Demo accounts are a virtual sandbox for people interested in playing around with trading strategies. These accounts let you test your skills and strategies in a risk-free environment using virtual money and see how your trades work under real-time market conditions.

Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about demo accounts, how they work with futures and how to choose the right partner.

Can I Trade Futures With a Demo Account?

Absolutely. You can use many of the same trading tools (analysis, indicators etc.) seen in live trading and trade using many different types of futures assets.

For new futures traders, these accounts are often an essential first step toward success.

So What is a Futures Trading Demo Account, Exactly?

A demo account for futures trading provides a risk-free way for novices to learn the basics or for more seasoned traders to test and create new strategies.

They operate almost identically to a live trading account, although in addition to using simulated cash, there are a few slight differences. For example, orders are usually filed at the listed price in demo trading.

What Are the Benefits of a Demo Account?

By practicing with a demo account, you can build your confidence in your trading skills and strategies. You can see how your trades would perform in real market conditions, and make adjustments as needed, without the pressure of real money on the line

Trading with real money can be stressful, especially if you’re new. With a demo account, you can trade without the added stress of risking your own money, which can help you stay focused and relaxed. A mindset like this is crucial for maintaining mental equilibrium and avoiding common mistakes, like chasing losses. Develop good habits using a demo account and it will be easier to stay even keeled with live trading.

With a demo account, you can take the time to develop and stick to a well-thought-out trading plan. This can help you to cultivate good trading habits and improve your discipline, which can be invaluable when you transition to live trading.

When you’re trading with real money, emotions can run high and it can be tempting to make impulsive decisions. With a demo account, you can take the time to think through your trades and make informed decisions, which can help you to avoid costly mistakes in live trading.

A demo account provides you with real-time market data, so you can see how your trades would perform in real market conditions. This can be a valuable learning experience, as you can see how your trades react to different market scenarios.

With a demo account, you can also trade a variety of futures contracts,so you can test your strategies and see what works best for you.

How Can I Make it More Realistic?

Treating demo accounts like real trading can help accelerate your progress. Some of the best ways to implement this include:

  • Account for slippage – live trades don’t always get the listed price, so you should adjust by occasionally paying more for your trades.
  • Trade with more modest capital – the size of your account can strongly influence how you trade, so consider playing with the amount you are trading.
  • Use real data – this helps you get a feel for how your trades would perform in live market conditions.
  • Trade a variety of futures contracts – this helps you see how your strategies perform in different market conditions.
  • Get emotionally engaged – demo accounts don’t spark emotions in the same way as losing or gaining real money, but you can personalize it or incentivize yourself by giving yourself a reward if you trade well, or withholding something if you trade poorly.

Are These Accounts Free?

Yes, demo trading accounts are usually free and offered by many online brokers. However, sometimes you get what you pay for, as some brokers offer feature-limited free accounts that do not really provide a true simulation of live trading.

Fortunately, there are companies that offer free accounts that offer the full range of features needed to mimic live trading.

Can You Day Trade With a Demo Account?

Sure – and thousands of people do every day. In fact, demo accounts are a crucial tool for both inexperienced traders and savvy day traders alike.

Demo accounts can serve as virtual laboratories for developing new trading strategies and testing them in a riskless environment.

How Useful Are These Accounts?

Like many things in life, the value of demo accounts is closely tied to the effort you expend using them. In short, you get out what you put in. If you use your demo account frequently and make an effort to really maximize its features, it can be exceptionally useful.

Here are a few ways using a futures demo trading account can offer value:

  •  A demo account can help traders learn the importance of discipline and sticking to their strategies, which are critical skills for success in live trading.
  • Trading can be stressful, and demo accounts can help traders learn how to manage their emotions and stay focused when trading.
  • In a demo account, traders can make mistakes and learn from them without facing financial consequences. This helps traders avoid making similar mistakes in live trading.
  • A demo account can help traders get familiar with the trading platform, its features, and tools, before they start trading with real money.
  • They provide a safe environment for traders to experiment with new strategies and refine their approach.
  • Demo accounts allow traders to observe market conditions and understand how different economic events can impact their trades.

What Makes RJO’s Futures Trading Demo Accounts Unique?

Succeeding with a demo account means choosing the right partner. Not every demo account is created equal; features can vary widely and the support offered by the broker/platform can also vary significantly.

 RJO Futures gives you the best of all worlds:

  • A full-featured free futures trading demo account with $100,000 in virtual funds that provides live market data and execution.
  • A world-class trading platform with every tool you need.
  • Support from the best team of trading pros in the business.

If you’re interested in a demo account, we urge you to contact RJO today.