Everything I read (including posts here on ET) seem to indicate how important sim trading is to a beginner. I can definitely see the value in it but I also see the shortcomings and is it possible those outweigh the benefits at times? You can't blow up your account. You get those much needed "reps" and practice. You can formulate a trading plan and execute it over and over to see if it works. However, if there is one thing I know about trading its that when you're not dealing with your real, hard earned $ then it's just not the same. The psychological aspect of trading and making hard decisions about risk management is just not there when you're not fully invested in the trade. That seems like a very big argument against sim trading that doesn't get highlighted much. I also hear people say you can get a week of experience in a day on the sim. How is that? Doesn't that mean you are trading things you otherwise wouldn't or shouldn't be trading just for the sake of practice? Or is there another tool that I'm not aware of that helps you do this. Something like Ninja Trader's sim data where its "random" but you give it a bullish or bearish skew seems next to worthless to me since it's not real market factors moving the prices and you also know which way the market is trending because you told it which way to go. I don't really get how that is valuable. Who's got thoughts on the subject? For the purpose of this discussion lets assume we're talking an equity daytrader since you have far more options to trade.