There's lots of interesting advice from posters so far. I don't know how it works in the UK, but I can give you my observations of watching my
husband day-trade for 3 1/2 years in the US.
It is true that over 95% of investors who attempt to trade in the market lose their money within the first year. This also happened to my husband,
only he had the ability to cash in more inheritance and keep on going, which isn't usually the case for most people.
He uses Scottrade, which requires a minimum of $25,000 US Dollars in order to actually trade on the market. He started at a time when it was
impossible NOT to make money (the crash of late 2008 here in the US), so he got a little uppity and thought he was a trading genius. Then he got
suckered into penny stocks and lost most of his bankroll. Here is hint number 1: Stay away from "penny stocks", or stocks which typically trade
under $5 per share. There is a great deal of "pump and dump" schemes, in which internet shills and "free" websites push these stocks, getting the
inexperienced suckers all in, and then they drop the price into the basement and the suckers lose their money. Stocks under $5 cannot be shorted, but
they are hazardous and many of them are "shell companies" which produce nothing and their actual worth is overly-inflated. Yes it is fraud, and
there is a LOT of it on Wall Street and on the London Exchange.
Hint number 2: Learn to read charts. Bollinger bands are an excellent way to see which way a stock is headed. It is not a sure-fire bet, but rather
. Get some books on the subject, and see tutorials online (such as on youtube). I have even learned to read them in a basic sort
of way. My husband used to be a computer programmer, so he was able to see patterns that I do not. He has done some excellent charting on his own,
which are published on the net, but because they have his name on them, and I wish to remain anonymous on ATS, I can't give you the links.
Hint number 3: Due diligence is important when researching a potential stock. You may have to go back a ways to see how the stock performs. Current
market behavior, however, is a bit screwy, with all the craziness going on, so it is only to familiarize yourself with what you may expect.
Hint number 4: Trading ETFs can be lucrative if you become familiar with them and how they trade. ETFs are usually a group of stocks that are
similar (such as oil, natural gas, gold, etc), so the price of the ETF is usually the average of the group.
Hint number 5: I cannot stress this enough: IGNORE THE MSM, unless you want to get suckered. All the financial channels, such as Bloomberg, will do
pump-and-dump on a grand scale. For example: Gold has been going down for a while now. They had some guy from London on, saying that gold is no
longer a "safe haven" and all the smart investors are flocking to paper currency. They pushed this idea most of the day. What happened the next
day? Gold skyrocketed. Typically, whatever they say on there is usually B.S. meant to steer the investor in the wrong direction. Listening to the
news and scouring the net for stories to give you a hint of which way to go is a sure-fire way to be mislead. They understand the psychology of the
novice investor and play them like fiddles.
Hint number 6: Don't be afraid to short a stock. Many investors find that going bearish on a stock is uncomfortable, as you are betting that stock
will fall in price. Shorting is a quick way to make money.
If you are unable to get up a sizable bankroll to trade on the regular market, you can trade on the FOREX (foreign exchange). That requires much less
in the way of money, and many sites will let you do a practice trading account. When you have 3 months in a row of success (make more money than
lose), then you may feel safe in trading your own money. www.forex.com...
Keep in mind that currency trading is
terribly volatile, that's why these sites developed practice accounts.
We are able to live in the middle of nowhere and survive without working thanks to day-trading, but it is not to be taken lightly. It takes a great
deal of study and time. It is legalized gambling, so if you don't want to study and put the time in, you'd have just as much luck going to a
Best of luck to you in any case!