Always enjoyed trading? Do risks excite you? Do you love being your own boss? Online trading may be for you. If you have strong skills in the area of investments, this may be right up your alley. But be careful: stock brokers get paid big money to trade stocks. Not just anyone can do it without putting in the time. There is no predicting the market, so don’t even try. You’ll need a strong instinct, in-depth market knowledge and a ruthless business acumen.

Here are some tips:

Be ruthless. This is a good character trait of any investor. Be discriminating with your stock broker and always be on the lookout for #1.

Know where you’re trading. Whichever online platform you utilize for trading, make sure you know it well. Online trading is a quick process that has no room for error OR waiting around.

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Understand what’s involved and how much you’re willing to put in, in terms of both money and time. Remember, you may take a loss initially to get the profit payoff you want later.

Trust your instincts every time. You may have a lot of skill and training but gut feelings are sometimes even more important. Don’t just jump on every opportunity. Learn market fluctuations and trends so you can spot those opportunities and make sure they’re right for you.

Get the hard evidence. In regards to projected profits of a company, you need to do your research and flesh out all their claims before acting on the next big thing.

Know the market. You won’t get far in this business if you don’t have a solid idea of what makes the market work. Know it, live it.

Anticipate problems before they happen. You probably take wi-fi for granted, but there will be a time when your laptop fries or you’re not in an area with Internet. Yes, online trading is convenient and fast, but if you can’t get online when a major market shift is happening, you need to have a back-up plan in place through alternative trading options.

Start small and grow. If you are new to the online investing space, don’t start off too big by throwing all your life savings into on online account. Start with a small one, keep track of it and manage it.

Track those fees. Online brokerage costs are usually less than full-service brokers, but the fees will add up, such asfederal capital gains tax.

Follow these tips to successfully conquer the science of online investments. If you’re turning to online investments on your own because you’ve been burned by your stock broker, contact asecurities fraud law firmto know your rights. Thomas Law Group specializes in arbitration and litigation of securities and commodities disputes on behalf of investors.

By Genaro Martin

Linda Martin: Linda, a renowned management consultant, offers strategies for leadership, team building, and performance management in her blog.