New investors learning the basics need to explore several sources of information. Trial and error are just part of the equation, and it’s important to stick with it long enough to figure out where you can succeed. Fortunately, there are plenty of sources to glean from.
- Open a Stock Broker Account
Start with a reputable online stock broker and consider opening an account or Forex demo account. Familiarize yourself with the interface so that you can concentrate on the trading process. Many brokers have perks that are available to their clients only, so make sure to take advantage of any that meet your investment goals.
- Read Books
E-books and books give you a comprehensive perspective that goes deeper than articles and blogs you find online. With a little effort, you can learn as much as in a seminar or class for a lot less money. Start with a guide that helps you understand a little about the history of stock trading and hints for the best ways to get started.
- Read Articles
Articles are a great way to get quick overviews packed with information on one or more topics. StockTrader.com lists dozens of investment articles you can browse by category. Meanwhile, general websites like investopedia.com help you learn the jargon.
- Find a Mentor
If you know someone who has a fundamental or advanced understanding of how the stock market works, they may be willing to help you learn the new terrain. A mentor has the patience to answer your questions and may challenge you to help you improve your knowledge. This could be a friend, co-worker or a former professor, or even someone you connect with in an online forum.
Trading forums are a great way to get the advice of more seasoned traders. Just be sure to cross verify any information you receive in a forum since even well-meaning advice typically comes from non-professional traders. Stick to general advice and don’t look to forums for trade advice. It’s impossible to know what other participants’ intentions are.
- Study the Greats
Many great investors have written autobiographies that provide inspiration and perspective as you progress in your learning. Here are a few you can look up to gain a better appreciation of the industry:
- Warren Buffett
- George Soros
- Benjamin Graham
- Peter Lynch
- John Templeton
- Jack Schwager
Perhaps the best advice is to keep a cool head and go at your own pace.