Monday, December 31, 2007

Online Stock Market Trading For Beginners

By David A. Sorenger

Since the first stock started trading on a stock exchange, the stock market has created millionaires. This has not changed since then. Stock trading can be an exciting hobby or a very profitable career. While many still invest the traditional way and buy stocks for long term gains, more and more people trade online and make profits even intraday.

The Internet and the computer revolution made it possible that even your grandmother can place an order to buy stocks online today. Online stock trading has become very easy. Everybody with an Internet connection and a cheap PC can go online today and order shares. Not only in the US market but globally at almost any stock market in the world.

What makes stock trading so fascinating? It is probably the possibility to get instant access to the markets. All the information you need is delivered in real time today at low costs. Stock quotes, fundamental data, news, charts. You can be your own investment adviser and make your own decisions.

A private stock trader has almost the same level of information and execution possibilities as a professional trader at the trading desk of a bank. The only difference is that the bank trader most likely has a much deeper pocket and probably direct access to the trading floor. Beside of that, access to information is equal.

If you want to invest online then you must decide if you want to do everything yourself or if you need advice from an experienced investment adviser. A full service broker can give you a helping help with all your questions you might have but he will charge of course for this service. A discount broker will just offer you fast and cheap order execution and you will have to make all trading decisions alone.

Many are attracted by the fast profits you can make in the stock market. In fat it is possible to buy and sell stocks with a profit within seconds today. But be aware of the trading costs. A trade can easily cost you $5 or more and if you trade frequently, this adds up to a big sum. There are many discount brokers today but when the trade execution takes more than a minute then you probably should try another one.

The trading platforms you get from your broker vary in performance, reliability and costs. If you are just starting with online stock trading then choose a known broker like Schwab for example. They have simple and easy to use trading platforms. Once you get more experienced and an active trader you might consider getting one of these direct access trading platforms. They cost something but offer a lot. Daytraders are using them to get filled in a split second.

The stock market gives you hundreds of opportunities every day. Thousands of stocks are listed on the various US stock exchanges and every stock is different. For more than 6 hours a day the regular market is open for taking your orders plus hours of special pre- and post market trading. You can spend your whole life analyzing and trading stocks back and forth.

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