Aug 19: Risk and Stock Trading Fees: The Two Barriers To Overcome If You Want A Successful Trading Career

You know the old joke:

“How do you make a million in the stock market? Start with two million?”

There is no way around it, risk and stock market fees are a part of trading that you can`t avoid. But, you can manage your risk. You can also manage the brokerage stock trading fees that eat away at your trading float. All it takes is some planning and making good choices.

If you think you`re ready to start trading, look carefully at where you`re getting your money from. Maybe you`ve been considering trading for a while and built up some savings. That`s good planning. Or maybe you`re considering borrowing money. This is generally a bad idea. Maxing out your credit cards is a quick and easy way to get cash, but the effects can be devastating.

It`s hard enough to worry about making trading profits along with the stock market fees you have to pay. But, worrying about the debt servicing on your credit cards builds too much stress. You will be too concerned with making payments to be concerned about good trading. Don Miller talks about this in Trading Markets World Meet the Traders when he tells new traders to worry about trading well, not making money. One of the best ways to learn trading is to begin on a part-time basis. This allows you to hone your skills while you still have an income stream. As a trader, you need to realize the risk you`re taking by simply putting your money into the market.

With good money management, you`ll be able to limit your risk. But, there is a kind of risk that can`t be minimized, and that`s “market risk”. This is the risk that the market might not be there tomorrow. Just by putting money in the market you are putting it at risk, so make sure you only trade with money you are willing to lose. This isn`t to say that you are going to lose all your capital – it`s just to say that you need to be able to focus on trading well, not trading to make money. See, you can only do this if you work with money you can afford to lose.

Once you`ve got your capital together, you can consider the next barrier to trading, stock trading fees. Although there is no perfect amount of capital to start trading with it`s no secret that the bigger the trading float you begin with, the easier it is to trade and the less percentage of stock trading fees you will have to pay. This is because of the single biggest expense in trading – brokerage stock trading fees.

Every broker has many different stock trading fees, but many charge flat stock trading fees per trade. These flat stock trading fees are easier on traders with larger fund sizes. For example, to obtain a better understanding on how stock trading fees work, let`s consider two traders. One is starting with an opening position of $1,000 and the second is starting with an opening position of $10,000. All traders are charged flat stock market fees of $100. So, our first trader, with a position of $1,000 has to make back ten percent of his float on each trade before he breaks even. But, our second trader only has to realize a one percent gain to reach his break-even point. This doesn`t mean that you can`t start trading with a smaller float, but if you do you are at a bit of a disadvantage.

However, you can use your trading float size to help determine your trading system. If you have a very small trading float, it`s recommended that you look at a long-term system. With a long-term system, you will be incurring far fewer stock trading fees. A short-term system, where you are receiving lots of buy and sell signals will chew up your trading float very quickly with the cost of the different stock trading fees.

This is why short-term systems, such as day-trading, are best suited to larger trading sizes – it is easier on the stock trading fees. I actually recommend that when you begin trading that you look at a longer-term system. You can manage a long-term system while still working full-time. Once you are successful with the long-term time frame, you might look at moving to a shorter-term system and focussing more time on your trading.

You can mange both risk and stock trading fees with planning, and by making good choices. Your level of capital will be set by what you can afford, and what you are comfortable risking. How that capital grows will be set by the time-frame of the systems your planning to trade, and the instruments you trade with.

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David Jenyns is recognized as the leading expert when it
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