With the increasing number of competitions available to the public, newbie traders might be wondering whether or not joining a competition may offer significant advantages as opposed to sticking to virtual trade. With Investagrams, the platforms for virtual trade and competitions offer similar features. They both offer a way to trade with virtual cash while using real time data which simulates real time scenarios without the risk of losing capital. Obviously, competitions give you the chance to win prizes. But the advantages of joining competitions extend beyond monetary value.
Thinking Long Term
The advantages you can get from joining competitions mostly revolve around your discipline as a trader. When joining a competition, you are encouraged to look beyond short term gains and onto sustainable growth. This forces you to protect your capital through proper position sizing and appropriate exits. Although you can do this through virtual trade, it is very easy to just reset your account or to lose interest in your virtual trade portfolio if you get a losing streak. It is important to note that competitions are marathons, not sprints because local competitions usually last for around 4 months. This means that no matter how much gains you get with one trade, if you can’t sustain this growth then you’ll most probably get overtaken by your competitors.
Beating the Market
Competitions also encourage you to push yourself beyond merely being profitable to actually being more profitable than the rest of the market. Of course, there are ways to do this through virtual trading such as setting a monthly goal or using the index to track your performance. However, these goals are not as dynamic as directly comparing yourself to similar traders at the same level. Having the ability to compare your performance to other traders in real time will have you constantly searching for high probability trades instead of passively riding on trending stocks.
Being Part of a Community
Aside from prizes and technical benefits, you also get a better sense of community. For example, Investagrams’ group feature offers a way for Trading Cup 2020 participants to share their learnings and insights throughout the whole competition. Because competitions let people have the same initial capital as well as the same restrictions on the number of trades per day and lock in periods, all participants effectively start on the same level which makes it easier for participants to relate to each other. Ideally, this behaviour will spillover to the whole trading community even after the competitions end.
Overall, joining a competition offers a good benchmark on whether or not your strategy is optimal. If you find yourself underperforming compared to your competitors, then you may want to realign your learnings and backtest your strategies in order to find the optimal system for you. However, if you find yourself performing better than others, then maybe you should think about transitioning to using a real portfolio with real cash or maybe even consider a career in professional fund managing. Joining a competition is truly a great opportunity that newbies and intermediate traders alike should not pass on.
It’s time to challenge yourself.
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