You’ve probably heard it all before: if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is – and to trade options without risking your money definitely falls into that category. Ordinary investors and experts alike would tell you that there’s no such thing as risk fee trading – which is true, of course (can’t argue with the experts!)
But listen to this: it is possible to learn and practice how to trade options without putting any money on the line. If you’re a market newbie or a seasoned investor, virtual options trading can help you gain valuable experience and test trading strategies without risking any of your hard-earned cash.
In this article I will be explaining what virtual options trading actually is, and also recommend the best platforms available online to open your options trading account with.
Let's get started!
What is Virtual Options Trading?
Virtual options trading – involves investing virtual money in markets formulated by various online platforms. Through this medium, you have the opportunity to trade options hands-on with zero risk.
You’ve probably researched about options trading and might already know the basics, but the buck doesn’t stop there. Some people would say that you can jump into the world of options trading immediately, but I highly advise against that. The complexity of options trading can be intimidating for any level investor and virtual options trading will help you establish better control over the risks and rewards in the future.
For entry level traders, these online platforms the perfect place to start: you have an opportunity grasp the basics in a risk-free environment, and most will also include helpful resources in case you get lost in the lingo of options trading. It’s also great for experienced traders alike, as you can formulate and perfect your strategies and approach before taking your chance in real world trading.
A lot of these trading platforms are free. Not only do you not run the risk of losing your hard-earned money, you also don’t get to spend a dime just to practice trading virtually. What more could you ask for?
The Best Platforms to Practice and Learn Options Trading
Here’s a review of my favorite platforms to practice options trading online. All are suitable for both novice and professional traders, so choose the platform that best suits all your needs, and sign up for a practice options trading account.
The Options Industry Council simulator provides users with real-time analyses of markets – taking into consideration their current market conditions. This is perfect for those who are eager to learn trading options in the current financial environment today. The simulator is 100% free, and you have the choice of using the available data from the simulator, or you could input your own data to work with. The OIC simulator isn’t as comprehensive compared to next few simulators I am going to mention. But again, if you’re a beginner, this simulator might be the right place to start.
Of course – you’ve probably heard of Investopedia; you’re into trading, after all. While Investopedia is more well known because of its vast amount of informational resources used in finance and trading, the website also boasts of its very easy-to-use stock simulator. You start with $100,000 worth of virtual money to invest, and you can even view various options chains through this platform. While the simulator already has some useful guides available in it, the main Investopedia website is already a great resource for all your questions when you feel overwhelmed with trading lingo you may not be not familiar with.
MarketWatch is popular among experienced users, and even experts of the market – probably because MarketWatch regularly opens contests where the best traders can get featured on an article on their site. If you’re a beginner, MarketWatch can also work for you, as you can still trade on your own – without the worry of competition – using virtual currency and real-time information available. Their main website also contains the latest updates in financial and investment-related news, which can be useful for your enhance performance in the game.
Thinkorswim is arguably the most unmatched options trading platform online, and for good reason. In the game, you’re given $100,000 worth of virtual money, which you can choose to invest in options, stocks, and forex, among others. Thinkorswim also provides a blanket of educational webcasts. A bit of a warning: thinkorswim PaperMoney is only available for download, however. If you’re an experienced user looking for a more exciting platform and are looking for more its advanced features, you will find value using Thinkorswim.
Pro-tip: Thinkorswim also has a fantasy stock market game, which can be found here.
Go On and Trade – Without Risking Money!
Now that you know how to practice options trading without risking money, what are you waiting for? Sign up for these platforms and sharpen your options trading strategy today!
If you're venturing into options trading you might benefit from taking up one of the programs over Jason Bond Picks. Check out the Millionaire Roadmap, a mentoring program that involves Jason Bond and other self-made millionaires like him who are all-too-willing to share the secrets of their success with you.