top of page

You Should be Papertrading

This post about about a mistake I made early on so that hopefully other new traders can get more data early like I wish I did.

Like most of us, I didn’t want to “waste” my time on papertrading because it can never fully simulate real trading. However, an interesting thing happened over a decade ago, when I started papertrading more, my real portfolio returns actually improved.


1. I decided to take papertrading more seriously and essentially treated it as a second margin account. I was using “papertrading” as an excuse to be lazy and undisciplined. If I wasn’t able to take a papertrading account seriously and perform well, why would I magically get better with a real account? Like we say in the military, sweat more in training, bleed less in combat.

2. I started trading TONS of variations of existing strategies and created comprehensive data sets based on real information that I was able to optimize off of. When did my 4 DTE SPX Straddle work best? What delta did I want to select for the long leg of my LEAPS Ratio diagonal? I started with assumptions then optimized off the data set I was building.

3. I test (present tense because I still do it) literally hundreds of strategies. I find what works best for a wide range of market environments so I can take better advantage. I see a cool strategy on here, sick, papertrade it and see how it performs since I don’t trust 99% of what I see here. Have a hunch on how to trade election years? Cool, test what strategies and what configurations work best.

Papertrading will never be a direct replacement for real trading. That in no way means it should be cast aside as useless and it’s a mistake I made early on. I missed over 4 years of some of the best possible data I could’ve gotten early on with this faulty mindset.

The key is to have robust tracking protocols, I use excel and python, to make good use of the data.

Recent Posts

See All

Don’t Trade

If you don’t have a written plan. The goal of this post is to share personal mistakes in my early trading to hopefully encourage others down a different path. People tend to hate those kind of stateme

Path to Options Proficiency

For the new traders, whatever you do, do NOT allow the disenfranchised internet trolls dissuade you from learning and asking questions. The goal of this post is to encourage new traders to stay the pa

Options Trading for Wealth Development

Like most, I started trading to create wealth and change the trajectory of my life. I started in 2007 with options and learned a really important lesson - consistency is far more important than huge r


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page