Featured image by Gilly on Unsplash
Stocks trading online involves risk, uncertainty, and complexity. In addition, traders incur costs in the form of commissions, taxes, and other expenses. Nonetheless, stock investment offers plenty of benefits. We explore the pros and cons of trading stocks online in this article.
RELATED ARTICLE: FINANCIAL MARKET INVESTING OPPORTUNITIES: 5 TIPS TO CONSIDER
What Are Stocks?
Stock refers to all the shares that ownership of a company is divided into. Someone who owns a share in a company’s stock is entitled to a part of the company’s earnings. They may also have voting power in proportion to the size of their investment. You can buy or sell stocks privately, on stock exchanges, or through an agent who will buy and sell them on your behalf for a commission.
Stocks are an easy way to get started with trading and investing. They provide both flexibility and diversity. This is because you can buy and sell them for the short-term or hold your positions for the long-term. Either way, you can personalize your strategy.
On the other hand, stock market trading transactions involve a considerably high level of risk, uncertainty, and complexity. In addition, you will face several serious costs. These include commissions, taxes, the inevitable currency risk, data agency services, and others. In fact, expenses are the biggest enemies of a successful stock trader.
Additionally, you need to consider your risk tolerance. And it is equally important to understand the tax rules. This is especially true if you intend to trade actively and practice stocks trading online.
What Are the Advantages of Investing in Stocks?
Stock investment offers plenty of benefits. To begin with, it enables you to gain from a growing economy. This can sometimes be the best way to stay ahead of inflation. Moreover, the stock market makes it easy to buy and sell shares. Once you’ve set up an account, you can buy stocks in minutes, sometimes even commission-free. It is equally easy to sell stocks, too. This is good to know for those times when you need money urgently.
But stock trading has its disadvantages, too, both online and off. Nobody knows for sure what stocks will do at any time. In fact, you risk losing your entire investment in one day. Therefore, successful trading requires a lot of time to research the market. Anyone following this path must acquire basic financial knowledge and skills.
It is vitally important to do some regular financial analysis in order to compare a company with its competitors. Choosing individual stocks successfully will be difficult in the beginning. In any case, it will be wise to diversify your holdings, as many traders do. In other words, look into trading assets other than stocks, such as bonds.
Anyone with a Smartphone Can Trade Stocks Online
Advances in technology now make it possible for anybody with a smartphone to access the financial markets and start trading. Powerful platforms and user interfaces have transformed the way traders interact with the financial markets. All you need is some risk capital, a computer, and a good internet connection. Whatever type and scale of trading you settle on, doing it online may well be your choice. After all, this is typically the vehicle most people choose for managing their stock transactions nowadays.
What’s Great About Trading Stocks Online?
One of the clearest advantages of trading stocks online is the lower fees. But online trading also gives you more flexibility as well as more control. This is chiefly due to the higher speed of online trade portals that allow you to execute a transaction almost instantly. Conversely, offline trading requires considerably more time for making appointments and initiating a trade. This represents not only an inconvenience, but also an actual financial cost as well.
On top of that, access to online tools available nowadays allows you to optimize your trades. Many sites offer stock quotes and trade information that make it easier to see how your investments are doing in real time. Some companies even offer access to streaming data that provide you with real-time quotes, stock market news, and more.
What Are the Drawbacks of Online Stocks Trading?
There are some disadvantages to consider, though. The major one is the higher risk involved. Because online trading is so easy, there is always a risk of overinvestment. It takes just a split second to make an online transaction, but real decisions require time. Investors who are not used to fast-moving markets can easily get caught up in the excitement.
Another set of disadvantages is based on your ultimate dependence on your computer and the internet. If the connection is too slow or is interrupted at the most inappropriate moment, you can lose out on a potentially lucrative trade. And receiving an electronic cancellation doesn’t necessarily mean that the trade has actually been cancelled. Assuming a trade has been completed without seeing a confirmation may become an expensive mistake.
Finally, scams and fraud have always been a part of the financial world, and scams are even easier online. Offers of doubtful trading systems, negligent analysis, and blatant market manipulation plague the online trading environment.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 WAYS YOU CAN PROTECT, PRESERVE, AND GROW YOUR WEALTH
Know the Risks but Enjoy the Benefits of Trading Stocks Online
Online stock trading is convenient because you can buy and sell right in the comfort of your current location, and you can make all decisions yourself. Also, it is significantly less expensive than doing it offline. Moreover, it is easily available to anybody with a computer and the internet access, thanks to the development of financial markets and trading technologies.
But online stocks trading is an extremely risky business, too. It becomes vitally important for a successful trader to be able to think fast, learn well, and to possess excellent computer and accounting skills. Finally, develop such qualities as consistency, discipline, and intuition if you want to do well with trading stocks online.
RELATED ARTICLE: WHERE TO INVEST IN THIS UNSTABLE MARKET