Practice Stock Trading Account

by Leigh Thompson

Practice stock trading accounts offer beginners an opportunity to simulate investing in the stock market. Beginning investors purchase stocks with virtual money and track their progress over time. This gives the beginning investor the ability to get the hang of buying and selling stocks without the risks of losing real money. Not only can you practice investing, but practice stock trading accounts let you compete against others to polish your skills and get bragging rights.


Your practice stock trading account may be tailored to your specifications, including the amount of money with which you begin, your investment strategy and how often you buy or sell stocks in your portfolio. Your practice stock trading account shows a history of your buying and selling as well as how well you are doing in the stock market. Practice stock trading accounts come with features such as limit trading and margin accounts to give you a real-world feel in your virtual world.


Virtual stock market trading offers many advantages for the beginner investor. It gives you the opportunity to get your feet wet in the investing realm without real risk: Because it is a pretend account, you experience no financial loss or risk by engaging in the buying and selling of stocks. Virtual stock markets give you practice necessary to build the confidence required to begin building your own real-world portfolio.


Virtual stock market trading is not real. Any gains you make in this practice ring do not translate into real life. You lose out on the time you spend trading fake stocks when you could be engaged in real trading. Because practice trading uses pretend money, many people are more aggressive in a virtual experience. Getting the most out of practice stock trading accounts means you need to act in the virtual world the same way you intend to act in real life.


Financial services providers offer consumers these free web-based tools to encourage them to use their premium services. You may also find practice stock market trading opportunities on financial education websites, such as Investopedia and MarketWatch.

About the Author

Leigh Thompson began writing in 2007 and specializes in creating content for websites. She has been published online in various capacities. Thompson has an associate degree in information technology from the University of Kansas and is working on a bachelor's degree in business and personal finance.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images