Before you even think about trading options in the stock market, you should be looking for the best way to practice without risking your own money. That’s where virtual options trading, sometimes called “paper trading” comes in. With it you can execute trades based on what is really happening in the market, test out strategies, and gain a better understanding of trading without all the risk involved.
Investing in stocks and options is similar to riding a bicycle; you can read as much as you want about the subject matter, but you will never really learn how to do it unless you jump in and enjoy the ride. You’ll make mistakes along the way, of course, and that’s part of the learning curve – which is why virtual options trading is the most effective way to learn the market.
Virtual Trading Games
Playing virtual trading games can help you form a trading strategy that will prepare you for actual investing in real life – avoiding the costly mistakes, and making better decisions all in all.
So what are you waiting for? Here are the best virtual trading platforms available online to get you started.
Highly regarded by industry experts and news outlets alike, Kapitall is a relatively new entry into the virtual trading market. It’s a great platform for all levels of traders - from beginners to seasoned professionals. Aside from having some incredible free resources, Kapitall also offers ‘loyalty’ points called “Koins” which you can use to purchase premium tools and unlock advanced features. Another plus for Kapitall is they have a sleek app version named Kapitall Pocket, available on iOS and Android.
What makes Wall Street Survivor distinct from its competitors is its helpful community of active members. The platform also has a discussion forum where you can post questions and topics, and learn trading strategies from your co-Wall Street Survivor members. If you’re feeling good and confident with your skills, you can also join competitions and win real cash if you come out on top!
Investopedia is a juggernaut in the investing world and has time and time again proven themselves as great source for anyone interested in finance. Not only do they have a massive encyclopedia of investment terminology, we feel Investopedia has one of the best rated simulators of 2016 because of it's super user-friendly and intuitive design. Close to one million people use this simulator, many of whom you can connect with and trade strategies or compete with in challenges.
UpDown gives you a virtual million dollars to invest, and you can find guides on the most frequently bought and sold stocks within the platform. Like most virtual trading tools, they also have leaderboards that encourage competition. And if your portfolio’s really good – as in good enough to beat the S&P 500, you get to earn real money.
While UpDown may not as expansive as Investopedia, it also provides users with terms and their corresponding definitions in their Investment Education Center. Collaborative components also exist, allowing you to strategize with fellow virtual traders (or even your real friends) by creating or joining groups and acquiring new skills from them along the way.
Update: As of 8/01/2017, UpDown publicly announced that they have wrapped up their business.
Here Are The Best Apps for Virtual Trading
Aside from Kapitall, there are also many apps that you can practice options trading and execute great trade strategies. As the smartphone and tablet progress more into becoming our main device, I expect we'll be seeing a lot more mobile trading software apps in the future. Below are two of my personal favorites.
Stockfuse (iOS and Android)
Stockfuse boasts itself as an all-around trading and social app for everyone: from educators, to corporations, and financial newbies like you and me. The app provides a user friendly interface design, similar to popular social media timelines. You can participate in trading games and share ideas and strategies with fellow traders within the game.
Many users have complimented Stocktrainer for its simplicity and clean no ad design. Stocktrainer starts you off with $20,000 worth of virtual money and uses current market data with a 30 minute delay to give you an real time trading experience.
What Are You Waiting For?
Virtual trading can be a useful tool for beginners looking to start their journey in the investment world. Just find the best virtual trading platform most suitable to your level and preferences, and start investing!
You may find that virtual trading is not enough and want to get into actual trading. You may even feel that you need to learn some more. The Millionaire Roadmap can help you! This mentoring program involves giants in the field like Jason Bond, but other self-made millionaires who are all-too-willing to share the secrets of their success with you.