Basic steps to begin trading I What you need to know!

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Learn the basics of trading

For beginners, there is a need to access many materials that provide quality education on trading. However, take note that there would be some pitfalls along the way. Having a prepared mind is a good shock absorber. It helps a learner stand firm during these times.

Quite a good number of beginners have reached their full potential trading the markets. Although, some have turned their back on trading while others became a bit wiser. The process of learning and mastering this skill takes time. The use of the skill to turn the odds in favour of the trader has to be mastered.

Interestingly, some individuals still don’t understand why prices go up or down. This lack of knowledge is why they waste real money on securities.  Also, chasing quick tips that are not substantial on the subject happens to return the trader to a lousy deal. However, there is a simple trading strategy that can be employed.

There is no easy way to master the skill of trading. Beginners have to follow each step and also begin with the basics religiously. But first, a self-examination of a trader’s belief system is necessary. In no time, such belief would play out in losses and profits. The charisma of a trader, coupled with hard work, is a stronghold for financial success.

There are certain trading basics a trader should know. According to Forbes, putting all eggs in one basket is a wrong call.

What are the basics of trading?

To learn the basics of trading. Here are a few steps that every potential trader should be familiar with.

1. Get a trading account.

A trading account is the first most crucial step to learning the basics of trading. It isn’t easy to prepare a meal without first getting to the grocery store. Again, it seems like the obvious, but it is essential. Get a trading account from a good stockbroker. Do the necessary findings and make a choice based on top-notch reviews.

Ideally, the sole aim is to get familiar with the account, its interface, trading tools, and, if possible, the research offered to clients. Often, most brokers offer some form of virtual training on trading.

2. Get busy studying

Now, the account is ready, but it’s not yet time to launch into the system. There is a need to acquire specific information via stock market books, financial articles, website tutorials, etcetera. Get the juice out of these options. Also, don’t narrow the area of concentration, ensure all aspect of trading is covered. Every aspect that covers the markets, including necessary concepts and ideas. Some of this information may look strange or not relevant at the moment but don’t ignore them. More information can be acquired from these books:

  • Trading for a Living by Dr. Alexander Elder
  • Winning on Wall Street by Martin Zweig
  • Stock Market by Jack D. Schwager
  • The Nature of Risk by Justin Mamus

Ideally, it is crucial to keep up with the happenings around the stock market. Check out the market every day during free time. Study the overnight price action usually on foreign markets. Yahoo Finance, CBS MoneyWatch, and Google Finance are important news sites to have their notification turned on.

3. Develop an analytical skill 

In learning the basics of trading, the analysis aspect is very vital and crucial. Every beginner or regular trader must understand how to do a technical analysis by looking at price charts. Technical analysis would be done in all time frames.

Several beginners feel a fundamental analysis would pay off in profits due to its ability to track revenue streams and growth curves. Yet, we see how price action plays a significant role. Be on the lookout for company spreadsheets; don’t ignore them like other traders.

Consistently analysing charts would sharpen the price determination skill of a trader. We know that securities would either move high or go low, triggering a short sale or long-side trade. Of a truth, prices can lead to many other events such as shaking out buyers and sellers.

Usually, the financial markets signal out trading ranges and trends that trigger independent price movements. Usually, security could carve out for either a short-term trading range, intermediate downtrend, or a long-term uptrend simultaneously. The fact remains that most opportunities to trade would open up during these time intervals.

4. Practice trading

With the successful completion of step 1, 2, and 3, it’s now time to test the waters. Theories are fundamental. That is why we stressed the previous steps. However, these theories would have to be applied before they become meaningful.

Paper trading is advised. Here the beginner would not lose his stake but would be able to see the market in real-time, make decisions to sell or buy at instances, and much more. The beginner now begins his trading journey.

Here, how much the trader has been able to grab in his study and develop an analytical mind would come into play using the stock market simulator to engage the market. Again, check out the result when trades are carried out, trying different strategies and holding periods. This knowledge would help a trader understand his trade and how he can effectively turn to switch things to his favour.

Interestingly, there are free stock market games that are out there. Most brokers give a free pass to their members to practice trading. With this, they become conversant with the software and would not place or hit the wrong button.

Practicing trading is vital but doesn’t take the place of placing a real trade. Ideally, a trader would learn to have a balance of his fear and greed emotions. Truthfully, the practice trade doesn’t handle this aspect because it is usually triggered by profit and loss. Every trader needs to address this aspect by first recognizing it and dealing with it, which includes other issues tied to money and self-worth.

5. Alternative routes to learning and practicing trade

Experience has always been an incredible teacher. However, don’t forget other means to learn. Some traders have gone through this same route and have come out just fine. Learning from them is a significant advantage.

Whether online or in-person, lessons from professional traders’ wealth of experience would go a long way. Interestingly, this knowledge is out there for both beginners and professional traders. Also, attend seminars-specialized seminars that are organized by professional traders in the industry. This would give a trader insight into the markets in all aspects and also specific areas.

During learning, a beginner would have to focus on a particular aspect of the market where he sees his strength lies. A trader narrowing his focus would mean more thorough research in such areas.

There is no harm in paying for these classes, which are useful and beneficial to the beginner. Often, most investors would prefer an analysis from a professional than relying on their self-discovered pathway. Trading is serious business and should be taken seriously.

Traders can access some sites. Although these sites are not free, they demand some tokens in the form of subscriptions.

Lastly, an alternative route to learning and practicing trade is by getting a mentor. An alternative route is one of the best ways to learn the basics of trading because it’s more direct. Questions can be asked, and feedback would be given immediately, face to face. Aspects that seem blur can easily be trashed out by the mentor. A coach that is readily available to critique the technique of the trader is a good plus.

Often, these trading schools offer mentors to their students. Online school assigning a mentor to students is ideal and one of the best ways to get a professional mentor. However, there are other ways to get the help and assistance of a mentor. Take note that there is a price to pay for this step.

Conclusively, the moment a trader begins trading with real money, trading becomes serious business. However, whatever practical steps are taken are based on the knowledge, understanding, and insight that the trader has acquired. Although this does not guarantee success, it sure contributes to how decisions are taken and the market is viewed.

These steps are essential. Traders should begin their trading career with full knowledge of the financial markets. Failure in this aspect would return as a significant setback in the future. Also, traders have to sort out psychological issues. How to handle both profits and losses is extremely important. Although no trader wants to be on the losing side, losses do happen.

Don’t launch into the market without the necessary tools provided in this article. Learn them and put them into practice. Test the strategies, adjust those that don’t work. Keep learning to master the necessary skills set.


The contents of this article are not intended to be sound substitutes for finance advice. You should not rely on this information as finance advice and instead should always speak to an accredited finance advisor for professional advice on your situation. 

Samantha Rigby
Samantha Rigby
Samantha is the head of content, lifestyle and entrepreneurial columnist for Best in Australia. She is also a contributor to Forbes and SH. Prior to joining the Best in Au, she was a reporter and business journalist for local newspapers.
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