BitLife Stock Market Update Guide: Everything You Need to Know About the Stock Market Update

Video how to invest in stocks bitlife

BitLife may mostly be about the weekly challenges these days, but every couple of months or so, Candywriter releases a major update for the iOS and Android versions alike that adds a wide range of features. Usually, the updates allow players to embark on new special careers, but this one is a little different from the others in the sense that everybody in the BitLife universe can see how far they can go in the financial market of their choice.

After a few months of waiting, Candywriter finally came through a few weeks ago with the Stock Market Update, and this update now allows you to invest your money in a variety of ways, from regular stocks to trendy cryptocurrencies to ultra-affordable penny stocks, among others. This offers players yet another way to earn a virtual fortune, though as is the case in the real-life financial market, it isn’t all that simple.

In fact, there are so many things to remember when it comes to this update, and with that being said, this BitLife strategy guide covers everything you need to know about the Stock Market Update and how you can make the most out of it now that it’s available.

An Overview of the Stock Market Update

Unlike most of the major BitLife updates that rolled out over the past couple of years, the Stock Market Update does not require you to embark on a special career or have any special skills. Anyone can invest money in the different financial markets (not just the stock market) that are included in the update, so it should go without saying that you shouldn’t quit your day job to play the stock market. (At least not yet.)

You can access the Stock Market Update’s features by going to Assets, then tapping on Investments, where you’ll see a menu with different sections and options to choose from. Under Investments, you can tap on Portfolio, which is a one-stop shop where you can view all of your assets, buy and sell stock shares/crypto units, invest money, sell investments, and see how much the entire portfolio is currently valued. Stats show you how much money you have invested from the moment you first invested, the percentage return on investment, the years in which you’ve been investing money, and the age at which you started.

Tools cover a list of options that could help you make the most out of your investments — you can hire a Financial Advisor, which, as we’ll be explaining in a moment, is helpful but also illegal, you can read the financial section of your local newspaper, or you can ask the opinion of a friend or a family member.

Lastly, we have Investment Types, and there are five to choose from — Bonds, Crypto, Funds, Penny Stocks, and Stocks. Only Bonds and Stocks have an accompanying Market Health bar, and you should pay attention to this bar to determine how risky your investment will be in those markets. The other three types of investment do not have any indicator and are therefore more volatile and less predictable than Bonds and Stocks. Interestingly, just as they do in real life, stock prices update in real-time, so that’s a nice little addition to the update that we believe makes it feel quite authentic.

One other thing to note here is that no real-life companies were harmed in the making of the Stock Market Update — instead, you’ll see goofy stock abbreviations (DINO, NPC, BRO, FOMO, GNJA, etc.) and similarly quirky company names like Black Hole Asset Management, Hole Transportation Services, IggyFax, Mynameis Telecom, and the like. It’s good to see Candywriter’s sense of humor is very much alive in this new update for BitLife.

The Financial News May Be Helpful in Plotting Your Next Move

Look under the Tools section of the Investments menu and you’ll see the Financial News option, which, as the name suggests, allows you to view the latest news on the various financial markets available through the BitLife Stock Market Update. This is similar to the newspapers you can access as part of your political career, in that they can help you make wiser moves, or to be more specific in this case, wiser investments.

For example, if you see that the bond market is expected to see double-digit growth, that means you should consider investing more of your money in bonds. Or if you see that there’s a bubble for a certain stock or a certain market sector, that’s a sign that you should sell your shares while the prices are still high — or, in financial parlance, before the bubble bursts and the prices go down significantly.

That said, there are some limitations to the Financial News feature. First off, there are only three headlines that are visible at any given time, so if you’re looking to focus on a certain type of investment, e.g. stocks or crypto, you’ll likely get advice on only one company’s stock prices or one cryptocurrency’s value. Also, there’s a chance that the headlines might not be on point all the time. Based on our observations, the advice is oftentimes reliable, but just to set your expectations, it doesn’t come with a 100 percent guarantee of success.

You Can Ask Friends and Relatives for Advice

Aside from relying on the Financial News for assistance, you can also call a friend or a family member and ask for their financial advice. Once you do this, they will offer their thoughts on a random topic, and this will come in the form of Feedback or Tips. It would appear that Feedback pertains to broader advice, such as pulling out of a certain sector or making moves based on the country’s economic standing, while Tips refer to individual investments, such as a friend or relative telling you that they’ve never lost money on a certain stock, bond, cryptocurrency, or whatnot.

Compared to the Financial News, we wouldn’t consider advice from these individuals as reliable, although it appears that the quality of advice depends largely on your relationship with the person. Provided you’re not on bad terms with the family member or friend you’re consulting, the Opinion feature is a good way to complement what you already have with the Financial News, but once again, there’s no rock-solid guarantee that the feedback and tips you’ll receive will pay off in the end.

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As a bonus tip, friends and family could also randomly pop up with insider advice after you hit the Age button to move on to the next year. This tends to be far more reliable than the advice you can get by using the Opinion option, but this could also count as insider trading! We’ll be touching more on this topic in a little bit, but take note that insider trading could get you a lengthy stint behind bars.

Hiring a Good Financial Advisor Can Be Hard if You Don’t Have a Solid Portfolio

The last option under the Tools section of Investments is Financial Advisor, and by hiring someone to do this job, you will essentially be automating the investment process, or close to it. After you decide on how much money you want them to invest on your behalf, it will be the advisor’s job to choose the right mix of investments across the different markets. On second thought, it isn’t really automation, but on the surface, it could make things much more convenient as opposed to manually looking through the various investment options in five different markets.

Don’t expect anyone to show any interest in working for you as your advisor if your portfolio hasn’t seen much growth just yet. We’ve observed that the minimum threshold for advisors to show interest is a portfolio worth $150,000, and chances are you won’t get a very competent advisor anyway. Each advisor has a Reputation bar that determines how competent they are at their job, and while you’re still growing your portfolio, you will most likely get applicants whose Reputation bars are red or orange.

Sure, they may claim to have certain celebrities as their clients, but that’s just a sales tactic — unless the celebrity or public figure is in their list of clients, they’re outright lying to you. And will probably end up mishandling your funds before you can fire them for their poor performance.

Make Sure to Build Good Rapport with Your Advisor

Once you’ve hired your advisor — and should you decide to hire one, considering the risks we’ll be detailing below — the next thing to do would be to keep them as busy as possible and build some rapport with them. All advisors earn a certain percentage commission based on how much you invest and how much you end up earning, so it will indeed be in your best interests to entrust as much of your bank balance to them, as risky as it may sound. But that’s not the only way to improve your relationship with your advisor.

Financial Advisors, as you’ll see, are not too dissimilar from your average BitLife NPC in the sense that you can interact with them in the usual ways. Aside from advisor-specific tasks such as asking them to invest money for you or firing them when their performance isn’t up to snuff, you can ask them out, befriend them, compliment them, have conversations with them, the whole nine yards.

If you have a good relationship with your advisor, they will most likely make better investments, so build that rapport and feel free to let them invest your money — as long as they have a good Reputation. (All Advisors also have a hidden Competence stat which you can view and edit in God Mode, though non-God Mode players will have to make do with Reputation — which usually goes hand-in-hand with Competence.)

Now, what happens if you don’t have a good relationship with your Advisor? This means they can choose to stop working for you, either leaving you without a source of good advice or having you dodge a bullet if they weren’t exactly doing well at their job. They can also leave you high and dry if your investments aren’t getting much of a return, so to counteract this, it’s important to keep the Relationship bar as much in the green as possible.

The Biggest Risk of Hiring an Advisor

If you hire the right financial advisor, your portfolio could grow by leaps and bounds and you may end up making enough money to live comfortably without working the usual 9-to-5 job. But there’s a chance you may remember the advice Jordan Belfort’s dad gave him when he was at the peak of his greediness in The Wolf of Wall Street — one of these days, the chickens are going to come home to roost.

Employing an advisor, at the end of the day, is illegal because you are hiring someone who is helping line your pockets through their knowledge of confidential information. In other words, this is tantamount to insider trading, and you may eventually be busted by the police if you keep your advisor employed for too long, especially if you’ve earned a substantial amount of money through the various financial markets!

Unlike Jordan Belfort, who only got a couple of years behind bars at a minimum-security prison for his crimes, you likely won’t be getting a similar slap on the wrist if you’re found guilty. Based on our playthroughs, the prison sentence for insider trading is pretty close to 20 years, and entering a guilty plea likely will cut that sentence in half — which is still ten years and quite a long time nonetheless. Keeping this in mind, you may want to cut your financial advisor loose once you’ve at least become a millionaire through the financial markets.

You Can Date or Marry Your Financial Advisor, But it Could Get Complicated!

As we noted above, Financial Advisors in the BitLife Stock Market Update are just like your usual NPC in terms of the usual interactions. That means it is indeed possible to date your advisor and eventually marry them, though this comes with its share of advantages and disadvantages.

The main advantage is that Financial Advisors tend to be filthy rich, so if you marry your advisor, you will have much more money to invest — assuming they’re reputable and competent, this is a great way to grow your portfolio and then some. However, there are multiple drawbacks to marrying your advisor, starting with the high odds that they will ask you to sign a prenup.

Assuming you divorce after you’ve let them invest a great deal of money with little return on investment, you can easily end up several million dollars in the red! There are also higher odds of getting caught by the cops for insider trading, as more money in your bank account means more eyes on your (quite frankly) illegal activities.

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While this isn’t exactly an advantage or disadvantage, we also noticed a bug wherein the advisor starts aging twice as fast as your character after you make love to them, typically via the Hook Up option. (Advisors also show up twice in the Exes menu, so that’s another janky detail to look out for.) It’s neither a pro nor con as far as your bottom line is concerned, but it certainly interferes with the realism of the game. Not in a major way, but we’re confident Candywriter will patch this eventually, as they did when a similar bug manifested in the Pop Star Update, in which bandmates also age twice as fast as you after you both hook up.

Bonds May Be Your Best Investment in General

Although the Bond Market may wax and wane as you hit the Age button and move on from one year to the next, we’ve noticed that it is the safest option overall if you want to quickly grow your portfolio. This market is divided into different types of bonds — Government, Local, and Corporate, and it is typically the first two that have the lowest Risk attached to them.

A lower Risk means you have a good chance of receiving your money (and getting a solid but typically unspectacular ROI) once the bond matures, while a higher Risk means the odds of the bond defaulting (thus resulting in the loss of your original investment) are greater. However, this also means there’s an outside chance of getting an unreal return on investment upon maturity.

Other details to keep in mind when investing in bonds are the name of the entity, the length of time before the bond matures (Maturity), the coupon rate (Coupon), which pertains to the rate of annual income you will likely receive, and the minimum amount of money you can invest in that bond.

Why do we believe that bonds are the best type of investment to focus on? They’re typically more stable, but the main reason may not be what you think. At the moment, it is possible to quit the game and restart it if the entity defaults on payment, so even if you invest in high-risk bonds, you can avoid taking the loss and end up seeing a hefty amount of income upon maturity, provided you quit at the very moment the pop-up box notifies you of the default. (As a side note, there is no way to redo your Portfolio Report — once that dialog box pops up, you’ll have no choice but to shake it off and hope for a more bullish market in the coming year!)

Expect to Eat a Significant Loss if You Sell Bonds Before Maturity

We did mention that the Bond Market can sometimes be volatile, and you may read on the Financial News that it’s a good idea to sell whatever bond-related assets you may currently have due to expected declines in the market. We would only recommend this if you didn’t invest that much money in the first place; if you sunk most of your money into bonds and you’re trying to sell early with years to go before maturity, chances are you’ll be seeing quite a significant loss!

Yes, you will indeed be getting some money upfront that you can use to invest in other types of assets. That’s probably the only consolation you may have for selling bonds before the maturity date. However, we’ve seen that it’s often better to tough it out and, as we suggested above, to quit BitLife and restart in the event of a default.

Buy Low, Sell High in the Stock Market

This may sound like the most no-brainer advice in the history of no-brainer advice, but in the world of BitLife, it still makes perfect sense. We’re now on to the heart of the Stock Market Update, and when it comes to the actual Stock Market, your best option is to keep an eye on the initial stock prices at the time you start investing — you can take screenshots of the ticker at that point, and refer to the images in the years that follow as you buy shares when the prices are considerably lower than usual, and sell when they’re unusually high.

On the other hand, there are some nuances to keep in mind when investing in the stock market. You don’t want to buy too many shares of a certain stock at a low price, because there’s always a chance the prices will go even lower depending on any number of variables. And you don’t want to wait too long before selling shares of a stock that’s consistently appreciating because the bubble may ultimately burst and you may be left holding the bag and finding yourself in the red just one year later.

And of course, there’s the advice you may pick up from the Financial News — is there an organizational shakeup that may be negatively impacting the share prices? Or did the company report record profits, thus driving share prices upward? Or perhaps they’re expected to report such encouraging financials in the next quarter.

Those aren’t the only variables to consider when playing the stock market in BitLife. The country’s general economic situation, or the sector’s prospects, could also impact a share’s prices going forward, so keep your eyes peeled on the latest Financial News reports and do what you could to track the trends on your own — buying low and selling high is, at the end of the day, only half the battle in the BitLife universe’s stock market.

Crypto, Funds, and Penny Stocks Are Oftentimes More Miss than Hit

We decided to bundle them in together as these are the three investment types that do not have a Market Health indicator. But just as we pointed out earlier, Crypto, Funds, and Penny Stocks are all riskier markets than Bonds and Stocks. And while these can also be high-risk, high-reward investments, we should also highlight the fact that the chances of swinging and completely missing on these investments appear to be considerably greater than the chances of hitting a grand slam home run.

Given the much higher risk involved, especially with Crypto and Penny Stocks, we advise against buying large quantities or investing large amounts of money in these three types. All too often, we’ve seen a cryptocurrency or penny stock serve as the albatross dragging down an otherwise strong portfolio, so in most cases, the best thing to do would be to take the so-called “L,” sell off, and move on. You can also choose to wait it out in hopes that the price would skyrocket — and it has in some instances during our playthroughs — but all this uncertainty can be avoided simply by investing less money in these three types than the other two.

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You Will Need to Pay Taxes When Selling Crypto

By the laws of the BitLife universe, you don’t need to pay any taxes if you decide to sell Bonds, Stocks, Penny Stocks, and Fund investments. There is, however, one very notable exception, and that is Crypto. Each time you decide to sell your units of a certain cryptocurrency, you will be asked whether you wish to pay taxes on the sale — Crypto is the only taxable asset in the Stock Market Update, and while it may sound like a nuisance to pay that nominal amount of money to Uncle Sam, you should do so.

Just like the game now comes with consequences for insider trading, you can also be busted for tax evasion. Even if it’s just a small amount of money you decided not to pay on the sale of a cryptocurrency unit, you can be arrested for tax evasion, though you probably won’t if it’s only a few hundred dollars in total at the most. However, if you’ve been making a lot of money on your crypto sales without paying taxes, that’s when the law could run after you and potentially prosecute you for dodging BitLife’s version of the IRS. So with that in mind, pay your taxes because refusal to do so now has consequences in the in-game universe.

Ask Your Advisor for Their Opinion on Specific Investments

Although you can choose to make things easier on yourself and have your Financial Advisor manage your portfolio by doing the investments, you can also manually go through the various stocks, cryptocurrencies, and bonds and ask them for their thoughts on the matter — is it a good idea to invest in these, or should you spend your money elsewhere?

Granted, you can also ask the opinion of a family member or a friend, but none are more qualified than actual advisors who, depending on their Reputation and Competence (again, these two stats are often similar based on our experience in God Mode), may or may not give you good advice. (With that in mind, you can probably ask a loved one for market tips if you’re working with an advisor whose Reputation isn’t on the up-and-up.)

Does this strategy always work? Not always. But since advisors tend to blend the investments without going all-in on a certain asset, this could potentially reduce some of the risk involved when deciding to sink all (or most) of your money into one investment before hitting the Age button and seeing how well that asset performed.

Other People Cannot Give Opinions on Penny Stocks — You’re on Your Own!

Ah, those Penny Stocks — those dirt-cheap stocks that are at the center of many a pump-and-dump scheme. While one share of a penny stock would likely be worth only a couple of dollars at the most, these are probably the most volatile assets of the five that come with the Stock Market Update, and these are best avoided unless you have some money to burn and want to play around a bit.

But there’s another unique feature to Penny Stocks, and that’s the fact that you cannot ask anyone, may it be your parents, siblings, friends, or your financial advisor, for opinions on these assets. You are pretty much on your own when buying Penny Stocks, so it’s all on you regardless of whether you sink or swim with your investments in this area.

What to Focus on When Investing in Funds

Out of the investment types introduced through the Stock Market Update, Funds are arguably the most complex. Funds are divided into two types — Active and Index — with the former referring to individual companies or holding funds and the latter covering broader industries.

For both types, the Performance bar gives you a basic look at what to expect. Poor-performing funds with the bar colored orange or red are generally best avoided, while good-performing ones with the bar comfortably in the green territory are usually safer. But beyond that, there are several things you should keep in mind before taking the plunge.

The first thing to note is that just like Penny Stocks, Financial Advisors and other NPCs cannot give their opinion on these matters. Secondly, you’ll need to evaluate the 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year returns on any given fund before buying into it — look at those numbers on the upper part of the screen, and check the five-year performance graph as well.

If the shaded area on the graph is green and the estimated returns are looking solid and not at all in the red, then it should be a safe bet to plunge some money into that fund. But just because the bet is safe doesn’t mean it’s absolutely risk-free — again, Funds are less predictable than Bonds and Stocks, so expect some waxing and waning contrary to what the return figures and the performance graph suggest.

Generally, it makes more sense to buy into Index Funds than Active Funds. Index Funds tend to perform better and enjoy greater growth. But you can also make lesser investments in poorer performing Active Funds in the hopes that the value would appreciate — the old “nowhere to go but up” or “can’t go any lower” strategy, in other words.

Know When to Take the Loss

Regardless of the tools you utilize or the skill (or lack thereof) of your Financial Advisor, there will always be at least a few investments that have no upside whatsoever and are, to put it bluntly, a total waste of money. These are investments that you would be better off selling at a loss instead of waiting it out and hoping against hope that their value will increase the next time you tap the Age button and move on to the next year of your virtual life.

It’s important to pay close attention to the Portfolio menu and review all of the items included within. If you notice that an investment has been losing value much more often than it hasn’t — and you can view this by looking at the Performance bar and the graph below — then perhaps it’s time to sell most, or all of your shares/units or pull out of the fund.

But if there have been some positive developments amid the negative ones and your return on investment isn’t that far into negative territory (may it be the 1-year or total return), then you can wait it out for another year or two and see what happens. When in doubt, you can also ask for opinions before selling stocks or crypto, though as is the case with all other interactions with a Financial Advisor, this could be tantamount to insider trading and land you behind bars if you aren’t careful.