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Fortunly's Guide

Best Paper Trading Platforms - Our Top Picks for 2022

By
Julija A.

May 24,2022


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Paper trading platforms are essentially simulated stock markets that allow users to practice buying and selling stocks without risking any real money. There are a number of paper trading platforms available, so it’s important to do some research to find one that best suits your needs.

In general, you’ll want to look for a platform that offers a good selection of stocks and other assets to trade, as well as features that can help you learn the ropes of paper trading.

To get started, you can take a look at some of the best paper trading platforms currently available:

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Tradable instruments: Stocks, commodities, forex, indices, ETFs, crypto
Virtual account funds: $100,000
Mobile app: Yes
Established: 2007
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • Regulated by CySEC, FCA, and ASIC
  • Over 3,000 tradable instruments 
  • Wide network of users
Tradable instruments: Stocks, options, ETFs, ADRs, and cryptos
Virtual account funds: $1,000,000
Mobile app: Yes
Founded in: 2017
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows app
  • Offers brokerage and IRA accounts 
  • Great customer service
Interactive Brokers Logo

Interactive Brokers

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Tradable instruments: Stocks, options, forex, and more
Virtual account funds: $1,000,000
Mobile app: Yes
Founded in: 1978
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • Intuitive paper trading interface
  • A wide range of trading tools
  • Trusted brokerage company
TradeStation Logo

TradeStation

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Tradable instruments: Stocks, ETFs, options, futures, cryptocurrencies, bonds, and more
Virtual account funds: Unlimited
Mobile app: Yes
Founded in: 1982
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • Options and futures trading 
  • Real-time trading 
  • Educational materials 
Thinkorswim Logo

Thinkorswim

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Tradable instruments: Forex, options, futures, and equities
Virtual account funds: $100,000
Mobile app: Yes
Founded in: 1971
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Advanced trading tools
  • Phone and in-app chat support
Capital.com Logo

Capital.com

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Tradable instruments: Forex, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies
Virtual account funds: Unlimited
Mobile app: Yes
Founded in: 2016
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • Regulated by FCA, CySEC, ASIC
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Trade Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and Litecoin
Tradable instruments: Stocks, forex, options, futures, and ETFs
Virtual account funds: $100,000
Mobile app: Yes
Founded in: 2014
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • Several integrated platforms 
  • Rich library of blogs and guides 
  • Phone and email support
TradeStation Logo

TradeStation

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Tradable instruments: Stocks
Virtual account funds: N/A
Mobile app: Yes
Founded in: 2015
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • Trade stocks only 
  • Excellent customer service 
  • Real-time paper trading
Forex.com Logo

Forex.com

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Tradable instruments: Forex, stocks, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies
Virtual account funds: N/A
Mobile app: Yes
Founded in: 2001
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • Over 80 currency pairs and metals 
  • Easy to use
  • FOREX.com and MT4 platforms
Tradable instruments: Stocks, commodities, indices, forex, ETFs, bonds, cryptocurrencies
Virtual account funds: $100,000
Mobile app: Yes
Founded in: 2006
KEY FACTS
OVERVIEW
ABOUT THE COMPANY
  • Over 1,000 trading instruments 
  • Cryptocurrency paper trading 
  • Holds multiple trading licenses
Evaluation Criteria

Methodology for Evaluating the Best Paper Trading Platforms for 2022

Investors who are new to the stock market often find it helpful to practice trading before investing money. Paper trading is a type of simulation that allows investors to try out strategies without putting any real money at risk. 

There are many paper trading platforms available, so it can be tough to choose the one that best fits your needs. Here are some things to look for when choosing a paper trading platform:

Ease of use: The best options paper trading platforms are easy to use and understand. You should be able to get started quickly without feeling overwhelmed. 

Real-time data: Almost all platforms we reviewed offer real-time market data so you can get a feel for how the market is moving. 

Educational resources: In most cases, paper traders are beginners, so it’s always good to find a platform that offers a set of educational resources, such as guides and tutorials. Blogs, articles, or even online webinars will help you learn about the stock market, trading forex pairs, crypto trading, and more. 

Cost: While the best paper trading platforms are free, others charge a monthly fee. It’s best to decide what you’re willing to pay and choose accordingly.

Mobile app: Select the platform that has a mobile app you’re comfortable using so you can trade on the go. 

Support: Choose a platform that offers customer support in case you have any questions or encounter any issues.

Copy trade feature: Some paper trading platforms allow you to copy the trades of successful investors. This can be a helpful way to learn from more experienced traders.

The best stock market simulator for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Take some time to try out a few options to see which one works best for you.

Quick Breakdown

The Best Paper Trading Platform in 2022:

  • eToro - Best overall

  • WeBull - Best desktop app 

  • Interactive Brokers - Best for paper options trading 

  • TradeStation - Best for experienced brokers

  • Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade - Best for futures trading

  • Capital.com - Best for crypto trading 

  • Tradier - Best for personalized trading experience

  • TradeZero - Best for paper stock trading

  • Forex.com - Best for forex trading

  • AvaTrade - The most secure trading platform

What Exactly Is Paper Trading?

Paper trading is the process of simulating trading activities in the stock market without actually using real money. This is a great way to learn how the stock market works and test out different investment strategies without jeopardizing your hard-earned money.

There are a few ways in which you can paper trade options. One popular method is to use a stock market simulator - a program that allows you to place pretend trades in real time, using data from the markets. This can be a great way to get a feel for how the stock market works without putting any money at risk.

Another popular paper trading method is to use fake money and track your hypothetical gains and losses. This can be a convenient way to test out investment strategies and to how you would do if you were investing real money.

Pros and Cons of Paper Trading

Paper trading may provide many advantages for experienced and novice traders alike, but certain limitations may become apparent when users begin to trade in funded accounts.

Advantages of Paper Trading

As already mentioned, one of the main advantages of paper trading is that it lets traders test out their investment strategies without endangering their finances. As a result, they can become familiar with stock market principles and investment strategies.

Another advantage of paper trading is that it can help traders develop their skills and confidence. Through paper trading, users can learn how to place trades, manage their positions, and execute their investment strategies. This can pave the way for their success in the real world of trading.

Lastly, paper trading can help traders avoid some of the emotional pitfalls of trading, such as fear and greed. When paper trading, traders may be less likely to make emotionally-driven decisions that can lead to losses.

Disadvantages of Paper Trading

One potential disadvantage of paper trading is that it might give traders a false sense of security. Since no actual money is involved, some traders may take more risks than they would if they were investing for real. This can lead to problems when trading with money, as they may not be prepared for the potential losses.

Another potential disadvantage of paper trading is becoming too comfortable with losing fake money. If a trader trades for too long and becomes used to losing, they may be more likely to take unnecessary risks when they begin trading with real money.

Lastly, when you use a practice investing app, it may not accurately reflect the real world of trading. Specifically, the trader may not experience the same emotions that can occur when real money is at risk.

Who Should Try Paper Trading?

Paper trading can provide much-needed practice for novice traders. It may help newcomers who don’t have sufficient market expertise acquire essential trading knowledge. 

Also, paper trading may allow experienced traders to try out new strategies without risking any money.

Traders with prior knowledge might find practice trading platforms useful when evaluating new options strategies, exploring a different underlying market, or seeing how an existing options trading strategy performs in various market circumstances. 

FAQ

What is paper trading?

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Paper trading is the process of trading stocks, bonds, or other securities without using real money. The purpose of this kind of trading is to practice and test out new investment strategies. Many brokerages and platforms offer paper trading services, which can be helpful for beginners and experienced investors alike.

Which paper trading platform is best?

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Finding the best paper trading platform can be a challenge, as many options are available. However, by considering factors such as ease of use, fees, and features, you can find the platform that best suits your needs.

Does eToro have paper trading?

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Yes, eToro is considered one of the best paper trading platforms. Your eToro paper trading account will be funded with $100,000 that you can use to learn new trading strategies.

Does TD Ameritrade do paper trading?

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Yes, TD Ameritrade offers paper trading platforms that are free, and you can use them for as long as you like. To get started, simply create an account and then fund it with fake money. You can then place trades and track your progress just as you would with a real account. Paper trading is a great way to become familiar with the TD Ameritrade platform and hone your trading skills.