Best Day Trading Demo Accounts

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Written By
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Written By
Rebecca Holden
Rebecca is an investment writer and broker analyst. She has evaluated dozens of brokers and trading platforms. Rebecca formerly worked in e-commerce where she helped grow the online presence of some of the UK's largest brands.
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Edited By
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Edited By
James Barra
James is an investment writer with a background in financial services. He has worked as a management consultant, where he delivered large-scale operational transformational programmes at some of Europe's biggest banks. James authors, edits and fact-checks content for a series of investing websites.
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Having used many demo accounts in recent years, I wanted to create a complete guide to help traders. I share my pick of the best demo trading accounts and answer the most common questions.

The key factors I look at when evaluating demo trading accounts are:

Top 5 Demo Accounts 2024

Based on my tests, I would recommend these day trading demo accounts with easy sign-up requirements:

Best Day Trading Demo Accounts Comparison

Best Day Trading Demo Accounts Comparison
Broker Free Demo Account Instruments Available Platforms Education Regulators Visit
CMC Markets logo
CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Treasuries, Custom Indices, Spread Betting Web, MT4 FCA, ASIC, MAS, CIRO, BaFin, FMA, DFSA Visit
Vantage logo
CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds ProTrader, MT4, MT5, TradingView, DupliTrade FCA, ASIC, FSCA, VFSC Visit
AvaTrade logo
CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Crypto, Spread Betting, Futures WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBol, FSA, FSRA, BVI, ADGM Visit
XM logo
Forex, Stock CFDs, Turbo Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Precious Metals, Energies, Shares, Crypto, Futures MT4, MT5 ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, FSC, FSCA Visit
Pepperstone logo
CFDs, Forex, Currency Indices, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Crypto, Spread Betting MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, DupliTrade FCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin, SCB Visit
OANDA US logo
Forex, Crypto OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist NFA, CFTC Visit
Deriv.com logo
CFDs, Multipliers, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities Deriv Trader, MT5 MFSA, LFSA, VFSC, BFSC Visit
Exness logo
CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Crypto Exness Trade App, MT4, MT5, TradingCentral FSA, CySEC, FCA, FSCA, FSC, CBCS Visit
IC Markets logo
CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Futures, Crypto MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade ASIC, CySEC, FSA Visit
Eightcap logo
CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities MT4, MT5, TradingView ASIC, FCA, xCySEC, SCB Visit
LiteForex Europe logo
CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities MT4, MT5 CySEC Visit
CityIndex logo
CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Cryptos, Options, Commodities, Bonds MT4, TradingView, TradingCentral ASIC, FCA, MAS Visit
DNA Markets logo
CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto MT4, MT5 ASIC Visit
FOREX.com logo
CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Cryptos, Futures, Options, Commodities MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral NFA, CFTC, CIRO, FCA, CYSEC, ASIC, SFC, FSA, MAS, CIMA Visit
IC Trading logo
CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Cryptos, Futures MT4, MT5, cTrader, AutoChartist, TradingCentral FSC Visit

#1 - CMC Markets

Why We Chose CMC Markets

Established in 1989, CMC Markets is a respected broker listed on the London Stock Exchange and authorized by several tier-one regulators, including the FCA, ASIC and CIRO. More than 1 million traders from around the world have signed up with the multi-award winning brokerage.

"With advanced charting tools and an extensive range of tradable CFDs, including an almost unrivalled selection of currencies and custom indices, CMC Markets provides a fantastic online platform for traders of all levels. "

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Treasuries, Custom Indices, Spread Betting
  • Regulator: FCA, ASIC, MAS, CIRO, BaFin, FMA, DFSA
  • Platforms: Web, MT4
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)

#2 - Vantage

Why We Chose Vantage

Founded in 2009, Vantage offers trading on 1000+ short-term CFD products to over 900,000 clients. You can trade Forex CFDs from 0.0 pips on the RAW account through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage is ASIC-regulated and client funds are segregated. Copy traders will also appreciate the range of social trading tools.

"Vantage remains an excellent option for CFD traders seeking a tightly-regulated broker with access to the reliable MetaTrader platforms. The fast sign-up process and $50 minimum deposit make it very straightforward to start day trading quickly."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds
  • Regulator: FCA, ASIC, FSCA, VFSC
  • Platforms: ProTrader, MT4, MT5, TradingView, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Deposit: $50
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:500

#3 - AvaTrade

Why We Chose AvaTrade

AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for day trading, from CFDs to AvaOptions and now AvaFutures, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

"AvaTrade offers the full package for short-term traders. There is powerful charting software, reliable execution, transparent fees, and fast account opening with a low minimum deposit."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Crypto, Spread Betting, Futures
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBol, FSA, FSRA, BVI, ADGM
  • Platforms: WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro)

#4 - XM

Why We Chose XM

XM is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker with 10+ million clients in 190+ countries. Since 2009, this trusted broker has been known for its low fees on 1000+ instruments. XM is regulated by multiple financial bodies, including the ASIC and CySEC.

"XM is one of the best forex and CFD brokers we have tested. The flexible account types will suit a variety of short-term trading styles while the $5 minimum deposit and smooth sign-up process make it easy to start trading."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: Forex, Stock CFDs, Turbo Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Precious Metals, Energies, Shares, Crypto, Futures
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, FSC, FSCA
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5
  • Minimum Deposit: $5
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots

#5 - Pepperstone

Why We Chose Pepperstone

Established in Australia in 2010, Pepperstone is a top-rated forex and CFD broker with over 400,000 clients worldwide. It offers access to 1,300+ instruments on leading platforms MT4, MT5, cTrader and TradingView, maintaining low, transparent fees. Pepperstone is also regulated by trusted authorities like the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC, ensuring a secure environment for day traders at all levels.

"Pepperstone stands out as a top choice for day trading, offering razor-sharp spreads, ultra-fast execution, and advanced charting platforms for experienced traders. New traders are also welcomed with no minimum deposit, extensive educational resources, and exceptional 24/7 support."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Currency Indices, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Crypto, Spread Betting
  • Regulator: FCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin, SCB
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)

What is A Good Demo Trading Account?

Based on my experience testing day trading demo accounts, there are several important factors to consider:

Time Limits

Most online brokers offer access to a demo trading account for up to 30 days. After this, you will normally need to open a real-money account and make a deposit.

However, I prefer brokers that offer unlimited access to demo accounts. These will allow you to continue testing strategies even after you have opened a live account, making them an excellent tool for aspiring traders.

  • AvaTrade offers an unlimited demo account with access to MT4, MT5 and its own in-house platform.

Virtual Funds

Having used dozens of demo trading accounts, most brokers offer between $10,000 and $100,000 in virtual funds.

Once you have exhausted this money, you will normally need to open a live account, though some brokers will replenish your bankroll so you can continue practising until the demo account expires.

Importantly, I recommend demo trading in realistic volumes, as this will make the transition to real-money trading easier.

  • XM offers $100,000 in virtual funds but can you top up your practice account by contacting customer support.

Trading Instruments

The best demo trading accounts allow you to simulate trading on thousands of instruments spanning popular asset classes, including forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrency.

However, the most important thing is to make sure you can practice on the markets you want to trade.

For example, if you want to trade CFDs on the S&P 500, make sure this is available. Equally, if you want to speculate on the EUR/USD, check this is available in demo mode.

  • CMC Markets offers one of the largest product portfolios I have seen with over 12,000 instruments, including currency pairs, currency indices, shares, indices, commodities, treasuries, share baskets, and ETFs.

Getting Started

After signing up for multiple demo trading accounts, those with a straightforward sign-up process stand out. In my experience, the best demo trading accounts allow you to register and start trading in less than 5 minutes.

To get started, you will normally need to provide basic contact details, choose your base currency, amount of virtual funds, and trading platform, and agree to the terms and conditions.

You will then be provided with login credentials which you can use to sign into the demo platform.

  • XTB offers a demo account that you can sign up for in 2 minutes. I simply had to provide my email, name, phone number and choose my country from a list.

Real Trading Conditions

The best demo trading accounts simulate real market conditions. For me, this means looking for several things.

They should offer live market data and pricing, leverage trading if it’s available in the real-money solution, and access to risk-management tools like stop-loss and take-profit orders. This should help gauge what trading in real-money mode will be like.

That being said, day trading demo accounts cannot fully replicate real-market conditions. For example, in demo mode trades are often executed instantly so you won’t experience the slippage or re-quotes you can see when you trade for real.

Demo trading accounts should also provide access to the same platforms and tools. MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader are among the most popular third-party platforms.

However, I think a demo account is even more important to consider if the broker offers a proprietary platform where you may be unfamiliar with the different features available.

  • IC Markets offers demo trading on all three of its platforms; MT4, MT5, and cTrader with pricing conditions that reflect its live accounts.

What Is A Demo Trading Account?

A demo account is a kind of trading simulator, that allows you to practice online trading with a wide range of financial instruments, from stocks, futures, and options to CFDs and cryptocurrencies.

How They Work

Demo accounts are funded with simulated money, allowing you to gain trading experience without risking real capital.

This allows you to craft strategies and build confidence while getting familiar with market conditions.

In addition, they are an effective way to test drive a potential broker and software.

Capabilities

The best demo trading accounts allow you to simulate real trading with the only difference being that you use pretend money.

This way you get the full experience of the markets and the trading platform, without the pressure of risking your actual funds.

XTB demo trading platform
XTB Trading Platform In Demo Mode

Pros And Cons Of Demo Trading Accounts

Pros

  • Risk – Because demo accounts are funded with simulated money, mistakes won’t cost you any of your hard-earned capital. In addition, they also allow you to practice day trading while you are still saving for that initial account deposit.
  • Price action – The best way to understand price action is to experience it. Stock trading demo accounts, for example, will give you practice reacting to volatile markets and capitalizing on price fluctuations.
  • Broker & platform – Online trading with demo accounts is an effective way to test a potential broker and platform. For example, you can check their software has all the charts and tools you need. In addition, do they offer any useful extras, such as trading contests? So, check the overall quality of the broker’s services before you commit real capital.
  • Calibration – Demo brokerage accounts are the ideal place to fine-tune your strategy. You can make mistakes and adjustments until your plan is consistent, without losing real capital. Because overtrading, cutting profits short and direction bias are all common mistakes that can prove costly if you don’t make them in practice accounts first.
  • Forward testing – Once you have a market and strategy in mind, you can either backtest or forward-test your trading plan. While backtesting can prove useful, it lacks the emotional element. Forward testing enables you to put your plan to trade stocks, for example, into action while battling trading pressures in real time.
  • Drawdowns – Regardless of how effective your strategy is, there will be days when the market feels against you. However, investing in a day trading demo account allows you to practice sticking to your plan and perhaps adjusting your position size until things turn around.

Cons

  • Execution – Demo accounts often provide better execution than live trading. This is because demo accounts usually fill a market order at the price shown on the screen. However, in a live market, there is slippage. This can result in orders not being filled at the expected price. So, meeting previous profit calculations may prove challenging.
  • Increased capital – Normally, demo software allows you to choose how much capital you would like to trade with. As a result, many individuals opt for far more than they will have when they live trade. Greater capital allows for smaller losses to be more easily recouped. You may also find yourself unable to afford the expensive instruments you explored when using demo accounts.
  • Spreads – Online forex brokers, for example, often look to impress potential traders with tight spreads in demo accounts. However, in fast-moving markets, in particular, the spread quoted may be far wider.
  • Deposits – Although using virtual money, there are some brokers who will require an initial deposit to use their demo accounts. So, this is something to check before you sign up.
  • Leverage – Many traders enjoy the increased leverage some brokers offer in demo accounts. Whilst this can result in substantial virtual profits, in live trading it can also lead to significant losses.
  • Deal rejection – In demo day trading accounts, trades almost always go through as requested, regardless of certain factors. However, when live trading, price changes between your trade submission and execution can result in rejection. So, be prepared for re-quotes when you upgrade to live trading.
  • Trading tools – Free charts and packages you get when you are trading gold in your demo account may well come at an additional cost when you live trade.
  • Market movements – Your demo account server may not take into account interest and dividend adjustments, or out-of-hours price movements.
  • Emotions – Day trading demo accounts will not expose you to the fear, hope and greed that you may experience when you live trade. The fear of losing your capital can result in costly mistakes. Whilst greed can lead to holding onto a winning position for too long. Unfortunately, you cannot practice controlling these emotions with demo accounts.
  • Complacency – Managing risk properly with a practice account is often overlooked. Traders often take more risks than they would if real funds were on the line. This can result in bad habits when you transition to live trading.
  • Overtrading – The excitement of trading can cause many with demo accounts to overtrade. After all, why not take that risk when it isn’t real money on the line? This can develop into a habit of overtrading. However, when you move to live trading, you will then need to learn quantity doesn’t always trump quality.

Bottom Line

Demo trading accounts offer a multitude of benefits, from honing a strategy to getting familiar with prospective markets.

However, there are certain limitations, from tackling different emotions to seeing the need for an effective risk management strategy.

But regardless of whether you think using demo accounts is very helpful or not, they remain an effective way to test a potential broker and platform.

FAQ

What Are Demo Trading Accounts?

Demo trading accounts offer a risk-free environment where you can practice trading. They differ from live accounts because they do not use real funds – the broker will provide you with a virtual bankroll. There is no requirement to deposit money.

Which Is The Best Demo Trading Account?

I have listed the best demo trading accounts. These practice accounts offer a straightforward sign-up process, a generous amount of virtual funds to practice trading online, and excellent conditions when you are ready to move to real-money trading.

How Do I Open A Demo Trading Account?

Most demo trading accounts are easy to open. The majority of the time, you will simply have to head over to the broker’s website and fill in a straightforward form.

You will usually be asked for your email address, username, password and location. Often you require no more details than this. Your account login details will then be emailed to you and instructions on the next steps will be given.

You can even find some forex demo accounts that require no registration at all.

Are Demo Trading Accounts Only For Beginners?

Not at all. Demo accounts are also useful for experienced traders looking to develop and test strategies before deploying them in live market conditions.

I find they are particularly useful for brokers with proprietary platforms and in-house tools that you may have not used before.

What Are The Alternatives To Demo Trading?

If you don’t want to use a demo account and are new to trading, I recommend brokers with a low minimum deposit.

The best firms allow you to start trading with a minimum investment of less than $100 with access to high-quality educational materials and training guides.

Article Sources

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