TradeSim Review
  • Trading Simulator
  • Stock Charts
  • Features
  • Value
4.1

Summary

TradingSim web-based trading simulator that enables traders to paper trade based on historical data. This platform promises more functionality than your run-of-the-mill web simulator. Is it worth the extra money? Find out in this review.

Pros

  • Only day trading simulator with some semblance of stock screening (“Market Movers” feature)
  • TradingView charts
  • Hotkeys
  • Time & sales
  • Quite cheap

Cons

  • Only two years of historical data
  • One of their main competitors, thinkOnDemand, is free to TD Ameritrade clients

About Trading Sim

TradingSim is a 100% web-based trading simulator, enabling traders to paper trade on historical intraday data. The platform has much more functionality than your average trading simulator, offering unexpected features like tick data and time & sales, as we found in our TradingSim review. 

The goal of the platform is to allow day traders of all experience levels to practice and test trading strategies. It’s a real-life backtest that actually controls for the human element involved in execution, emotions, and stock selection.

TradingSim Website

Pricing Options

TradingSim has three different pricing tiers.

Equities Only

Price: $24.75/mo (billed annually $297)

This tier has data for only equities. Here are the features included in the plan, as laid out by TradingSim:

  • 11,000+ Stocks
  • 1,000+ ETFs
  • Market Movers
  • Over 500 Trading sessions
  • Hotkeys
  • Track Your PNL
  • Risk Management Settings

Futures Only

Price:  $24.75/mo (billed annually $297)

This tier has data for only futures contracts. Here are the features included in the plan:

  • 20 Top Futures Contracts
  • Bitcoin Futures
  • 2 Years of Historical Futures Data
  • Top Indices, Commodities, Currencies, and Bonds
  • Hotkeys
  • Track Your PNL
  • Risk Management Settings

Equities & Futures

Price: $35.75/mo (billed annually $429)

This tier includes data for both equities and futures contracts, meaning you get all of the functionality from the two other tiers at a 28% discount.

TradingSim vs. Competitors

TradingSim is not alone in the day trading simulator business. There’s plenty of competitors with similar offerings. How does TradingSim compare to these? First, we should establish the popular players in the space:

thinkOnDemand

This is part of the ThinkOrSwim platform, allowing you to toggle between your real money and paper trading account with ease. Here’s a few pros & cons of using thinkOnDemand versus TradingSim.

Pros

  • Part of ThinkOrSwim architecture. Comfortable platform with great charts
  • Currently over 4 years of data, double that of TradingSim
  • Free with ThinkorSwm account

Cons

  • No scanning or Market Movers list
  • Weaker time manipulation functionality
  • No time & sales

NinjaTrader Demo

Users of the NinjaTrader platform can use the platform as a demo account, similarly to ThinkOrSwim.

Pros

  • High quality charts
  • Depth of market
  • Decent time manipulation

Cons

  • Difficult to get used to the platform
  • Is made for futures and forex

TradingSim’s Word

TradingSim displays their own comparison on their website. While biased, it is worth including in this TradingSim review. They also have a few testimonials from popular traders like Kunal of Bulls on Wall Street.

 

tradingsim comparison

TradingSim Features

Below is the dashboard for the TradingSim platform. Let’s dive into some of the features.

 

TradingSim Platform

Charts by TradingView

One of the most crucial parts of any trading platform, whether simulated or live, is the charting package. Glitchy, slow charts can ruin a trading experience and even cost you money. Luckily for subscribers of TradingSim, TradingView’s excellent HTML5 charts are seamlessly integrated into the platform, featuring over 60 technical indicators and over 30 drawing tools, accounting for the vast majority of technical trading systems and styles.

As far as charts go, it is very difficult to complain about TradingView.

tradingsim chart

Fast Forwarding and Time Manipulation

tradingsim timeline

This is one of TradingSim’s biggest strengths, and where it most outshines its competition. It features a timeline through which you can go to any specific time of day. If you only take trades during the last 30 minutes of the trading day, it’s quick and easy to get to that time.

Additionally, you can make the market data move as fast as 15 minutes of data per second. This is great for getting a large sample size of trades in a very small space of time.

tradingsim time

For example, let’s say we want to test an opening range breakout strategy, the only important part is seeing the opening bar and setting your orders. So, using a super fast multiplier like one 15 minute bar every second would help us take dozens of paper trades, quickly giving us an idea of the viability of the strategy.

Market Movers

tradingsim screen

The ability to screen through stocks on historical data is usually the biggest drawback of day trading simulators. While TradingSim doesn’t offer a full screener, they do more than the rest of the competition in their Market Movers lists. The criteria is quite barebones, just offering highest/lowest gains on the day expressed in either dollars or percentage points. Even with these basic lists, we can find the “stocks in play” for that day instead of sticking to arbitrary large caps which we wouldn’t have traded that day because other stocks were in play.

One more basic screen TradingSim can add to really push this feature to its limit is volume gainers. While the percentage gainers is great, many traders never touch those high-flying pharma companies always topping the gainers lists. For many, a high-volume, 2% move in a stock like Exxon or Johnson & Johnson is just as exciting as a 50% move in an obscure biotech, because one can deploy much more capital towards a mega-cap trade. Many traders just a few basis points with high leverage on whichever mega and large caps are in play that day, because it drastically reduces the probability of a black swan event that more risky traders are exposed to when trading those hot biotechs.

Hotkeys

tradingsim hotkeys

This is another great feature that will mean a lot to a small demographic of traders, while serving as a nice bonus to the rest of us. This is vital for super short term, scalping traders. It’s additionally great practice for traders, as most day traders will end up using hotkeys regardless of their style.

TradingSim In Action

TradingSim – Final Thoughts

TradingSim has its flaws for sure. It’s interface is a quite basic and looks nothing like your average DMA day trading software like DAS Trader or Lightspeed Trader. However, I would make the argument that it doesn’t really matter.

Of the day trading simulators current on the market, I think TradingSim is the best, both in terms of price and practicality. It’s really cheap at $24 per month, considering if you skipped the trading simulation and went straight to trading, you’d lose $24 in your first day. If a developing trader spent all of their free time in the next three months listening to trading podcasts, reading trading blogs/books, and paper trading on TradingSim, I don’t think it’s unlikely that they’ll come out on the other side a profitable trader. All at a cost of $72.

What really puts TradingSim above their competition, as I mentioned earlier, is their “Market Movers” feature that shows the biggest gainers of that market day. TradingSim would be smart to realize that this is their differentiator and to spend most of their R&D on improving that feature and only that feature. The rest of the features are fine, and basically commoditized across the platforms; they don’t change one’s trading experience much.

Pros

  • Only day trading simulator with some semblance of stock screening (“Market Movers” feature)
  • TradingView charts
  • Hotkeys
  • Time & sales
  • Quite cheap

Cons

  • Only two years of historical data
  • One of their main competitors, thinkOnDemand, is free to TD Ameritrade clients