Where can I find a free day trading simulator? "Practice makes perfect," sounds cliché, but it's true. If you want to get good at anything, you must practice.
Without a doubt, this is especially true with trading, which is why you're probably looking for the best free day trading simulator.
What Does a Free Day Trading Simulator Do?
- Do you think you can beat wall street? With a day trading simulator, you can nail down day trading strategies while protecting your pocketbook. All of this is because they mirror your broker's trading platform. With a simple download of a free day trading simulator, you get a virtual practice environment close to the real thing you can get. Plus, with "virtual" money, you can practice your trading strategies without going broke.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
As a kid, did you ever dream of being a race car driver? Is that dream still burning alive and well thirty years later?
Considering the closest thing you've driven with any speed is your minivan, would you consider jumping into a 750 horsepower race car without practicing first?
Nope, I don't think so; unless you had some kind of death wish, of course. Likewise, you won't find a professional hockey player in the world who hasn't attempted thousands of shots at the net.
Your trusted surgeon practiced on cadavers before they were even allowed to touch a living person with a knife.
So, what is one to do? I think the answer is quite apparent: Practice. All the best traders all practice with paper money before putting any real capital at risk.
Please think of a free day trading simulator as a set of training wheels you used as a kid. In all likelihood, those wheels did not come off until you were so sure you knew your face wasn't going to smash into the pavement.
That's not to say you didn't have bloody along the way, but they sur helped. Likewise, practicing in a day trading simulator with play money sure helps keep bloodletting to a minimum. Which leads me to my next point.
2. Expertise Tracks With Hours Invested
Did you know that time on task beats talent every time? I won't get into the nitty-gritty here but look up Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers and the 10,000-hour rule.
Get your hands on a day trading simulator as quickly as possible. Put the hours in a simulator, and they will shorten your learning curve.
And don't even think about putting a penny on the line until you have concrete evidence you know what you're doing.
3. Simulators Will Save Your Cash
Are you still not convinced? Quite frankly, all the best traders in the world practice with paper money before putting any real money at risk.
We refer to simulators as "paper trading" accounts because they allow you to simulate the stock market experience using fake cash. And because the money's not real, you don't have to explain to your wife why you sold your minivan.
Do you have a hot new strategy you want to try? With $1,000,000 in "pretend" capital, you can test all the strategies you wish to without real risk.
Beyond even that are the fringe benefits: clean underwear, a house to live in, retirement savings untouched and a good night's sleep (self-explanatory).
Eventually, you will start to build confidence; your new strategy is working! You will also nail down your emotions and trade from logic. Your goal is to become an emotionless robot. Finally, a free day trading simulator takes the stress out of trading.
Picking the Best Free Day Trading Simulator
- There's no shortage of free day trading simulator accounts. Furthermore, there is no one stock market simulator that I would point to and declare as "THE best" for everyone in any situation. However, the two covered below are, at the very least, "among the best." And all have consistently received high reviews from users. With that in mind, I urge you to examine them in more depth with your specific needs and wants in mind.
Let's take a look at these paper trading accounts a little closer.
1. Ninja Trader
Launched in 2003, NinjaTrader is a cutting-edge trading platform that's already on its eighth software release. Even though you need to pay to trade on the real platform, the paper trading platform is entirely free for all users.
What's even better, all you need to do to begin trading is to sign up for an account. The reputation of NinjaTrader's been built around their trading software.
NinjaTrader is a fantastic futures trading platform that offers free advanced charting, trade simulation, with market analysis.
Not only is their software state of the art, but their simulated account also has all the features of the live trading platform. Yes, all of the features!
I'm not going to lie, this is a huge selling feature for me as several simulated platforms don't have all the bells and whistles. How are you supposed to learn your strategies if you can't even use the VWAP indicator?
Equally important to note is that NinjaTrader is for futures. So if you're looking for a free day trading simulator for futures, Ninja Trader is it.
Personally, I've just dived into the world of futures, and I love trading them. Before I forget, Bullish Bears has an entire room dedicated to futures trading. I highly suggest you check it out; Rose is incredible and makes it easy to learn.
TradingView is, first and foremost, for stock charting. It is seen by many as the most intuitive charting platform with both free real-time charting and demo trading.
The site offers extensive charting and market analysis tools. The real-time stock charts that are available for free are not official market data.
Unfortunately, getting access to official data requires a payment. For people who start a demo account for practice purposes, free data is all you need.
And of course, the site includes features that allow you to make real-time simulated trades in stocks or forex. Futures demo trading is available, but the data's delayed. Users can also trade a contract for difference (CFD) on many futures contracts.
TradingView can be synced up with a limited number of brokers if you decide to trade real money. If you do not want to use the brokers they offer, you will need to turn to a different live trading platform.
Even though I only covered two free demo accounts, there's many other great free simulators on the market. If you don't like the two I mentioned above, please check out Thinkorswim's demo trading platform.
Despite their amazing charting software, their order execution sucks, so I'd steer clear of using them to trade live.
Whichever free day trading simulator you go with, know that you're making the right first step. With this in mind, realize there's no need to rush in with real money until you're ready.
My Parting Thoughts on a Free Day Trading Simulator
Many new people come to us wondering if they got what it takes to be a successful trader. In some cases, they think they need to be smart. In fact, you don't need to be overly intelligent to learn how to trade.
For proof, look no further than Richard Dennis and William Eckhard. They took 23 people off the street, with IQ's considered to be normal and taught them how to trade in two weeks.
Yes, two weeks. All by teaching them a simple set of trading rules. Each got $1 million to start, and pretty much all went on to make millions more; some billions!
If you're curious to learn more, the book is called "The Complete Turtle Trader" by Michael W. Covel. You can also take advantage of our day trading course.
All that aside, if you're worried you don't have what it takes, remember, time on task beats talent every time. A free day trading simulator will go along way in helping you.