How To Trade
Learn A-Z Trading Strategies
Build your trading foundation. Start learning technical analysis and/or fundamental analysis. Find a course, a teacher, a mentor. Find someone or something that will help guide you through the intricate jungle of trading, stir you in the right direction, correct your weaknesses and reinforce your strengths. With time you will learn to read charts correctly, take trades with confidence, have clarity of mind and develop a strong and discipline trading plan mind set.
Open a Trading Account
This is an obvious step, but also something that it needs to be said. First of all find an online broker and open the account. Do your own research. Ask about commissions and fees, customizable platform with the features you need to make your trading and investing as smooth as possible. Look for commission free (or low commissions) brokerage. At the same time, make sure that in the search of cutting costs, you are not giving up features and platform functionality that could ultimately end up costing you more, in addition to making your trading more difficult. If you are a day trader, but also useful to the other styles of trading, ask for direct access (basically it's your direct line to the exchanges), and include Level 2 and, ideally, Level 3 data feed. It will cost you a bit more, but it's needed in order to succeed, especially in day trading.
Using separate accounts based on the individual needs, can also be a good idea. For example have one account for investing and one for trading. Get familiar with your trading platform and take advantage of the free tools, resources and educational material/events that your broker offers. If your broker offers a trading simulator (also known as paper trading), that a major plus. If they don't, it's ok. There are several other platforms that offer free virtual trading and simulators.
Practice on a Simulator and Master your Skills to Perfection
Take advantage of trading simulators and practice as much as you can. Do not trade real money until you are profitable on a simulator. When you start making money paper trading (using a simulator), it means that you are ready to start trading with real money. If six months have passed, and you are still trading on a simulator, it's time to get your feet wet and take your first real trade. In both scenarios, make sure to take the necessary precautions to limit your risks. For example, use small positions, keep stop losses in place, and limit your trading activity (overtrading is a real and costly issue for most traders). Ideally you would want to practice on a simulator that uses the same platform of your real money trading platform. But again, if your broker doesn't offer simulators, other platforms do. And often time, it's free. Remember practice is what will make your trading great. Without it, expect low quality results.
Stay Informed and Continue Learning
Stay informed and keep on learnings. The stock market is an ever changing environment that is constantly evolving. It makes the job of the trader interesting, never boring and fresh . But you must stay informed keep on learning. Stay informed on the state of the market, read company news and economic events, join trading groups and trading communities, learn new skills.
Practice as much as you can, be patient and continue to learn. It's a journey that keeps on giving.