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- 1. Compare the best demo trading accounts in 2023
- 2. Best demo stock trading accounts overall for 2023
- 3. What are the best demo trading accounts to practice with?
- 4. Top 5 demo trading platforms, reviewed
- 5. What is a demo trading platform?
- 6. How does a demo trading platform work?
- 7. How should I choose a demo trading platform?
- 8. Should I use a demo trading platform to practice trading stocks?
- 9. Methodology: How did we choose the best demo trading platforms?
- 10. FAQs
Compare the best demo trading accounts in 2023
A demo account or virtual trading account is a feature where you can trade with ‘fake’ money. It’s a great opportunity to learn the ropes, practice a trading strategy, or test out a trading platform.
Read on to find the 5 best demo trading accounts and find out where you can practice stock trading for free.
Best demo stock trading accounts overall for 2023
What are the best demo trading accounts to practice with?
Our experts rate eToro as the best demo stock trading platform. It offers a realistic trading experience on a large range of assets, with no deposit required.
Here are more top platforms with free demo trading accounts.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Top 5 demo trading platforms, reviewed
1. eToro. Best for beginners, copy-trading & demo-account
Pros & Cons
We love eToro because you can trade more than 3,000 stocks, commission free. When you buy stocks on eToro, you’re buying the underlying asset, which means you can earn dividends. Or you can trade fractional shares, which means you can invest in even the most expensive stock from just $10.
As well as being a broker that offers lots of investor protection, eToro offers a very social trading experience. You can easily see what’s trending on the stock market every day, browse the latest analyst opinion about every one of those stocks, and copy other people’s trade suggestions from your desktop or the eToro app.
The fees: Stock and ETF trades are commission free. Stock CFDs are charged a 0.15% spread and overnight fees can apply. You can deposit money for free but you have to pay $5 per withdrawal, and there’s a minimum withdrawal of $30. A $10 per month activity fee is charged if you don’t log in for a year.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
2. Public. Best for sharing beginner trading ideas
Pros & Cons
We love Public because it’s a social platform where you can share trading tips and get ideas from other people. Public offers 9,000+ financial instruments, including cryptocurrencies and stocks from around the world.
Alongside a community of other investors all sharing their ideas, Public offers real time news and information so that you can see the full picture before you invest. And the assets don’t just include your run-of-the-mill assets; you can make alternative investments in things like handbags and comic books as well.
The fees: There are no fees for investing in stocks during regular trading hours in the US – 9.30am-4pm EST. There is a $2.99 fee for trades outside of regular hours.
What is a demo trading platform?
It’s a financial stock broker or trading platform that offers a way to practice stock trading with fake money. It does this by allowing you to use a demo or virtual trading account, which let you buy and sell virtual stocks as opposed to the real thing.
Demo trading accounts are also known as paper trading accounts, so you might see them referred to as such. Paper trading is a throwback term, referring to a time before the internet when you would have to write down the trades you wanted to make and track the performance on paper.
How does a demo trading platform work?
It simply swaps real financial markets for a simulated version. In that simulated world, you can use virtual money to buy virtual financial assets, whether that is stocks, currencies, cryptocurrencies, or anything else.
Stock trading demo accounts are normally activated by just flicking a switch in your account settings. The service assigns you a fixed amount of virtual dollars – usually $100,000 or $1,000,000 – and you decide what to do with it.
You may not need to sign up to access the demo version. We found a few brokers that offered us demo stock trading accounts without requiring all the ID verification a full account would require.
How should I choose a demo trading platform?
Pick a service that offers you the most realistic trading experience, as that’s the best way to learn. Look for demo stock trading accounts that offer the opportunity to do your own analysis and that give you the chance to review your activity to assess what you profit and loss would have been. These factors should also be considered:
- Realistic trading experience. The point of a stock trading demo account is practice, so look for a platform where the demo account trading experience reflects the real one. That means looking for a demo account where you can use leverage, short stocks, and put in stop-loss or take-profit orders.
- Range of supported assets. You want to be able to practice on the assets that you’re interested in, and get relevant information on how well your strategies work. Before you create a demo trading account for stocks, make sure the platform lets you invest in the companies and countries you’re most interested by.
- Verification and ID required. Almost every real-money account requires some form of verification. Demo accounts can be different, and if you don’t want to go supply personal details and ID just to trade digital money then look for a trading platform that allows you to sign up with just an email address and phone number instead.
- Integrated software. Many traders use specialist software like MetaTrader to make trades and manage their accounts. This is particularly relevant to FX traders and if it applies to you, make sure the demo account integrates with the software so you can practice properly and get to grips with it.
- Charting and analysis tools. Performing technical analysis is an important part of making good trading decisions. You should trade on a demo account just as you would on the real markets in order to get the best out of it, so make sure you are able to do so.
- Fees for real money trading. In an ideal world, you would use a free demo trading account with the same broker as you want to use to trade for real. In that case, look for a service that offers low trading fees and which doesn’t charge too much for deposits and withdrawals.
- Copy or social trading function. Copy or social trading is a form of trading where you follow the moves of other people. Each trader posts their trades, and the reasons behind them, like they would on a social media platform and you can copy the ones you like best. The best copy trading platforms are a good way to learn and it’s normally available to virtual traders as well as real ones.
Should I use a demo trading platform to practice trading stocks?
A demo account is a great idea if you’re new to trading or want to test out a new strategy. It’s a way of trading without the risk of losing money, which is always most acute when you first start something new.
Popular trading platforms offer demo accounts that are almost identical to the real thing. You can often even use trading software like MetaTrader to practice for free, and you can learn whether your strategies work best on specific financial assets.
The obvious drawback to a demo platform is that it doesn’t offer any way to make money; your successful paper trades won’t translate into profits. It requires patience to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as to avoid chasing those profits when you start trading for real.
What are the risks of using a stock trading demo account?
One of the biggest risks is that a demo stock trading account can encourage a more aggressive trading style. It’s important to trade as if you did have something to lose, otherwise you might end up making reckless trades when you transition to real money.
Similarly, a hot streak on a demo account can be a frustrating experience. Beware of trying too hard to recreate that performance on your main demo account; if you’ve taken the time to develop a solid strategy then trust it to deliver good results over time. There is a quick summary of other risks and benefits available below.
- It allows you the space to practice
- Beginners can learn the ropes and get to know new software
- Experienced traders can practice new trading strategies
- Test out new trading platforms for free
- Work out which assets work best for your style
What are the fees for using a demo trading platform?
There are no fees for using a demo account. Paper trading is free and you normally don’t have to make a deposit first. Simply go to your account settings and switch on the practice trading account, then get started.
Methodology: How did we choose the best demo trading platforms?
This list of best demo stock trading accounts is born out of extensive research and testing of the services involved. We created an account with every platform and tried to trade as normal, placed numerous trades on different assets and evaluated how easy it was to switch between virtual and real money demo accounts.
The information we gathered was ranked on a scale based on our expertise and we used online research and customer reviews as a ranking factor too. Together, the results formed the list you can find above.
The results were not influenced by any platform or service. However, if you sign up and create an account via any of the links on this page, we may earn a commission from the partners involved. Read our review process to find out more about how we make money.
eToro is the best demo trading app. You can switch between real and virtual accounts easily just by clicking a button on the home screen and the trading experience is identical on both. When you switch to a demo trading account you receive a virtual $100,000 that you can use to practice with.
eToro is the best broker for a demo account for most users. It’s the most beginner-friendly and offers the most approachable and realistic trading experience. Other services also offer excellent demo accounts; BlackBull Markets integrates with MetaTrader4 and requires no identification to sign up.
The prices and returns from demo trading are almost identical to that of normal trading. There may be small discrepancies, particularly when it comes to fees, such as the fact you won’t have to pay deposit or withdrawal fees to use virtual money. However, the rest of the trading experience is the same.
Most stock brokers offer a demo account for trading with virtual money. Sign up to create an account like normal, then go to the settings and select the option to switch to a demo or virtual account. That allows you to start trading with virtual money.
A demo account with a regulated broker or trading platform lets you practice trading stocks with virtual money and monitor what the profit and loss would have been. It’s a great way to try out a new strategy or learn the ropes if you’ve never traded before.
Download any popular trading app, like eToro, and switch to a demo account in the settings. Then you can practice trading stocks from your phone.
More of the best platform rankings
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