Teach Investing Principles: Trading Board Games


There are a lot of games that involve some aspect of trading. The example that first comes to mind is the card game of Monopoly. When playing a trading board game, the strategies involved have a lot in common with actual trading in the stock market. There are also educational components to some trading board games. Bailout, for example, tells the story of changes in our worldwide economic and financial conditions. 

One of the First Trading Board Games

Monopoly, which is a roll-the-dice and buy-sell-trade properties type of game, is one of the first trading board games most people think of. The game focuses on investing and accumulating real estate. The only thing it has in common with actual trading is its goal: gain as much as you can without going broke. There are many great board games on the market for people wanting to play at being a “trader John,” and some of them play out very similar to actual trading in the financial market. Here is a list of the best trading board games which offer hours of fun.   

The Settlers Of Catan

One step closer to actual trading in a real marketplace (more than what the Monopoly offers) is a game called The Settlers Of Catan. Trading is an active component of this game, and players have a lot of decisions to make. It’s not anything like actual trading. This game has some strategic depth, even though it is still a turn-based board game. The downside is that one player can take as much time as they need to come up with a trade idea while the other players have to wait for their turn.

That is nothing like being a trader in the financial world, where everything moves forward at a fast rate, and the environment sizzles with anticipation. But if you are new to trading board games, many people find The Settlers of Catan a fun and exciting board game. 


In this game, all the players are Chinese immigrants trying to find work in New York City. The object of this game, like most board games, is to accumulate the most money. Like the real trading arena, once all the players have their materials ready, the word “Go!” starts the trading. The markets are open for business in a first-come-first-served way, with no turns and no limits. Everything is for the taking. Your trading strategy depends on your position on the board and your game plan with your best moves being situation-dependent, just like in the real trading marketplace. It is easy to get “hooked” on this trading board game. 

Hostile Takeover

This is a game for those who enjoy building up an industrial conglomerate to rule the world. One player is the auditor, and the other players are in charge of a mercenary team with the object of the game being to win victory points. This board gameplay is not unlike our history of mergers and acquisitions. Released way back in 1987, Hostile Takeover is a strategy game for two players. Each player is a company shareholder, and the game’s goal is to steal your opponent’s workforce. If you are the first one to gain control of your opponent’s six workers—while keeping control of your own six workers—you have accomplished the hostile takeover. 


In this game, even when you are a loser, you are still a winner. Maybe that is because each player is the CFO (chief financial officer) of a US bank. If you have the biggest pile of debt, you’ll earn the right for a bailout by good ‘ole Uncle Sam. There are two special spaces on the game board: the bank stress test space and the bank holiday space. If you land on the bank stress space, it forces all players to tell one another what is on their banks’ balance sheet. If you land on the bank holiday space, all players must hand over their banks’ debts to the government. In this game, the government is the bailout banker. The object of this game is for each ‘banker’ to amass the largest amount of debt.  


 Pit is a fast-paced commodity trading game with wild cards and penalty cards. Players trade on commodities such as corn and wheat, yelling out the number of cards they want to swap with other players. The chaos comes from players not divulging the identity of the cards they want to swap, just how many they want to trade at that moment. The winner of each hand is the first player to collect all of one commodity, such as wheat, and shouts out “Corner on wheat!” The first player to get 500 points is the winner of the game. If you’re a trivia buff, here is a cool fact about this game: its creator was Edgar Cayce, the psychic. 


This game is pure commodity-trading bliss. As a player, you are a Renaissance trader with lots of strategical and tactical decisions to make. Your commodities include physical properties, goods, cash, and privileges. Each player moves around the board, negotiating and making deals in the city of Genoa. Players can negotiate just about anything in the game. You can purchase this game’s version #6 as part of the Alexa big box series for 2020. For those who enjoy non-stop play and heavy player interaction, Genoa is the trading board game for you. Fun fact: This game was originally called The Traders of Genoa.  

Trading Board Games that Teach Investing Principles

If you like the thought of investing rather than trading, some games teach personal finance skills. The top 5 board games that can help you learn about investing are: 

  • The Game of Life
  • Monopoly
  • Cash Flow 101
  • Million Dollar Challenge
  • Puerto Rico 

The best one of those listed above that can help you learn about becoming a true capitalist is Puerto Rico. If you enjoy using your PC, Cash Flow 101 has a free online version.  


Trading board games have become a week-night favorite, with many offering mobile apps so you can play them anytime, anywhere. The games are challenging, worth your time, and each game offers you the opportunity to learn to become a strategist par excellence.

There is a new trading board game that just hit the market on June 1st, 2020. Published by The Pokémon Company International, it’s the first-ever board game adaptation of Pokemon, which was and will always be the best-selling and most-loved trading card game worldwide.

Trading board games teach strategy, sound financial judgment, and the rewards that come with good money management. Playing a trading board game is a superb way to chill with friends and put your trader skills to the test in an atmosphere of competitive fun.

Trading board games can also do wonders for your mental health. They can help develop your social skills, reduce stress, and improve your problem-solving abilities and cognitive skills. A trading board game turns a dull, uneventful evening into a night of quality family time filled with excitement and fun.

In a world where everyone is constantly staring at their own little phone screen, a friendly board game can be a fantastic way to have some fun, practice teamwork, and strengthen bonds with your family and friends.