Trading on the stock market is becoming more popular than ever now thanks to the technological revolution that the sector has seen. Where once it was only really open to professional investment bankers and those who worked on the floor of the stock exchanges, now anyone who has some spare money can trade. This has seen many ordinary people invest some of their savings to grab a much better return than their bank savings account can give. The sheer range of opportunities is also very attractive – the NASDAQ, for example, has over 3,000 companies listed and a total $15B market cap.
Don’t dive right in!
If you are thinking of trading on the stock market yourself for a career or some extra cash, then you need to know what you are doing first. You will be using your own money after all, so it is key to be able to trade successfully in the long term. Much of this will revolve around common sense advice such as learning about how the stock market works, formulating a written trading plan, and being careful to always protect your capital.
What about the actual tools needed to get going? Here are the most important ones to get sorted out in advance:
Computer and internet connection – trading is now mainly digital, especially for the independent, home-based trader. This means that you first need a PC or laptop to use that is connected to the internet. Make sure that you have the fastest internet connection that you can afford as this will make sure that your orders are processed quickly when submitted to your broker.
Online broker – another key tool to have ready is the online broker that you will use to place trades and manage your portfolio. There are quite a few around now, and all have their different features and fees. Take the time to check a range out, and look at reviews online to find the ideal one to use.
Charting software – a key part of trading the stock market is to have access to charting software on your computer. This will allow you to access the latest charts that show how the stock market is performing and what price the stocks on it are currently at. Options such as NinjaTrader are always popular, but just make sure that the one you choose is supported to work on your broker.
Stock screener software – with so many different stock markets operating, all with hundreds or thousands of businesses on them to invest in, just finding the right opportunities can be time-consuming. This is where stock screener software comes in – these handy tools quickly scan the markets for you to find possible investment options based on pre-defined criteria. This is especially useful for the casual trader who may not have the time or does not want the hassle of looking for this information themselves.
News feed service – news is the lifeblood of the financial markets and has a big impact on how they move. It will also have a massive bearing on the trading decisions that you make in relation to how it affects the stock markets or may move them. A crucial tool to have is a subscription news feed that will keep you updated with the latest daily financial news and upcoming events. Hammerstone Markets Inc offers a fabulous service that many traders rely on and is well worth signing up for.
Mobile trading app – as well as online trading completely changing the industry, being able to trade via your smartphone on the move has also become really important. This means that you can stay up to date with the latest changes in the markets wherever you are and access your portfolio to take action if needed. Make sure to pick a broker that allows for mobile trading as this could save you a lot of money and stress in the long run. It certainly beats having to run back home to your PC every time you need to open or close a trade!
Getting the right tools is vital
Although there is rightly much talk around how to approach trading, knowing what tools you need is just as essential. By having the correct pieces of equipment, software and feeds in place, you will have what you need to trade successfully. If you neglect to have the tools needed at your disposal, then the best trading plan in the world will not help! Hopefully, the above has given you a head-start on what you need to get going in the exciting world of stock market trading.