What Investors Should Know Before Investing in the Stock Market

Are you considering venturing into online stock trading? Here is a guide you can use to boost your confidence when picking stocks, placing trades, and selecting a brokerage.

Choosing an Online Stock Trading Broker

To start investing in the stock market, an investor should first open an account with an online stock trading brokerage. Invest some time to research their reputation, read reviews, and compare fees from various options. You want to pick the most reliable stockbroker based on your needs.

While researching, compare trading commission fees, the user-friendliness of their website or application, and the availability of learning or research tools for users. Remember, some brokerages offer free trading.

Some big brokerage firms that offer both app-based and online trading tools have been in the industry for many years, charge low fees, and are renowned. New easy-to-use platforms that target small trades are also available.

Importance of Researching Stocks

After picking your ideal brokerage, you can proceed to buy stocks. However, picking them can be a difficult task. If you are a novice trader, stocks are not the ideal place to begin. Consider starting with exchange-traded funds (EFT) instead to build your understanding and gain experience. EFTs enable investors to purchase many stocks at once, which works primarily when you are not confident picking one organization over the other.

Work with ETFs designed to recreate core stock market indices such as Nasdaq and Dow as they will expose your portfolio to the U.S. stock market. To diversify their portfolio, some traders opt to invest in assets instead of stocks. Bonds are a common diversification strategy that exposes your investments to less risk in case of stock market downtrends. Choosing individual stocks is not an easy task.

To make an informed choice, compare an organization’s performance against its competitors with the help of financial analysis rations. Doing so ensures that investors are integrating the best-performing stocks into their portfolios.

Which is the Right Trade for You?

When you purchase or dispose of a traded asset like ETF or a stock, you can choose between various options of trade orders. The most basic options are limit orders and market orders. The latter is designed to execute or process immediately. The asset you choose to trade comes at the best available price at that time.

On the other hand, limit orders are an excellent way of having control over the price you pay or get when selling. They do not execute immediately, as is the case with market orders. In this case, investors set their buying or selling price for a particular asset, allowing them great control to increase their profits.

When you own a stock, you may consider activating a trailing stop-loss sell order. Doing so enables you to hold on to the stock when the price increases and dispose of it when the price declines to a specific point. No order type is more effective than the other. Consider learning a vast range of them to increase your chances of choosing the right tool for your needs.

What is the Cost of Trading Stocks

Expenses can be a barrier to your successful stock trading venture. Remember, investors pay commission fees to trade their securities. Pick the lowest fees available when selecting a brokerage. You can cut down your expenses by purchasing individual stocks via a brokerage that hardly alters commission fees.

Still, when you start trading mutual funds or ETFs, you will need to be conversant with expense ratios. These funds operate under one person who receives a percentage of the fund’s assets annually. Suppose an ETF has a 0.1% expense ratio; investors will pay $0.10 in expenses annually for every $100 they invest.

Trading Your First Stock

Once investors are prepared to place their introductory trade, they will need to fund their brokerage accounts by depositing money from a bank account. However, the funds may not reflect in the brokerage account immediately. Some brokerages offer investors money immediately while the transfer process is undergoing, while others wait for the transaction to complete.

After funding their accounts, investors can log into their online brokerage accounts, choose the stock they want to trade, select an order type, and initiate the order. Monitor the order to ensure it executes. Remember, market orders execute immediately, while the execution of limit orders may take time.


Every aspiring stock trading investor must have basic knowledge about the industry before investing. With sufficient understanding, they can reduce their risks while increasing their chances of succeeding.