5 Steps to Start Trading Stocks for Beginners

Start by educating yourself on market basics, choose a reputable broker, set up and fund your account, create a detailed trading plan, and make your first trade.

Educate Yourself About the Stock Market

Basic Terminology

Stock trading is an important concept that anyone should be clear about before they start investing. After all, the foundations of the stock market – “stocks”, “market capitalization”, “dividends”; are literally built on these terms. You may have learned that market capitalization is the total dollar value of a company’s outstanding shares, which can give you an idea of ​​the company’s size and investment potential.

Understanding the Stock Market

How does the stock market work based on the law of supply and demand? Stock prices change because of the number of people who want to buy or sell a stock at a certain point in time. You have to understand how trading takes place. For example, the New York Stock Exchange typically processes more than 2.1 billion transactions a day, which shows how big the exchange is and how it is always running.

Try Different Stock Types

Common stocks, preferred stocks, growth stocks, and value stocks – stocks can be divided into different types, with their own attributes and risks. For example, growth stocks are companies that reinvest their earnings to grow quickly in the short term, often at the expense of paying dividends.

Follow Market News

It is important to stay abreast of financial news and events, as we need to stay abreast of events that can have a significant impact on the stock market. Following financial news on platforms such as Bloomberg or CNBC will allow you to get real-time commentary from experts and ensure that you are fully informed before making a decision. For example, watching the Fed’s semi-annual adjustments to interest rates can give traders a fairly reliable forecast of where the market is headed.

Join an investing community

Forums and investing groups allow new traders to get tips or insights from DD-leaning traders. Some platforms, such as Reddit r/investing chat rooms, StockTwits chat rooms, and other social media chat rooms, are very helpful for new and experienced traders to share strategies, ideas, news, and opinions.

Mastering Bollinger Bands

Choose the Right Broker

Check Brokerage Fees and Commissions

It is very important to understand the costs of choosing a broker to trade with. It can have a big impact on your trading expenses, especially if you plan to be an active trader, and some brokers do not offer any commissions on stock trading. Always get detailed information as other fees (inactivity fees and other fees like minimum balance fees) can cut into your earnings.

Evaluate Trading Platforms

A broker trading platform simply opens the door to the stock market for you. Real-time data, analytical tools, and a user-friendly interface are some of the features everyone needs for worry-free trading. Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade and StreetSmart Edge by Charles Schwab are the traditional land leaders known for their high-quality tools and user-friendly design, perfect for both beginners and advanced talented traders.

Check Account Minimums

While the basic opening deposit at other brokers can range from $0 to over $10,000 at Charles Schwab. When just starting out, look for a broker with very low or no account minimums to help you get started without a large initial investment.

Review Asset Availability

If you are looking to invest in something other than stocks, make sure the broker offers other assets you can buy such as bonds, mutual funds, cryptocurrencies, etc. It is vital that risk is minimized in your portfolio, which can be achieved through diversification in the following ways.
Customer Support and Education Resources

Set Up and Fund Your Trading Account

Select the Type of Account

Choosing the right type of trading account is crucial for your financial goals. Most beginners start with a standard brokerage account, which offers direct access to stock markets. If you’re looking to save for retirement, consider an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) that offers tax advantages. Each account type comes with specific features and limitations that can impact your investment strategy.

Complete the Application Process

To open an account, you’ll need to fill out an application with the broker. This typically involves providing personal information such as your Social Security number, address, employment information, and financial details. Brokers are required by law to collect this information to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

Understand and Set Up Trading Authorization

If you want someone else to make trades on your behalf, you will need to set up trading authorization on your account. This is common in managed accounts where a professional handles trading decisions.

Deposit Funds into Your Account

Once your account is approved, you’ll need to fund it to start trading. Brokers offer various methods to deposit funds, including bank transfers, wire transfers, and checks. For instance, a wire transfer can fund your account almost immediately, while a check might take several days to clear.

Start with a Budget

Decide on the amount of money you are willing to risk on trading. As a beginner, it’s advisable to start small — perhaps a few hundred dollars — to test the waters before committing a significant amount of money. Remember, about 90% of day traders lose money, so it’s important to approach trading with caution and strategy.

Enable Security Features

Enhance the security of your trading account by setting up two-factor authentication (2FA) and choosing strong, unique passwords. This is crucial in protecting your account from unauthorized access and potential security breaches.

stock invest

Start with a Trading Plan

Determine your trading goals

Set goals for this type of stock tradingAre you looking to make a quick buck, or do you want to buy and build retirement savings for the long term? Don’t speculate, be sure to set some goals that will guide your trading decisions and strategy. Day traders may be attracted to stocks that are very volatile, while someone saving for retirement may be attracted to this activity and more likely to buy stocks that return a steady dividend.

Develop a risk management strategy

Determine how much you are willing to risk on each trade. A typical rule is to never risk more than 1% – 2% of your total account balance on a single trade. If you have $10,000 in your trading account, you shouldn’t risk more than $100 to $200 on a trade so that your account doesn’t go too badly.

Choose your trading style

Choose a trading style that fits your personality and lifestyle. Day trading means you make trades on the same day in the hopes of profiting from short-term fluctuations in stock prices. Unlike day trading, swing trading can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to reach your profit goals, depending on the strength of the trend you are trading on. Each style requires a different time commitment and a different strategy to implement.

Choose Stocks to Trade

See the first section on how to find popular stocks to trade and research these stocks you choose based on your trading style and goals. Use tools such as fundamental analysis to study a company’s financials and technical analysis to study chart patterns and trends. For example, a fundamental analyst might analyze a company’s earnings per share (EPS), while a technical trader might focus on moving averages.

Set Entry and Exit Rules

Choose a trading style that fits your personality and available time. Day trading involves quick trades to take advantage of short-term fluctuations within a single day. Swing trading spans days or weeks and aims to profit from short- to medium-term trends. Each style requires a different time commitment and strategy.

Make Your First Trade

Choosing the Right Stock

Table of Contents How to Choose Your First Stock Tips for Choosing Your First Stock for Your First Trade Choosing Your First Stock For your first trade, start by choosing the right stock. Use your previous research to focus on industries you are familiar with and stocks that fit your trading plan. For example, technology stocks may be attractive due to their growth potential, but are generally more volatile.

Understanding Order Types

Understanding the various stock orders available Market orders are orders that are executed at the current market price and are best suited for traders who prefer execution rather than price. Stop orders (or limit orders) allow you to set the highest or lowest price you want to buy or sell, giving you control over the final price but not guaranteeing a final fill.

Checking Market Conditions

If you are open to the idea, you must check the overall market before executing the trade. Is the market environment driving the market higher or lower? Is volatility high? The results of your trade can vary greatly depending on market conditions, especially for short-term trades.

Place a Trade

Then, you log in to your broker’s trading platform; enter the stock symbol, number of shares, and order type. Read all the details carefully before submitting your order. For example, if you plan to trade 100 shares of a $10 stock using a limit order, you must be exposed to no more than 5% of your account for $1,000.

Monitor Your Trades

Once your trade is executed, monitor the performance of the stock against your predictions and market movements. Identify price and news triggers that could affect the stock’s performance. You can choose to sell and take a profit or stop loss; you will get this information through monitoring.

Scroll to Top