Start With Paper Trading Options

Paper trading options

When in investing in options, why is it important to follow the process of paper trading options? Here’s a question from one of our members:

I am a newer subscriber. I paper traded  DIA using the exact recommended prices.  I was filled right away on the 1st and 3rd leg. The 2nd leg is at $1.71. Using a limit order of $1.79, I haven’t been filled.  Can you suggest what I should do in cases like this?

My short answer:

I would have entered the option trade as one, instead of three options separately.
Sounds like you will have to adjust your price to get filled. my software is showing a price of 1.76 right now. Try that, and if not, reduce it penny by penny until you get it.

It’s a good thing you are paper trading options. It is exactly problems like there we want to overcome before we use real money.

Option trading strategies

This situation is exactly why I advise all members to start with paper trading. Look, the market is not going anywhere. I know that you are anxious and eager to start making money but patience is very important. My trades are waiting trades. I mean that you put them on and then wait for time decay to do its thing. You need patience to trade these.

But when you start there are many things that can trip you up. Not knowing how to place an order correctly or misunderstanding your broker’s platform can cause a winning trade to turn into a big loser. I have seen it happen to members many times.

“Paper trading options” Manual

I am in the process of coming up with a “paper trading options” manual that will give exercises on entering and exiting trades plus help you see how options work on a more advanced scale than what is normally discussed. This manual is in the works and will be posted on the members section of the site.

But to anyone who is starting out in options investing or selling options, or trading in general: Paper trade first, for as long as it takes for you to get comfortable with your broker platform, until you understand what all the order types are, until you understand which trades are debit trades and which are credit trades, until you can execute a trade like an condor option (4 legged) in less than 1 minute.

Once you have these basics down, then and only then should real money be brought into the picture, because if you have real money on the line, and you need to move quickly to exit a trade, if you are not experienced you will screw up and cost yourself more money.


  1. Mark on September 29, 2018 at 2:14 am

    How do I find a paper trade? Do I have to find a broker? Does Robinhood have one?

    • Ameen Kam on March 6, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      RobinHood is a very limited platform. You are better off finding a real broker.

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