For traders, a demo account makes a lot of sense. They get to try the trading platform, or a demo account app, at no financial risk. Brokers should also be proud to show off their platform and customer service, so traders should be able to use a demo account without a deposit and with a simple sign up process.
Below, we explore how to identify the best demo accounts, how to judge whether a free demo account really is ‘free’ and even where you can get a demo account with no sign up at all. Read on for more…
Brokers with Demo Accounts in the United States
A Guide To Demo Accounts
‘Try before you buy’ is a concept we’re all familiar with – both on and offline. When it comes to trading sites, this concept takes the form of the demo account; something that’s a feature of virtually all online binary options brokers you’ll come across.
From the broker’s point of view, this is their chance to ‘wow’ you with their platform and its multitude of features. It’s where they hope to earn your trust – or at the very least, to get hold of your email address.
Likewise, as a prospective binary options trader, the demo account gives you the opportunity to put the platform to the test. Does it work? Can you make sense of it? Does it feel right? These are the questions you need answers to before you hand over your cash.
Here, we take a close look at binary options demo accounts; how they can help you and what to look for as you decide whether to move on from the demo to the real deal…
Head on over to a broker’s website and the “Try it now” button (or something very similar) will feature prominently. The way most demos work is simple; the broker gives you a set amount of virtual money to play with ($1,000 is a popular figure). You then use this “money” to explore the platform; placing as many or as few trades as you wish. Losses and gains are credited to this virtual, dummy balance.
So is it always safe to sign up? At the very least, the process tends to involve submitting your email address and specifying a user name. (That said Ayrex offer a ‘no sign up’ demo account)
Download on Mobile Devices
If you intend to use the demo account app on a mobile device, it also usually involves downloading the company’s app. Bearing in mind that it’s never a good idea to hand over personal information blindly – or download software from an unknown party, it’s advisable to do your homework first.
What can you glean from independent reviews of the site? Where is it based? What do actual users have to say about it? Even though it’s just a demo, it’s still important to know that you’re in safe hands.
Be especially wary if the demo sign-up process takes the form of a data-mining exercise – i.e. if you are encouraged to provide large quantities of personal information. There really should be no need to provide bank account details at this stage; if the platform is requesting this and you are (rightly) uncomfortable with it, there are plenty of other platforms out there that don’t require this information – so consider looking elsewhere.
How To Use A Demo Account
At heart, binary options demo accounts provide the chance to test-drive the platform. So here are the areas to focus on as you put the platform through its paces…
Compare trading platforms without deposits
What you are looking for is a “full-fat” experience of this particular broker’s trading platform. If you eventually decide to use it as a tool for real life trading, it has to be a tool that’s comfortable to use. As such, it should ideally be fully representative of the live platform in terms of access to all features.
A demo account allows more than one platform to be compared. This is useful both for the novice trader, but also for more experienced users looking to ensure they are trading with the best provider. It is of course, possible to have accounts with different brokers to ensure the best payouts on specific assets and trades.
Demo trading account should match live platform
The idea behind most demo accounts is that you see the results of your simulated trading activity reflected in your virtual balance. For a true picture here, it’s important that the payout rates mirror those in real life. So for instance, on the live account, if the payout rate on a particular asset is 85%, it’s important that the same rate applies on the demo account, too. Likewise, if the live account features a returns slider, that slider should work in exactly the same way on the demo as on the real thing.
Is binary options trading for you?
As a novice in this area, you may be weighing up binary options alongside other forms of trading. As well as reading around the subject, signing up to no-deposit binary options demo accounts can be a useful method of hands-on research.
Exploring new asset classes
Let’s say you have only ever traded one or two asset types in the past (forex, for instance). Binary options demo accounts provide a risk-free environment to explore new areas. From indices through to commodities and individual shares, the demo should ideally provide access to all assets available on the live version, giving you scope to experiment.
Demo accounts as part of your education
Some brokers provide access to a wealth of educational and instructional resources – suitable for novices and more experienced traders alike. A range of brokers focus on user education, featuring an introduction programme, a range of seminars and various guides. The demo account is one of the best ways to find out whether you actually understand what you’ve been learning.
Likewise, if you are still honing a strategy, a demo account can be invaluable for putting it to the test. Consider it a ‘practice account’. IQ Option will even allow you to back test trading strategies on the demo account or even test robots in real time.
News and analysis: how does the alerts system stack up?
Many platform providers claim to be able to keep you in the loop – where ever you are. An alerts system can certainly be invaluable in keeping you up to date with changing market conditions and informing you of new opportunities. So the demo account lets you see just how useful such a service really is – as well as allowing you to test out the mobile-friendliness of the platform.
A growing segment of the demo account picture is for the full trading app experience to be available via a demo account app. The brokers who have taken the time to make this available, are more likely than not to have the better trading platforms – after all, they have gone to the extra effort of making sure as many people as possible see it.
Free Accounts – Check It Actually Is Free!
Some brokers will offer a demo account, and refer to it as “free” – but it actually requires a deposit in order to gain access. Given the benefits of a demo account, it might be worth paying a deposit, particularly if it is a brand you want to check out – but tread carefully. In some cases, the initial deposit can trigger a bonus, which may impact withdrawal limits. Where this is the case, the demo account is certainly not “free”.
In most cases, a demo account will not require a deposit. The broker should have enough faith in their platform that you will not look anywhere else after trying theirs. Those that impose restrictions (such as needing a deposit, or large amounts of sign up information) perhaps do not have as much confidence in their offering.
Some brokers will promote competitions and contests among their demo users. This encourages traders to use the platform more, but also aids the broker in converting those demo account holders into real money users. These contests come in many guises but often carry real money rewards – another step in hoping traders make the move to real money.
These contests are just another marketing tool for the broker, but offer traders a good incentive to stay active. No deposit is required to enter so there is no risk for the trader – and they can be a lot of fun.
Finding the Best Accounts in the United States
A demo account should be a risk-free, no-obligation way of testing a platform. It can be especially useful for finding out whether the user experience described by the broker is all that it’s cracked up to be.
Ideally, you’ll do some homework on the broker before signing up to the demo (checking key areas such as whether it is regulated and whether the payout rates are competitive) to avoid wasting your time on a broker who might have a swish website but less than adequate service.
Finally, it’s worth noting that once you’ve signed up to a demo, access to it might be granted for a limited time only. So if you do sign up – don’t forget to make the most of it. The very best demo accounts are free, exactly the same as the real platforms, and not time limited.