When investing in the stock market experience is your best friend. Whether you are investing in new markets of classic stocks there is always transferrable knowledge to assist you. Most stocks follow similar patterns of growth, decline, stagnation, and corrections. The more familiar you are with stock market patterns, the more likely you are to succeed with your own investments.
One of the best ways to get experience in the stock market is stock market simulator games. Using simulator games you can simulate real trades with virtual funds. This ensures that you are getting a “real world” experience without the pressure of losing your own money. For beginners, it is very easy to fall into new stocks with little potential or invest in the “next big thing”. With a stock market simulator, you can get used to new stocks and experiment to see if the stock market really is for you.
1.TD Ameritrade ThinkOrSwim Virtual Trading
With ThinkOrSwim you can take advantage or Ameritrade’s vast range of stocks to trade with. This includes futures and foreign exchange. You get a free 60 day trial with Ameritrade if you are an active trader. The platform is desktop-based and you start with $100,000 virtual money.
The thinkorswim platform is geared towards traders with some experience of the market already. So unless you know the basics then maybe it is not the platform for you.Interactive Brokers
2.Paper Trading Account
This platform allows you to simulate multiple trades at once with its advanced trading strategies product. IF you have a regular trading account then this product is free to use. The platform is desktop based and has lots of tools to help you get to grips with the stock market.
IB is a great platform but its lack of features earns it a number 2 spot.
3.Trade Station Simulator
You can reset the trade balance with Trade Station simulator at any time, so if you mess up then you can reset. The platform is a desktop simulator and the features are somewhat limited if you do not have a premium account with Trade Station.
Why Start With Virtual?
Brokers hope that you make the transition from virtual trader to real trader so they make the platforms free most of the time. Although, you are not obliged to start trading real money after you trade virtually. If you do not like trading or find it too difficult then there is no backlash for not trading stock in the real market.
Despite the experience being virtual and the financials being fictitious there is still lots to take away from the experience. You get a great education in investing without having to spend thousands on the stock market. There are demo’s, libraries and tutorials to assist you along the way if you find yourself stuck. The online community on these trading platforms will provide expert insight that you wouldn’t get if you jumped into the market straight away.
The first time you lose money on the stock market is what separates good traders with great traders. With a virtual stock platform is that you can lose millions of virtual dollars and know how to deal with it. The market goes down as much as it goes up and everyone takes losses some times. By giving up you take an even bigger loss, if you experience losses before (virtually) and know how to deal with it. Then you should be much better prepared when the real thing comes.
New stocks and investment strategies arrive almost every day, with this stock being “better than the rest”. It is easy to fall in the trap of investing all your capital with no hesitation, but with experience comes insight into whats good and what isn’t. New markets are especially difficult to navigate due to their unpredictable nature. But if you have seen it before then you have an advantage over other investors. Everyone starts out as an investment beginner, its only experience which separates you from the pros.