My Answer To The Question, Is Demo Trading Worth It?
I have to say that yes, demo trading is absolutely worth it. It is the best place to get real world trading experience, build your confidence, learn the mechanics of trading and a tool I still use today. Yes, the giant of technical analysis and trading that you see before you today is indeed a demo trader. I do it for a number of reasons but top of the list has to be for safety. Demo trading provides a level of safety for my real-money account that you just can’t get anywhere else. Why is this? It is because I know better than to experiment, test or make wild speculations with my real money; that’s what the demo account is for. Having the demo account provides a place for me to make those trades that don’t fit my general strategy, or are part of my learning experience, thereby providing a layer of protection from the market and from myself. When I see a trade working then I can try the same thing with real money.
Practice Makes Perfect
There are a number of reasons why demo trading is important. For a newbie it is important because it is where you learn the mechanics of trading. Trading demo answers a lot of questions, questions like what happens when I enter an order, what does it look like when it’s open, what does it look like when it is closed, how does my money management work, how does my money management affect my trades and many many other questions a newbie or inexperienced trader may have.
Look at the picture below, I chose it because it is a great example of how demo trading can help you get in synch with the market. How many hours of practice do you think these guys put in to be able to row that boat, how many more to be competitive? That’s what it takes to be successful at trading and that is what a demo account is for.
Once the mechanics are learned, the demo account does not lose its importance. It also provides a training ground and launch pad for trading real money accounts. The advancing trader can use the demo account to practice trading strategies, money management, learn and study the market until they know it inside and out. A friend of mine, Okane, recently said something that I have found to be perfectly true. Trading the demo account, and studying the market, can help you develop a kind of sixth sense that will lead you to more profitable trading. Ultimately that is why I like it, it helps you get in tune with the market.
I can readily admit that I am not always in tune with the market. Sometimes I have winning streaks, sometimes I have losing streaks. The demo account helps because when I realize I am on a bad streak, or just out of tune with market direction or churning conditions and volatility, I can switch and start trading there for safety. Then, when I am back in tune I can move my trades back to the real money account. Believe it or not this is a really valuable tool but one that requires a certain amount of self control to use.
Yet another reason I like my demo account is for accountability. It’s very easy to look at a chart and say, “I think the market is going up” or “I think the market is going down”. It is something else entirely to to say that and then act on it. Even writing it down is better than nothing but with a demo account it’s more real, you have points to keep track of and everybody hates to lose their points. You see the trade in the account, you see if it wins or loses and you see if your balance draws down. It may be a fake balance but losing points is losing points, if you want to win as a trader then you have to be able to win with demo money as well as real money.
Where To Find Quality Demo Trading
I use my NADEX demo account on a regular basis. NADEX trading is more complex than spot trading, and more rewarding, so I highly recommend traders start there first. To help, I’ve written two articles on how to make the most of your NADEX experience and fine tune the platform for best results: The Geek’s Tips For Trading NADEX Binary Options and NADEX Trading Tips; Your Account Settings And Execution Speed.
Unfortunately most binary options brokers don’t have quality demo trading. If they do it usually comes with a catch. Not NADEX, they are regulated and squared away, perfect for US traders, and just about anyone else. They have a foreign account for individuals from about 100 countries including the UK and many EU nations.