This is a trader question from email.
I’ve been trading in demo accounts to get started and am getting ready to start a real account with trading capital. In the past I have made some mistakes which have lost all my demo capital.
I’d like to start with a small account, using real money and grow it. How can I work a small account into a larger account?
In a demo account you will probably be taking more significant risks. You will be testing new ideas, taking some bad trades, and experimenting. sometimes you’ll take trades with excessive risk. Any of those can erase your account, whether it’s a demo account or real money.
Don’t rush to a live account, because there are many lessons to be learned without risking actual cash. When you do trade a live account, you will be trading with a drastically different mindset, so there will be some adjustment and a new learning curve.
With a live account, trading real cash, you will have to learn to take smaller trades, with less risk, to trade more cautiously.
To build a small account, you will probably have to take smaller profits, have close stops, and avoid those long-shot big winners that you may have tried in your demo account. Try this in your demo account first. If you are consistently making smaller proftis and keeping risk under control, you could be ready to move to a live trading account.
Once you have developed confidence in a demo account, you will know when you are ready to use actual trading capital. If you are unsure, then you are not ready to make the move. Evaluate your confidence level before making the switch. The insecurities and fears you have will not be any less when real money is on the line. When you make the switch, trade conservatively for some time, that’s what it takes to survive.
The biggest difference between trading a demo account and a live account, is how you react to stress. It’s all in your mind, your comfort, your confidence. Developing that confidence through practical experience in a demo account is a great way to start. If you can remain calm and make good decisions while risking real money, you’ll make the transition smoothly.
-Neal. (FibMaster’s Fibonacci Trading Course)