OptionsHouse Review

Best online stock brokers offering practice accounts - free virtual/simulated/paper trading environment



Investing or trading in stock market is a skill like any other. Without mastering this skill it’s very hard to be successful in making money investing or trading equities, options or futures. Learning takes time and practice and you don’t want to risk you hard-earned money while doing that.

Fortunately, there are a few brokerage firms that offer their customers a virtual, simulated environment (also called paper trading), where users could trade with "virtual” money, without putting real money at risk. This is, probably, the best way to learn how to trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and futures! You could test and perfect your trading skills without losing a dime.


We, obviously, can't review all the brokerage companies offering free virtual (or paper) trading, so we'll talk about two of them - OptionsHouse and TD Ameritrade.


Brokers With Free Virtual Trading

With OptionsHouse virtual trading you'll learn to trade or test your strategies — before you invest. Their virtual trading platform is built and tested by professional traders, and delivers the same professional-level tools, data and functionality as their live platform. With it you can:

  • practice your investing skills in a risk-free environment
  • test your ideas before committing your money
  • instantly see results of your virtual actions based on real-world results
  • take advantage of innovative idea generation and risk-management tools, including streaming charts and volatility assessment


Virtual trading is an equally great way for seasoned, veteran traders and for complete beginners to test new strategies. Opening account with OptionsHouse is free and fast. You could try all the features with a $1,000 initial deposit. You are also getting a $5,000 of virtual money for simulated investing. If you decide you are ready to trade with real money, OptionsHouse offers very low $4.75 stock/etf commission. You could try all that 100% free here: Get 150 commission-free trades at OptionsHouse.


Another great paper trading brokerage firm is TD Ameritrade. It offers the best trading platform, called Thinkorswim, with all the bells-and-whistles professional trader might need. The company also provides free virtual trading on that platform. You could open an account and try it out with $0 down. The company also offers the best promotion offer for new clients: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

This article was updated on 3/29/2014.


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