I am excited to publish my brand new TradingSim review today. I am that excited because there is much more power behind this trading simulator and market replay platform than one could expect at first glance.
Luckily Al Hill, founder of TradingSim, offered me access to the platform to enable me to write a more extensive in-depth review about this stock analysis software for you.
With these inside-perspectives, I completely changed my mind for a good reason.
No matter if you are new to trading, or if you already made your first experiences. TradingSim is a fantastic addition to any traders toolset.
Instead of just re-listing the functionalities and features, I take you by my hands looking behind the curtain. Let's see what TradingSim really can do for you.
Transparency: When you buy certain products from some of the sites which we link to, we may earn a small share of the revenue
TradingSim is a trading simulator and market replay platform that allows you to simulate trades for any trading day in the past two years.
And I am not talking about the daily time frame or something. I am talking about tick-by-tick based simulated trades for more than 11,000 stocks and 20 futures contracts.
TradingSim was founded by Al Hill and Kunal Vakil back in 2001. They improved their trading simulator ever since. I do not promise you too much, saying that the tool is already outstanding.
The new features coming this year will revolutionize the whole service landscape for market replay tools. TradingSim is one of the best alternatives to Yahoo Finance API that I came across in recent years.
Instead of downloading and crunching data yourself, you now have a web-based platform with integrated data and tons of functionalities. Let's take this TradingSim review to the next level by taking a closer look at the functionalities.
With TradingSim, simulated trading is possible 24 hours a day. Right now, TradingSim provides market data for any listed company at NYSE, Nasdaq, and AMEX along with market data for 20 futures contracts.
Integrated Market Data
The data is available on a tick-by-tick basis to enable you to get a real feel of the market structure of the particular time frame you chose. One thing you have to know is that the data is "delayed real-time data." TradingSim is a market replay tool and not a classical charting tool like Finviz.
That means that you can replay historical data. And this is just fine since you have access to tick-by-tick data of 2 years to practice trading for nearly any given stock ticker and futures contract. Right now, the market data of the previous day becomes available at between 8 and 12 AM EST.
Web-Based Market Replay
Instead of installing software on a dedicated computer, TradingSim comes as a web-based market replay platform.
You can access TradingSim from your PC, Tablet, mobile, and any Apple device. I can confirm that TradingSim is fast and reliable. The best experience will come by using it on a computer or tablet.
No Brokerage Account Needed
Some brokers offer a simulated account or paper trading account. These accounts allow you to trade with paper money in real-time when the market acts now. But those tools do not allow you to replay older market data
With TradingSim, you can replay older data, and you do not need any brokerage account. TradingSim enables you to replay any trading day for the last two years.
Within TradingSim you can open up to 4 charts at the same time.
You can choose different chart display types by selecting "charts" in the navigation, and then you have seven different options.
Also, you can use TradingSim's newest charting engine, or the oder TradingView based charting engine. You can do so by selecting "settings" and then "show the old chart engine (trading view)."
The newest TradingSim charting engine, allows you to choose between 14 different charting styles. This includes the most popular ones:
- Heikin Ashi
- Line Break
- Point & Figure
But we are not done yet with the TradingSim charting features. You can also change the theme for the displayed charts. A day and night theme is pre-configured, but you can also create your own.
And of course, TradingSim also comes along with the most popular drawing tools like lines, channels, Fibonacci projections, Pitchfork, and Gann.
To the right of the search field, you can open the drop-down for the time frame. You can choose between various minute time frames, the daily and weekly time frame.
In my example, I have chosen the daily time frame. For that reason, you can see "Dm" at the top. If you chose the 5 minutes, then you see "5m" etc. I am not sure why it's called "resolution" and not "time-frame," but it is self-explaining anyway.
Money and Risk Management
Another valuable feature is the money and risk management configuration. Here, you can set your account balance, but more importantly, you can define your parameters regarding:
- Max % of Capital / Trade
- Max Shares / Portfolio
- Max Loss / Trade
- Max Week Loss
- Max Shares
- Min Shares
- Max Daily Loss
Click settings and then "Money and Risk Management" to edit the parameters according to your preferences. Some, but not all brokerage trading platforms offer similar features. They exist to protect you and your assets.
Click "markets pane" on your navigation bar to show or hide the markets pane. The markets pane includes your freely configurable watchlist and the market movers.
This puts you in a favorable position since during a real trading day, you would probably also have a look at the most popular stocks and scan the markets for great opportunities.
As a day trader, you need hotkeys. Hotkeys save you those valuable seconds to execute trades immediately for maximized profits. TradingSim has such a hotkey feature. Look at this screenshot taken from TradingSim's market replay platform:
The "trading" hotkeys are the most important ones, and there is no feature I miss here. You may have another opinion, but in my point of view, this is one of the hottest TradingSim features. Another nice feature of the hotkey feature: Users can also edit the short key combinations.
Trading with TradingSim
TradingSim wouldn't be complete without high-end order execution simulation functionalities. Luckily, TradingSim has everything you need. The four main sections in this trading widget are
- Trade Ticket
You can buy and sell stocks and futures by choosing the symbol to trade, entering the number of shares or contracts and by finally selecting the order type.
Along with the most popular order types like market, limit, stop market and stop limit, TradingSim also offers bracket orders. I really didn't expect this feature, but TradingSim has it:
With a bracket order, you can enter a profit target and a stop loss level. Once one of those is hit, the other order gets canceled.
You can also define the duration of the order and chose either GTC, which stands for good till canceled or day. Within the order, positions and history category, you can see your active orders, current positions, and historical positions.
By clicking on the little green symbol, you can interlink your charts, trade ticket, etc. That means once you change the symbol in one section, for example, the chart, all other interlinked windows will change at the same time to the new symbol.
There are already some reporting functionalities integrated into TradingSim's platform. For example, you can click at the little symbol (marked in red) to open a new window with export functionality.
However, Al Hill and his team plan something amazing for this year. Imagine having a tool where you can integrate not only all your simulated trades but also from real trades.
There are some tools available right now who do that, but those tools alone cost about $800 per year! TradingSim isn't even as close as expensive as those tools. Stay tuned; I will inform you once the new functionalities are available.
Market Replay Options
A market replay tool wouldn't be complete without customization options for the replay. So, let's proceed with the TradingSim review by having a closer look at this TradingSim functionality.
At the bottom of the TradingSim platform, you find your market replay widget. It shows you the data, a play, and "next day" button as well as the speed option at the right side.
By clicking on the date on the left, you can choose the day you want to replay.
By clicking on the "speed option," you can choose between different types of speed:
Here you have different options:
The smaller the time frame you trade on, the slower the speed should be. For example, if you trade based on a one minute chart, the replay speed should not be too fast. The maximum should be two times the normal speed if you really want to simulate to trade in the way you plan form.
On the other hand, when I start a replay on the daily chart to simulate a gap and go or red to green move, then I chose a faster speed of up to 900x. Just give it a try and see what suits you best. I think now it's the right time to move on in this TradingSim review talking about the TradingSim costs.
Writing my first TradingSim review, I complained about the payment terms transparency. But shortly after publishing the review, TradingSim made significant progress in terms of transparency. Now, clarity couldn't be better.
So, let's get it straight. TradingSim costs between $297 and $429 per year, depending on your subscription plan. There are no monthly subscription options available. But while it seems like a bitter pill at first, it is not.
TradingSim costs only a fraction of what you would pay for a trading course.
What happens to most people buying a trading course? It probably goes like this:
- Purchasing a trading course
- Opening a brokerage account
- Losing all the hard-earned money
- Start blaming the educator, broker, etc. for being guilty of the loss
- Looking for alternatives
- Buying another trading course
- Opening another brokerage account…
What have all those traders in common? The chances are that they never really traded on paper. I repeat it over and over again. And also the best trading educators I know repeat it over and over again. But most traders do not practice trading at all.
And that's a problem because traders who are not making money trading on paper will never be profitable trading with real money. So when it comes to paper trading or simulated trading, then there are basically two main options.
The first one is opening an account and using the paper trade functionalities provided by the brokerage platform. This is a great idea, but it also has two significant disadvantages.
You already have a brokerage account then and chances are, that you are not that patient and you start trading with real money too fast. And a paper trading account only allows trading on paper in real-time.
And this is where TradingSim comes into play. For TradingSim you neither need a brokerage account nor a trading platform. Also, you don't need to subscribe to any market data, and you can replay two years of historical data.
Also, the TradingSim subscription covers everything. The license, market data, updates, etc.
And wouldn't it be better if things go like this:
- Invest $297 for TradingSim for one full year
- Use the free education resources the internet provides
- Test and practice strategies and trades without risk anytime from everywhere
- Make your experiences in the market under regular market conditions
- Find out if trading is for you and if yes, what trading style is right for you
- Make profits right from the beginning with the correct mindset
- Let your knowledge boost your performance
Before you start your subscription, you have to choose if you want to do the market replay for equity or futures trading.
Both subscriptions cost the same per year. Alternatively, you can also pay for the bundle, which saves you $174 per year.
You can also start your 7-day free trial with the bundle, and during the 7 days, you can switch to the one you like the most.
On top of this, and this is brand new, you can now add level 2 equities market depth for $99 per year. This way, you can do the market replay with level 2 equities data.
TradingSim collects this data since June 17th, 2019. Of course, this add-on only makes sense if you chose equities as your primary subscription.
This feature becomes handy if you like to have a look at the market depth during your market replay. Reading the order-book and tape accurately is an important skill for day traders. You should set the speed to 1x to have to ability to understand the tape and the order book correctly.
With this option, you can analyze the price action much better. Take a closer look at the tape and order book when a breakout happens.
Or analyze what the tape and order book tells you when the market opens. You can't do this with a regular brokerage or trading platform. But TradingSim has this feature.
TradingSim currently doesn't offer coupons or promo codes, but here is the best deal you can get.
Who Is TradingSim Best For?
TradingSim is for people who want to succeed in trading. TradingSim is for those who understand that it needs practice and a steep learning curve to become a successful trader. No matter if you are entirely new to trading or if you had a bad hit in your account.
Your mindset counts, and if you are willing to invest a reasonable amount of time studying the markets, then TradingSim is an excellent tool for you. TradingSim is a market replay tool, and you can replay any trading day in the past two years.
I think it is mainly for traders who want to trade based on technical analysis. It's possible to test patterns and setups under real market conditions without putting any money at risk. One thing I did not mention yet is that TradingSim has tons of indicators included.
I didn't count them, but I think it's between 60 and 80 indicators that you can apply to any chart. The platform is self-explaining, but beginners might struggle at first. But again, TradingSim shines since they have a help section with guidance and videos for nearly every category.
From "getting started" and "beginner trading modules," up to "experience trading modules," "TradingSim features," and "trading strategies," TradingSim get you covered with their help guide.
Who Is TradingSim Not For?
If you are looking for a backtest engine, then TradingSim is not for you because TradingSim is not a backtesting platform. You cannot write your own code, do any artificial intelligence stuff, or export the market data.
If you are a long-term investor, then TradingSim is not the way to go because the market data is limited to two years. Two years is more than enough for day trading practice, but not for investors.
TradingSim Review Summary
TradingSim does just everything one could expect from a market replay platform. It is fast, reliable, and has a bunch of excellent functionalities. It is not a secret that I shy away from yearly subscriptions. But if you put it into the right context, then you realize that you get a lot for the annual subscription fee.
The 7-day free trial is a safe option to start with. During the free-trial period, you will be able to form your opinion about it. If you are in a 9-5 job right now considering trading as an additional source of income, then TradingSim is an excellent choice.
You can replay the markets at any time at home without the stress a paper trading account, or even a real trade account would cause. As Al Hill said in our call, even if a subscriber realizes that trading is not for him, then TradingSim was helpful.
I agree 100% here since blindly starting with trading will cost you much more than a TradingSim subscription! I hope that you enjoyed this TradingSim review with inside perspectives. TradingSim is unique and powerful.
The easiest way to figure out if TradingSim is right for you is by using the 7-day free trial.
- 7-day free trial
- Two years of intraday tick-data
- Risk-free trading
- Excellent replay functionalities
- Level 2 market data available for replay
- Yearly subscriptions only
- Only 2 years of historical End-of-day (daily) data
- Charts cannot be detached (everything in one browser window)
- Short sale restrictions are not visible in replay mode
You have seven days to test TradingSim inside out. And I recommend you to do so. It is up to you to use the trial period as intensive as possible. Be consequent if you realize that TradingSim is not for you.
And if you fall in love with it? Hey, then paying the yearly TradingSim subscription fee is definitely worth it. Why? Because your real money stays safe in your checking account while you practice day trading or swing trading.
Have a look at Trade Ideas artificial intelligence based stock screener. You can use their historical signal tracking to simulate those signals in your TradingSim account under real market conditions. Also, you can connect Trade Ideas with Interactive Brokers paper trading account by using their API.
Is TradingSim a Scam?
No, TradingSim is not a scam at all. Transparency is a strength, and they do not focus on selling you the dream of becoming rich overnight. TradingSim's focus is to provide you a comfortable way to test and simulate. I like that.
TradingSim is a unique trading tool for investors looking for comprehensive ways to test new strategies.