An options trading simulator enables investors to see the projected results of their proposed transactions when investing in options. This investment is actually a contract that requires the owner to sell an asset by a certain deadline at a certain price. With strict requirements, it can be difficult for new investors to get started with options. Although these securities are flexible, they also carry inherent risks.
What Is Options Trading?
Options trading involves purchasing a contract that allows you certain buying and selling rights, depending on the type of option. For instance, with certain options, you have the right to buy, sell, or trade a stock. This also applies to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other types of investments that are available for a specific time period and a specific price.
If you’re interested in building savings and making profits, options trading may be something you want to explore. One benefit of entering options trading is the potential to earn a profit, even if the stocks you’re trading in go down. Another reason you might delve into options trading is that you can invest in the stock market while committing less financially than it would take to buy stocks outright.
Options can also help you protect and diversify your portfolio. For instance, options can help you protect assets you have in owned stocks if those stocks should fall. With the proper options strategies, you may be able to generate a nice income.
If you want to explore options trading without the risk, use an options trading simulator.
Why Use an Options Trading Simulator?
Using a simulator to play with options and see what happens when you make certain moves is a good way to get your feet wet in the exciting, dynamic world of options trading. These programs are designed to reflect the real operation of options and stock markets. You can select from various options that trade on the American Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange, and occasionally other markets.
Simulators mimic the actual circumstances of options trading as closely as possible. Most include virtual fees and commissions that show you how these costs will impact your profits. This helps you account for these costs when you begin making real-life trading decisions. You will also become familiar with financial and trading terms that may have previously been a mystery.
Nearly every brokerage firm offers a version of an options trading simulator, so it’s important to evaluate the merits of each options trading simulator before using these programs to inform your real-life investments.
Start with this guide to the best options trading games currently available online.
- TradeStation Mobile
- Stock Option Quotes
- Stock Option Simulator
- Wall Street Survivor
- Trusted Binary Options Signals
- MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange
- Options Industry Council
Investors appreciate E-Trade because it provides intuitive, helpful tools such as its options trading simulator without the high membership price associated with similar software providers. You can even download a version of the E-Trade app for your Apple Watch to plan your trading strategy on the go. To get started, download the brand’s free OptionsHouse app, available for both iOS and Android.
With this robust website, you can get started on options trading right away by creating your own virtual options simulator game. You can completely customize the offerings and even invite others to play along. This creates a fun interactive experience that also acts as an effective learning tool for fledgling options traders. You and your friends can compete to see who can earn the best daily, weekly, or monthly returns.
Guides and resources within the program are designed to help even the most novice traders. It is free to register for this simulator through Investopedia’s website, and you can trade up to $100,000 in virtual funds. More than 700,000 traders worldwide use this platform, so you can learn more from their expertise as you become involved in the game. Keep in mind that Investopedia’s game shows a 15-minute lag in trading prices rather than real-time trades.
3. TradeStation Mobile
Clients of TradeStation can access the broker‘s options trading platform to run real-time options stock analysis and simulation. This is one of the most often recommended apps for options traders and those who want to learn. In addition to the options trading simulator on this program, you can also take advantage of technical indicator changes for these securities, review various options contracts with diverse expiration dates and strike prices, and receive news and updates about specified options of interest.
Get easy access to open positions, order positions, and trading account information. Set up alerts so you can keep track of indicators such as volume and price changes. If you want to expand your horizon behind options, you can do so in this full-service app that also lets you trade forex, futures, stocks, and more.
4. Stock Option Quotes
With the Stock Option Quotes app, you can find news and quotes as well as track your options with an easy-to-use tool designed specifically for the equity markets in the U.S. Review the strike prices and expiration dates of available put and call options, as well as the available options for exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stock indices, and individual stocks traded on the major U.S. markets. With the app’s easy-to-customize menu, you can virtually follow the options in which you’re interested before taking the plunge.
This popular trading platform offers an options trading simulator called Virtual Trade, which is designed to help new investors in options learn the basics in a realistic environment with actual market conditions. Your trading account on this app comes with $25,000 in virtual money you can use to practice trading options. Take advantage of features such as charts and quotes with real-time prices, more than 40 interactive trading tools, an education center with tools and how-to guides, and free training programs for users.
Keep in mind that you do need to enter a significant amount of personal information when signing up on this platform, so you may want to opt for a different simulator if you have concerns about online privacy.
6. Stock Option Simulator
Available only for iOS platforms, this options trading simulator lets you play out scenarios with different options before you invest real money. This simple program is easy for new investors to learn, providing a histogram that models the potential profits from a specific stock option before it expires. With each option, you can consider more than 20 strategies and types of put and call options, including, but not limited to, covered calls and puts, spreads, collars, and option straddles.
7. Wall Street Survivor
Unlike similar simulators, Wall Street Survivor gives traders the chance to see how options strategies can work within their existing investment strategy. Choose from either a traditional desktop platform or a mobile app, both designed to emphasize the basics of options trading through access to human instructors, robust trading guides, and many other free articles and resources, including quizzes that let you test your options knowledge. This options trading simulator app provides $100,000 in virtual funds with which you can enter contests that change periodically. Depending on the parameters, you could even receive actual money if you qualify for a price payout.
8. Trusted Binary Options Signals
Trusted Binary Options Signals is only available for Android platforms, this app is one of the most highly recommended simulators for investors who want to learn more about binary options through close tracking of the forex market, commodity futures, indices, and stocks. Trusted Binary Options Signals gives you trading indicators based on news and social media trends, along with technical chart analysis. You can also access live price quotes for binary options on forex, futures, indices, and stocks, along with direct connections to online brokers in case you decide you want to make your simulated trades a reality.
9. MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange
This simulator might have a basic interface, but you’ll appreciate the extensive resources you’ll find behind the plain platform. Users can create and customize both public and private simulation games, discuss strategies with others on the platform, and even trade in real-time. If you’re ready to take the leap into real trading, you can start immediately by connecting your trading account through the Virtual Stock Exchange app to your personal Facebook account to verify your identity. When you do start trading, keep in mind that this app requires transactions to exceed $2.
10. Options Industry Council
This organization strives to help managers, advisers, and individual investors learn more about options trading. You’ll find extensive information about how options work, resources that let you explore the advantages and drawbacks of trading options, and classes that cover the prices that apply to options. Learn from a wide variety of tools including videos, seminars, and even in-person events. With the options trading simulator, you do not trade with virtual currency as with competing apps. Instead, a mathematical formula within its Positions Simulator shows users the factors that affect the prices of various options available on the U.S. stock market.
Which Options Trading Simulator Is Best to Start With?
Any of the featured options trading simulators are excellent places to start for getting a better understanding of the ins and outs of options trading. Depending on the depth of your understanding of the stock market, however, you can start with some of the simulators that are designed for educating users on the processes of options trading.
If you’re just starting out building your knowledge of options trading, consider exploring the OptionsXpress, the Investopedia website, and Options Industry Council’s simulators, as all of these apps provide wonderful learning tools and resources fit for deepening your knowledge of how the industry operates. You’ll also get a real-time and realistic environment for learning how options trading works.
If you have a moderate understanding of options trading, simulators like Wall Street Survivor help you apply trading strategies that you can apply to investments you already have. Even if you haven’t yet made investments into stocks or other assets, TradeSimulator Mobile can also give you an in-depth look at how analysis works to get you the most from your investments.