Your Questions About Paper Trading

James asks…

Are there any options trading websites that have a free practice account?

I am new to options trading and would feel better if I could play with practice money before doing any real trading. I’m particularly interested in doing calendar spreads if anyone would like to recommend any books or good websites for calendar spreads.

John answers:

Try optionsxpress at , they offer free paper trading accounts. I don’t trade options, so am not sure about calendar spreads.

Robert asks…

What are the downsides or pitfalls of trading currencies?

If economic stats and indicators of many countries are available to anyone (or are they?), why isn’t it commonplace for people to be trading up on different currencies and getting rich? Is it transaction costs alone? What are some other factors that make it risky?

John answers:

I play around with it (paper trading) and discovered it can go against you very quickly but if you are stringent and wise when setting your stop losses, you can avoid big losses. I myself find it is best to play it safe by trading mini-lots and trading one currency pair at a time. The problem with stop-losses is if you set them to close (say 30 – 40 pips) you will hit them too often and will have a hard time making up the losses. I found the strategy that works best for me is setting very small limits (10 – 15 pips), setting no stop-losses and just waiting it out (it could take a few minutes to reach your goal or a few days). The drawbacks to that strategy is if the trade continues for several days, you’ll have to pay rollover fees, which takes away from your original potential profit and if it goes high against you, you will need a lot of margin to stay in the trade otherwise you will have to take a big loss.

Donald asks…

Where Can I Learn How To Trade Options In The Stock Options Market?

I’ve heard that trading in the stock options market can be very rewarding but where can I learn how to do this?

John answers:

Hi Francis,

To be successful at trading options in the stock market, you’ll need practice. The best way to get practice is through paper trading, that’s where you follow a stock and pretend you are actually putting trades in and then taking them out, hopefully for a profit.

You can also find books on the subject, like on amazon or barnes and noble. You’ll need a good foundation on the basics. There are also different strategies when it comes to trading options so you’ll need to learn those first as well.

For more advanced ways on how to trade options, there are sites that offer guidance. The advantage with these sites is that they will take you beyond the basics and offer you a better chance at higher returns on your trades.

I’ve listed some sites below that you can check out, they are for information purposes only and not a recommendation. However, you will learn a little more than what you can get from reading books.


I think if you start your learning this way, you will be able to succeed in trading options. Others have done it so there’s no reason why you can’t learn how to do it too.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Paul asks…

I have to write a paper on an aspect of african american slavery in the united states, where do i start ?

I have to write a paper on an aspect of african american slavery in the united states, where do i start ? what aspect should i choose ? where can i find more information ?

John answers:

Slavery began as early as the 1450, when the portuguese sailed northwest from th eafrican coast toward the azores. They set up trading posts along the coast selling the slaves there. That would be a great start, then move on to the sugar islands and then the united states and then the civil war. Talk about the progression of slavery from the 1450s all the way to the civil war. Explain the reasons why slavery increased and then broaden the outlook on the still lasting outcomes of it (racism?).

Mandy asks…

Does anyone know what kind of paper is used for publishing paperback books?

I’m interested in finding out if I can run this type of paper through a laser printer. No one seems to know. My book is quite long and I need to use the lightest paper possible. What is it’s weight and color and where do I get it?

John answers:

You can’t compare paper for your laser printer to paper used in books.

Paper for books comes on gigantic rolls (I mean huge–like they wouldn’t fit in your living room) and is fed through gigantic printing machines. The paper is then folded over and over again and cut to make it book sized and have the pages in the right order. It’s a fairly complicated process.

You can’t even compare the weights properly–they’re calculated differently.

Also different books use different kinds and weights of paper. Cheapo mass market paperbacks use low quality, off-color paper, while trade paperbacks use higher quality, more white paper.

How long is your book and why are you printing it out?

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