Stock trading - Best stock trading platform 2021

Last updated: 17.05.2021
Frans de Klerk
Frans de Klerk
CFD & Trading
12 years

If you’re interested in starting trading online, we know how daunting it can be to take those first steps into stock investment, but it really doesn’t need to be. Nextmarkets is Europe’s number one commission-free online broker. 

In today’s digital world, stockbroker services are just one example of the convenience that our mobile devices and increasingly connected lives offer us. In our comprehensive review of Nextmarkets, we will tell you how to trade using their beautifully intuitive stock trading platform, and delve into some other of their great services to help you on your way.

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nextmarkets investors

  • Keep your wits about you
  • Difference between stocks and shares
  • How to buy stocks - A step by step guide
  • Free stock trading software
  • Choosing the best trading software
  • Stock trading hours
  • Increase the purchasing power
  • Our top pick

Keep your wits about you

So, exactly, what are stocks, you ask? You’ve worked hard for your money so you’ll want to take your investment seriously and might very well need help to learn stock trading for beginners. Traditionally, people would have had to find a stockbroker to manage their funds, they might have to find a private mentor or even spend countless hours studying books to learn the trade.

Now as a beginner trader, the challenge of knowing where to start even looking at the stock market is a tough one. You’ll need to work out how much capital you have available to invest and decide what kind of return that you would want on it.

As a starting point, you can have a look at the recent market activity on predicted trends to work out which company or companies you want to buy shares in. There are two main ways you can trade stocks. The first is to use what’s called a ‘share dealing platform’. This allows you to buy and sell shares from any company on the stock exchange, as well as from overseas exchanges too. Prices fluctuate based on demand, with high demand seeing cost (and return) driven up. The broker offers much-needed guidance related to stocks & shares for beginners to help you make those decisions when you’re starting out as an investor.

Learning how to buy stocks is made easy with a cutting-edge mobile app – designed to make it super simple to find the best trades available. With this app, you will learn the ropes of trading by getting up to two hundred trade ideas every month. You can explore multiple strategies that explain why a trade is worth investing in and learn strategies that explain why a certain trade idea is worth investing in.

Investing in stocks and shares for beginners isn’t always easy. Knowing what are stocks and how to buy stocks will come naturally to you after reading our latest guide. You may not even know the difference – what are shares and what are stocks? Essentially they’re the same thing – you would talk about owning shares in one particular company, while stock is a broader term for shares in multiple companies. This is just one example of just how tricky getting into the stock market can be if you’re a newcomer.

Stock market experts - Nextmarkets

Difference between stocks and shares

Thankfully you don’t have to be completely confused by the jargon; by just downloading the app, you can jumpstart your journey on the road to successful investment and show you the essential beginner tips. One of the key things to know when looking at stock trading for beginners is how your money could potentially grow. Stock trading has the potential to be a lot more fruitful than banking your money, as the return on investment can be a lot higher in the long term.

There are two main ways you can trade stocks. The first is to use what’s called a ‘share dealing platform’. These allow you to buy and sell shares from any company on the stock exchange, as well as from overseas exchanges too. Prices fluctuate based on demand, with high demand seeing cost (and return) driven up.

Nevertheless, you need to remember that profit isn’t guaranteed and your investment portfolio could drop in value – there is always a risk element to investing in stocks and shares. That’s why you need to look for the best online stock broker available, to give you the most in-depth guidance when choosing your investment portfolio. And that’s where an expert coaches come in. They offer a wealth of information so that you can make calculated decisions and know exactly what you’re doing, so you can buy and sell with confidence.

How to buy stocks - A step-by-step guide

Buying stocks isn’t as complicated as it seems, but you’ll need to do some research — and learn the lingo before you make your first investment.

Step 1: Select your broker: In this case, we would recommend using the best stock trading platform. You complete an account application by providing proof of identification and choose whether you want to fund the account by mailing a check or transferring funds electronically. After opening and funding your account, you can buy stocks by following the easy to follow instructions on their site.

Step 2:  Research the stocks you want to buy: A good place to start is by researching companies you already know from your experiences as a consumer. Keep the objective simple: You’re looking for companies of which you want to become a part-owner. Once you’ve identified these companies, it’s time to do a little research. Start with the company’s annual report — specifically management’s annual letter to shareholders. The letter will give you a general narrative of what’s happening with the business and provide context for the numbers in the report. Use stock market analysis to better understand which stocks will perform better than others.

Step 3: Decide how many shares you want to buy: You should feel absolutely no pressure to buy a certain number of shares or fill your entire portfolio with stock all at once. Consider starting small – really small – by purchasing just a single share to get a feel for what it’s like to own individual stocks and whether you have the fortitude to ride through the rough patches with minimal sleep loss. You can add to your position over time as you master the shareholder swagger.

Step 4: Choose your stock order type: Don’t be put off by all those numbers and nonsensical word combinations on the online order page. Here is a quick glossary of terms you will see encounter along the way: 

  • Ask: For buyers – The price that sellers are willing to accept for the stock.
  • Bid: For buyers: For sellers – The price that buyers are willing to pay for the stock.
  • Market order: A request to buy or sell a stock ASAP at the best available price.
  • Limit order: A request to buy or sell a stock only at a specific price or better.
  • Stop(or stop-loss) order: Once a stock reaches a certain price, the “stop price” or “stop level,” a market order is executed and the entire order is filled at the prevailing price.
  • Stop-limit order: When the stop price is reached, the trade turns into a limit order and is filled up to the point where specified price limits can be met.

From beginner to expert – setting your own pace

What’s great about the app is how it teaches you how to trade stocks over time. Even the newest of stocks beginners will soon get to grips with how it all works, thanks in no small part to how intuitive the app is, making the actual trading process extremely simple.

It’s then down to learning how the markets work, and how best to make use of the tips from their experts – you’ll build up your own trading education and understand the nuances of buying and selling. That’s why the the stockbroker app will sculpt you into an expert in trading in your own right, which we will discuss right here.

Free stock trading software

If you’ve been on the lookout for the best free stock trading software out there, or even looking to advance your knowledge from what are shares to how to make the best deals, we will be sure to suit your exact needs and requirements. When it comes to making the best start in stock trading online, using nextmarket’s software is the ideal way to get ahead.

It provides you with the foundations to do more and go further with your money. Whatever your requirements might be, it’s the ideal place to start from when looking for the best stock trading software for you is to take a closer look at exactly what you need from the software, whether it’s immediate access to everything you need to get started, or getting extra help and support along the way – like understanding what are stocks and how to use them.

There are some important factors to consider before making your choice of broker, and you’ll be far better placed to make the best choice if you know several things upfront. It’s really important to have the best support service, especially knowing that it’s compatible with your current technology. 

While it may feel that working from a desktop is no longer necessary when just about everything is available through our smartphones, there are many reasons why you may opt for specialised desktop software over an application or mobile browser. Perusing charts or viewing more than one tab at a time is much easier to navigate through on a desktop.

Stock trading software offers a dedicated location to trade from and provides extra security and safety when it comes to the overall management of your stocks and assets. Its software is far less likely to be accessed or stolen in comparison; especially when used on a desktop computer.

Best forex broker - Nextmarkets

Choosing the best trading software

It pays to be a little on the cautious side when it comes to putting your money and time into a trading service, so you’ll want to be absolutely sure that no red flags pop up when you do research on the software that’s right for you.

So often, being offered anything for free will fire up my suspicious senses. Whilst many stock trading services offer initial stock broker account software free of charge, they proceed to pile on other added or hidden costs depending on additional needs and requirements, which is pretty much everything you’ll need to use to trade, so the concept of “free” doesn’t really apply at all.

You’ll also want to have enough information on the laws and regulations of trading in your particular country. User reviews are always a good starting point to establish the credibility of the operator and their software, so read as many of them as you can find to get a clearer picture of what’s really going on.

Check for any unusual payment methods or requirements of bank details for use with the software. If you haven’t heard of any of them – or have read disturbing reviews, just don’t go there. Of course, you’ll be delighted to know that all of the payment gateways are 100% legitimate and approved by the relevant financial authorities.

Stock trading hours

Forex trading hours are defined as the times when the foreign exchange market is open to accept trades. The Forex market is open 24 hours a day, but this is because there is no single location for the Forex exchange, and all currencies can be traded at all localised centres of foreign exchange.

Any trader can theoretically trade any currency 24 hours a day (during the week), as long as you have the Forex trading software to help you access the different local foreign exchanges in different countries. When one Forex market closes, another will already be open, but also take into consideration that stock markets are not open over the weekend or public holidays. 

Forex markets for each country will usually be open for nine or 10 hours during the day. Brokers in each country are set up to facilitate trades within their own territory, but you may need to use an international broker to access international markets. This has become easier in recent times as there are more and more PayPal forex brokers to make depositing money into your Forex trading account so much easier.

Just because exchanges are open 24 hours a day does not mean that it is advisable to trade 24 hours a day. All markets will have their active periods when the most trades are taking place. In the Forex Market, the most active hours tend to be during the overlap when more than one global market is open and it’s during this time when the relevant account should be closely monitored.

Stock markets open at standard times to coincide with daylight hours in the country in which currencies are being traded. It’s the time difference between the countries which host these main market exchanges that cause the difference in trading hours between the different centres of the foreign exchanges.

As there is no single global Forex exchange, trading activity will move between different local foreign exchanges during the day. This is the reason that Forex trading can take place 24 hours a day, which is not the case with other financial instruments. You’ll want instant accessibility of the markets, which is why you should try out the demo account.

There are no Forex trading hours at the weekend, as all Forex markets close on Saturday and Sunday, so you cannot conduct any trades during this time. This is frustrating, especially when it comes to Forex trading for beginners, as many novice traders have regular jobs Monday to Friday. You can, however, check your specific trades on the platform to see what times the markets open and close. 

However, having the weekends free from trading allows you to have time to prepare your trading strategy and to read up about financial instruments and Forex signals. During the week, even experienced traders can get caught up with the pace of the markets, leaving little time for studying, reading up or analysing market patterns. The weekend gives you time to make yourself a better trader during the week.

Increase the purchasing power

What is a CFD, you ask? Well, in the world of finance, a CFD, or “Contract For Difference” is a contract between two parties, who typically constitute a “buyer” and a “seller”. The contract stipulates that the buyer will pay the seller the difference between the current value of an asset and its value at contract time. 

CFD Trading is often a new concept to traders, considering that CFDs aren’t traded all over the world. In fact, in certain countries such as the United States, CFDs are not allowed to be traded. That being said, the UK, for example, embraces CFD trading as it fills a gap that other trading instruments rarely do.

Traders will buy and sell CFDs, but not the actual asset itself. They don’t own the underlying asset but simply speculate on the next price movement, whether it be up or down. Traders can profit in both directions – when the asset’s price rises and when it falls. 

Trading CFDs offers you as a trader numerous advantages. For example, you can also use leverage when trading CFDs. Of course, a test should also include an explanation of the leverage: When trading, the leverage determines how much capital you must have in order to trade a particular CFD.

At Nextmarkets, you can trade CFDs on many different underlying assets. As this review shows, their costs and fees are very low with no charge for deposits and withdrawals, favorable spreads, no commission charged on your trading and the ability to easily learn forex trading – even from the comfort of your sofa. 

Stock market analysis 

We not only give you the opportunity to trade free of charge as a self-decider but also provide you with more than a dozen stock market coaches – literally at your fingertips. In this way, you receive up to 300 analyses per month in real-time. 

And exactly what is short selling?  It’s a fairly simple concept – an investor borrows a stock, sells the stock, and then buys the stock back to return it to the lender. Short sellers are betting that the stock they sell will drop in price. The difference between the selling price and the buy price is the profit.

Benefit from the experts’ experience

Social trading is very popular with beginners because you can earn money on the stock market with it, even if you are not yet very familiar with trading yourself. Because in this case you simply make use of the knowledge of experienced traders.

With Curated Investing, on the other hand, you do not blindly follow “just any” traders. Rather, you benefit from the experience of proven experts (coaches) and stock market professionals. They will prepare up to 200 analyses for you each month and present your trading ideas directly on the best stock trading platform. You can then copy these trades directly, which are referred to as Forex Signals.

Best stock trading platform

We can’t stress enough how important it is to take the time to do enough research into exactly what you’re hoping to achieve from your stock trading experience, and you’ll be in a far better position to make an informed choice about the right platform for you. 

The offering has loads of added extras, invaluable insights and practical expert advice. The Nextmarkets trading platform is designed to help you as a trader do more with your money (knowing it’s in good hands) and get the best trading experience possible. 

The Nextmarkets app is user-friendly with an accessible interface that makes trading easy. You’ll be able to access expert knowledge and guidance to help you go further and won’t ever be left in the dark – Dedicated support services are available to you 24/7.

Stock trading FAQ

❓What’s the difference between stocks and shares?

Many new traders often ask us what is the difference between stocks and shares. It’s actually fairly basic. You will appreciate now that shares in companies are issued on an individual basis and their price can vary on a daily basis.

Listed shares on stock exchanges are collectively known as stocks or equities. So, if you owned a number of shares in a variety of companies, you might be more inclined to state that you own stocks, rather than shares. To get hands-on experience with stocks and shares, sign up for a demo account today. We’re a high-tech online stockbroker, offering a variety of educational and coaching tips to our clients.

🍒 What’s the best online stock trader for beginners?

There are many services out there providing entirely different ways to learn stock trading, but going with a tried and tested service is likely your best bet when it comes to learning the ropes of stocks, shares and more.

The service is specifically designed to be friendly for those in need of advice on trading stocks and shares for beginners. That ensures that even novices can use our software from day one, with access to excellent tutorials, on-tap information and up-to-date knowledge. From how to buy shares to how to use our software, it’s all included. We even provide video demonstrations of our services to give you a better idea before you opt into any services or further investment.

🤖 Is stock trading through an online platform legitimate?

One of the fundamental parts of getting into any new type of investment is knowing whether that particular product is legitimate. Foreign exchange has been around since the birth of currencies and contracts for difference were introduced in the nineties. While forex and CFD trading products themselves are legitimate, users are recommended to keep a close eye on the platforms they use. For users, this due diligence has already been done, which shortens the time it takes to sign up with Nextmarkets.
Possible warning signs to look out for include trading sites that have bad reviews, difficulty getting money out of the online trading account, and sites that seem purely sales-driven. Is forex trading legitimate? That will largely depend on the platform used. Try to test out the site first by playing around with the forex trading app first.

💷 What is the best automated stock trading software?

The best automated stock trading software for you will be the one that ticks all the boxes that you need. Whether it’s an easy-to-use interface, a practical way to access existing stocks and shares or even extra guidance and advice, the broker offers automated share trading software suitable for anyone.

Whatever your requirements, ensure you do some research into the best software for you before you opt into a contract or plan, from checking reviews and ensuring that the application or software includes everything you need it to before you consider downloading it.

🗝️ Are stocks and shares the same thing?

For the most part, yes. Owning “stock” and owning “shares” both mean you have ownership — or equity — in a company. Typically, you’ll see “shares” used to refer to the size of an ownership stake in a specific company, while “stock” often means equity as a whole. For example, you might hear investors say, “I bought 10 shares of Apple,” or “I have stock in Apple, Facebook and Amazon.”

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