If you're looking for a way to earn some extra income and start a side gig that can eventually turn into your next big gig, consider getting into the stock market. Stock trading can be a financial benefit in many ways, and you have the potential to earn some substantial profits. This guide provides all the information you need to get started on making the stock market your next gig.
Choose if You Want to Invest or Trade
First things first — you need to decide if you're going to be actively trading (such as buying and selling stocks multiple times throughout the week, month, or year), or if you're looking for a way to invest and build up your portfolio's value over a longer period of time. There are merits to both trading and investing, but knowing how you want to get involved with stock trading is the first step toward getting started. Actively trading can take up a lot of your time each day, so take that into consideration.
Use an Online Platform or Trading App
There are more and more trading apps every day, and you can use several of these or just one trading platform to buy, sell, and manage your accounts. Some trading apps are designed with beginners in mind while other platforms offer more robust settings for traders to search, screen, and choose which stocks they want to trade. Several trading and investment apps you might think about using when you get started are:
- ETrade: A good choice for experienced and beginning traders with tons of educational resources.
- TD Ameritrade: A popular choice among both beginning and experienced traders.
- SoFi: A trading app with in-depth learning resources for a deeper understanding of the market.
Decide If You Want to Use a Broker
There are advantages and disadvantages to trading stocks through a broker. A stockbroker will make stock purchases on your behalf for a commission. The biggest advantage of using a stockbroker is the experience, knowledge, and skills they have to navigate the stock market and make sound investment choices on your behalf. Similarly, you can easily get started with some online trading platforms where you can buy stocks on your own. No way is better than another; the stock market will fluctuate with or without the services of a stockbroker.
Use Resources and Tools
No matter what platform you use, you need to stay updated on what's going on with your investments with the proper tools and resources for stock trading. Many apps and trading platforms provide real-time updates, analysis tools, screeners, and learning resources, but you can find these tools outside of these platforms, too. If you're just starting out, take advantage of educational resources that the platforms provide so you can keep deepening your knowledge of the trading process.
Ultimately, it's pretty easy to get started trading in stocks. Always do your due diligence to research stock options and stay current with what's happening in the market. Be sure to opt into notifications and alerts so you're always up to date.