How to get started as an active trader

Investopedia

Are you interested in getting started as a trader or investor in securities? If so, you’ll join millions of people all over the world who spend time putting their money into stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, options, and other assets with the hope of earning a profit.

Some do it on the side, while others make a full-time job out of the practice.

No matter what your long-term goals are, the most important thing to do in the beginning is to learn the basics. For example, you’ll need to know enough about the markets to choose one that suits your personal and financial preferences. After that, it’s essential to locate a reputable online broker who can help you get set up with a new account and assist with any challenges you face as you learn to trade.

After that, you must dedicate a few hours each week to research. Consider reading articles about the securities you purchase, studying the companies that issue stocks you own and doing a regular review of how the general economy is performing. Being informed is the hallmark of successful investing for people of all levels of ability.

Finally, consider gaining a basic understanding of the various trading software available. You don’t have to be an IT expert to test several platforms and see how their built-in software functions. Likewise, you can purchase off-the-shelf products that work as stand-alone trading solutions. Many investing enthusiasts add to their knowledge by studying strategies, techniques, and some of the most popular technical indicators. When it comes to potential profits in the markets, knowledge is power. Understanding how to make basic price predictions is a valuable skill for new or experienced investors.

CHOOSE YOUR MARKETS

Regardless of where you live, it’s possible to trade shares, options, forex, and many more instruments in an online account. But choosing the market that appeals to you most is an important part of the overall process of becoming a trader. There are trading platforms in South Africa, the UK, the US, China, India, and elsewhere allow newcomers to buy and sell corporate stocks, commodities, and multiple other kinds of assets within an account. Spend several hours deciding what suits your preferences. Many newer traders, for example, begin with forex or stocks and then venture on to things like options, index funds, and more.

FIND A RELIABLE BROKER

What are the basic steps for becoming an active trader? Knowledge plays a key role in how much success you’ll enjoy. But for practical purposes, most people choose a broker first and then do their research, select markets, and study technical indicators. How can someone new to trading locate a suitable broker?

Do three things to identify an excellent brokerage site. Read plenty of online reviews, paying particular attention to websites that are trusted and have been around for several years. Then, visit the sites of at least three brokers who impress you as being honest, professional, and user-friendly. Once you narrow your choices down to just two, do a trial session to see how all the site infrastructure works. Look for easy-to-use software, an in-depth knowledge base, helpful customer service, clear graphical displays, and low account fees.

DON’T FORGET THE RESEARCH

If you don’t do research, then all your investing activity will be based upon nothing but random information. If you connect with a professional, top ranked broker, you’ll have access to a knowledge base. Visit the base and take part in discussion forums on the broker’s website. When you want to learn more about a company, consider reviewing its history, recent price action of the shares, news announcements, and overall financial condition. You can read opinions on news sites about the relative strength and profitability of any company in order to gain a more informed opinion.

LEARN ABOUT TRADING SOFTWARE

There are dozens of trading software products. Some are retail versions that you can install on your own computer. However, most of the better brokers use in-house software that delivers excellent results, is easy to use, and is designed for beginners. The main thing to remember about whatever software product or platform you use is that practice is crucial to your success. It’s advantageous to learn how to execute trades quickly, how to exit positions when you want to, and to set up orders in advance whenever necessary. There’s a lot that goes into designing a trading software product, so you must take the time to learn how your favorite one operates. Most brokerages offer online tutorials for new account holders that include a complete how-to section related to software functionality.

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