How to Start Trading Stocks and Options Online

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When it comes to making money, one of the surefire ways of expanding your portfolio is by opening a brokerage account. If you plan on buying and holding for long periods of time I would suggest Schwab or Scottrade, and this is mostly due to their fantastic interface and great customer support. They offer highly analytical charts which fluctuate as the trading day goes along. If you’re looking to actively buy and sell throughout the day, I would suggest a discount broker. Every time you buy or sell stock on Schwab or ScottTrade online you need to pay them a commission, which is typically around 7-8 Dollars. This is definitely going to make a dent in your numbers if you execute multiple trades a day/week. Thus sticking with a cheaper, yet reputable, online brokerage would be the way to go for the majority of us traders. Chief among the discount online brokerages are, Optionshouse and Zecco. I’m not to familiar with Zecco, but from what I’ve heard, it’s great if you need something that works. It’s not necessarily stripped bare of all the bells and whistles available to you by other brokerages, but it gets the job done. OptionsHouse on the other hand, I’ve personally traded with for the past couple of years and they are fantastic. I’ve had to call them several times to inquire on several issues that I’ve had, and I’ve always had the privilege of dealing with customer service reps who are competent and polite. And at $3.95 per trade, they offer a heck of a bargain for their services. One thing of concern to the people who are looking to start trading online, is the amount of money required to actually start. Many people would recommend Twenty Five Thousand, I would recommend Ten Thousand. However, if you are going to be day trading you will need to have a margin account. T he benefit of having a margin account, is that you will be able to purchase beyond your means. And you will also be able to buy and trade in the same day. Typically, with a regular brokerage account, you will find that you are unable to buy after having completed a sale for three days. The reason for this being, is that the money hasn’t cleared through their computer systems, and the computers in the stock exchange. This is where having a margins account comes to your benefit. With it you will be able to buy and sell with no limit. There is a catch however, if you are looking to buy and sell on the same day in a continual basis, you are required to have Twenty Five Thousand Dollars of liquidity in your brokerage account. The SEC does this with the intention of preventing people from buying and selling foolishly, but I personally believe that it forces a person to hold stock overnight when they otherwise would’ve pulled out. Your exposure to after hours volatility is very real, and many people have lost a lot of money without the ability to have sold their shares. As scary as that seems, you should do just fine with Five Thousand and a margin account. Your internet connection is probably the most important part of your online trading and so is a computer which has absolutely NOTHING on it but your trading software. And I say this because, if for some reason you get a virus on your trading computer, your done and your accounts will be at risk to hacks and key loggers. So trade smart, and trade safe. Let’s make some money!

About the Author: David is a free lancer writer and content builder of USA Computer Store, Florida and he spends his entire day in local internet browsing of computer repair Fort Lauderdale and computer repair Broward