Once upon a time, trading stocks seemed like something that was only attainable with the guidance of professional brokers; and for that matter, there was a perception that only those with a massive amount of money could trade. In this day and age, we know that this simply isn’t true, especially thanks to the technological advances made with home computers and phones — this tech has made it possible for individuals to manage their money and explore algorithmic trading systems anywhere. But just because you’re interested in the idea of trading doesn’t mean that you should simply pull up an app or a website and begin trading without any prior research. The process may be a lot more complex than you give it credit for. For that matter, you’re not playing around. This is real money that you’re putting on the line. With that being said, let’s look into what you should do before you begin trading stocks.
1. Get Comfortable With The Stock Market
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people begin trading stocks impulsively, based on skimming quickly over an app. You need to get very comfortable with the stock market, or at least as comfortable as you can be, before you begin considering the process. The basics, of course, are understanding that stocks essentially act as small pieces of a company, with their prices reflecting a company’s value and outlook; index futures can also indicate market sentiment. Their prices can fluctuate, and they’re traded on the New York Stock Exchange from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST. You need the stock’s ticker symbol in order to trade it, and the goal for many is to buy stocks and then sell them once they’ve reached a higher value. This way, you can make money off of the stocks. It’s a form of not only money management, but financial growth as well through algorithmic trading systems. It’s a good idea to buy a book or two about money management trading systems and to read it before you begin trading stocks.
2. Think About Why You’re Trading
Obviously, everyone wants to make money off of fully automated trading systems. But you need to have a real purpose behind trading, and ideally long term or short term goals, depending on how much time you want to spend on the process. Some people trade just a couple of times a week, or even less. Others want to make it a side job or even a full-time job. You can also consider swing trading versus day trading, as well as what kind of platform you want to use while trading. There are a lot of different options available for those who want to explore stock trading, and you need to consider all of them before you proceed.
3. Be Honest About Your Finances
Just because you’re interested in exploring algorithmic trading systems doesn’t mean that you can simply jump into it whenever you feel like it. You need to have at least $25,000 in your bank account before you begin trading stocks. If you don’t, you can’t start day trading. Now, you don’t need that in order to begin swing trading, but the fact is that you should have at least $10,000 in your account. Why? Because the money can be taken up by commissions and fees. You simply need a cushion before you start making money.
4. Find The Right Broker And Platform For You
Before you begin working on finding algorithmic trading systems, you need to consider the platform that you might be interested in, as well as a broker. For a broker, you should find someone who is low cost, trustworthy, reliable, and willing to help you learn. You need a broker who is able to give you the tools you need to learn. As far as platforms go, test out several before settling on one, making sure that it’s something you can understand.
Trading stocks is exciting; some people even find themselves somewhat “hooked” on it. But just because you want to trade doesn’t mean you should jump in. Do your due diligence and research!