Playing the stock market game is not just for fat cats on Wall Street anymore. Millions of everyday folks forced to into a pandemic-induced shelter are trading at record rates. If you’ve got internet service, a computer, and some capital to invest, you can join the online trading bandwagon. Best of all, learning to trade online is not rocket science. Most newbies can learn the basics by starting with an online investment course.
Here’s what you need to know to join the ranks of a new generation of D.I.Y. investors.
The Explosion of Online Trading
Online trading has recently been going through a renaissance of sorts. With a booming stock market standing in stark contrast to record unemployment, many newly laid-off people are throwing their hats into the stock market game.
Translation: people who are decidedly not millionaires are investing in the stock market. They’re doing it not to expand their wealth but to make money they can use to live.
Popular online trading platforms like TD Ameritrade, Robinhood, E-Trade, and Ally Invest are seeing record numbers of activity. Much of this activity implies an influx of new investors.
Trading on the Robinhood platform tripled between 2019 and 2020, while E-Trade reported a surge of online activity from account holders under age fifty. Also, the website Interactive Brokers opened a record 46,000 new accounts as of April.
The philosophy of using the stock market as a means to expand on one’s pre-existing wealth is growing more and more outdated every day. A risky investment by nature, the stock market can still yield gains, especially in the form of dividends.
The benefits of online trading can prove attractive to new investors, for many reasons, including:
- More control: the freedom to invest any amount in the stock of your choice
- No costly broker fees: you place the order yourself
- Mobile-friendly: you can make a trade from your phone
- One low fee per trade
- Invest in a variety of products, including dividend stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), S&P 500, and international stocks
Additionally, most online trading sites serve as wellsprings of information. You can use a highly-functional platform like TD Ameritrade as your stock research hub, bank, and investment tool all in one.
But buyer beware! If you are a new investor, you need to keep in mind that returns are not guaranteed. Even though the stock market remains a sure bet over the long haul, investing for short term gains is akin to gambling.
So if you are looking to trade stocks to make some money during these surreally unstable times, you’d better do some homework. Extra due diligence is required if you are looking to score big on individual socks that seem to be trending (like cannabis stocks or anything crypto-related).
Take An Online Investment Course
One of the best ways to guarantee you’re not going to careen blindly into stock market loss is to take a course. Since the pandemic, stock market courses have seen a bump because people, like you, are all thinking the same thing:
“How can I survive this mess we’re in?!”
Online investment courses run the gamut when it comes to the cost, the amount of time you’ll need to invest, and the quality.
Here is what to look for in an online investment course that is actually worth your time and energy.
Online investment courses range in price. You can start with free online investment courses, like those offered through TD Ameritrade, Morningstar, and MOOC (massive open online course) providers like Coursera.
Before you spend money (money you could be saving to invest in actual stocks), start with a free course. You’ll have enough information to get started, but not so much that you’ll feel overwhelmed and quit.
One of the characteristics of free or low-priced trading courses online is that they’re fundamental. Most introductory courses give you a big picture perspective of the investing landscape, including concepts like:
- The definition of a stock
- Stocks vs. bonds
- History of the stock market
- Mutual funds vs. ETFs
Often, you won’t receive specific, actionable strategies. The more you invest in more advanced courses, the higher the quality, and the more of a strategic angle they’ll take.
Online options investing courses like the one offered through ConsistentOptionsIncome.com will give you a specific approach to options trading. You can count on a proven strategy to generate income through online trading.
3) Time Investment
One thing is for sure, if you want to start trading stocks tomorrow, you should probably rethink your approach to money in general. The hard truth is, if you want to learn online investing, you need to commit time to learn the ins and outs.
That said, you don’t need to spend years–or even several months–toiling away at research before you invest. But much of the timeline depends on your situation. If you’re sitting at home unemployed, you may be able to zip through a course and be investing within a few weeks.
You’ll most likely need a month or two to understand the landscape and have enough knowledge to make your first bet. While you may find an occasional online investing course with strict timelines, most are self-paced. You can go as fast or as slow as you need to absorb all of the relevant information.
You Don’t Need a Fortune to Start Investing
Do you need tens of thousands of dollars to get started trading stocks online? Absolutely not. And herein lies one of the many perks of doing it yourself on an inexpensive trading platform.
You can get started with as little as a few hundred dollars. However, if you want a kickoff to see greater returns, you’ll want to start with more. On average, a healthy dollar amount to start trading is around $500-$1000.
Reap the Benefits
Whether it’s from dividends or returns, investing in the stock market can bring in sorely needed income. But it’s best to do your homework, so start with an online investment course today.
Contact us to see how easy it is to learn to make serious money in the stock market.