Whether you are trying a new trading or investment strategy, or just want to get practice executing trades, stock market simulators are fantastic tools. The right stock market simulators can allow you to hone in on your craft, learn new techniques, and train your mind to react to various market conditions.
In the not-so-distant past, stock market simulators were not even possible. Today, there are plenty of stock market simulators available to the general public. What is the best stock market simulator? We’re glad you asked!
Quicklook: Best Stock Market Simulators
- ThinkorSwim: Best for Advanced Trading Resources
- Bear Bull Traders Simulator: Best for Day Traders
- TradeStation: Best for Advanced Traders
- NinjaTrader: Best Free Stock Market Simulator
- Pilot Traders: Best for Active Traders
5 Best Stock Market Simulators
The internet is filled with stock market simulators. How do you know which one is right for you? We’ve reviewed the top 5 best stock market simulators below to make your selection process easier!
ThinkorSwim is a fantastic online brokerage for numerous reasons. Powered by TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab, the ThinkorSwim platform is a goldmine of information, software, and learning material. In addition to being a great educational tool, ThinkorSwim has a powerful desktop or mobile app.
Standout Features and Benefits
- The PaperMoney account closely follows live market conditions
- There are no trading commissions
- The software is incredibly advanced, allowing you to execute deep analysis and even write your own code to help you trade
- Even though having powerful software is a benefit, if you don’t know what you’re doing the software can be overwhelming
- The live chat feature is not 24/7
Securities Offered: PaperMoney is ThinkorSwims stock market simulator software. Within this software, you can trade all of the securities present on the regular ThinkorSwim platform.
Charts and Tools Offered: The ThinkorSwim platform has it all! Whether you are looking for minute candlestick charts or yearly charts, there are no limitations! You can layer in hundreds of technical analysis tools and views and really hone in on your craft.
Pricing: There is no fee for the PaperMoney software. You just need to have a regular ThinkorSwim account set up, which also does not have a fee.
Bear Bull Traders Simulator
Bear Bull Traders is another common stock market simulator. Bear Bull Traders is more than just a trading platform, it is a community where traders get together, discuss trading plans, and learn from each other.
Standout Features and Benefits:
- Bear Bull Traders is a full community where traders can interact with each other
- In addition to the community feel, Bear Bull Traders provides their members with access to their professional psychology team – which is incredibly helpful considering how much psychology and emotions are involved with trading
- This platform is not free, and memberships could cost you $199 a month
- Bear Bull Traders is a great option for day traders, but everyone doesn’t have the time or desire to day trade the markets
Securities Offered: You can trade U.S. equity markets through their stock market simulator
Charts and Tools Offered: The tools present in the DAS Trader Pro are advanced and fully encompassing. You shouldn’t find yourself wishing for a specific tool or feature.
Pricing: There are really 3 pricing tiers, which can all be found on their homepage.
TradeStation is another popular online brokerage that allows its clients to trade stocks, ETFs, crypto, options, futures, and currencies. In addition to offering mobile apps, web trading, and desktop software, TradeStation also offers a comprehensive stock market simulator.
Standout Features and Benefits
- TradeStations stock market simulator provides real-time data
- You will have access to unlimited paper trading dollars, allowing you to test countless strategies
- Their back-testing feature allows you to back-test stocks, options, and futures
- TradeStation isn’t backed by a huge business
- The chat feature is offline on the weekends
- Their software is complex
Securities Offered: Through simulation, you can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and futures
Charts and Tools Offered: The tool arsenal that is present in the simulator is advanced and fully encompassing. The same tools are also provided in their live trading platform.
Pricing: The stock market simulator is free, but the full pricing list of TradeStation can be found on their website.
NinjaTrader is a relatively new brokerage, but nonetheless, is worth looking into! Their stock market simulator is world-class, and you can build and develop your own trading apps and code.
Standout Features and Benefits:
- Overall, the simulate feature NinjaTrader provides is absolutely incredible
- You can rewind, pause, or trade in live time
- You have the ability to add your own programming to their software, allowing you to develop trading tools that execute on pre-established rules
- NinjaTrader is an advanced software, which can feel intimidating if you are a beginner
- The withdrawal fee is on the higher end
- There is no mobile app
Securities Offered: Stocks, ETFs, and commodities can all be traded through the simulator
Charts and Tools Offered: The platform comes with hundreds of technical analysis features, and the opportunity for you to write your own features and code!
Pricing: NinjaTrader has a variety of pricing options, including a free version!
If you’re an active trader, Pilot Trading is a brokerage worth looking into. With an impressive mobile app, you can execute trades, and practice your strategy, virtually anywhere!
Standout Features and Benefits
- Pilot Trading has a phenomenal mobile app, arguably the best stock market simulator app in existence
- The technical analysis tools work incredibly well on your smartphone
- Pilot Trading has signals, which helps you find market opportunities
- Pilot Trading is not nearly as advanced as other options
- Trading from your mobile app can be dangerous, considering the various distractions you may have when using your mobile platform
Securities Offered: Stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies can all be traded in the stock simulator
Charts and Tools Offered: One of the most commonly used tools with Pilot Trading is the alert or trading signal system, which alerts you with various market opportunities
Pricing: Pilot Trading is $19.95/month
What Is a Stock Market Simulator?
A stock market simulator is a tool that allows investors and traders to simulate the stock market with fictitious money. Therefore, a trader or investor can practice a strategy or technique risk free, and perfect their craft for real market conditions.
A stock market simulator should allow you to trade in a mirrored market, in close to or live time, and should also allow you to back test your trading approach.
How Does a Stock Market Simulator Work?
The best way to understand how a stock market simulator works is to consider the following example. Imagine if you are a race car driver and you have a race coming up at a track you never drove on before.
Now imagine there is a virtual video game that replicates the exact track you’ll be racing on, and you can program your race car into the game. You could get experience driving the track before race day comes, and you’ll know the various corners, hills, and straightaways.
A stock market simulator is essentially replicating the stock market. It allows you to trade in various market conditions. The idea is, the more time you spend practicing on the simulator, the more prepared you’ll be for real market conditions.
Similar to the racing simulator, it’s difficult to replicate fear and adrenaline in a video game. The same concept applies to a stock market simulator. Despite the technical analysis being the same, you cannot replicate the emotions of trading.
What to Consider With Stock Market Simulators
If you want to practice trading on a stock market simulator, you must consider the following.
Close Resemblance To the Actual Market
First and foremost, you’ll want to find a stock market simulator that resembles the live market. The closer the stock market simulator is to the live stock market, the more valuable your testing and strategies become.
Secondly, you’ll want to make sure the stock market simulator you plan on using allows you to simulate trades on the assets you plan on trading. For example, some stock market simulators do not allow you to simulate the ForEx market, or the crypto market.
If you plan on trading or investing in either of those markets, you’ll need to find a market simulator that allows you to simulate those assets.
Investor resources are incredlby important. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to soak in as much information as possible.
Learning how to set up a trading chart, what technical indicators are beneficial to look at, and how to organize your trading screen are all important considerations that you must factor into your decision making.
Everyone will adapt their own trading style. It’s important to find a stock market simulator that allows you to customize some of the features to fit your trading style.
Last but not least, take numerous stock market simulators into account and identify which one is best for you. Factor in all the variables, including pricing, before making a decision.
Practice Makes Perfect
A professional athlete becomes good at their sport because they’ve spent countless hours practicing their craft. It doesn’t matter if you are a point guard in the NBA or a quarterback in the NFL, you devoted yourself to practice which allowed you to succeed in the game.
The same applies for traders and investors. In today’s modern world, you could use a stock market simulator to pratice your strategy before you actually go execute the strategy in the live stock market.
You’ll fail, you’ll learn new techniques, you’ll learn from your mistakes, and you’ll improve. Therefore, when it’s game time, you know how to react.
However, even though practice makes perfect, it’s still a good idea to consult with a financial advisor for your financial planning needs. A financial advisor will make sure you are not over investing in your trading or investing strategy, and will help you keep your portfolio balanced.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are using a good stock market simulator, they are certainly accurate. However, not all stock market simulators are created equally.
Thanks to modern technology there is certainly a way to practice stock trading, and that is through a stock market simulator.
There are countless stock market simulators online that will allow you to practice stock trading. The above 5 are highly reputable simulators.