Do you remember in the movie Patton when George C. Scott famously told his soldiers that:
"No one ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by getting the other guy to die for his country."
Similarly, in trading it is not your job to lose money in the market. In my belief system, there is no honor in losing money.
All the talk you hear about paying tuition to the market to learn to trade is foolish. If you cannot make money in the live market, you should be trading on the simulator.
The live market is for making money.
However, most futures traders consistently lose money in haphazard unplanned trading until they cry "Uncle" and give up trading. This is an all too predictable and unnecessary outcome. Until you can consistently make money, you should stay on the simulator.
Of course, trading on the simulator is not the same as trading in the live market.
However, you can get 90% of the benefit of live trading on the simulator with 0% of the cost.
Unless a trader is already successful, I start new mentoring traders in my Electronic Trader Mentoring Program on the simulator. The simulator, when used effectively, can help build the trader's skills using a structured process. The process I teach traders is designed to start with a rational trading methodology, consistently executed - taking small losses and exploiting winning trades, winning days and winning months.
Perhaps, the greatest benefit of using a simulator is that it allows you to execute your clear, written Trading Plan in a variety of market conditions, gaining confidence and insight and adjusting your Trading Plan, as necessary.
To paraphrase another Patton quote:
"a good plan well executed today is better than the perfect plan executed next week."