Are you a small investor as I am? Are you a beginner? Do you think you cannot afford investing because you do not have enough money?
Do you want trade stocks however?
I consider trading stocks as my hobby. I like it. I like the game, its adventure and danger. I am also full of emotions when trading and trying to control them. One of my friends trades stocks as a game too. He has no background, no knowledge, he just plays it as betting horse racing. He says, “when the stocks are down I feel offended and do not look at them at all and they come back begging for my attention”. This is how he made his first $10,000 dollars within two weeks. I envy it and I tried to find out why it worked for him while I was loosing money. He simply didn’t allow his emotions take action and sell his stocks when they displayed initial losses while I was selling to cut losses quickly. It is a good strategy however you shouldn’t cut those losses too quickly, otherwise you start collecting losses one after second.
Well, let’s talk how to start when you have no money and no idea. I did it this way three years ago:
Opening trading account
Review your salary and your family budget. Write it down on paper. Write down how much money flows into your household. I recommend considering only regular income instead of seasonal unless the seasonal income is regular too (for example a summer help or a winter ski school instructor, etc.).
After that, write down all your mandatory expenses only (such as mortgage, tuition, rent, insurance, etc.).
Then you would be able to see, how much money you have left for your personal expenses (or your household). Now you can ask yourself a question: “How much money I can afford save aside?” Is it $50 a month? $100 a month?
There are many brokerage houses out there. Go to the internet and do some research what are their conditions to open a new Account. I personally trade with TD Ameritrade and they require min. $2000 to open the account. You can try Sharebuilder. I think they have no minimum and low trade commissions. But I do not know all of them, so you should do your own search and study. You can go to MSN Money
and search through other brokers.
If you however decide for TD Ameritrade, you would need a minimum amount of 2000 of dollars to open the account. Then go to your local bank and open a Time Savings Account (I opened 91 day savings account) and start transferring your $50, $100 or whatever you decided to save into this account. Do it regularly every month and prior you start spending the money. Whenever you receive your salary, send your minimum to your savings account. No matter what, no questions, no excuses. Do it. Do not touch that money and let them grow. Soon you would be able to open the new account and transfer the money into it.
During the saving period you will have enough time to study the stock market, stocks, strategies, read books, create your control loss plan, journal, etc. Overall you make yourself ready to trade. You can open a Stock simulator and there you can try your strategies as well as try how it works (placing orders, executing, creating portfolio, etc.).
After you have your new account opened, do not stop saving your money on your savings account. If you have no reserves I strongly recommend building your emergency savings.
Always consider your money on your broker’s account as already lost. If you cannot afford it, continue in saving as long as you would be able to afford it.