Stock Brokers Offering Paper Trading (Virtual Simulation Trading) Account


Which brokers have paper trading: USAA, Merrill Edge, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, Etrade, Fidelity Investments, Ally Invest, Vanguard, Wells Fargo, Interactive Brokers, and TradeStation.



Paper Trading Overview


If you want to practice buying and selling stocks, options, or other securities before committing real money to a trade, then you might want to open a practice trading account. Called paper trading, this type of platform allows you to learn the ropes of security trading before putting real money on the line.


Online Brokers Paper Trading Accounts


Brokerage Rating Paper Trading New Account Promotion
Ally InvestAlly Invest rating

No Get $3.95 stock trades if you make 30+ trades per quarter or have 100K account balance.
TD AmeritradeTD Ameritrade rating

YesTrade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
Capital One InvestingCapital One Investing rating

NoGet $50 when you open new non-IRA account at Capital One Investing.
Charles SchwabCharles Schwab rating

YesNone
EtradeEtrade rating

No At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.
FidelityFidelity Investments rating

NoGet 500 free trades with $100,000+ deposit.
FirstradeFirstrade rating

NoUp to $300 Cash Rewards + 500 Free Trades.
Interactive BrokersInteractive Brokers rating

YesNone
KapitallKapitall rating

YesNone
Merrill EdgeMerrill Edge rating

NoNone
Motif InvestingMotif Investing rating

YesNone
RobinhoodRobinhood Trading rating

NoNone
ScottradeScottrade rating

NoTrade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
TradeStationTradestation rating

Yes Get $5 per trade stock and ETF commissions. $4 per trade for IRAs.
USAAUSAA rating

NoNone
VanguardVanguard rating

NoNone
WellsTradeWellstrade rating

NoNone


Best Brokers For Paper Trading


We have reviewed brokerage virtual trading accounts and picked an online investing firms that offers the best paper trading account - TD Ameritrade. You could their simulated trading review under this link.


Paper Trading Account For Beginners


New investors who have never traded before should open a paper trading account and practice before jumping into the often precarious world of securities. The importance of learning first with a practice currency cannot be overstated, especially with stocks and options, which have a history of volatile price swings.

Investopedia, for example, offers a stock market game where participants can buy and sell equities on a simulated platform. The on-line financial educator offers several stock trading games. The one for beginners provides $10,000 in virtual currency, which can be used to trade stocks and options. A realistic web-based trading ticket shows the amount of virtual cash and buying power, and allows market, limit, and stop orders to be entered. The simulator even allows for short selling. Duration can be set to GTC (good till cancelled) or as a day order. The Investopedia platform also displays stock data, such as last trade price and the day’s high and low prices.

Games are also available on Investopedia’s simulated trading system. These allow you to compete against other traders who are practicing without any risk of losing real money. Although the currency is fake, the trading environment is very realistic. Watchlists are available, along with awards, and rankings. The simulation even offers stock research.


Paper Trading Benefits For Seasoned Investors


Besides novices, experienced investors can also benefit from a paper trading service. There are several reasons why veteran traders would want to have a practice account. It would be a good opportunity to test strategies, for example. A practice platform would also be a good place to try buying and sell products you haven’t traded before.

TD Ameritrade, for instance, offers paper trading with forex and futures. The broker’s advanced desktop platform thinkorswim can be used either in regular mode or in paper trading mode. However, it’s only possible to switch between trading modes at the login screen.


Thinkorswim Paper Trading


All of the software’s features are available in either version. This include the ability to trade stocks, options, futures, and currencies. Thinkorswim comes with some very advanced order types and trading tools. Using the program’s practice mode would be a good opportunity to try out the platform’s advanced tools. Orders such as blast all, 1st triggers OCO, and market on close could be practiced. The paper trading mode has $100,000 in virtual currency, which can be reset.

Thinkorswim’s paper trading mode could also be used to practice trading derivatives using the software’s option chains. The practice mode allows users to place mock trades with all of the software’s regular features. These include the ability to select the exchange where the order is sent and the number of contracts.

Advanced order types besides puts and calls are also available. These include iron condors, diagonals, and straddles. Because of the complexity of these types of orders, it’s important to practice with them before using real money.

You don’t have to be a TD Ameritrade customer to try out the software, either. The broker allows anyone to download the program and use it on a trial basis. This would be a good opportunity to practice trading on a very advanced platform.

Current TD Ameritrade promotion: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.


Mobile Paper Trading


There are several mobile apps today that offer paper trading services. Some of them can be downloaded free of charge. One that is compatible with Android devices is Stock Trainer: Virtual Trading. It is geared towards beginners and uses a virtual currency. Real-time data is available along with stock charts and basic security research. Other features include Cramer’s picks, watchlists, transactions, and portfolio analysis.

Another mobile practice platform is Best Brokers. This one is compatible with Apple devices, including iPod touch, and even has a platform for Apple Watch. It begins with $25,000 of a virtual currency, and users can submit both market and limit orders. Even better, there is a leaderboard where traders can compete with friends and other traders. The app also offers market news and simple charts.

Thinkorswim comes in a mobile version, and it too has a paper trading mode. Many of the great features of the desktop version are available on the mobile system, including 400 technical studies that chartists will love. Unlike the desktop version, it is possible to switch between live trading and paper trading after logging in.

The trading ticket in the thinkorswim mobile app is much more advanced than in the other two apps. It is the same ticket available in live trading. Stocks, options, and ETF’s can be bought and sold. Quantity can be changed along with the time in force. The type of order can also be specified. There are many order types, including trailing stop and market on close.

The thinkorswim app is also a good place to practice trading options. Single-leg and multi-leg orders can be submitted. The number of strike prices can be adjusted, and the open interest of the contract is shown.


Paper Trading Brokers Summary


Paper trading is an essential part of any investment journey. It can help you to test strategies, try out new products, and learn a software program. Most platforms are free to use although some aren’t; so be sure to check around before choosing a provider.


Updated on 10/20/2017.




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