Tools When Trading Stocks

Tools When Trading Stocks

To be able to start trading stocks, there are a list of tools which you are required to have beforehand. Trading tools are things that either empower you to trade online or make your life easier by making your daily tasks more convenient. In this chapter, we will scratch the surface on some of the most basic, yet essential tools you will need to get going when trading stocks.

1. Internet Connectivity

Internet connectivity speed is probably one of the biggest misconceptions people have about trading in the comforts of their homes. You do not need a blazing fast internet connectivity to make the most of your trading. The professionals in Wall Street have direct access to the market and can probably execute their orders faster than you even if you have the fastest internet connectivity. With that said, you do need at least a decent connection to ensure that orders are flowing smoothly and that the connection does not break in the middle of the trading session. An ideal connection would be a fiber-optic service, while a cable modem service would work just fine.

2. Computer/Laptop

Likewise, you do not need a very fast computer to be able to start trading stocks. An i5 processor works beautifully and should be enough to cater to your every need. Of course, depending on the trading platform that you are using, the operating system actually matters. Most platforms works on Windows while only a few have actively developed on the Mac OS. If you are looking to day trade or scalp trade, it might also help to have 2-3 monitors so that you can keep track of multiple stocks at any given time.

3. Trading Software

Your trading software is the tool that you use to place your trades and very likely also to analyze your stocks. Because it is something that you will use rather frequently and for important purposes, we recommend that you do detailed research on the respective platforms. Generally, the platform should fulfill your basic needs such as the ability to place stop-losses, be bug-free and allow for real time stock quote streams. Additional services can come in the form of real-time news, Level 2 quotes, Time and Sales and advanced charting diagrams.

To protect your computer completely, it will be a great idea to install antivirus programs and firewall. The last thing you want to happen is your computer to hang or stop working is in the middle of the trading session when you have your money tied up in a critical transaction. Of course, ergonomic tables and chairs might come in handy as well if you plan on trading stocks for long hours.


Toronto Stock Exchange

Toronto Stock Exchange

Toronto Stock Exchange

Canada’s largest stock exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange, is widely known as the TSX. This is a national exchange and is home to a large portion of the natural resources market.

Canada’s Toronto Stock Exchange(TSX)

Once just a place to trade shares, Canada’s stock exchanges have become regulatory agencies offering multiple services to investors. Each stock exchange has been given responsibilities under their respective province’s securities laws to oversee the fairness of their markets.

While trading in stocks was the primary service offered by Canadian stock exchanges, most now offer trading in options and futures as well. They also package and sell information about stock prices to aid investors in making better decisions. Although the Canadian stock exchanges all operate in a similar manner and based on the same principals, there are subtle differences between them.

The Toronto Stock Exchange also holds an important position in the global economy, as the seventh largest exchange in the world. The TSX currently trades senior equities and mutual funds. In 1997, they closed their trading floor, opting for a virtual, or electronic, trading environment.

In 1999, a major restructuring took place on the Canadian stock exchange scene

The Vancouver Stock Exchange merged with the Alberta Stock Exchange to form the new Canadian Venture Exchange, or CDNX, which became responsible for trading junior equities. The Montreal Exchange, or Bourse de Montreal, was assigned the task of trading derivatives. To summarize, each of the three major players had assumed responsibility for a different aspect of trading; the TSX handles senior equities, the CDNX junior equities and the Montreal Exchange the derivatives.

The junior equities available on the CDNX are typically companies whose assets and capitalization are too small to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. This includes companies such as technology ventures and smaller natural resource exploration companies.

The derivatives available on the Montreal Exchange include futures contracts and options

It is unique in that in 2004, the Montreal Exchange became a support provider for the Boston Stock Exchange, making it the first foreign market responsible for the operations of an American exchange. The 1999 restructuring left some Quebecois shaking their heads, believing that the specialization of the Montreal Exchange meant less independence for the province as a whole as it became more intertwined with the other Canadian markets.

The restructuring of Canada’s stock exchanges resulted in each of the three major markets becoming a specialized exchange, creating an easier environment for Canadian investors to navigate.


Trading Stocks – Getting Started

Trading Stocks – Getting Started

Trading Stocks – Getting Started

So you have decided to start trading stocks, congratulations! The journey to success through stock trading is not an easy one, but can be rewarding if done right. Your first question is probably how you should get started. This chapter will provide you with a general guideline on the steps you should take so that you are able to independently navigate the stock market.

1. Figure out your goals

What do you hope to achieve out of trading stocks? While many people will say they want to get rich quickly, this cannot be the only thing that you have on your mind. Greed is one of the worst enemies a trader can possibly face, understand why you want to trade stocks and set achievable goals very clearly.

2. Finding capital

As a general rule of thumb, you will require at least $1000.00 if you want to start trading stocks. Of course, if you want to invest in mutual funds or take a long-term position, you might need a larger sum of money. Many reputable brokers also have a minimum sum of money which needs to be put into the account first before you are allowed to use their platform.

3. Understanding the Game

To trade stocks, you need to have a very firm understanding of how the how the market can be entered. Read up on basic terminologies and jargons that are used in the industry. Here are some general concepts about you need to know:

– Going long/short: Going long means you expect the price to go up in the future and going short is vice versa. In scenarios where you are going short, you will make a profit if the shares decrease in price in the future.

– Leverage: You can borrow money from the broker to use as leverage or buy on margin. Using borrowed money allows you to take a much larger stock position than you otherwise would.

– Technical Analysis: Technical analysis is what traders use to analyze a stocks chart. It helps to determine a good entry and exit position. It also helps the trader understand the macro trend that the stock is headed in.

4. Paper Trade

Every new trader needs to paper trade before going into the market for real. As the cliché goes, practice makes perfect. The same holds true for trading where you need to be consistently in sync with the market to make the best trading decisions. While practicing with paper money might not necessarily stir the same emotions as when you use real money, it is a great starting ground for you to test your rules and strategies.


Investing in Marijuana Stocks

Investing in Marijuana Stocks

marijuana stocks

The marijuana industry is one most rewarding sectors for high-risk investors. The industry is growing quickly due to the increased legalization of the herb in several parts of the world. Consequently, several firms have expressed interest to partner with investors interested in this investment opportunity. For instance, the Canadian regulatory environment is slowly paving way for the legalization of marijuana farming, particularly for recreational use. In the US, several states have already legalized the growth and use of the herb for both recreational and medical purposes though it remains banned at the national level. Despite these regulatory developments, investment in this sector is still perceived as a risky undertaking due to the uncertainty that surrounds the legality of the herb in most parts of the world.

Marijuana has opened up the gates for innovation and entrepreneurship

Nevertheless the ever expanding marijuana industry has presented numerous opportunities for companies that wish to make products and explore innovative ways this herb can be developed. Currently, there are several companies that have invested in the marijuana industry though they do not directly deal with its products. Consequently, this has made it possible for people to invest in the marijuana companies without necessarily getting involved with distribution or farming of the herb. Therefore, people interested in investing in marijuana industry can consider the following business opportunities.

Opportunities that present themselves with Marijuana companies

1) Companies dealing with ancillary services and products: These are firms that produce products that are required in the marijuana processing. For instance, marijuana companies require laboratory equipment, such breathalyzer which is used in testing marijuana products. Moreover, an investor can invest in firms offering insurance to marijuana farmers and those involved in the product packaging.

2) Consulting services: These are companies that offer advice services about the regulations and rules surrounding different jurisdictions of marijuana. Such services could include operational and license services.

3) Marijuana farming technology: These are businesses that provide supportive innovation for developing equipment necessary to grow marijuana including lighting systems and greenhouse innovations.

4) Holding firms: It involves investing in firms that hold the majority of shares in the marijuana businesses. Such firms have a direct control over the marijuana businesses as they control voting and decisions of such businesses.

5)Consumption devices: They include businesses that manufacture products used in consuming marijuana.

6) Organic farms: These investment opportunities comprise of organically growing the herb and selling it to companies to be used for raw materials or selling to consumers directly.

7) Marijuana farming and retailing: These investment opportunities are the most common and involve planting or growing the herb.

8) Biotechnology: It involves investing in pharmaceutical firms that deal with the production of marijuana products for medicinal purposes.

9) Marijuana extracts and products: It involves investing in businesses that deal with selling products produced using marijuana such as drinks, tropicals, and edibles.

Therefore, marijuana offers investors with numerous investment opportunities. Investors with a high appetite for risk can invest in businesses directly linked to marijuana. However, some of these investment opportunities are indirect and thus can provide the risk-averse investors with the much-needed insulation against the high risk related to the marijuana industry.

discount brokerages

The Best Discount Stock Brokerages

The Best Discount Stock Brokerages

best discount stock brokerages

There are many discount stock brokerages in Canada these
days and its hard to compare them directly.

While each of the brokerages have different criteria, minimum balances,
and response times, there are many brokerages available. This means that you can get the best discount stock brokerages for your own unique situation.

Customer service is key

When comparing the different companies, take into consideration their customer service and response times. While some are available 24 hours a day, some aren’t. If you’re looking to have arapport with your adviser and communicate on a regular basis, CIBC Investor’s Edge is a great choice. With the most availability, you can reach someone day or night no matter what you need.

Low minimum balances are available

For those that are looking for the lowest minimum balance, Questrade is your best bet. With the minimum balance of only $5,000.00 across all accounts. For investors under 25 there are also no fees. With unlimited commission free ETFs, Questrade is a great option for the active investor.

Low fee funds

For those that are looking at low-fee funds, HSBC InvestDirect is your best option. With
over 4,000 low-fee funds there are many options to trade while incurring low fees. While the minimum account balance is $25,000.00, there is no online application to easily navigate your portfolio. HSCB InvestDirect encourages active communication and with the ability to trade globally, is a great option for established investors. It takes upwards of 35 hours to respond to customer inquiries though so if you need constant customer service or trade often, this isn’t the best choice for you.

If you’re just starting out

For the investor that is just starting out, Qtrade Investor is a great option. Qtrade Investor
offers no minimum balance for young investors who deposit $50.00 or more per month. If you don’t qualify for the young investors discount, you’re looking at $25,000 minimum balance across all accounts or two trades per month.  Qtrade’s customer service is also second to none with the best response time at 2 hours. If you’re new to investing or like to have your discount stock brokerage available to help with question on a regular basis, Qtrade is a great company.

Credential Direct is a great choice for long-term investors. With research, planning, and
analytic tools, you can customer build your portfolio to best serve your long-term needs. While normally available by chat, Credential Direct offers many low cost mutual funds which remove advisor commissions. Some of the many mutual funds include: Mawer, Series D, Blackrock, Beutel, Goodman BMO, Mackenzie, and Purpose. If you’re looking to make a plan and work that plan, Credential Direct is a great solution.

What are you’re goals?

While there are many different discount stock brokerages to
consider in Canada, the best way to make sure that you’re making the right
decision is to consider what you are trying to achieve. Are you a new or young investor just starting out? Are you specifically interested in low-fee funds? Are you looking for an
available partner to help you day in and day out? Do you prefer to invest in mutual funds?While each person’s circumstances are unique, there are many discount stock brokerages to help no matter what.


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