It’s a good place TO START without risking real capital and learning the ins/out of a level 2 trading platform and it’s exactly how I started using a demo account with DasTrader Pro ($200/mo cost) years ago.
I had access to buy/sell/short stocks with $25k equity w/ 2x overnight & 4x intraday. I was up $2,600 in my first day and thought “this is easy”. With real capital — “it’s not that easy”.
The only thing a paper trade account doesn’t do is factor in your emotions (when you are in a losing position with REAL money and you are stressed). That feeling — well that cannot be captured in a paper/demo account — so you miss out on the stress.
But, don’t fool yourself, your small account isn’t gonna move the market. If you have a $50 billion account, then YES, that will affect the market.