Stock Trading Bootcamp: Part 2
Plus, a Discussion on How to Support Israel With Your Investment Dollars
In our last podcast, I shared with you some of the basic principles that I have learned after trading the financial markets for over 16 years.
In today’s podcast, I will explain the basics of setting up your own online stock trading account. (After all, you can’t begin trading until you establish an account with an online brokerage firm.)
So in this podcast, I will explain some of the factors to consider before selecting an online broker. Plus, I will share a few the names of some of the online trading firms that I have personally used. We’ll also cover some of information that you will need to open and fund your first online trading account.
There are three important steps to setting up your online trading account. We will take a look at each:
- Choosing an Online Broker
- Opening an Online Trading Account
- Funding Your Online Trading Account
#1 Choosing an Online Broker
A brokerage account allows you to purchase stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments by paying a commission to buy or sell the securities you instruct them to. Internet based stock trading has gained popularity over the past decade. Finding an online broker is important to gain 24-hour/seven day a week access to your accounts. There are many reputable brokers worthy of your attention.
Before selecting an online broker, there are many factors to consider such as:
- Service level: Some brokers provide more resources, tools, and access to customer service representatives than others. Additionally some brokers’ websites are easier to navigate and provide a better customer experience, but you will typically pay more as you add more bells and whistles. Perhaps one of the most important questions to ask is whether you plan on placing most of your trades on a desktop, some type of mobile device like a tablet or a smartphone. Some online brokerages provide better support for mobile devices than others. For example, many online brokerage firms allow you trade not just stocks through your Android or iPhone, but even highly advanced options trades. So, if you plan on trading on a mobile device, this is something you will want to investigate further.
- Cost: Take a look at the commission rates before you set up your account. Some online brokerages require a minimum account balance, and the commission rate varies with your balance and trade frequency. For instance, you will typically get lower commissions if you keep a certain minimum account balance or agree to a certain number of trades. You may also be charged additional fees if you don’t meet the minimum balance at all times.
- Investment availability: Some brokerage firms have limited mutual fund choices, the inability to trade bonds or commodities, or options. Make sure the firm you choose allows you to conduct the type of trades you are planning to execute.
- Financial stability and reputation: It goes without saying, but you should research the firm’s financial stability before depositing any funds.
One of the ways to find the brokerage firm that is right for you is to look at independent rankings. For example, Barron’s recently came out with its 19th annual ranking of online brokers.
- Best for Frequent Traders: Interactive Brokers; Tradestation; Lightspeed Trading.
- Best In-Person Service: Scottrade; Merrill Edge; Schwab.
- Best International Traders: Interactive Brokers; TradeStation; Fidelity.
- Best for Long-Term Investing: TD Ameritrade; Fidelity; Schwab
- Best for Novices: TD Ameritrade; Fidelity; E*Trade
- Best for Options Traders: tradeMONSTER; TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim); Optionshouse
My own personal favorites are Scottrade and ETRADE. While these two online brokerages are excellent for novices, you may prefer to pay lower commissions. If so, I recommend that you check out Interactive Brokers or TradeMonster.
The fees and commissions can really eat into your trading profits if you are not careful. So, take your time and do some good research before opening your online trading account.
#2 Opening Up an Online Trading Account
After selecting an online brokerage, it’s time to open your online trading account.
In order to open a brokerage account, you will need to know two items:
- The kind of account you want to create. Is it tax deferred or taxable? If it’s an IRA or Roth, or other type of retirement account you will need to note this and fill out beneficiary information. If it’s a taxable account you will need to choose between a cash account (you pay for each trade out of the cash you deposit) or a margin account (where you use the cash and securities in your account as collateral to borrow against).
- How many people will be listed on the account. If it’s a taxable account you will also need to know how many people will be listed on the account. Is the account going to just list you (individual account) or your spouse as well (joint account).
In order to set up your account, you may be asked to provide information such as:
- Identification, such as a driver’s license or government-issued ID card that contains your current address.
- Social Security Number for all account holders.
- All dates of birth for all owners listed on the account.
- The bank or brokerage statement of the financial institution from which you’ll transfer money. This contains the account and bank routing numbers you’ll need to instruct the broker to get your cash.
- The address of your employer and if you’re an officer, director, or large shareholder of a publicly traded company, additional documentation and paperwork may be required.
#3 Funding Your Online Trading Account
Finally, once your account is approved and opened, its time to put money into your trading account. In order to fund your account you can use a check or electronic funds transfer (EFT). You can also typically transfer U.S. exchange listed stocks (including ADRs, ETFs, ETNs and other listed securities), mutual funds and other types of holdings, such as bonds, securities represented by paper certificates, private placement securities or options to establish your account. Check with your online broker before initiating the transfer process. You often can submit a partial account transfer to move only those holdings that you want transferred or a full account transfer of all the holdings and cash you want transferred.
Now that your account is set up and funded it’s time to begin researching investment opportunities.
Stay tuned for next week’s podcast as we dive in to the topic of finding great potential stocks ideas to trade!
Tom Cloud – Precious Metals Advisor
Tom Cloud joins us for the latest in the gold and silver markets and shares some of the fundamental and technical factors that are affecting prices right now.
Tom Cloud:“I have a gut feeling from all the time I’ve spent on the phone talking to wholesalers, that there will be a time in the near future, definitely during Obama’s tenure, that you won’t even be able to get physical gold and silver without paying very large premiums.”
Precious Metals Investing 101 – Free Educational Resources
Next, Jennifer Robinson is here to update our FTM Insiders on our Trigger Trading activity for the past week. We sold out of four positions during this time, including UBNT for a 7.51% profit and BPFH for a 5.42% gain! We still have four stocks in play (including HP & NSC both currently up 1.53% from their respective trigger price), and are awaiting Jerry’s trigger price on six other stocks.
Recent Trigger Trade Performance
|Ticker||Buy Date||Buy Price||Sell Date||Sell Price||Days Held||Profit/Loss %|
Jay Peroni – Certified Financial Planner
As Christian investors, seeking out pro-Israeli companies is one way we can put our money into companies that support our biblical values.
The Genesis 12 Portfolio is based on Genesis 12:3 and consists of twelve companies based in Israel that have met our moral and financial criteria. These 12 Israeli companies offer a way for an investor to support Israel with their investment dollars. It is a way to put your money where your values are.
Over the last 12 months (March 2013-March 2014), the Genesis 12 Portfolio has returned 62.23% to our clients. This is more than triple the returns of the S&P 500 index! Jay Peroni, CFP, joins Jerry Robinson on today’s podcast for an in-depth interview about investing in Israel’s economy and about the popular Genesis 12 Portfolio.
BOTTOM LINE: If you want to begin supporting Israel with your investment dollars, learn more now about the Genesis 12 Portfolio. You can also call Jay Peroni, CFP, at (888) 664-6963.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk. Always do your own due diligence and consult a trusted financial professional before making any investing or financial decisions. Jay Peroni is a Certified Financial Planner and is part of our Christian Financial Advisor Network. FTMDaily is affiliated with Jay Peroni and Faith Based Investor, LLC.
Recent Podcasts by Jerry Robinson
DISCLAIMER: The above trading ideas are from my own personal stock watchlist and are for educational and informational purposes only. They are NOT specific buy recommendations. Trading stocks is risky and you could lose all of your money. Trade at your own risk. Jerry Robinson is not an investment advisor. You should always consult a trusted financial services professional before making any financial or investment decisions. READ FULL DISCLAIMER.