Paper trading is a useful tool for being able to forward test your automated trading strategies without having to risk real money.
TradersPost provides basic paper trading functionality in addition to working with paper trading provided by third-party brokers. However, not all brokers provide simulated paper trading environments.
Please note that trading with paper money is only a simulation. It provides an approximation for what to expect in real live trading, but it is not a substitute for real live trading and your performance may differ.
Below you will find information about the brokers that do provide paper trading in addition to the paper trading functionality provided by TradersPost.
Alpaca offers paper trading for free to all Alpaca users.
Paper trading is a real-time simulation environment where you can test your code. You can reset and test your algorithm as much as you want using free, real-time market data. Everything on the broker side behaves the same way as the live account except the orders aren’t routed to the real exchanges. Instead, the system simulates the order filling based on the real-time quotes.
TradeStation offers paper trading for free to all TradeStation users. You can have one margin equities and one futures paper account with TradeStation, but not more than one of each.
Test your trading strategies before you trade. Our simulated trading account allows you to test your strategies in real-time – without risking your capital. You also have access to one of the industry’s largest historical market databases, allowing you to back-test your stock, options, and futures trading strategies on decades of historical market data.
Please be aware that the TradeStation simulated paper environment frequently has issues with delayed data, delayed order fills and delayed order cancels.
Tradier offers paper trading for free to all Tradier customers. Paper trading can be used to trade Stocks and Options.
Beware that the Tradier paper trading environment is always operating off of 15 minute delayed data and there is no option to make it live. If you would like to see Tradier support paper trading with live data, you can email them at [email protected].
TradersPost offers a very basic paper trading functionality for testing your strategies. Please note the following about TradersPost paper accounts:
- Market hours are not respected and orders will fill 24/7.
- Limit orders will fill at any price specified.
- Market orders will fill at the middle point between the bid and the ask.
- Options and futures contract positions will not expire and be removed from your open positions. Open positions for expired contracts will remain open until they are closed.
It is recommended that you use one of the above simulated paper trading environments provided by a broker if you want a more real simulated environment. The TradersPost paper trading functionality is only useful for testing that your strategies are configured correctly but should not be used to measure the performance of your strategy.
By default, TradersPost paper data is delayed and only supports stocks and futures. Additionally, the futures data can be delayed by over an hour and does not update in real-time. If you want the TradersPost paper broker to support options and have real-time data, you will need to connect a broker that supports options and has live data, like TDAmeritrade or TradeStation.
- 1.Go to Brokers and click Connect Broker and connect your TDAmeritrade account.
- 2.Once your TDAmeritrade account is connected, go back to Brokers and click Edit next to your TradersPost paper broker.
- 3.Choose your connected TDAmeritrade account in the Market Data Source dropdown and click Save. Now your TradersPost paper broker will use your TDAmeritrade account for live market data and will support the options asset class.
Here is a quick video showing you how to set this up.
How to Connect A Live Market Data Source To Your TradersPost Paper Broker
The TradersPost paper broker allows you to configure a
Market Price Typeso you can control which price to use as the current market price for market orders and open positions. By default TradersPost will use the
Bid-ask midpointprice from the quote. The available options are as follows.
- Bid-ask midpoint (default) - This option will use the midpoint between the bid price and ask price.
- Use ask for buys and bid for sells - This option will use the quote ask price for buys and bid price for sells.
- Always use ask - This option will always use the quote ask price.
- Always use bid - This option will always use the quote bid price.
- Use last price - This option will always use the quote last price.
When market orders are filled, the configured option will be used to fill the paper orders and open positions will use that price as the position current price.
You can reset the TradersPost paper broker account balances, orders and positions by navigating to Connected Brokers and then click the Reset button next to the TradersPost paper broker you want to reset.
Unfortunately, not all brokers support simulated paper trading environments. The following brokers that TradersPost supports do not offer paper trading functionality.