If you’re new to the investing world, your experience is probably limited or non-existent. Perhaps you’ve decided to become a trader because you have a friend who is one who talks about how exciting the stock market is and of course, the gains. Or maybe, you saw stock market trading in a movie and it excited you. Whatever your motivations are, becoming an investor or trader is easier said than done. The drama you see in movies as portrayed by actors are often accurate as the stock market can, in fact, be a cruel place and a firm grip on your emotions is required if you hope to be successful.
Once you’ve completely decided that you’re prepared to do the work, know that it takes years for investors to develop and sharpen their skills. However, don’t let this discourage you. This only means that now is the time to take those brave first steps towards learning the trading basics. It is ideal to have access to multiple resources such as formal training or even a mentor. We’ll walk you through 7 excellent ways to get started:
1. Sign up for an online course in trading basics
If you are a beginner, an online course is an incredibly convenient place to start. Remove all the myths and rumors you’ve heard about trading and listen to the professionals who have had decades of experience.
Through an online course on trading principles and strategies, you will gain a basic understanding of why stocks are traded. Learn terms like technical analysis and fundamental analysis and the reasons they are used in trading. You will be introduced to the charts, technical patterns, and strategies. And perhaps most importantly, you will learn what the right mindset is for trading success.
Do you truly have what it takes to survive in this industry? Do you have the right attitude? Do you have the drive? Best of all, online courses usually come in series and you can level up to the next course once you’ve mastered the basics.
2. Find a mentor or a teacher
Perhaps you became interested in trading because you have a friend or family member who is already a trader by profession. Ask them if they would be willing to coach you. They may do it for free or request a fee. Consider how much value their knowledge and experience is worth. Realize that paying them to be your “teacher” would really be an investment in yourself.
A good mentor/teacher should be willing to answer all your questions, guide you until you are fully ready and motivate you. However, if you don’t know anyone who is a trader that can mentor you, try visiting trading forums and ask for recommendations. There may be someone there who would be happy to answer all your questions.
3. Read trading eBooks
Just as there are webinars, there are also plenty of eBooks out there if reading text is what helps you absorb the information better. There are even free eBooks out there that guide you through all the basics with even a few secrets to getting you started.
4. Self-study and follow the market
A great wealth of information that can be found online and in libraries. New investors turn to news sites like Google Finance or Yahoo Finance to start understanding basic trading terms. Once you comprehend the terms, Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal won’t be so overwhelming to follow anymore.
When you start to read the headlines and monitor the markets, you’ll start to expose yourself to trends, economic concepts, and general business. The more exposure you get, the more you realize how much of this new language you can now understand and speak.
5. Use a simulator to practice trading
When you’re feeling moderately confident but still unsure, some online brokers offer virtual trading services that are completely free where you can practice live during an active trading session.
Simulators are great for beginners who still have a day job and don’t have a whole lot of time to spare over the week to practice. With a simulator, you can practice at your convenience and even when the market is closed.
Simulators even have pause/resume, fast forward, and slow motion options to really allow you to absorb all this new information. In reality, you obviously don’t have the ability to pause until you can emotionally and mentally catch up. This is excellent practice to prepare you for the real thing.
6. Join a live trading room
Live trading rooms are the perfect place for you to get practice. Live trading rooms like the one on Live Traders prove to be critical in the growth of any trader.
Through live trading, you receive immediate feedback. You get the opportunity to network and learn from a variety of traders with different levels of experience. Imagine being a virtual room filled with potential mentors. Live trading rooms will allow you to witness the emotional whirlwind that traders will inevitably get caught in. How do you think you will manage?
Through Live Traders, you will be learning from the industry’s best who want to help you get started by building a reliable network. You’ll experience real trading and actual results. Yes, that includes the losses! You’ll witness real-time updates on management. Best of all, you’ll have a community to approach for real support.
7. Learn from the greats
There are stock market legends, great traders who have made names for themselves and have gone on to mentor others, hold seminars with thousands in attendance, and have published books.
Topping the list of top stock market legends are Andrew Abraham, Bernard Baruch, Jack C. Bogle, Warren Buffett, Steve Burns, Daniel F. Chambliss, Richard Dennis, Richard Donchian, William D. Gann, and Dennis Gartman.
While you may not have the opportunity to learn from the greats personally, studying them will provide you with inspiration to keep going when you start to question if trading is for you. They will offer their perspectives, and through them you will discover a deeper appreciation for the game.