CPD - Online trading courses

CPD - Online trading courses

01 Jun 2022

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A useful way to learn the basics of stock trading, is by enrolling in an online trading course. An online trading course will help you to understand certain trading platforms while learning more about potential investment opportunities and measuring your return. This article provides a simple introduction to what is online trading, how to get into online trading, should online trading be a hobby or a job role and where to find online trading CPD courses.

What is online trading?

Online trading is the process of buying and selling financial securities over the internet, usually done through an online broker. This was created to eliminate bulky paperwork, and streamline the process of trading. Online trading can be either short-term or long-term, the duration depends on your available funds, risk tolerance, and financial goals. Typically when online trading, users will trade stocks, cryptocurrencies, bonds, and other financial commodities.

There are two main types of stock trading: active and passive.

Active trading - A technical approach with the goal of capitalizing on short-term price fluctuations. Active traders are generally categorised based on the time period in which they hold their securities:

  • Day trading - Day traders use any strategy that involves buying and selling stock over a short period of time such as a single day, minutes, hours or seconds.
  • Swing trading - Swing trading involves buying securities, usually holding them for days or weeks. 

Passive trading – Traders will buy assets based on overall longer term market trends, and sell when they believe the security hits its peak. Generally passive traders will trade less than active traders. Passive traders are more like long-term investors, following a buy-and-hold strategy.

How to get into online trading?

1. Open a trading account

The first step when getting into online trading is to find a broker to make your trades, so you'll want to look for one that you like and trust. To help you decide on a broker, you should choose one with the features and interface that complement your trading style. Other things to consider would be things such as fee structures, on-the-go accessibility and stock analysis tools.

2. Set your budget 

A very important step would be to set a trading budget for yourself and make sure you stick to it. You can start trading with any amount that you are comfortable with, we would advise not touching any funds that you might need in the short-term, as you can’t guarantee having access to them at all times.

3. Learn the basic types of stock analysis

Trading well is very reliant upon your knowledge of technical analysis. Being able to make decisions based on stock price and historical market data as well as using fundamental analysis is very important to being successful. A technical analyst would usually look at statistical trends and patterns with charts, whereas a fundamental analyst will start by looking at a company's financial statements. Essentially, any time spent learning the fundamentals of stock trading is well spent. 

4. Practice with a stock market simulator 

Once you have started improving your analytical skills, you can easily put them in to practice. To start off stock trading without putting real money on the line, we would recommend trying virtual trading, or paper trading. Virtual trading allows you to test your trading skills in a low-stakes environment.

5. Plan your first trade

Once you have added funds to your brokerage account and completed the necessary prior learning, you should be ready to place your first trade. You should try to come up with a plan to help you maintain discipline and consistency as a trader. Keep in mind the time and effort you'll need to give each stock the attention it deserves.

How to get started as an online trader

Should online trading be a hobby or a job role?

Whether you use online trading as a hobby or a full time job role is totally up to you. If you still work in a 9 to 5 job, becoming a professional trader using only your spare time is usually quite challenging. Quitting your day job to become a profitable and full time trader often seems like an unrealistic task as it does come with a high degree of risk.

The main factor in being able to consider online trading as a job role is if you are able to consistently gain a high enough return to support your living costs. Many people consider trading as a hobby as they often achieve a high level of knowledge, while acquiring experience in trading, but don’t necessarily achieve any long-term success.

It is down to you to decide if you are able to gain enough of a return to make online trading a job role, but do make sure you are confident that you have enough capital to support yourself should a trade not go your way.

Where to find online trading CPD courses

There are thousands of learning activities on various subjects available in the CPD Course Catalogue, including online trading CPD courses from basic through to advanced levels.

The CPD Certification Service is the largest CPD accreditation organisation, working across all industry sectors. Our myCPD Portal is a free and simple tool used to manage, track and log your CPD in one place. You can keep a track of training courses, workshops, seminars, eLearning, conferences and events that you have attended throughout the year. Store CPD certificates, set annual targets, log your learning and analyse your progress.

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