Best Stock Market Simulators

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Contributor, Benzinga
December 11, 2023

Benzinga readers often choose eToro or moomoo as the best stock market simulators.

“Practice makes perfect” rings true when you're trading, especially if you're looking for the best stock trading simulator. The best traders all practice with paper money before putting any real capital at risk. Here's what you need to know about the best stock market simulators.

Quick Look: Best Stock Market Simulators

Best Stock Market Simulators

We’ve ranked the best stock market simulators. All of them offer terrific platforms, but the top selections on this list will have all the features an advanced trader can ask for.

1. Best for Demo Accounts: eToro

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    eToros securities trading offered by eToro Securities, Inc, (“the BD”), member of FINRA and SIPC. Investing involves risk.

eToro, renowned for its crypto offerings, also offers stocks, ETF trading and forex trading. In addition, you can mix your stocks and ETFs into an existing cryptocurrency portfolio. The stock offering allows you to:

  • Invest in full stocks or fractional shares for as little as $10
  • Engage with real, experienced investors regarding strategy
  • View detailed prices charts and analysis
  • Pay zero commissions on stocks

Pros

  • Excellent crypto offerings
  • The newest investors can start small
  • Low commissions help you further invest in your portfolio

Cons

  • You may not like how widespread the platform is, especially if you’re a newer trader

2. Best for Active Traders: Moomoo

Moomoo is an intuitive investment and trading platform with pro-grade, easy-to-use tools, data, and insights. Offering a pro-level trading experience for those of all levels of expertise.

When you sign up, user can enjoy these features :

  • Real-time Level 2 stock and options market data for funded accounts
  • Advanced technical indicators and charting tools
  • Advanced order types for professional traders
  • Full extended trading hours from 4 AM to 8 PM EST
  • Multi-market quoting ability
  • Low fees, including $0 commission on U.S. Stocks or ETFs and $0 equity options contract fees
  • 5.1% APY in the Cash sweep program with a 3.0% boost for qualified customers

You can reach out to the customer support team during the trading day via phone or email. For those who want the DIY approach, you can review the FAQs in the Help Center at any time.

There is also a large of educational tools, research options and a community with more than 20 million users across the globe.

Pros

  • Commission-free trading
  • 6.8% margin rate
  • 5.1% APY in the Cash Sweep program for new and qualified customers
  • Free Level 2 data for funded brokerage accounts
  • Advanced charting tools with 100+ indicators
  • 37+ drawing tools, and 20 candle patterns
  • Extended trading hours for advanced traders
  • No minimum deposit to start an account
  • 24/7 chat support

Cons

  • Doesn't support fractional stocks
  • No support for crypto
  • Doesn’t support retirement accounts or mutual funds

3. Best for Futures Trading: TradeStation

TradeStation is one of the most trusted brokerages in the world and it offers advanced trading on a customizable desktop or mobile platform. TradeStation is geared toward active traders and charges a $99 monthly fee on accounts that don’t trade 5,000 shares or 50 options contracts each quarter. It’s an expensive platform, but you can test it out for free by signing up for a paper trading account.

TradeStation’s simulator is complete with research tools, stock chart indicators and access to the community forums, where you can exchange ideas with other traders. Brokerage account holders can jump back and forth between real and paper trading on both the desktop and mobile apps.

Pros

  • You can use a paper trading account to save money
  • You can skip between the desktop and mobile platforms

Cons

  • You might not want to pay the fee to manage an account on this platform

4. Best for Advanced Futures Trading: NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader is a cutting-edge trading platform launched in 2003 that’s already on its eighth software iteration. The real stock trading app is a fee-based system, but the paper trading platform is completely free to all users.

You just need to sign up for an account to begin trading. NinjaTrader is a big proponent of educating new investors before you dive into stock trading. Its simulated brokerage carries over all the features of the live trading platform. The research and stock charting tools available are highly interactive. You can pinpoint a location on a stock chart that you’d like to place a stop-loss or limit order and execute trades entirely from the same screen. The backtesting option allows you to roll back the clock and trade during different time periods, too.

Want to see how you’d do during the 2008 financial crisis? Simply change the time period and test your strategies (and don’t buy Lehman Brothers).

Pros

  • The platform has all the features you need and allows you to do more items like backtesting
  • You can chart and use interactive options on the platform to better predict what the market is doing

Cons

  • While you can use several functions on this platform, it’s more set up for active traders with massive portfolios

5. Best for Thought Experiments: MarketWatch

MarketWatch is a leader in the world of financial news and current events. Many people turn to this platform to get their news, and you might have heard their advertisements in radio spots across America.

When you visit this platform, yes, you can read news items. However, you also have the opportunity to review stock information, set up a watchlist and more. MarketWatch is a good place to go when you have a thought experiment that you would like to review. Plus, you can save information in the account you’ve created related to these experiments.

When you’re ready to test out these thought experiments, you can play the Virtual Stock Market game. While this game may seem like it’s designed for kids, it can help anyone (even adults) learn how their trading moves would impact their portfolio and function within the scope of the current stock market.

Pros

  • You can collect quite a lot of information related to any trades you might like to make
  • You can also use information on this platform to predict how the market might shift over long periods of time
  • The virtual stock market game is a good way to learn, even for adults

Cons

  • This platform isn’t a traditional simulator, but the virtual stock market game is quite useful

What’s a Stock Market Simulator?

Ever play Madden for Xbox or PlayStation? Pretty much every football fan has simulated the NFL experience on a video game console. While playing virtual games won’t make you a better football player, it might make you a better stock traderPaper trading allows novice investors to simulate the stock market experience by buying stocks and assets with fake cash.

With $100,000 in pretend capital, you can build a portfolio and test strategies without taking on any real riskWant to see how different strategies work together? You might not be willing to take the risk if your own money is a stake. If it’s Monopoly money, though, you’ll be more inclined to explore, take chances and learn from mistakes if your trades go wrong.

The goal of paper trading is to improve. You’ll learn to better identify chart patterns and trends and you might even feel a little pang of pain when one of your pretend trades blows up. Some paper trading platforms are connected to online brokerages, which means you need a real trading account to dabble in fake money. But most simulators can simply be downloaded and “funded” instantly and trading begins whenever the market opens.

Key Qualities of the Best Stock Market Simulators

The top stock market simulators chosen by Benzinga share a few common traits:

  • They closely resemble the actual market. You want an authentic stock trading experience when paper trading, so simulators must feel like the real thing. Buying and selling stocks in real time is important, so it’s important to have access to more advanced securities and order types.
  • Many securities are available. Buying and selling stocks is fun, but you might want to test some more conservative strategies such as buying and holding ETFs and mutual funds. A good stock market simulator will let you trade triple-leveraged ETNs and hold mutual funds for 40 years.
  • Useful research tools and stock charts are included. What good is trading if you can’t do any research? Stock charting tools are a necessity for any (real or fake) trading platform, and it doesn’t hurt to have access to conference calls, news reports or economic data, either.

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Get the Best Stock Simulator

Paper trading is a great way to practice and test strategies, but even the most realistic stock market simulator isn’t a true substitute for the real thing. Successful paper trading does not guarantee successful trading with real money.

After all, it’s easy to take on risk when there’s no real money to lose. Stock market simulators are for investors to get their feet wet, but you won’t know who you really are as a trader until you “play” with the real thing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

How do you practice trading stock?

A

A stock trading simulator allows you to practice trading and test your strategy with hypothetical money.

Q

How do I practice using hypothetical money?

A

Hypothetical money means you use imaginary funds to build and test your trading strategies.

Q

Why are stock stimulators good?

A

Stock stimulators help you practice trading stocks without having to risk any real money. They allow you get better at trades before jumping in.