What features can you expect in an online share dealing account?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012 10:25

Online stock trading: a popular option

Online stock trading: a popular option

Getting involved with web-based share trading can be useful for investors looking for a fast, efficient way of managing their transactions. Take a look at our guide below to find out about the different features you may be able to use in your account when dealing in shares and other investments online.

A word of caution before we begin: your investment value can fall as well as rise and it is not possible to guarantee any income from it. You should therefore be prepared to lose the money you have invested and be aware that past  performance is not a guide to how it will perform in the future.

Buying and selling

Engage in online trading and you'll soon find that buying and selling shares couldn't be easier – or quicker. Most tools offer the ability to purchase and  sell shares with the click of a button, which is especially convenient for busy investors who don't have time to instruct a third party to buy or sell for them in person or over the phone.

One key feature that any reputable online trading  platform will offer is the ability to place limit and stop orders, which give instructions to take a certain action – i.e. buy or sell – when a particular share increases or decreases to a pre-specified level. This means you don't have to manually monitor the market yourself to take advantage of market movements.

You can also set up alerts to be sent to you whenever a specific share moves to a particular level. This can be useful if you would prefer to assess your options before making any move, rather than having your trading  facility automatically buy or sell on your behalf.

Data galore

Obtaining a good understanding of the market you want to invest in is crucial if you're serious about getting involved with stocks and shares dealing. A quality online trading tool will give you easy access to all the information you need to make informed investment decisions.

A key feature you should look for is an at-a-glance view of your current position – i.e. whether you're making a profit or a loss on each of your investments. You should also be able to see information and news on specific companies you have bought shares in at the click of a mouse, together with expert analysis and performance-related statistics.

Other useful data that may be provided could include information on particular investment classes, general business and financial news, and background information on share trading that should be especially useful for relatively inexperienced investors.

Account assistance

Any decent provider of online trading tools will make it easy for you to obtain help when you need it, whether it's with the basics of web-based share dealing or assistance with the more technical aspects of your account.

This could come in the form of a comprehensive help section on the provider's website, a number you can call to speak to a real person or simple-to-follow demonstrations that show you exactly how to make the most of your online account.

Reading online guides and generally gathering as much information as possible on how to use your account will make it easier for you to get to grips with online trading, especially if you're new to the practice or don't usually use the web much.



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