3. Open an Account
Opening your account should be a straightforward process — most platforms provide detailed instructions. You might have to deposit funds before you begin trading, and some platforms will charge you a fee to open or maintain an account. Make sure you research all fees and try to find a company that doesn’t charge them.
4. Pick Stocks You Want to Trade
Rather than investing in a large number of stocks, keep a limited portfolio. Keeping 10 to 15 stocks that you know well in your portfolio is the way to go, according to Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money.” And you should always have a solid understanding of what you’re buying.
5. Choose What Type of Order You Want
When you purchase stock shares, you’ll have to choose between a market order and a limit order. A market order doesn’t enable you to control the price of your order — the online broker buys shares at the next available price in the market. A limit order enables you to buy or sell securities at a specified price — the broker will not make the purchase until the stock price falls to the level you specify.
6. Finalize Your Order
Once you’ve settled on your stock order, submit it. After that, you can track your investments and their returns. Many online brokers offer mobile apps so you can track your stocks on the go.