In South Africa there are various ways to get involved with the stock stock exchange. The fist thing you will require is to get a broker which allows you to buy and sell shares online. The whole stock exchange system has been made electronic. This allows buyers and sellers to transact from the comfort of their own homes by means of a trading device which could be a phone, tablet or PC. The only catch is that you will require an internet connection.
Types of Stock Exchange Brokers
Direct Share Brokers – You get brokers which allow you to buy and sell physical shares. This allows you to hold onto a share which makes you a shareholder of the company which you purchased. You can sell the shares when you like but there has to be a willing buyer. This type of trading is the traditional way of trading shares and the advantage is that you actually own a part of the company in which you invested.
CFD (Contract for Difference) Brokers – These type of brokers focus on the price of a share rather than the physical share itself. You buy or sell the price not the share / equity. This is also called spread-betting and as you are speculating on the price it could be seen as closer to gambling than trading. The advantages of trading CFDs vs Physical Shares are great though. You do not require a willing buyer to sell a CFD. If the price is right you sell the CFD back to the broker and take your profit. The commissions on CFDs are far less than that of buying physical shares. You can use leverage on CFDs , this allows you to trade a lot more than the initial invested amount by a sort of lending structure called leverage. Lastly and very importantly you can go short with CFDs. This means if you predict the fall of a share / company correctly you can make a profit although the stock falls.
In South Africa we have many stock exchange brokers and stock exchange platforms. You really need to do your research before choosing a broker. These steps may help :
Always select a FSB regulated brokerage.
Start with a small amount.
Do 5 trades and request a withdrawal.
If you were able to follow these steps chances are you will be ok. If you have any issues with a broker it is very important to report them to the FSB so that other people do not go through the same problems as you.
Once you have an account open with a Stock Exchange Broker you will require training. Some training is free with the broker, this often just covers the basics. Use google to find stock exchange courses that are of value, make sure to do proper research before jumping into a course and lastly remember that trading shares will not make you a millionaire over night no matter what anyone says.