Q - What is Paper Trading?

When you run your algorithm with the real-time market, there are many things that can happen that you may not see in backtesting.  Orders may not be filled, prices may spike, or your network may get disconnected and retry may be needed. During the software development process, it is important to test your algorithm to catch these things in advance. AlpacaDB's Paper Trading Platform provides a real-time simulation environment where you can test your algorithm so you can catch these issues in advance.

In paper trading, orders aren't routed to the real exchanges. Instead, the system simulates the order filling based on the real-time quotes. It calculates the account balance and performance numbers with virtual money.

Please note that while Alpaca’s Paper Trading Platform makes best effort to simulate real market behavior, active markets can cause results to vary.

To learn more about paper trading and creating an account, please refer to the Alpaca’s Paper Trading Document.


Brokerage services are provided by Alpaca Securities LLC ("Alpaca"), member FINRA/SIPC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AlpacaDB, Inc.