Best Day Trading Simulators and Demo Accounts

Practice Day Trading for Free in Real-Time Account

Day trading doesn't just require knowledge, it requires practice. While a demo account or day trading simulator can't mimic the psychological pressures of having real money on the line, it's still a valuable tool for honing strategies, developing trading confidence, monitoring market conditions or familiarizing yourself with the software before using it with real capital.

Whether you day trade forex, stocks, ETFs, futures, options or all of them, here are three solid free demo accounts you can use. Each broker offers different types of software (trading platforms), so you can see which software best suites your trading style.

Futures Demo Account: NinjaTrader Brokerage

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Trade a real-time demo account with NinjaTrader Brokerage on the NinjaTrader platform. NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader is one of the best low-cost (can be free) futures and forex trading platforms available, and the company also provides brokerage services.

Open a free Ninja Trader demo account and get access to one of the most recommended charting and trading platforms available, as well as some the lowest trading fees in the business. 

The NinjaTrader platform is a purchasable product, also provided by other brokers. NinjaTrader is available for free, although commissions will generally be higher with this approach. You can lease the platform for $50 per month, and this reduces per trade commissions, or you can buy the platform outright for $995 and this results in the lowest commissions. 

Current NinjaTrader Brokerage commissions can be found here: http://ninjatrader.com/Futures#!Futures_Commissions

Current brokers that offer NinjaTrader can be seen here: http://ninjatraderecosystem.com/Brokers.php

Interested in day trading futures? Here's how much capital you'll need: Minimum Capital Required to Start Day Trading Futures.

Forex Demo Account: MB Trading with Meta Trader

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Trade a real-time demo account with MB Trading on numerous platforms. MB Trading

There is no shortage of forex demo accounts available, but for U.S. residents MB Trading offers a lot of flexibility, great software and an excellent commission structure.

For forex trading they offer both commission based ECN style trading (lower spreads but pay a commission) or the more typical commission free trading but with a marked up bid/ask spread.

You can open a free MB Trading forex demo account using several different trading platforms, including the popular MetaTrader.

MB Trading also offers stock, futures and options trading, providing $4.95 stock trades and access to numerous trading platforms (including NinjaTrader); another great demo account alternative to TD Ameritrade (discussed below) or NinjaTrader Brokerage.

Stock Trading Demo Account: TD Ameritrade with ThinkorSwim

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Trade a real-time demo account with TD Ameritrade on the Thinkorswim platform. Thinkorswim

TD Ameritrade offers a free two month demo account with access to its Thinkorswim trading platform. 

The platform is loaded with features, and allows you to make real-time simulated trades in the stock (including ETFs), futures, options and/or forex markets.

Since the charts provide real-time price data on various markets, it's an excellent backup data provider even if you have another demo/trading account. Due to the sophistication of the software--you can create your own indicators for example--it's also excellent for doing research or developing strategies.

Thinkorswim is available for free, and TD Ameritrade charges $9.99 per stock trade, similar to E*Trade. This is not the cheapest commissions available.

Other alternatives include Junotrade.com offering $4.95 stock trades and some advanced trading tools as well, or Fidelity.com offering $7.95 stock trades.Unfortunately these companies don't have easily accessed or fully functional demo accounts like TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim.

Best Day Trading Simulators and Demo Accounts - Final Word

If you want to trade futures, then NinjaTrader Brokerage, MB Trading or TD Ameritrade can help you out. They offer real-time demo accounts, competitive commissions and a great trading platform in NinjaTrader. If you want to trade stocks, options or forex, MB Trading is a top contender, offering low commissions and numerous trading platforms. TD Ameritrade offers a great free trading platform in Thinkorswim, but their commissions are not quite as competitive for when you make the switch to trading with real capital. If you're just looking for a great all round demo account to watch various markets and see which one you like, download the TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim platform. You can make simulated trades in various assets with ease, without switching platforms. There are loads of demo accounts out there, but these are just a few you'll likely be happy with.

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