I've looked everywhere for a great basic guideline that
tells people how to trade stocks. To be more specific, I
was looking for a list containing the essential steps necessary
to began trading stocks.
The reason I was looking for this was that we regularly
receive emails from visitors of our website that ask us
for an outline on the correct path to take to trade stocks
online. They just want a quick checklist on how to do this.
For one reason or another, I couldn't find what I was looking
for. It seems like there should be hundreds of good "How
To Trade Stocks Step by Step" guides out there, but
none were what I was looking for. So I decided to create
one myself. Here goes...
How to Trade Stocks: Step
So, you've decided to trade stocks online, here are the
steps you need to take. Cross out the ones you've done,
complete the rest:
1) Take the time to learn how to trade correctly.
This could take awhile, but regardless, DO THIS FIRST! (Tip:
If you don't follow this step, the rest of the steps are
2) Make a clear decision on what time frame(s)
you're going to trade. (Tip: Don't try to day-trade when
you've decided to swing trade and vice versa)
3) Decide, or develop what type of trading strategy
or strategies you're going to be using. (Tip: There are
many different trading strategies out there that work, and
even more that don't. Find YOUR edge or strategy that fits
4) Decide which brokerage you're going to use.
(Tip: This is the easiest way to lower your trading costs,
5) Think about what tools you're going to need
(chart programs, portfolio software, etc.) to best trade
your chosen strategy. (Tip: Your brokerage may provide the
tools you need, don't pay extra for something your brokerage
may already provide)
6) Once you've decided on which tools you need,
take some time to choose which provider will best fill those
needs. (Tip: A lot of the times you can get what you need
for free online or for only a little fee; Don't overspend
for something fancy that you don't really need)
7) Fund the brokerage account you have chosen.
(Tip: Only use money you can afford to lose)
8) Become familiar with how your brokerage's order
placing system works. (Tip: Incorrectly placing an order
can cost you big time. Learn the different stock trading
order types AND learn how your brokerage's platform works)
9) Have a method or program in place to track the
trades you're going to be making and a way of keeping trading
notes. (Tip: If you don't keep track of what you've done,
you will forget. When you forget, you don't learn from your
mistakes and successes. A trading journal is very important)
10) Congratulations. You are now ready to trade!
(Tip: Being lazy and skipping any of the prior steps will
greatly decrease your chances of success. Don't do it)
I hope I've helped many with this checklist on how to trade
stocks. Of course, each step could fill up many pages. But,
simple is what I was going for here.
Trade well, be well!
Frank Soler is a successful trader and Registered Investment
Advisor. His company, SolerInvestments.com, provides real-time
Futures, and Stock Picks, and a free
online trading education center.