How long should I demo before going live?

tracydavison

Junior member
19 1
hi guys,

Im a newbie to trading and was just wondering how long should I stay in demo before going live?

Just wanting to get ideas from more experienced traders thanks!
 

0007

Senior member
2,174 526
hi guys,

Im a newbie to trading and was just wondering how long should I stay in demo before going live?

Just wanting to get ideas from more experienced traders thanks!
You will probably get many contrary replies to what I'm about to say (possibly along the lines of you won't know what trading is until you try for real – and I'll be the 1st to agree with that) but I am of the firm belief that you should not go live until you have convincingly proved to yourself that your demo trading is reliably successful – and that may take some time to achieve and will likely test your perseverance and patience to the limit!

It's probably worth heeding what Mr Charts says. He is one of our long-most serving members and, I believe, has been trading for a living for about 20 years, so he should know a thing or 2 about trading live. I can recommend you to read all of his most helpful stuff but particularly his account of how he transferred from his previous occupation to trading. In that (if I recall correctly) he recommends at least 100 paper trades of a successful nature in order to ascertain reliability and competence.

My logic is: until you can papertrade successfully there is little point in risking real money. And even then you should still be prepared for disappointment. On the other hand, if you've got loads of spare dosh go ahead straightaway – you'll certainly learn lessons you won't forget in a hurry! But all that's only my opinion – others will tell you different.:)
 
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timsk

Legendary member
6,912 1,794
Im a newbie to trading and was just wondering how long should I stay in demo before going live?
Hi Tracey,
Welcome to T2W.

I second 0007's excellent advice - with one additional caveat. Once you're performing consistently well trading your demo account and are ready to transition to a live account - only trade the smallest position size that your broker permits. This is irrespective of how big your account is. If you make a hash of it - and you will at some point - losing small amounts won't hurt. If all goes according to plan, increase your position size incrementally one step at a time. If things go badly and your stat's start to fall away, go back down a step (or two) to your previous position size. Only go back up when your stat's go back to their expected levels. If things continue to go badly, STOP trading your live account altogether and return to demo trading until you sort out the issue(s). No shame in doing that at all, it's common sense and will keep you in the game. I've done it many times and, although I've never asked him, I'd wager 0007 has as well.

Lastly, assuming your name is real and you're a chapess - you have one major edge over most of us chaps on here. Women often (but not always) make better traders than men. The irony of that is that relatively few of them do it - at least in a retail capacity. Good luck.
Tim.
 
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NVP

Legendary member
36,359 1,803
hey there

as the guys are saying ............you have to be consistently successful on demo before attempting real money

its a different game in the real money world ......demos are kind of like learning slopes that the brokers deliberately soften to aid the progression of new traders into parting with their money

I mean that generally the spreads will be more consistent and spikes are smoothed more .....so you are not getting the rough and tumble of real prices .......

Having said that if yous are trading sensibly with decent Stops above even 1 hour charts you will be free of such problems ....im talking more the manic lower Timeframes where i inhabit for most of my trading time

good luck

N
 

AdamCantor

Junior member
32 3
i always say demo with multiple brokers for as long as you make consistent profits and develop your own strategies and trading style.
 
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Akinozragore

Junior member
22 2
The safest option is to have long and hard trading on a demo account. But this is in a perfect scenario. To be honest, I don't know any single trader, who could trade on a demo account at least for one year and then switch to the real money having already a good strategy. Eventually, everything was disrupted much earlier, made the deposit and wiped them out pretty fast. And not all had the strength after it to make another try, but already being e little bit smarter and learned from own mistakes.
If you want to trade specifically on Forex, many forex-brokers offer such a great thing like cent accounts. If you invest only 10-20 bucks, you will have an opportunity to choose to do medium-term trading or even scalping. Even if you wipe out this deposit, the loss will be not that big. But the most important, you can feel, what it means to trade with real money. It doesn't matter how ridiculous sum is, the psychology behind it will be totally different. Anyway, I think, that switching from demo to real account should be done right after you nail the platform and all its features. What is important here - to make such a first deposit, so you could not be afraid to lose it.
 
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AdamCantor

Junior member
32 3
yes if you make consistent profits, for the most part it will instil confidence that this can happen on the live account too. Demo accounts reflect the spreads and leverage offered. The only thing a demo doesn't usually cover is something like 'slippage', but pricing etc would reflect the broker's live account.
 

NVP

Legendary member
36,359 1,803
hi guys,

Im a newbie to trading and was just wondering how long should I stay in demo before going live?

Just wanting to get ideas from more experienced traders thanks!
minimum ? .....as long as it takes to become very profitable trading demo

then start on ultra low trading live until you get into the swing of it ....micro accounts

N
 

TraderWinner

Newbie
4 0
You can start by trading on a demo first
and you should only move to live trading
after you manage to have 2 consecutive months of profits in your demo.
 

allinazi

Junior member
16 0
In my opinion the sooner the better. The quicker you experience the psychological part of trading the better. That doesn't mean go all guns blazing with your trade size. Trade the smallest amount possible and trade as you would as a demo. I.E the money doesn't matter, that's the size you should be trading. I would say demo for 1 week just to get use to how to execute trades etc and get a feel for the platform and then start trading live with 0.01 lots and work it from there.
 

J_C_Anderson

Active member
105 14
The main idea is that trader should be able to be consistently profitable before switching to real account. That is why it wholly depends on trader`s perfromance and trading results and could not be specified as "1 month" or "1 year". If there is no consistent positive results using demo account, this means that trader could not earn money even in almost ideal trading conditions without psychological pressure, fears and greed, so how could he earn money at the real market?
Another point is that switching to the real account does not mean that trader should forget about the demo. It still could be a perfect tool to improve trading skills and habits, or to test new ideas. At the same time, if we are talking about checking new strategies, it will be better to use special software, the backtesters - it will make the testing process easier and the results will be relaible. Anyway, it is important to test each new strategy on demo to check the influence of the trader`s psychology.
So, use the demo account only unless you will become consistently profitable trader and then use it from time to time to improve your trading.
 

allinazi

Junior member
16 0
The thing is a lot of people are expert demo traders but fail when they trade live. WHY IS THAT? they don't experience the feeling of losing money. A lot of people start becoming PNL traders when they go live and in fact don't trade like the did in a demo.
 

BaconSandwich

Newbie
3 0
Depending on your trading approach, specifically referring to not following arbitrary spread scalping systems or short term TFs, then demo/sim accounts can actually give you a really realistic view of what to expect in a live account situation. The real key aspect though for this to occur is that you need a trading system in place first - a rule based approach with no discretionary elements. If you have this in place then providing you stick to it you will eliminate the emotional side of demo vs real account results.

Many say that the biggest downfall of demo vs real comes down to two key points.

1. Execution / Fills levels based on liquidity - this is why the short term trader who holds trades for minutes and who relies on execution at pinpoint accuracy levels will see a big difference when going to live from demo. The difference of a pip or less may account for a significant margin hit. The bigger your targets the less of an impact this will obviously have when transitioning to live.

2. Emotional aspects of hitting a loss - again, this is why demo and live accounts tend to reflect mirror like performance for trading approaches that are systematic in nature. You follow the rules, the entries, the exits, the risk management word for word. It's when you introduce discretionary (non rule based systems) that you open the door for emotions to come into play.

Anyway, just my own opinion.
 

TradeKing305

Junior member
23 3
As a lot of members have already stated, don't go live with real money until you are consistently profitable in your training account. It took me 6 months of hardcore simulation before i developed a strategy that I was comfortable with. I am not saying it will take you 6 months. Everyone is different. You might find a strategy that shows you immediate gratification. Learn to control your psychology and you will be a killer.