Trading for Dummies

Trading 101: How to Start

Plenty of students have hobbies at AITE, from afterschool sports to creative writing, arts and crafts to robotics, and a plethora of other pastimes. However, a few students at AITE have interests in market economics. Evident from the availability of AP/UConn ECE Micro and Macroeconomics course, students join the course to hone their interest in delving into the field of economics, while others use the course as a supplement to their investments in the stock market and cryptocurrencies. This article is for the beginner trader — someone who might not know where to start or what to do in a field of only two possibilities… sink, or swim? 

To begin trading, you first need to understand how the market works. Fortunately, there are countless free resources available to everyone. Trading apps like Webull and Fidelity have excellent teaching resources, plus there are websites filled with information and various YouTube videos and tutorials. You can find more information on trading here. In case you’re worried about not being old enough to access the apps, both offer custodial accounts, which allow those under the age of 18 access to the market with parental supervision. Just based on this info alone, you might be curious and eager to jump on the bandwagon, however, I suggest you read further for more information. 

Now that you have a custodial account on the various apps available to you, start with the basics, like simple share trading and exchange-traded funds (ETF’s). Share trading is the process of purchasing and selling shares, which represent the ownership of a fraction of a specific company. Exchange-traded funds are a group of companies that are tracked by an index. I recommend ignoring the more complicated topics. Leave those to the pros for now. 

With your account now set up, you need to decide which companies you want to invest in, and why. I highly suggest you research the monetary ins and outs of a company, and note which one catches your eye. Information like quarterly reports, economic actions (such as buying out another company, announcing a new product, or filing for bankruptcy), and relevance, are all important to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Once you’ve picked out a few stock tickers that pique your interest, the next step is to invest. 

And now we’ve reached the final step — investing. Don’t spend hundreds of dollars for a single stock; diversify your investments throughout your portfolio. A few dozen dollars here and there can go a long way if you make the right choice. Now I can’t say for sure that you’ll get an immediate return on your investment; stocks constantly fluctuate and take time to increase, so have patience. In some cases, you may even lose money, but don’t sell off any of your stocks in a panic. In situations like those, frequently the price of the stock increases after a sharp fall. 

With these tips in mind: be diligent, be smart, and make that money!