How to Paper Trade on Thinkorswim: A Beginner’s Guide

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Are you a beginner in the world of trading, looking to practice your skills before diving into the live market? Thinkorswim’s paper trading feature is the perfect solution for you. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of paper trading on Thinkorswim, helping you gain valuable experience and confidence in your trading abilities. So, let’s get started!

Understanding Thinkorswim Paper Trading

Thinkorswim is a powerful trading platform offered by TD Ameritrade that provides users with access to a wide range of trading tools and resources. One of its key features is paper trading, which allows you to simulate real trades without risking any actual money. Paper trading is a valuable learning tool for both novice and experienced traders, as it helps you understand the dynamics of the market and test different strategies.

Thinkorswim’s paper trading feature offers numerous benefits. Firstly, it provides a risk-free environment where you can practice trading techniques and strategies. You can experiment with different investment approaches, analyze market trends, and understand the impact of your decisions, all without the fear of incurring losses. Additionally, paper trading allows you to familiarize yourself with the various features and tools available on the Thinkorswim platform, helping you become more proficient in using them effectively.

Getting Started with Paper Trading on Thinkorswim

Before you can start paper trading on Thinkorswim, you need to create an account. Visit the Thinkorswim website and follow the simple signup process. Once your account is set up, you can log in to the Thinkorswim platform and explore its paper trading capabilities.

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Setting up a paper trading account on Thinkorswim is straightforward. Within the platform, navigate to the “Monitor” tab and select “PaperMoney.” You will be prompted to create a paper trading account, which will be separate from your live trading account. This separation ensures that your paper trades do not interfere with your real investments.

Executing Paper Trades on Thinkorswim

Now that your paper trading account is set up, it’s time to learn how to execute paper trades on Thinkorswim. Understanding the various order types is crucial for placing trades effectively. Thinkorswim offers a wide range of order types, including market orders, limit orders, stop orders, and more. Take the time to familiarize yourself with each order type and how to use them in different trading scenarios.

Placing paper trades on Thinkorswim is simple and intuitive. From the platform’s trade tab, you can select the stock or asset you wish to trade and choose the appropriate order type. Enter the quantity and any additional parameters, and then review and confirm your trade. Thinkorswim provides real-time market data and comprehensive charts to aid in your decision-making process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the minimum account balance required for paper trading on Thinkorswim?

There is no minimum account balance needed for paper trading on Thinkorswim. It is entirely free to use and accessible to all users.

2. Can paper trading on Thinkorswim simulate real market conditions?

While paper trading aims to replicate real market conditions as closely as possible, it’s important to note that there may be slight differences compared to live trading. Factors such as liquidity and market volatility might vary, but overall, Thinkorswim’s paper trading provides an accurate simulation of the market.

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3. Are there any limitations or differences between paper trading and live trading on Thinkorswim?

Yes, there are a few limitations and differences to be aware of. In paper trading, your trades are executed in a simulated environment, so you won’t experience the same emotional impact as real trading. Additionally, order fills and slippage may differ from live trading due to market conditions. It’s crucial to keep these factors in mind while paper trading.

4. How long can I use the paper trading feature on Thinkorswim?

Thinkorswim’s paper trading feature has no time limit. You can continue practicing and honing your skills for as long as you desire.


Paper trading on Thinkorswim is an invaluable tool for aspiring traders. It provides a risk-free environment to learn and practice trading strategies, explore the platform’s features, and gain confidence in your abilities. By following this guide, you now have the knowledge to get started with paper trading on Thinkorswim. Take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your trading skills and embark on your journey to becoming a successful trader.

Remember, practice makes perfect. So, don’t hesitate to paper trade on Thinkorswim and refine your trading techniques before venturing into the live market. Happy trading!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Trading involves risk, and it is important to conduct thorough research and seek professional guidance before making any investment decisions.

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