How does a trader test his/her strategies and abilities without paying (or paying too much) for his/her mistakes ?
I would say there are three possible answers.
One first answer, of course, is by paper trading. Paper trading means that you do not actually execute your orders, but you only “bookkeep” them, testing on paper what their results would be.
At the next level you can trade in a simulated account. This is similar to paper trading, as you are not trading with real money, but just testing the result of your strategies; on the other side with a simulated account you are really using you Broker platform so you are at the same time training yourself in dealing with order execution issues.
Simulated accounts are nowadays offered by many Brokers; in the Forex market it is common to get this feature.
Say you trade your strategy for some time with a simulated account, and everything goes fine; you would expect that real trading should go fine as well. Still, there is an issue you did not deal with: your emotions. These will come into the game only when you trade with your real money. Emotions can do a big difference. They often...