Monday, August 29, 2011

A Beginners Guide to Selecting The Right Platform For Trading Stocks Online

PopTech 2009 attendees, day 3 - 03Image by Ed Yourdon via Flickr

It’s a sad fact that very few people will be able to get up one day, take a gentle dip into the investing in the stock market for the first time and make some money. Investing in stocks and shares is a little too complicated for that. With even traders who are long in the tooth having trouble choosing investments sometimes those who are new to the game should always take the upmost care. However, this doesn’t mean beginner investors shouldn’t have a go. Even with the world markets in the state they are in, there is still money to be made from the right, careful investments. But getting those investments right comes down to three or four crucial details – timing, analysis, cool decision taking and lastly, a very good investment broker.

However, of all those attributes, getting a good broker can be the hardest for new investors, mainly because good brokers will cost you a fortune. Whilst brokers can offer you years of experience and knowledge, unfortunately they will also take a large commission that will cut down your profits (should you be lucky enough to make any). Thankfully, nowadays there are all kinds of online trading platforms that can help you with the actual brokerage and trading of your investments. These new online trading systems assist investors by allowing them to buy stocks at a fair price as well as supplying them with the newest and most complete analysis available at the time in order that they can make educated decisions on their investments. Some of the common platforms used by investors are Fidelity, E-Trade and Scottrade. These are popular platforms and each of them have their pros and cons but they have been tried and tested for many years and are a good place to start for new investors. Before you choose one of them read up as many reviews of them as you can find and take advantage of any free trials you can find.

There are certain factors you should weigh up when taking your decision but the main decision should be based on the price of their account fees and who has the lowest margin rates. Once you have narrowed it down to the best value platforms you should then choose one based on how good the staff and support are. Any trading platform worth it salt will have brokers working for them who are happy to help their customers and guide them towards making safe investments.

Lastly, remember that whichever platform you sign on with, it should not be your only investment source and you should only invest money you can afford to lose. Markets can be volatile, especially in the current climate, so if you are new to the game, play carefully.

Alex is a freelance journalist and financial blogger. He loves to write about football and jazz but spends most of his days writing about mortgages, stocks and shares and payday loans.

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