Sometimes when creating content for this blog, I like to look at the Google Keyword Tool to get an idea of what people are searching for. It seems that every month a fair amount of people search for the phrase ‘how to trade stocks online free’ or some other variant.
In my view, this is quite amusing since I highly doubt that there is any stock trader who became successful without spending any money first.
An expensive process
Instead, most traders undergo a lengthy process of buying books, software, courses and other products. Many of those products may be useless or even worse, scams. Rarely, they may be very valuable indeed.
And of course, once a trader has spent money on books and what not, there is usually a period of losing money to the market.
In short, learning to trade is a very expensive process. Spending a bit of money in the beginning on some good quality learning tools can actually save you a lot of money in the long run.
Nevertheless, this is the age of the Internet, and information has never been so easily obtainable. Learning how to trade stocks online, for free, is not easy but it is not necessarily impossible. So here are some ways to get started:
Learn how to trade stocks online free
Get the basics right
First of all, if you are a complete beginner I would suggest heading over to a site like Investopedia or Baby Pips as they have a large amount of content for beginners.
I would also suggest you learn about trading costs before you do anything else. You must know the impact of trading commissions and you must understand the bid/ask spread as this can seriously affect which stocks to trade and how much money can be made. At the very least you want to start trading on a level playing field.
For example, if a stock has a bid/ask spread of 5%, not uncommon in some smaller stocks, then you need to make at least 5% just to break even. On top of that, there are commissions to trade, which can be hard to overcome for smaller sized accounts.
Build a list of free resources and blogs
Next, I’d suggest going through my trading resources page. There’s a tonne of books, links, and blogs on there that are really helpful for beginners that don’t want to spend any money. OK, the books all cost money but why not print off a list and head down to your local library? Chances are good that they will have at least a few.
Or, you could check out one of the many book swapping sites like Read It Swap It. I actually swapped a cookbook once for a Jim Rogers classic 🙂
It’s also a good idea to bookmark some of the sites and blogs that you like. Use a free RSS reader like Digg and you’ll be able to see new content from all your favourite blogs as soon as it appears. Going through free content takes time, but there is no better way if you don’t have any money to spend.
Free courses & communities
Likewise, it’s a good idea to sign up for an account at a learning platform like udemy. True, a lot of the courses on udemy cost money but new courses are often offered free for a short amount of time, in order to gain favourable reviews.
Similarly, sites like Reddit are excellent places to meet other traders without spending a dime. As are other trading forums like the Trade2Win forum.
Utilize Google search
Finally, you should learn to utilize Google search more efficiently. Searching for ‘learn how to trade stocks online free’ for example, probably won’t get you very far. Whereas, searching for ‘profitable trading strategies’ in Google Scholar could yield much more interesting results.