Paper trading platforms are virtual market environments that allow investors to trade financial instruments in a risk-free manner. This guide provides a review of the best paper trading platforms and strategies for new and experienced traders. 

We will also summarize the benefits of paper trading simulators and show you how to start investing using the top paper trading app below. 

 Best Paper Trading Platforms Ranked

We have ranked the 7 best paper trading accounts below. Scroll down to read the in-depth reviews of each paper trading platform. 

  • eToro Overall Best Paper Trading Platform 
  • WebullPaper Trading via Mobile App
  • TD Ameritrade – Test Advanced Strategies on your Paper Trading Account
  • Interactive Brokers – Paper Trading Platform for Accessing Global Markets
  • Tradestation – Back-Test on Stocks, Futures & Options
  • Etrade – Paper Trading Platform to Learn Technical Strategies
  • TradingView – Paper Trading Platform to Practice Day-Trading

Best Paper Trading Platforms Reviewed 

There are various factors to consider while ranking the best paper trading platforms. For example, the amount of funds and the mirroring of live activities in your demo accounts can differ per platform. The top paper trading sites also provide access to international markets and multiple asset classes. 

Considering all these factors, here are the best paper trading platforms currently available on the market. 

1. eToro – Overall Best paper trading platform 

etoro logoeToro is the best paper trading platform currently available in the market.

A global online brokerage, eToro provides its services to over 24 million users in over 140 countries, including the US and UK. You can start using the eToro demo account right after registering your account on the platform’s website or mobile app – available on iOS and Android. Moreover, users do not have to deposit any money to access the demo account. 

There are many reasons to use eToro as your trusted paper trading app. Firstly, the brokerage gives you a demo balance of $100K. Secondly, eToro mirrors live market conditions. 

eToro platform

Finally, eToro’s simple user interface lets you easily switch between your demo and real account. The broker offers more than 2,500 stocks, 250 ETFs and 60 + cryptocurrencies to trade on the demo account. 

Once you are ready to trade in the real mode, eToro supports payment in credit/debit, e-wallets and bank transfers. eToro is also a social trading platform that offers a variety of beginner-friendly tools to help beginner traders. 

Through the “Copy Trading” tool, users can copy the exact trades of thousands of experienced traders and test out different investing strategies without risking any money. 

 Since eToro is a, it also allows new investors to copy the trades of more experienced investors. 

A worldwide exchange, eToro is heavily regulated by global regulatory bodies in the US, UK and several other European countries. 

If you want to practice investing in stocks and other asset classes, we recommend eToro as the best paper trading simulator in 2022. 

Paper Trading Features on eToro
Demo Account Amount $100K
Asset Classes Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Index Funds
Top-up  100% Top-up after funds get over

Pros 

  • $100K allowance in demo account
  • Supports stocks, ETF and crypto trading 
  • Demo account mirrors live market conditions
  • Regulated heavily around the world
  • Multiple payment methods 

Cons 

  • Provides fewer trading tools for advanced traders

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product.

2. Webull – Paper Trading via Mobile App

With mobile apps proving to be the new norm for online brokerages, many paper trading platforms can be accessed on iOS andWebull logo Android.

If you are based in the US and looking for the best paper trading stock app – we recommend opening an account on Webull

After researching the Webull website, we found out that Webull gives customers a pre-loaded allowance of $1 million on the demo mode. You can invest in U.S stocks, cryptos, ETFs, and penny stocks with your virtual funds.  

Webull login

Although Webull takes no commission on stock options, other fees do apply. A monthly charge of $1 is solicited on your standard account. 

Most importantly, Webull does not charge any broker fees on deposits. The $1 monthly charge can be covered by accessing the Webull promotional scheme. After successfully opening an account, Webull offers free shares of stock valued between $2.50 to $250. 

If you invest a minimum of $100, the value of free shares goes up to $8 to $1600. You can claim this after buying stocks via credit card or the multiple other payment methods Webull offer. 

Paper Trading Features on Webull
Demo Account Amount $1 million
Asset Classes U.S Stocks and ETFs, Cryptocurrencies
Top-up  100% top-up available 

Pros

  • $1 million allowance in trading account
  • Commission-free trading
  • Free shares accessed through bonus schemes

Cons

  • Only available to US traders

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product.

3. TD Ameritrade – Test Advanced Strategies on your Paper Trading Account

With over 11 million registered users, TD Ameritrade allows you to access advanced paper trading strategies via desktop, onlineTD Ameritrade logo and on their mobile app. 

We recommend TD Ameritrade mainly because of their advanced web-based software – thinkorswim. The thinkorswim software gives you access to customisable trading tools to test out strategies and execute complex trades. 

TD Ameritrade login

Notably, the thinkorswim paper trading platform provides users with $100K pre-loaded on their demo accounts. The thinkorswim paper trading software is perfect for those looking to trade in the equities and derivatives market with access to essential tools and features. 

If you decide to access the normal mode, TD Ameritrade will not charge you any trading commission on US stocks and ETFs either. The only drawback is that users have to deposit $500 to access real-time pricing quotes. 

We recommend TD Ameritrade as the best paper trading platform to access tools for advanced trading opportunities.

Paper Trading Features on TD Ameritrade 
Demo Account Amount $100K
Asset Classes US stocks and ETFs, Futures & Options
Top-up  You can adjust and reset all positions and funds

Pros 

  • Various tools for analysing equities and derivatives
  • Commission-free trading 
  • $100K pre-loaded in your demo account

Cons

  • $500 deposit to access real-time pricing quotes

4. Interactive Brokers – Paper Trading Platform for Accessing Global Markets

Interactive Brokers is a comprehensive trading platform that gives users access to a massive range of securities at affordableInteractive Brokers Logo rates. 

You can buy assets worldwide by accessing any of the 135 global markets available on Interactive Brokers. 

Interactive Brokers signup

The platform offers a wide variety of specialised tools to read charts and perform technical analysis – most of which are available on the paper trading app as well. Crucially, you can use Interactive Brokers to practice investing in a variety of long-term investments – including Futures, Forex, ETFs, index funds and options paper trading. 

Interactive Brokers provides commission-free trading on all U.S stocks if you choose to access the normal mode. Join the Interactive Brokers paper trading simulator to access a pre-loaded amount of $1 million. 

Paper Trading Features on Interactive Brokers
Demo Account Amount $1 million 
Asset Classes Forex, Futures, Index Funds and Stocks
Top-up  Reset option to allow top-up to $1 million

Pros 

  • Access to 135 global markets
  • Long-term investment options
  • $1 million pre-loaded on demo account 
  • Zero commission on U.S based trades

Cons 

  • Not very beginner-friendly

5. TradeStation – Back-Test on Stocks, Futures & Options

TradeStation traditionally focuses on experienced and active traders due to its robust platform that provides sophisticatedTradeStation Logo charting and testing options. 

However, beginners and active traders can use TradeStation’s simulated trading feature to practice their strategies. 

TradeStation home

Firstly, the platform provides an unlimited deposit on the free paper trading simulator. Secondly, TradeStation offers a unique feature on the paper trading account – Back-testing. This feature allows users to test the viability of a trading strategy by comparing their model with historical analysis.

Experienced traders can use the trade simulation to test out more advanced tactics – Strategy automation, advanced orders and alternate market types. With the unlimited deposit balance, users can access real-time market data to invest in Options, Futures, Stocks and ETFs. 

If you choose to upgrade to a standard account, options and futures can be accessed starting from $0.50 and $1.50, respectively. 

Paper Trading Features on TradeStation
Demo Account Amount Unlimited Deposit
Asset Classes Stock options, Futures and ETFs
Top-up  Unlimited balance and Top-up

Pros 

  • Unlimited Virtual money
  • Back-Testing options
  • Access to Futures and Options
  • Reset button to try alternative strategies
  • Options investing starting at $0.50 only 

Cons

  • $50 inactivity fee (Annual charge)

6. Etrade – Paper Trading Platform to Learn Technical Strategies

Etrade is an online trading platform that provides user-friendly tools and features to spot market opportunities. Etrade logo

Users can access the intuitive paper trading platform to test drive their stock and margin trading ideas through the Power Etrade app and website. 

eTrade home

Through the Etrade paper trading options, you can learn how to use interactive charts and access over 100 technical studies and scans to hone your craft. From simple translations of industry jargon to viewing market movements – the Etrade paper trading app is simple and effective. 

Without investing any of your real money, users can test out equities and option trading strategies with a pre-loaded $200K deposit. You are also given an additional $100K of virtual deposits for stocks and ETFs trading. 

Paper Trading Features on Etrade
Demo Account Amount $200K for equities + $100K for ETFs
Asset Classes Stocks, ETFs and options trading 
Top-up  100% Top-up

Pros 

  • 100 + technical studies and scans
  • $300K total pre-loaded deposit
  • User-friendly platform

Cons

  • Only gives access to US markets

7. TradingView – Paper Trading Platform to Practice Day-Trading 

TradingView is a powerful online trading platform that provides a free paper trading simulator option. TradingView logo

Catering to novice and experienced investors, TradingView provides technical analysis tools and superior charting systems to help in day-to-day trading. The paper trading demo platform of TradingView provides everything that your real money account would. 

Charts and screeners can be accessed to better navigate stocks, Forex, cryptos and ETF trades. To access futures on paper trading, users will require a futures data feed, which can be accessed by connecting a futures brokerage account to TradingView. 

TradingView home

On the paper trading simulator, you are given a pre-loaded value of $100,000. However, this can be reduced to your liking. For example, you can start trading with $1,000 on your demo account if you were to invest the same amount in your regular money account later on.

That way, you can proportion your funds according to your real-future investments. TradingView also offers you access to a community page. Through this, you can view charts and ideas of other community members on Tradingview. 

Paper Trading Features on TradingView
Demo Account Amount $100K
Asset Classes Forex, Stocks, ETF and Cryptocurrencies
Top-up  Reset your balance any time

Pros

  • $100K pre-loaded in demo account
  • Useful for day trading strategies
  • Forex, crypto and stock options on the paper trading app

Cons

  • Community section can confuse beginners with misleading strategies

The Best Paper Trading Platforms Compared

Read our comparisons for the best paper trading platforms below. We analyse each of the 7 platforms on the basis of the demo account balance, top-up features and more. 

Platform  Demo Account Amount Asset Classes Top-up
eToro $100K Stocks, ETFs, Index Funds & Cryptocurrencies 100% top-up after balance finishes 
Webull $1 million U.S Stocks and ETFs, Cryptocurrencies 100% top-up 
TD Ameritrade $100K US stocks and ETFs, Futures & Options You can adjust and reset all positions and funds
Interactive Brokers $1 million Forex, Futures, Index Funds and Stocks Reset option to allow top-up to $1 million
TradeStation Unlimited Stock options, Futures and ETFs Unlimited top-up 
Etrade $300K Stocks, ETFs and options trading  100% Top-up
TradingView $100K Forex, Stocks, ETF and Cryptocurrencies Reset your balance any time

What is Paper Trading?

Paper trading is simply a trade simulation tool. This platform allows investors to witness a virtually simulated environment that replicates the shares and equities markets. 

Paper trading is usually used by beginners to get an opportunity to trade in a realistic market setup without risking any money. However, many paper trading platforms offer complex charting and testing options for experienced investors. 

As we discussed earlier, many paper trading simulators will mirror live market conditions. As a result, you can assess the viability of your trades in the demo account.

Most online trading platforms provide a fixed amount of virtual money on your trading accounts—for example, eToro pre-loads $100K on your demo account. 

However, other platforms may offer customisable amounts. For instance, TradeStation gives you an unlimited deposit of virtual funds on their paper trading platform. 

Benefits of Paper Trading 

The best paper trading platforms are suitable for beginners and experienced traders to test a variety of tools and strategies. We have assessed the benefits of using paper money trading apps and platforms below. 

Beneficial for New Investors

Entering the live trading markets without prior experience and knowledge can be challenging for new investors. 

Primarily, paper trading platforms cater to this demographic. The best paper trading simulators provide beginners with a medium to access their platforms prior to investing any real money. 

etoro copy trading

Social trading platforms like eToro also give users an opportunity to copy and learn from the best investors on the platform. 

Testing out a New Platform 

Many traders access multiple trading platforms to gain different benefits. However, using a paper trading account is a safe way for beginners and experienced traders to learn about different platforms and compare them to one another.

Since there is very little separating the top brokerages, demo accounts give you further insights into a platform’s user interface and available asset classes. 

eToro home

For this to be navigated appropriately, you should test out paper trading platforms which mirror live market conditions. With this added feature, users will get a good sense of what to expect from real money accounts. 

This is why we recommend eToro as the best paper trading site. eToro provides users a paper trading platform that is almost a live replica of their actual platform. You can access social trading options, view available markets and navigate through their user-friendly interface on the demo account. 

Zero-Risk 

The essence of a paper trading platform is to provide investors with a zero-risk environment to study the market. Using a demo account is beneficial to both new and experienced investors.

On the one hand, beginners get first-hand experience assessing marketing conditions without the risk of any investment. On the other, senior traders can invest in high-risk asset classes and test out unfamiliar trading tools and charts for the first time. 

Allowing yourself the opportunity to assess the viability of your trades in a simulated environment will help build your confidence and skill-set. 

Futures & Options Trading

Day-traders and long-term investors often want a platform to test out complex futures and options trading strategies. Some of the best paper trading platforms provide traders with sophisticated charting options and tools for forex, options and commodities. 

For example, TD Ameritrade has incorporated thinkorswim paper trading – a web-based software that gives you access to customisable trading tools on forex, options and futures. 

TradeStation provides a paper trading simulator that lets you test out advanced tactics on multiple asset classes with an infinite amount of virtual money. Futures and options trading can be accessed starting at just $1.50 and $0.50, respectively. 

Paper Trading Strategies 

The best paper trading platforms provide enough features to help you become a better investor. However, you may be looking for guidance on how to go about your demo account.

To get the best out of your paper trading accounts, we recommend you try out a few of these paper trading strategies now:

Deployment of Funds Strategy 

When using a paper trading platform, it is necessary to set up a fixed strategy while deploying your funds. Your virtual funds should ideally mirror the investment funds set aside for your real money account. 

  • Many paper trading sites provide pre-loaded deposits starting from $100K and above. Deploying all these funds may not be sensible if your fiat purse is significantly smaller.
  • For example, let’s say you have budgeted $5,000 for future investments. It is good practice to begin your demo account with a similar amount. 
  • This prevents you from having a huge trading disparity and setting unrealistic goals for your future investments. 

There are two reasons you can go about this strategy. 

  • Firstly, sites like eToro provide you with a $100K amount of virtual currency. You can choose to deploy only a fixed sum of $5,000 to replicate a similar trading strategy on your money account. 
  • Secondly, paper trading simulators like TradeStation give you unlimited virtual funds. Select the exact amount of currency you wish to trade with to replicate your fiat deposits. 

Risk Management 

It is easy to get carried away on a paper trading demo account. Since there is zero added risk, many investors may implement riskier strategies than they would in their regular trading accounts. 

Thus, following a fixed risk management plan in your demo account is essential. 

Firstly, create a fixed staking plan. It is advisable to not stake more than 1% to 5% of your funds in any single trade. This gives users access to create a diverse portfolio and reduces the chances of heavy losses from a single trade. You can also invest in undervalued stocks to further expand your asset reach. 

etoro best biotech stocks to buy list

For example, with a budget of $1,000 – it is best to invest between $10 to $50 per asset. Higher investments can trigger unwanted losses, especially while investing in volatile markets. 

Secondly, setting up a stop/loss feature per trade limits additional losses. While the former automatically cashes out your earnings after crossing a fixed profit threshold, the latter will trigger a sale after your investment dips by a certain value. 

Market Entry-Point Strategy 

The market-entry point strategy is a tactic used to try and identify suitable entry points for your investments. 

Many orders placed by investors after market close or before market open can increase volatility. The opening 15-30 minutes in the stock market is considered the most unpredictable. 

This is why it is advised to place a new order during the middle hours of market open. Day traders tend to use this strategy to maximise minute gains to benefit during trading hours. 

How to Get a Paper Trading Account 

So far, we have discussed the best paper trading platforms and suitable strategies to implement on your paper trading sites. 

Now, let’s take a look at how to get a paper trading account. You can open your own account with the best paper trading platform in the industry, eToro. Follow these simple steps to do so:

Step 1: Open An Account 

Head over to the eToro website and complete the simple registration process. Provide your name, address, nationality and DOB to get started. 

eToro create account

Complete this process by creating a username and password to access your paper trading account on eToro. 

Step 2: Switch to Demo Mode

After registering your account, you can instantly use the demo paper trading account on eToro. Click on the “Real” option on the left-hand side of the eToro toolbar and then click on “Virtual Portfolio”. 

eToro demo account

Confirm this process by selecting the “Go to Virtual Portfolio” option that appears on your screen. You will now have access to a pre-loaded $100K in virtual money. 

Step 3: Start Paper Trading 

In virtual mode, the prices of all asset classes represent their real-time values. However, you can now access all these options using your virtual funds. 

To start paper trading on eToro, search for a market. You can browse the available options by clicking on the “Trade Markets” option on the left-hand side of the eToro dashboard. For example, if you wish to purchase Tesla stock, simply type the company’s name on the dashboard. 

Step 4: Place Your Paper Trading Order

After selecting the market you wish to trade in, you have to set up the order. After clicking on the “Trade” feature next to your chosen market, a pop-up will appear to set your order. 

Choose between “Buy” or “Sell” – to decide whether you’re trading on the price to go up or down respectively. eToro allows you to enter a stop/loss and Take Profit option – to minimise losses and cash out on profits, respectively. 

Confirm your paper trading order by clicking “Set Order”. 

Conclusion 

In this guide, we have reviewed the best paper trading platforms that beginners and experienced traders can try out. In most cases, the paper trading sites provide risk-free trading without the requirement of any deposits. 

To uncover the best trading strategies and benefits, we recommend eToro as the best paper trading platform for users. eToro’s paper trading site has a variety of international markets and different asset classes that mirror live market conditions. Furthermore, eToro’s beginner-friendly tools such as the copy-trading feature make it the best platform for investors looking to practice risk-free trading. 

Get started with the eToro trading platform using the link below. 

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product.

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