How can I practice futures trading in a realistic environment?
Anyone who has risked his hard-earned money in the markets knows that trading is a game of mental stability, not necessarily intelligence, or even skill. Most traders enjoy massive success in a paper trading account but fail to convert their experience into profitable live trading.
Accordingly, paper trading for long periods of time (months or years) isn’t as helpful as many assume it to be.
In my opinion, traders are better served opening a small account to trade ultra-low margined futures such as mini grain futures, e-micro metals, or e-micro currencies. Doing so gives traders all the benefits of paper trading with at least some indication about how emotions play a part in decision making. Naturally, it isn’t nearly as stressful to trade a product that makes or loses $1.25 per tick as it is one that is worth $12.50, but doing so will give you a taste of what’s in store — an emotional roller-coaster.