% cash withdrawal fee. In this case, the player will get back $42,500 after paying the $7,500 fee.
Player run brokerages can offer significant savings. Dax and Dragon are fully insured in the game and offer the lowest risk but charge hefty fees for all transactions.
When you sell stock the funds go into escrow and are released before the next trade session. There is one important exception. Limit orders that sell right at the market close are not available until after the following session closes.