How to Learn Online Trading for Free

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If you're thinking about investing in stocks online, you can use many different resources and places to find out how. You can experiment with different combinations of stock investments as you learn. Once you're ready to start trading on the Internet, you can use use online discount stockbrokers, who charge lower fees than full-service brokers.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Read up on trading stocks on the Internet, either in books or on free websites like BloggingStocks, the Wild Investor or the Investing Online Resource Center. (See References and Resources.)

  • Register with a virtual stock exchange, a free stock market game like the one offered by MarketWatch.com (see Resources). It will give you a certain amount of virtual money you can use to invest in real stocks online.

  • Research companies you are interested in investing in. Many major companies, such as Wal-Mart, Google and Apple, are publicly traded on the stock market.

  • Closely follow the news about companies you're thinking about investing in or whose stock you already own. If the company's financial performance is poor, you may want to sell. If a little-known company is making a significant move that could prove successful, you might want to consider investing in it.

  • Trade stocks using the virtual exchange. Base your trading strategy on your financial goals. According to the Wild Investor, you should ask yourself questions like "Are you looking to make money now or long term? How much money will you be using? What kind of risk are you looking for?"

  • If you move on to "real" online trading, research stock-trading companies that will let you buy and sell online, like E*Trade, Scottrade, Ameritrade and Fidelity. Consider what services they offer and if they meet your needs, and compare the transaction fees they charge.

Tips & Warnings

  • The stock market can be unpredictable and risky, and you can lose money by investing. Consider getting the advice of a full-service stockbroker before you invest.

References

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