Learn stock trading for beginners – tutorial
Are you interested in stock trading and want to know how it works? – Then you are exactly right on this page! In the following texts I will teach you the basics for beginners and show you which points you should definitely pay attention to before investing. Find out in detail about the opportunities and possibilities in stock trading.
Stock trading can be done as follows:
- Buy shares (long – investments in the company)
- Sell shares (short – speculation on falling prices)
- Trade shares by CFD contract for difference (long and short with a leverage)
- Buy or sell shares bundled in an ETF
Introduction: What is the purpose of trading stocks?
Stocks are a great way for companies to raise equity through the financial markets. Investors thus acquire shares in a corporation or the company. The company then distributes dividends to investors in the form of profit sharing.
It is not only the dividend that is of interest to investors, because the shares are traded on the stock exchange and can rise or fall in value. Traders buy or sell shares because they think the price of the share will rise or fall in the future. Speculations on rising or falling prices are the order of the day. Large profits or losses can be made as a result.
Shares have the following characteristics:
- Shares are investments in companies
- Companies distribute dividends (profit sharing) to shareholders
- Profits & losses can happen through price increases
- Shares are suitable as short- and long-term investments depending on the strategy
If a company is doing well, many people want to invest in the company. The profit sharing (dividend) for the investors is then accordingly high and depends on the profit and turnover. A high share price also indicates that the company enjoys a high level of trust from investors. Due to the high demand for the shares, the price of the share also increases and price gains can be recorded.
This is how stock trading works – opportunities for investment
In the next section of this page, I would like to discuss exactly how stock trading works and how you can do it. Since stocks are traded on the exchanges, the price of a stock is always subject to fluctuation. The stock exchange (market) sets the price secondarily. If the demand for a share is high, the price will rise and vice versa. Therefore, high profits and losses can also be made on securities through speculation and price fluctuations.
1. Buying shares:
As an investor, trader or investor, you can easily buy any stock through an online broker or bank and put it in your own portfolio. For example, many investors opt for a stock savings plan and invest for the long term. Others hope to make a high profit in a short time by buying. The strategies are very different and depend on the investor.
Two strategies are very well known among investors:
- Buy shares and get dividends in the long term (e.g. with a share savings plan)
- Buy shares and sell them quickly after a short time (trading securities for quick profits)
2. Selling shares (short selling – profits on falling prices):
Short selling can also be used to make profits on falling prices. Not every broker offers this option, because a stock must be borrowed to make a short sale. A security must be sold at a higher price and bought back at a lower price to make a profit. However, as an alternative, one can easily go short with a stock CFD.
- Short selling is an interesting method for quick profits in economic crises
- Not every provider allows short selling
- For a short sale shares must be borrowed (fees apply)
- Speculations on falling prices are easier by shares CFD (contract for difference) possible
3. Buying and selling shares by CFD (contract for difference)
CFDs are special derivatives, which are also offered for shares. The advantage is that you do not own the stock directly, but only the contract. You can trade this contract with a leverage of 1:5 and thus also hedge your portfolio. The cash settlement is also immediate and direct. So you can move 5 times the amount in the market with little capital. Short selling is very easy here.
- With a leverage on shares CFDs higher profits and losses are possible
- Leverage 1:5 = 100€ margin and 500€ move on the market
- Direct cash settlement
- Simple speculation on falling prices
Where and how to trade stocks safely?
Shares are traded on thestock exchange or OTC (over the counter) before a share issue. As a private investor you do not have direct access to the stock exchange. This is only possible for licensed (regulated) companies and brokers or banks. Trading must therefore be carried out at a bank or broker. The latter charges fees for providing the infrastructure for a share transaction.
Trading stocks at a bank is not always the best idea, so from my experience I present the cheapest and best method. In the table below, I compare the online broker with the traditional bank.
Online broker vs bank comparison:
Modern trading platform
No or outdated platform
Direct market execution
Often slow or delayed execution
Very low fees
Direct access to own portfolio
Sometimes dependent on bank advisors
Use of apps and software
No app or poor software
Opening an account with a stock broker:
On the Internet (online), you can open a securities account or account to trade stocks in a few minutes. To do this, go to the website of your chosen provider and click on «Open account». First, you usually start by providing your email address.
After that, the stock broker will ask for more information about you. Provide your phone number, name and address. Since the provider is regulated, it must also verify your identity. This works easily via a webcam or uploading identity documents (passport, ID card). The residential address must also be confirmed. If you have any questions, the support can help you quickly.
- Register with email, phone number and name
- Fill in the data about yourself and experience completely
- Upload the required documents (verification)
- Start trading stocks
Learn to trade stocks in the platform:
Online broker offers sophisticated trading platforms for investors. You can choose over thousands of stocks to trade there. In addition, the price history is displayed to you in a customizable chart.
Chart analysis as well as technical analysis are easily possible with such a platform. There is also an app for the smartphone. So you have your portfolio always in view and can also react to important news from on the road! News and information about the companies or stocks you can get through the platforms or use the Internet for help.
Learning to trade stocks has never been easier with an online broker.
What are the risks of stock trading?
When trading stocks, you have to pay attention to important characteristics of the securities that can affect your profit or loss. For example, stocks are offered internationally and there are different versions of them. Also, a stock may be traded on different exchanges. In the following section, I discuss possible risks:
Securities of German Companies:
Securities of German companies are traded during normal stock exchange opening hours in Germany. At night, for example, you cannot buy and sell shares. In addition, a capital increase of the company can affect the price.
Risk for investors:
- Pay attention to the stock exchange opening hours to avoid unpleasant surprises
- Capital increase of the company can influence the price
Securities of international companies
Here, too, you must pay attention to the stock exchange opening hours! Shares from the USA, for example, are not traded in Europe until 3:30 PM (CET). In addition, there is a currency conversion risk. International stocks are traded in a different currency.
Risk for investors:
- Stock market opening hours vary from country to country
- A currency conversion risk is added when buying international securities
How to gather knowledge before trading stocks
Before you start investing you should learn about the stock. In addition, you can also use a free stock demo account. This is a virtual account that mimics real money trading. You can thus test the trading platform or try new strategies.
The right stock strategy
Are you more of a short-term trader or do you just want to invest money in stocks conservatively for the long term? Both are possible with the online trading platform. For example, you can analyze the chart for several years. For this you are provided with many indicators and analysis tools. You have to decide for yourself which strategy suits you. A lever can also be used optionally for an investment.
For even more information or filtering of specific stocks to support your stock strategy, you can also use a stock scanner (picture below). Filter stocks by dividend, country, earnings, EPS and much more information.
What are the fees in stock trading?
As a beginner, don’t be afraid of fees in stock trading. The fees are at an all-time low these days due to online offerings. The online broker will show you all the fees from commission to spread. In the points below, I will explain the details to you.
- Commission: the broker charges a commission per stock trade. There are no commissions with my recommended providers.
- Spread: The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price. Usually you get a direct market execution (1 point spread). In case of large stock purchases, one can be executed on different prices. Depending on the liquidity of the order book and the stock.
- Spread in stock CFD: The spread in CFD trading is always higher than in normal stock purchases, because the broker finances itself through it. However, the commission is smaller and sometimes even eliminated.
- CFD financing fee (swap): Since contracts for difference are traded with leverage, the external capital must be financed by the broker. Here, a small fee is incurred daily overnight. (At XTB there is no financing fee for many assets)
Conclusion to learn stock trading for beginners
On this page I have shown you how to learn how to trade stocks. Nowadays it is not witchcraft to buy a stock. Thanks to the Internet, there are enough reputable providers, which give you a good service at reasonable fees.
Let’s get to the final conclusion of learning to trade stocks. So what securities are now interesting for an investor? This question is difficult to answer, as everyone has their own preferences.
For long-term investing, my favorite method is to pick securities of companies that make products for everyday life.
We are talking about everyday items here:
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Raw material producers for companies
- Cosmetics manufacturers
- Pharmaceutical manufacturers
- Food manufacturers
Summary of the learned knowledge:
- Trading stocks nowadays works very easily through an online provider
- The trading fees are very low
- A professional trading platform is offered
- A share is an investment in a company
- Earn money through share price changes or dividends
- Be aware of the risks of stock trading
- Inform yourself in detail about your shares
- Develop investment strategies
Most frequently asked questions:
Can you buy and sell stocks at any time?
You can buy and sell stocks only during stock exchange opening hours. Depending on the stock exchange, trading hours vary. However, there is also the possibility to trade a share on different stock exchanges. Find out about the trading hours of the security before you buy. Stock exchanges are regularly closed on weekends.
How many shares do I have to buy at least?
You must buy at least one share. Shares are always divided into whole parts. So you can buy 1, 2,3 or more shares. buying 1.5 shares would not be possible. An investment is already possible with one share. The upper limits are open.
How expensive is stock trading?
From my experience, stock trading is a cheap affair. The broker only requires trading commissions when buying or selling a share. Due to the strong competition, the fees are very low. There are no commissions for stock trading at my recommended providers. So you can trade stocks for free. In addition, there may be fees for the market data or the deposit.
Is a deposit opening free of charge?
A deposit opening is free of charge with most brokers. The fees always depend on the provider. Therefore, inform yourself about custody account fees before opening an account. The recommended providers on this page have no custody fees.