taking their first steps towards learning the basics of stock trading should have access to multiple sources of quality education. Just like riding a bike, trial and error coupled with the ability to keep pressing forth will eventually lead to success.
One great advantage of stock trading lies in the fact that the game itself lasts a lifetime. Investors have years to develop and hone their skills. Strategies used twenty years ago are still utilized today. The game is always in full force.
So far new investors wanting to take their first steps I offer 10 great answers to the simple question, “How do I get started?”
1. Open a Stock Broker Account
Find a good online stock broker and open an account. Become familiarized with the layout and to take advantage of the free trading tools offered to clients only. Some brokers even offer free simulator accounts which are extremely beneficial because you can trade with play money. You can find a list of brokers that support simulator accounts on the broker comparison page.
2. Read Books
Books provide a wealth of information and are usually inexpensive. Here on the site I have a full list of 20 great stock trading books for investors to consider. My personal all time favorite is How to Make Money in Stocks by William O’Neil, founder of CANSLIM Trading (find more books written by William O’Neil).
3. Read Articles
Articles can serve as a fantastic resource and are usually easy to understand and follow. Our free Stock Education page here on Stock Trading To Go lists over 100 unique investment articles broken down into categories. Everything from ETFs to margin trading and technical analysis basics are covered. I also recommend checking out investopedia.com.
4. Find a Mentor
A mentor could be a family member, a friend, a past or current professor, co-worker, or any individual that has a fundamental understanding of the stock market. A good mentor is willing to answer questions, provide help, recommend useful resources, and keep spirits up when the market gets tough. All successful investors of the past and present have had mentors during their early days.
5. Ask Lots of Questions
Having a place to ask questions and receive answers is a huge asset for any new investor. In school asking questions to a teacher/instructor/professor or leveraging online stock forums there is always someone readily available to help the cause. Some popular stock forums include Elite Trader and Trade2Win.
6. Browse Financial News Sites
News sites such as Yahoo Finance and Google Finance serve as a great resource for new investors. By reading headline stories investors can expose themselves to different stock terms for example. Pulling quotes and observing fundamental data can also serve as another good source of exposure.
7. Consider Paid Subscriptions
Paying for research and analysis can be both educational and useful. Some investors may find watching or observing market professionals to be more beneficial than trying to apply newly learned lessons themselves. There are many paid subscription sites available including Dan Zanger, Investors.com, and Morningstar just to name a few.
8. Watch TV
When the stock market is open CNBC is the #1 source for financial news. Even turning on CNBC for 15 minutes a day will broaden an investors knowledge base. Don’t let the lingo or the style of news be a nuisance, just simply watch and allow the commentators, interviews, and comments to soak in. Note though, over time you may find that a lot of the investing shows on TV are more of a distraction and overall full of crap. This is a natural occurrence; you are not alone!
9. Go to Seminars
Seminars can provide valuable insight into the overall market and specific investment types. Most seminars will focus on one specific aspect of the market and how the speaker has found success utilizing their own strategies over the years. Note all seminars have be paid for either. Some seminars are provided free which can be a beneficial experience, just be conscious of the sales pitch that will almost always come at the end.
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