If you’ve just set up a new trading account at a broker’s website, you’re likely starting to think about the potential that this decision holds. But the reality is that there’s plenty of decisions and administration to think about when it comes to setting up and using a trading account. You’ll need to spend time determining your attitude to risk, for example, while you’ll also have to ensure that your portfolio is built out sensibly, perhaps with the aid of a demo account. And there’s anti-fraud decisions and education to think about, too. This article will give you some pointers on where to start.
Building out a portfolio
Of course, the ultimate purpose of a trading account is to build a portfolio and – hopefully at least – profit from it in the long run. But buying up stocks and shares or other financial instruments in the immediate aftermath of setting up a trading account is probably not a sensible move. It takes time to find out what are the best shares for beginners, and the research required to match potential shares to your risk profile is extensive. Your broker may offer tools or questionnaires to help you find out what your risk profile is, and if they are on offer, they should be used.
Fortunately, most brokers also offer demo accounts as part of their trading experience. These accounts allow traders to experiment with a portfolio without actually having to put down a financial stake and to see how decisions like the balance of risk affect the profits that would have been made had the account been “live.” Demo accounts are ideal for a new trader and mean that traders can slowly migrate their portfolio choices from a fake-money to a real-money environment over time as they become more and more familiar with the mechanics of trading.
It’s also wise to spend some time at the start of the new trading account experience ensuring that your portfolio is adequately defended against the risk of fraud and scams. Before sending any money to a broker or making a deposit, it’s vital to triple-check that the broker is properly regulated. Brokers should carry regulatory information, such as which body oversees their operations and a relevant registration number, across their site.
This should then be independently verified by the trader by going to the regulator’s database and checking the number. Also, check that the broker URL you are using is the one in the regulator’s database. And don’t forget to read the small print to ascertain whether the broker takes certain prudent steps towards protecting your cash, like splitting their operational funds away from trader deposits.
Education and research
Depending on the broker you choose, you may find that you’ve been provided with a suite of tools designed to facilitate education and research. This might take the form of an extensive glossary of trading terms that ought to be read. Or it might mean watching some video tutorials designed to help new traders find their way around the platforms on offer. Taking some time at the start of the trading process to consume this material is a wise time investment and is likely to help you in the future.
If your new broker hasn’t offered you any services like these, you can still do some things during the early stages to get on top of the trends. Almost every broker provides some sort of price chart software, such as MetaTrader 4, to help traders technically analyze graphs and spot trends and catalysts.
Opening a new trading account, then, can be an exciting move – and for some traders, it is the start of a lucrative journey that sees them building out their trading career. But no trading miracles happen overnight, and the first day of a trader’s experience with their new account is likely to be less exhilarating. As this article has shown, it’s essential to spend some time getting to grips with the new account by checking out what services it offers and ensuring that you are protected against the ever-present risk of scams. And by spending some time early on building out your risk profile, you’re likely to find yourself more able to defend your portfolio against volatility and change in the years to come.