One of the benefits of the Internet has been the availability of online stock trading. No longer is it necessary to use a traditional stock broker, as investors can now trade entirely on their own by setting up an online brokerage account.
The first step to trade stocks online is to open a stock brokerage account. For as little as $500, an account can be established and approved within a few days. After account approval, the new investor can begin buying and selling stocks.
To buy stocks, proceed to the trading screen and enter the stock's ticker symbol along with the number of shares to be purchased. The investor will then enter the type of order to be used. To buy the stock at the current trading price, use a market order. To buy it at a certain price or better, use a limit order.
The last decision is whether to place a stop-loss order. This is the price at which the investor will sell to cut losses. To do this, select stop-loss on the screen and enter the stop-loss price.
To sell stocks online, proceed to the trading screen and enter the stock's ticker symbol along with the number of shares to be sold. Remember that stocks that are sold from the trading screen are sold at the current market price. Prior to selling any stock, the investor must cancel any existing stop-loss orders.
Chuck Cox started a career as a technical writer in 1992. As a ghost writer, wrote math/statistic lesson plans, and co-authored book on hedge funds through eLance.com. He also has several documents published on eHow. Cox holds a Bachelor of Science in physics and mathematics from East Tennessee State University.