What Is Online Trading? - Basic Tips To Get Started | Inquirer

What Is Online Trading? – Basic Tips To Get Started

/ 12:26 PM February 11, 2021

Due to the recent Robinhood debacle, you may have wondered what is online trading. The stock market can seem intimidating for some. They view the stock market as streams of company acronyms and arrays of charts. Unfortunately, this reluctance causes many people to turn away from potential investment opportunities. 

However, trading stocks and cryptocurrencies are now more accessible than ever. The internet has opened more industries to the public, including the stock market. It’s much easier to create your brokerage account and start buying and selling stocks. Nowadays, you may perform all these on your computer or even on your smartphone.

We’ll show you how to begin buying stocks online. We will provide the steps on how to create a brokerage account. Also, we’ll show the most popular online stock trading platforms where you can get started. Moreover, we’ll elaborate on the different types of stocks and choose the best for your portfolio.

Basics Of Online Trading

What is Online Trading?

Nowadays, people buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and options using the internet. This method of purchasing financial securities is better known as online trading.

People can easily open an account with an online stock broker and start trading. What’s more, the account allows them to monitor the performance of their stocks regularly.

Moreover, the internet provides constantly updating information regarding companies and their shares. This significantly allows active traders to adapt their portfolios quickly to market conditions.


How Does Online Trading Differ From The Traditional?

Traditional trading is a distant relic of what online trading is today. Stock trading in the 1970s was more tedious than it is today.

Trading in the old days involved a long phone conversation with your broker. You would start by calling them to place an order request on a specific stock. 

Then, he’ll proceed to notify details such as the share market price. You may confirm your purchase after this lengthy correspondence. 


In contrast, today’s trader buys and sells stocks online all on his own. Online trading allows people to perform numerous trades much faster and without anybody else’s help.

How Do You Buy Stocks Online?

How Do You Buy Stocks Online?

After discussing what is online trading briefly, we may outline the steps to your first trade. This involves creating a brokerage account, choosing your first stock, then purchasing it. Some can be done all over a mobile app.

We’ll also tackle some of the basic jargon and strategies. As you progress, you may adopt more advanced trading strategies found on other websites.

If you want to take online trading seriously, though, you should also research on your own. Study how your stocks will fare based on its company’s performance.

More importantly, you must practice these online trading steps. Eventually, you’ll gain a better understanding and yield greater earnings:

1. Register A Brokerage Account For Online Trading

When people buy stocks, interactive brokers serve as intermediaries. They have connections with stock exchanges, so most people can’t simply purchase stocks without their assistance. 

Consequently, it’s always mentioned when discussing what is online trading. Your choice will depend on your personal preference and financial situation.

After all, most brokerage services require a minimum deposit amount of money from investors. Other factors in choosing online brokers include trading experience and frequency.

Most importantly, you should choose a reputable broker for online trading. You may check the Investing Online Resource Center for a list of legitimate brokerage firms.

2. Search And Analyze Prospective Stocks

Search and Analyze Prospect Stocks

After opening your brokerage account, it’s time to find stocks for your portfolio. It’s the collective term for all the stocks a person bought.

When asked about what is online trading, experts will mention maintaining a well-rounded portfolio. This means an online trader must purchase multiple types of investment.

All investments have the possibility of failure, but having several kinds can mitigate this risk. If your main stocks tank, your spares might continue growing.

If this is your first time, you may want to start with ETF trading. Otherwise known as exchange-traded funds, these are an aggregate of stocks that pose minimal risk.

3. Determine Your Kind Of Trade

Next, you must decide what online trading is for you. Is it for long-term investment or quick returns? Your strategy will determine how you’ll buy and sell your stocks.

If you’re investing in the future, you’ll probably buy stocks with low risks and long-term growth based on past performance.  Market orders are preferable since they execute immediately for the best available stock price.

On the other hand, you may want to buy and sell stocks in response to sudden price fluctuations. This quicker type of online trading is called day trading.

Consequently, you may perform “limit orders” that reduce short-term trading risks. Moreover, trailing stop losses execute whenever prices shift in your favor.

4. Gauge Your Risk Tolerance

Risk tolerance

As we’ve mentioned, the risk of losing is always part of any investment. That’s why it’s always tackled whenever discussing what is online trading.

  1. Understand how stock trading will affect your finances and watch out for fees. Know how much you’re willing to invest in stocks based on your budget. 
  2. Check expenses you may incur from your investments. For example, some stocks charge expense ratios that charge a percentage of the fund’s assets annually.
  3. Consider the capital gains taxes from your investments. You’ll pay more when you have a stock for less than a year. In contrast, you pay less when you hold it beyond 1 year.

5. Start Your First Trade

After discussing what is online trading, here are the steps to do it. Remember that stock trading is a skill that takes practice. Eventually, your trades will yield significant gains:

  1. Fund your brokerage account from your bank account.
  2. Select your preferred stock, choose an order type, and place it.
  3. Monitor the stock carefully to make sure it executes. You may move the limit price closer to the “ask price” when buying. Alternatively, shift it near the bid price when selling.

Best Online Trading Platforms

Now that you know what online trading’s basics are, it’s time to choose your broker. Choose the best one to help you succeed in buying and selling stocks.

While you may buy stocks directly from a company, it’s a complicated process. Brokerages offer a much simpler way of trading commission stocks. This still depends on your broker’s expertise, though.

That’s why you should pick the best broker for online trading. Here are Investopedia’s best online brokers for 2020:

TD Ameritrade

It’s one of the larger online stock brokers that offer platforms for different levels of expertise. What’s more, it offers education to help new investors begin online trading.

  • Provides multiple news feeds and research capabilities
  • Teaches what is online trading and further education for new investors
  • Has more customer support channels on social media such as Facebook


This is a full-service platform specifically designed for options traders. It provides tools geared towards probability, liquidity, and volatility.

  • Investopedia’s best online stock brokers for options trading and low costs
  • Provides interface that allows convenient access to important features
  • Uses key analytics to gauge the probability of profit
  • Allows online trading for stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs

Types of Stocks to Look Out For

Types of Stocks to Look Out For

You have multiple varieties of stock you may include in your portfolio. They behave differently from one another and pose varying levels of risk and reward.

After learning the basics of what is online trading, you’re probably reluctant in your investment decisions. That’s why we’ve listed the types of stocks for beginners:

  • Exchange-traded funds (ETF) – We’ve mentioned that these are a collection of investments. Aside from stocks, these include commodities, bonds, and other investment objectives. Hence, they pose a low risk for online traders.
  • Income Stocks – These are equity securities that conservative investors prefer. They have low risks and pay frequent dividends, funds that shareholders may earn.
  • Blue Chips – These stocks are owned by the world’s largest companies, such as Coca-Cola and IBM. They’re one of the safest investment options that often pays dividends. However, these are often part of a much larger portfolio.

Final Thoughts

We just finished discussing what online trading, as well as its basic concepts, is. We’ve elaborated on the steps on how you can start online trading. 

Also, we detailed the kinds of stocks that are better suited for beginners like you. We explained the importance of an online broker and suggested the best ones.

However, your trading journey has just begun. Take the steps we’ve discussed for yourself by applying them in real life. You need to practice online trading to develop expertise, including being aware of account fees, commission-free stocks, transaction-fee, discounts, etc.

Remember that the market volatility constantly changes, so you should too. Update yourself or consult a financial advisor on the latest information and news about promising investments and trading tools.

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TAGS: online trading, stock market trends, stocks, US Stocks
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