Try Virtual Stock Trading Before Putting Money On The Line
When it comes to learning the ropes on the open market, there is no better way to learn about trading than by actually executing some trades. What’s nice is that more and more brokers are offering virtual trading platforms that allow you to make trades with play money, giving you the opportunity to see your trading strategy in action before you risk your hard earned money. It's an environment that allows you to adjust your trades where necessary. While online brokers are well known for offering such a service, some full service brokers are starting to come around and offer them as well. Here are some things you should be on the lookout for when looking for a broker with a virtual trading platform:
Cost. Access to a broker’s virtual trading tools should be free. Period. Why? Because so many brokers offer this service for free that there is little justification for having to pay to use it. Most online stock brokers simply require you to open an account. In most cases, you don’t even have to fund it immediately before gaining access to the virtual trading tools.
Easy to use platform. In most cases, the virtual trading platform is an exact replica of the actual trading platform you will be using to make trades in the real world. This means that if you don’t understand it when you make paper trades, chances are that you still won’t understand it when you move into actual trading. This isn’t to say that there won’t be a learning curve involved when it comes to making your first few trades, but it does mean that you should work to hone your trading skills by fully exercising the features of the tool.
- Educational materials. Paper trading is all about learning. There’s no point in seeing strategies fail and not understanding why they failed. So, having access to a virtual trading platform is great, but it means nothing if you aren't able to use it with any context. Receiving additional informational resources, support and tutorials from your broker would add so much more value to your learning process.
- Customer support. The customer and technical support teams are important elements of any broker service and both are key to helping you learn how to use their trading platform. Look for brokers with a good customer service team and you can be confident that you are in good hands.
Paper trading platforms are truly helpful tools for traders of all types; however, it is almost a necessity for novice traders. Many traders find that having a practice platform gives them a huge advantage over the competition when it comes to strategy development and adjustment. Virtual trading environments also allow traders to find the right trading vehicles and to develop their own personal trading profiles, which are important requirements for trading success. So when deciding which broker would be a fit for your requirements, look into those brokerages that offer virtual trading as part of their suite of trading tools, and reap the benefits of risk free trading.