Paper Trading: Look Before You Leap

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Look Before You Leap

So, you say your trading chops aren’t quite ready for prime time? No worries – with a trading simulator, you needn’t be a pro to jump into the game! Many trading accounts come with two modes – live and simulated (also called paper trading). Live trading is the real deal – it involves funding accounts to place trades and track actual market positions. It uses real money with the true risk of losses.

Simulation trading was first called paper trading because new traders would learn to trade on paper prior to placing live trades on the exchanges. Today’s simulated accounts still aren’t funded with real cash – consider them your virtual trading accounts where you can practice buying and selling without risking your own money.

At TradeStation, a simulated account comes with all of the symbols associated with your real-time data entitlements, so you can beef up your trading muscles and market knowledge in a safe learning environment. TradeStation simulated account numbers always begin with SIM, so there is no doubt you are paper trading.

Simulated Trading Trade Bar
Trade Bar shows you’re in simulated mode.

Trade Like a Millionaire

Want to dip your toes in the market action but not yet ready to jump? A simulated trading platform is a great way to experience the excitement of the market and test your skills before placing actual trades.

Before you risk a single dollar you can trade your simulated funds without worrying about your account balances. Add as many imaginary dollars to your simulated account as you want, track your positions, and then reset your account when you want to practice a new strategy. Apply indicator studies to your charts to find potential trading opportunities. Try your hand at different trading styles, trading tools, and new markets. Learn about the potential for both risk and reward when you diversify your market exposure.

Try New Trading Strategies

Simulated trading may be risk-free, but it’s not just for beginners – savvy traders use simulated accounts to try out their strategies, too.

Simulated trading using strategy automation on strategy buy/sell signals.
Simulated trading using strategy automation on strategy buy/sell signals.

A trading simulator can be your launch pad to get started with sophisticated trading features such as strategy automation, advanced orders, and alternate market types. You can even combine simulated trading with back-testing and advanced analytics to plan your next market moves.

For example, on the TradeStation desktop platform you can back-test stock, options, and futures trading strategies using decades of historical market data, with one of industry’s largest historical market databases.

TradeStation clients can select simulated trading on the logon screen from the TradeStation desktop platform, as well as on the go from the Web Trading and mobile app logon screens.

Simulated Trading Login
Logging into a simulated trading account.

Practice Trading to Improve Your Skills

Remember what your mother always said about practice making perfect? Whether you’re placing simulated trades for the first time or 400th – now you know you can look before you leap into the market action by practicing on a trading simulator.

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