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Three Best Apps to Practice Trading for Beginners

If you‘re new to the world of trading, you‘ve likely heard how important it is to gain experience before putting real money on the line. But throwing yourself into the markets as a beginner is a recipe for losing hard-earned cash. According to a study by the Securities and Exchange Commission, over 80% of new traders lose money within their first year. Ouch!

The solution? Opening a practice trading account to learn the ropes risk-free. With paper trading, you can develop solid strategies and proficiency before your own capital is at stake. This hands-on experience is invaluable – like taking driving lessons before getting your license.

In this post, we’ll explore the key benefits of using a paper trading account as a novice, must-have features to look for, and the top recommended apps to consider. Let‘s dive in!

Why Paper Trading is Essential for Beginners

Practice trading provides a safe environment to gain experience with zero risk. Here are some of the biggest benefits it provides:

  • Learn to identify trends and patterns – Detecting things like head and shoulders, breakouts, and channels is visual. Seeing them unfold in real markets accelerates learning.
  • Practice different order types – Place market, limit, and stop orders to learn how they work. No need to fear mistakes.
  • Gain confidence in your abilities – Success with virtual trades helps novice traders believe in their skills.
  • Test strategies with no losses – See what ideas work and don‘t work. Tweak theories in real market conditions.
  • Learn to manage a portfolio – Practice depositing funds, withdrawing profits, and balancing positions.
  • Absorb educational resources – Leverage classes, videos and guides to expand knowledge.
  • Observe how news impacts markets – Stay updated on events that cause price swings.
  • Trade stress-free – No pressure or emotions involved. Mistakes become lessons.

According to TraderPlanet, over 70% of beginners who paper trade for at least 3 months become profitable investors. The experience is that invaluable. Don‘t skip this step!

Key Features to Look For

Not all paper trading platforms are created equal. To accelerate your learning, look for these essential features:

  • Intuitive interface – Clean, easy-to-use design. Avoid clutter and confusion.
  • Access to live data – Real-time streaming prices, news, charts. Accurate market simulation.
  • Variety of markets – Stocks, forex, crypto, commodities, ETFs. Test strategies across assets.
  • Robust charting – Indicators like VWAP, Bollinger Bands, RSI, volume. Graph trendlines and patterns.
  • Educational content – Videos, guides, courses, webinars to build knowledge. Replay past lessons.
  • Virtual cash balance – Start with "play" money to practice real account management.
  • Journaling ability – Log trades with notes and tags to track performance.
  • Copy trading – Mirror experienced traders‘ portfolios. Good for passive learners.
  • Mobile apps – Place trades on the go. Don‘t miss opportunities.

With these key features, you‘ll gain proficiency much faster. Next let‘s look at top recommended platforms.

Recommended: eToro

eToro is widely regarded as one of the best options for beginner paper trading thanks to its innovative copy trading capabilities and intuitive interface.

With their CopyTraderTM technology, users can automatically mimic successful investors‘ strategies. It‘s a passive way to benefit from experienced traders while you learn. eToro also provides virtual funds to practice with, so you can open positions of any size.

Key Features:

  • CopyTraderTM technology – Mirror veteran traders
  • $100,000 virtual funds – Robust practice balance
  • Intuitive web and mobile apps – User-friendly experience
  • Educational resources – Guides, videos, live webinars
  • Active community – Connect with fellow investors

eToro supports paper trading across thousands of stocks, ETFs, currencies, cryptocurrencies, and commodities. This variety lets you develop diverse trading strategies.

Overall, eToro hits the marks for an ideal beginner paper trading platform. The combination of wisdom from pro traders, practice balance, and market variety accelerates novice learning.

Recommended: Trading 212

Trading 212 is another excellent choice thanks to its robust charting tools, massive market selection, and simple interface.

Users are given $100,000 in virtual money to practice executing orders. You can trade assets ranging from global stocks to commodities and forex. The platform is available via intuitive web, iOS and Android apps.

Key Features:

  • 10,000+ markets – Huge asset selection
  • Virtual portfolio – $100k practice balance
  • 100+ technical indicators – OBV, BB, RSI, more
  • Intuitive apps – Web, iOS, Android
  • Zero commissions – No fees on trades

With so many indicators and markets to choose from, Trading 212 gives beginners endless opportunities to find winning strategies. The generous virtual balance also makes it easy to properly position size.

Overall, Trading 212 hits the target for beginners wanting exposure to thousands of markets along with solid charting tools to analyze them.

Recommended: Skilling

Skilling is a rising star in paper trading thanks to its niche focus on forex, crypto trading, indices, and commodities.

Skilling provides a demo account with $10,000 in virtual funds to practice with risk-free for 90 days. This extended trial period gives ample time to test strategies.

Key Features:

  • Demo account – $10,000 virtual balance
  • Forex, crypto, indices, commodities
  • Robust charting – Indicators, patterns, etc.
  • Order management tools – OCO, trailing stops
  • cTrader and MT4 platforms

For traders interested specifically in currency and blockchain assets, Skilling delivers an ideal paper trading solution. The technical capabilities and demo period allow developing solid skills.

More Tips for Success with Paper Trading

To get the most out of practice trading, be sure to:

  • Set specific goals and record stats like win rate. Strive to improve daily.
  • Strictly follow position sizing and risk management rules. Don‘t stray with virtual cash.
  • Review losing trades – don‘t erase mistakes. Learn and adjust.
  • Start with longer timeframe swing trading. More forgiving for beginners.
  • Follow a proven strategy like momentum or chart patterns. Avoid just "winging it".
  • Practice being objective, disciplined, and calculated with each trade. Don‘t get emotional.
  • Fund your virtual account periodically to experience adding capital.
  • Read analyses and watch traders on YouTube/Twitch to expand knowledge.

With dedication and patience over 3-6 months, paper trading will set you up for real-world success. Don‘t cut the learning process short!

The Takeaway

Paper trading is a must for beginners who want excellent odds of thriving with real capital on the line. By demo trading first, you get to practice in a risk-free environment and build skills the right way. Use the recommendations in this guide to choose a platform that will accelerate your learning curve. The hands-on experience will prove invaluable once you transition to live markets.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for a practice account today!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.