Trading stocks is a skill that can’t be learned by just reading books. You have to get used to price movement and plan your trades accordingly. Trading is a tough task, and many traders jump into it with real money ending up losing almost all of it. There is plenty of simulators, though, that help you to practice stock trading with fake money but which one offers the best experience. I want to give a closer look at the simulators that allow you to replay the market since this is way more valuable than just practice when the market is open. You learn to trade much faster when you can practice 24/7.

The top contestants

There is a good chunk of simulators to practice stock trading with fake money. Here are my top three simulators in a nutshell.

1

Tradingsim

Even though it is a paid service, it has the most convenient features to replay any stock 24/7 even with level 2 data. Their most significant feature over all the others is that they show the daily movers of the day you select so you can plan your trades accordingly where the others focus on one stock only at a time.
2

TD Ameritrade

A free version of their replay tool is available once you create an account with them, which could take a while. Once you have an account, you can replay the stock market with some limitations.
3

Ninjatrader

Once you open an account with them, you get access to their replay feature, which allows you to replay the market. You have to manually pick a stock and a date you want to replay, which then will enable you to practice that specific stock with level 2 data.

Why is a replay mechanic important?

A lot of people want to get into the stock market as fast as possible. Some of them are wise enough to give themselves some time to practice with fake money.

The problem with most tools, though is, that they only offer semi-live trading with delayed price data while the markets are open. Since there are thousands of stocks, you will miss a lot of trades to practice on, and once the market is closed, you have to wait for the next day to practice again.

Learn trading in less time

A replay feature allows you to practice any time you want and any day in the past. This feature will significantly increase your confidence and skills in a fraction of the time.

Why TradingSim offered the best value

While TD Ameritrade and Ninjatrader both offer free replay mechanisms, they are only just addons to the live accounts you have to open with them. They both require you to download and install their software while you can access TradingSim can via the browser.

A good workflow is key

TradingSim excels with their workflow and how they approach practicing.

To be a useful tool, you must have no idea where the price of a stock went for a specific day. So if you picked a stock that you want to replay, you would have to know which day you have to go back to practice. That would require you to know on what day the stock had a good price move (stocks are usually only interesting for traders if they trade at high volume with large price movements). So you get a spoiler before you can start practicing, which kind of destroys the purpose of practicing.
With both TD Ameritrade and Ninjatrader, you will follow this workflow.

Tradingsim turns the workflow around

They let you pick a date first and then conveniently show you the top movers for the pre-market. You can select one of these movers and start analyzing it and plan your trades. That way, you can genuinely practice a trading day without getting spoiled.

The Downside

The main downside is its price since the other options are free (semi-free since you need to open a live account with them).
But from the standpoint of practice without being spoiled and the incredible learning value you will get out of it in a short amount of time, it is definitely worth its price.

How does Tradingsim work?

Tradingsim is entirely accessible in the browser. It does not work well on mobile, though, since they created it for a pc or larger tablet. The reason for this is most likely that no professional trader uses their phone to trade.

1. Overview

This screen shows your entry screen where you can see your date selection, a simple chart, level 2 information to the right as well as current orders, and your P/L.

Level II
Time and Sales
Order / Positions / Profit&Loss
Chart
Charting Tools
Pre-Market Movers
Date Selection and Replay Controls
Personal Watchlist
2. Select a date and check the pre-market movers

Once you select a date you want to go back to the pre-market list will update the movers accordingly.

3. Plan your trades & start trading the stock of your choice

You can click on each stock and use the tools and indicators to plan your trades. Once you know which stocks you want to watch and practice, you select the stock and hit the play button.

What indicators are available with Tradingsim?

Here is a list of all the indicators that Tradingsim currently supports.

ADX/DMS
ATR Bands
ATR Trailing Stops
Accumulation/Distribution
Accumulative Swing Index
Alligator
Anchored VWAP
Aroon
Aroon Oscillator
Average True Range
Awesome Oscillator
Balance of Power
Beta
Bollinger %b
Bollinger Bands
Bollinger Bandwidth
Center Of Gravity
Chaikin Money Flow
Chaikin Volatility
Chande Forecast Oscillator
Chande Momentum Oscillator
Choppiness Index
Commodity Channel Index
Coppock Curve
Darvas Box
Detrended Price Oscillator
Disparity Index
Donchian Channel
Donchian Width
Ease of Movement
Ehler Fisher Transform
Elder Force Index
Elder Impulse System
Elder Ray Index
Fractal Chaos Bands
Fractal Chaos Oscillator
Gator Oscillator
Gopalakrishnan Range Index
High Low Bands
High Minus Low
Highest High Value
Historical Volatility
Ichimoku Clouds
Intraday Momentum Index
Keltner Channel
Klinger Volume Oscillator
Linear Reg Forecast
Linear Reg Intercept
Linear Reg R2
Linear Reg Slope
Lowest Low Value
MACD
Market Facilitation Index
Mass Index
Median Price
Momentum Indicator
Money Flow Index
Parabolic SAR

Moving Average
Moving Average Deviation
Moving Average Envelope
Negative Volume Index
On Balance Volume
Performance Index
Pivot Points
Positive Volume Index
Pretty Good Oscillator
Prev Close Price
Price Momentum Oscillator
Price Oscillator
Price Rate of Change
Price Relative
Price Volume Trend
Prime Number Bands
Prime Number Oscillator
Pring’s Know Sure Thing
Pring’s Special K
Psychological Line
QStick
RAVI
RSI
Rainbow Moving Average
Rainbow Oscillator
Random Walk Index
Relative Vigor Index
Relative Volatility
STARC Bands
Schaff Trend Cycle
Shinohara Intensity Ratio
Standard Deviation
Stochastic Momentum Index
Stochastics
Supertrend
Swing Index
TRIX
Time Series Forecast
Trade Volume Index
Trend Intensity Index
True Range
Twiggs Money Flow
Typical Price
Ulcer Index
Ultimate Oscillator
VWAP
Valuation Lines
Vertical Horizontal Filter
Volume Chart
Volume Oscillator
Volume Profile
Volume Rate of Change
Volume Underlay
Vortex Indicator
Weighted Close
Williams %R
ZigZag

Conclusion

Having a replay mechanism when trading with fake money is vital to speed up your learning process. Instead of practicing for a year, you can bring that time down to a month or two.
While TD Ameritrade and Ninjatrader are reliable tools, the workflow makes practice less effective. To get the best education, I would recommend checking out if Tradingsim would be a worthy investment. Find out more about Tradingsim on their website here.

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