How Do I Invest in the Stock Market?
While it may sound complicated, it is actually very easy to open a brokerage account began buying and selling stock. The easiest and cheapest way to start investing is by opening an online brokerage account.
Here are some of the most common online brokerages:
Options house- www.optionshouse.com
Interactive Brokers- www.InteractiveBrokers.com
Merrill Edge – www.MerrillEdge.com
- Scottrade- www.Scottrade.com/Brokerage
Before selecting an online broker you should look into what features they offer. We recommend looking into the following:
Trading Platform – Is it easy to use?
Account Minimums – How much money do I need to open an account?
Company Information – Does it provide basic information/news about public companies?
Commissions/Fees – How much does it cost per trade?
Execution Speed – Not that important unless you are buying huge blocks of shares
- Direct Deposit Ability – Can you deposit and withdraw money easily?
How Do I Open a Brokerage Account?
If you think that sounds complicated, you are not alone. Many of my smartest friends don’t know how to open account. Trust me it is simple, all you need is:
Driver’s license or Passport
Social Security Number or Tax ID number
- Account number and Routing number for a Checking or Savings account
The new account form will ask you to bubble in your annual income, net worth, risk tolerance, and time horizon (how long you plan on investing for). The most complicated question that will be asked on the form is, where do you want your cash to be invested? All available options will pretty much generate the same return for you so your answer is not too important.
When Can I Trade?
Normal market hours are 9:30AM to 4:00PM Eastern Standard Time. An investor is also able to trade during extended hours, which can be during the pre-market (4:00AM to 9:30AM) and after-market (4:00PM to 8:00PM).
The market is closed for nine U.S holidays. These are:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Presidents’ Day
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
How much money do I need to start trading?
That answer varies per investor. It depends on objectives, investment time horizon, annual income and net worth.