Does TD Ameritrade have Paper Trading

TD Ameritrade Paper Trading

TD Ameritrade demo account for paper trading in 2023. TD Ameritrade thinkorswim platform virtual money simulation to practice trading stocks, options, and futures.

Overview of Paper Trading at TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade offers free paper trading on some of its software platforms but not on others. For the full scoop, read on.

Availability of Demo Trading at TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade customers can practice trading with fake money on any of the broker’s thinkorswim platforms (mobile app, desktop program, or browser platform). Simulated trading is unavailable on the company’s website or regular mobile app.

TD Ameritrade Paper Trading on Browser

thinkorswim begins its journey at TD Ameritrade as a browser platform. This is its simplest form, so it’s a good place for beginners to start. The trading software can be launched by hovering over the Trade tab on the website and clicking on the Trading Platforms link in the drop-down window. On the next page, select the link for thinkorswim in web format. This will produce a new tab containing the browser platform.

thinkorswim will begin in live mode. In order to switch it to practice mode, you’ll need to click on the paperMoney® tab in the upper-left corner. This is the name TD Ameritrade gives to its simulated-trading mode. You’ll know when you’re in practice mode when you see the yellow-orange theme color, which paperMoney will use.

TD Ameritrade paper money

Simulated mode begins with $200,000 of practice money. Of course, this isn’t real money, but it does deliver a lot of practice. The amount of cash can be reset at any time. Just look for the reset link in the balances section.

All of the regular tools can be used in demo mode, which really helps to learn them without any risk. Here are some of the features on the thinkorswim web-browser system:

Full-screen charting with many tools, including left-click trading, technical indicators, and drawing tools.

Sophisticated order ticket with lots of pro-level trade types (Blast all, 1st triggers sequential, and on-the-close are a few examples).

More advanced features, including Level II quotes, time & sales data, and an Active Trader order form.

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TD Ameritrade Paper Trading on Mobile

The thinkorswim mobile app also has a paperMoney mode. This time, you have to select paperMoney on the login screen. The practice system uses the same yellow-orange color scheme at the login, although it tends to disappear once inside. To check what mode you’re in after logging in, it’s best to go to the Balances page. This will be located by tapping on the More icon in the bottom menu. The balance information syncs with all three paperMoney platforms.

TD Ameritrade demo account

Although the platform in this section is a mobile app, it actually has some higher-level features than its web-browser cousin. For example, charts have more technical studies (about 400 versus just 24 on the web browser), and there is live streaming of CNBC on the app, too. The app also has an economic calendar, which we really like.

ameritrade demo account

Color-coded dots show a wide variety of economic events, such as dividend payments and government releases. Tapping on a security on the calendar generates a pop-up window where an alert can be added or a trade initiated.

As with the other thinkorswim platforms, the mobile app can be used to trade futures and forex, in either live or simulated mode. The features on the trade ticket are the same regardless. For forex trading, we found a variety of trade types. These include limit, stop, trailing stop, and market.

It’s possible to switch accounts within simulated mode. In our test account, we found two paperMoney accounts.

TD Ameritrade Paper Trading on Desktop

The most advanced trading experience will be obtained with thinkorswim in desktop mode. TD Ameritrade does permit guests without brokerage accounts to download and try out the software, which is a big plus. An account login must be created, but once this is done, the platform is easy to download and install. It’s compatible with multiple operating systems, including both Windows and Mac.

Once the software is ready to go, live or simulated mode can be selected at the login screen. As with the other thinkorswim platforms, the practice mode has everything the live mode has.

Because the desktop version has the most resources, it does take quite a bit of time to try everything out. But it’s worth it because the tools are really helpful.

A good place to begin is the Education tab in the top menu. Tons of materials can be found in this section (both on trading and on how to use thinkorswim). Some of the materials are in video format, which is of course a big advantage. Because these resources don’t exist on the other two versions of thinkorswim, the desktop system obviously is very valuable.

To actually learn the software, eventually you have to get your hands dirty in actual trading tabs. Under the Analyze tab, there are several resources for analyzing securities. A probability analysis tool estimates the odds of an asset going up or down in the future by a certain amount. Under the Trade tab, is a tool to trade pairs of assets simultaneously.

Once assets are traded in practice mode, they will remain there until liquidated or until the account balance is reset. Price changes in positions are reflected in real time in the demo system’s balance details.

Charting should definitely be attempted on the desktop platform for the sheer fact that here is the highest level of charting. There is a right-click menu with many choices. Icons for news articles can also be added to a chart on the dates they were released. The list of advanced features goes on.

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$0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

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About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.