Trading Simulators- Worth it?

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by Great John, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. Hey,

    Im an aspiring trader that has followed this and many other boards for quite a while. Ive also read many books on trading, including Trading for a Living by Elder and Pit Bull...It seems like the more I read about a personal trader's technique that has made him a success, the more I get confused..I know the basics and I want to apply them to see if I have what it takes and if I even enjoy trading.

    My question is if anyone knows of a trading simulation that is as close to being in the cockpit as possible. Since I have close to zero capital right now, it is impossible for me to open an actual trading account. I know its totally different when you're risking you're own wallet, but I think any experience will help...ive checked out cybertrader and it looks like an interesting possibility...if not, i might just papertrader for a while.

  2. hans130


    I am trying simulators right now. Its pretty good, 5 second delay to the current market. I think its worth a try to practice.
  3. cybertraders simulator is good as far as the software goes. It is NOT accurate as far as the fills goes. Depending on trading style, exact fill may not be that significant. This is a particular issue when shorting, since it's often difficult to actually even get stock anywhere close to the current market for less liquid stocks.

    another (better, IMHO) choice is to get tradeStation, MetaStock, or wealth-lab and test strategies based on market orders. If you can make that work, you have a decent chance of making money.
  4. Splat


    Hi Vikana,
    What do you mean by : '.......test strategies based on market orders'?

  5. Forget about simulators... you can't simulate emotions when trading with pretend money... trade 100 share lots and practice with real money...
  6. I too truly believe the best way to practice is with real money.

    Trade with a very small capitol because it's your tuition fee into "trading college".

    Nihaba Ashi
  7. Splat,

    I suggest that you simulate with market orders only. Reason is that it's very difficult to simulate e.g. LIMIT and STOPs correctly. You are not guaranteed a fill at the limit, and stops behave differently depending on exchange, where the order sits (your computer, at the brokerage, at the exchange).

    Assuming that you work on bar data (e.g. 5 min), try to enter and exit on the open of the next bar. You can then simulate limit and stops with orders that have known prices (add slip and commission afterwards). Nothing profound, just what I've found to be most realistic.

    hope this answered your question
  8. I too feel that simulators are all but useless. They can't simulate realistic fills.

    The only benefit I can see is in learning to "read" a chart. Surely if one cannot successfully trade a simulator, they could not handle real-world fills.

    Master the simulator, then move promptly onto small lot orders with real cash.

    I used the simulator in OMNITRADER to learn way-back when, it served it's purpose.
  9. gwb-trading


    I feel that Simulators are useful for getting a feel
    or a "real" trading environment prior to starting to
    trade in the actual market. It also lets you experiment
    with your intraday strategies assuming that you do
    not look up the "results" before using the simulator
    (most used delayed data).

    When using a simulator, I agree that the fills are
    not accurate. You will have to make assumptions
    regarding that there will be slippage and not all
    trades will be filled. This means that it will be
    difficult to simulate scalping with a simulator;
    but it can be used to train for intraday momentum
    trading or swing trading.

    The Cyber Simulator is a pretty good product for
    training prior to opening an account.

    - Greg
  10. faction


    After personally seeing the difference between simulators and real life trading, I personally think the only way you can simulate trading real money is to rig the simulator up to an electro-shock-therapy machine, and give yourself a few hundred watts every time you lose money. Other than that, it's just not the same. <g>


    #10     Feb 11, 2002