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How To Get Online Trading Services At A Low Cost Or For Free

Competition has forced many online stock trading companies to keep their membership, trading, and commission prices down. If you look hard enough, you can even obtain a lot of pertinent online stock trading services without paying a single cent.

Discounts with deposits

Many online stock trading companies are able to provide you at least $25 free just for signing up. Create an account with them and deposit a certain amount, and you may even get around $100 worth of commission-free trades. Maintain an agreed amount in your account, and you probably never have to pay for IRA money market fund trades. If you are a resident of the United States, have been doing online stock trading for at least two years, and have at least $5,000 to deposit, some top trading sites are willing to give you as much as twenty free online trades monthly – that’s one trade every working day.

Getting free information

Gone are the days when you have to pay top dollar for every stock-related inquiry you make. Many online stock trading companies now allow you to access important data such as NASDAQ quotes, real-time charts, up-to-the-minute market news and information at no charge. Some sites even allow you to download analysis of your investment’s performance on a regular basis, all free of charge. Many sites also allow you to download forms for free, listen to audio and video interviews with top investment professionals, read the freshest market editorials, access live chat and discussion forums, etc.

Newsletter, charts, trend analysis and research are available in mind-numbing quantity from online stock trading firms as well as independent trading experts. The free information may be excellent or it may be worth its price. Either way, free research from is often a teaser to sell a subscription report or book. To avoid information overload, choose three to five online stock trading news sources to review at a given time. Preferably cancel one before adding another or you’ll spend more time reading than trading.

Free promotional items

You can obtain free items just for signing up with an online stock trading company. Some sites require you to answer surveys and then send you freebies such as folios, baseball caps, pens, etc. If you’re lucky, you can even get free investing books, course CDs, and software. These free items come with your membership, and more often than not, they will be sent to you without your even knowing it.

Free practice accounts

First-time traders can save money and risk by signing up for a free practice account at fxcm.com. For those learn by doing types, this simulation gives a hint of what online trading is about without losing real cash. Diving into the real stock market can teach the same lessons but at a higher cost.

Free trading software

Stock trading software can cost hundreds of dollars. Why pay that much when you get it free? As an incentive, online trading companies offer free software to track investments and market trends. Choicetrade.com gives away Choicestreamer, sophisticated real-time online stock market trading software to clients who make at least five trades per month. Along with the usual current price monitoring, Choicestreamer has historical charts, market news, SEC filings, company profiles and stock alerts customized to your portfolio.

Experienced traders with developed research sources want to keep up with profits and losses. Gaineskeeper from scottrade.com prepares real time cost basis recordkeeping. Not only is this useful at income tax time, but provides an ongoing record to use in evaluating trading strategy. This software is only given to Scott Trade customers.

Freedom from fees

Online trading fees are already lower than the typical brokerage, but free? Yes! Some firms offer free trading days as a bonus for frequent traders. This is similar to frequent flyers getting free air travel. Other online stock trading sites are free, within certain bounds. One free trading site, Zecco.com, gives 10 free trades per week or 40 per month. If trades exceed that number, there is a per trade charge. With other online trading sites, free might be tied to minimum number of trades or maintaining a minimum balance on account.

Stock Market games – a free learning opportunity

Playing a stock market game is one of the quickest and easiest as well is least expensive ways to test out new stock trading and investing ideas.

Stock market games or simulated trading games allow you to buy as well as sell stocks and monitor and loss of your entire virtual portfolio. You can test your stock trading system and to track the results without risking any real capital. Most people go about this in a way which may not improve their online stock trading. All too often the trader tries to load up in the stock trading game and hit a home run. This is especially true if the stock market game also has a stock trading contest involved.

The stock exchange doesn’t stay open 24x7. But the internet does. And that is where all the activity is. Online stock trading is not just about pumping in the money and waiting for the results. It is more like cracking a puzzle where you gather information, analyze them, understand the trends and then put in the money. When it clicks, there is a huge amount of satisfaction.