Monday, December 31, 2007

Stock Market Online Trading

By David A. Sorenger

Trading stocks online can be very stimulating. It is both, either a great hobby or a full time job. In both cases you can earn much money. The stock market has made millionaires since the very beginnings of share trading. In the past you could trade stocks only for long term profits, today you can make profits within minutes.

Buying and selling stocks has become much easier today because of computers and the Internet. Today everybody can buy a fully equipped and professional trading station for less than $2,000 and be part of the global financial markets. While US stock trading is most popular, you can trade stocks on international stock exchanges as well.

Everything is at your fingertips, the latest stock quotes, financial news, real time charts with indicators, market commentary and analysis. Whatever you need is right on you desktop. You only need to make a decision what to buy and press a button. Within seconds you are the owner of the stocks you wanted.

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.

There are many online stock broker nowadays. Every broker is different. The main decision you must make is whether you want to trade yourself or if you need advice from the broker. The last one is called full service broker and helps you to find the best stocks and also executes the trades for you. The other ones are discount brokers and they only execute the trade for you but don't tell you which stock to buy or when to sell.

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.

An investor has different goals than a speculator. Both want to make money but the strategies are different. There is plenty of room for every trader. You can choose between thousands of stocks every day. The markets are open for more than six hours a day, plus the extended trading hours.

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