You are browsing the archive for Beginner - MarketHEIST.

Thinking of Investing for a Career? Follow These Tips

September 3, 2014 in Advice, Investing

So you have a knack for stock investing? Think your hobby could become a lucrative career? Well, the financial world has a lot of options for you. But be warned, it’s going to be competitive, fast-paced and stressful. Investing in stocks as a career, however, can also be rewarding, challenging and lucrative. But it will require a great deal of preparation in the realms of education and testing.

A career in stock investing can be lucrative and exciting.


As discussed in “Majors That Employers Look for the Most,” several academic paths can serve as the springboard for your ascent into a career in investing. Business management studies can prepare you for a range of entry-level jobs that can lead to lucrative financial careers, including market research analyst. Finance degrees can lead graduates on career paths such as personal financial advisor and financial analyst.

Tests and Licenses

The financial sector is governed by strict laws and regulations. Certain jobs require specific licenses that can only come after tests have been passed. There are many exams for many different specialties. Like the Bar Exam for lawyers, you only need to pass these difficult exams once.

To become a general securities representative, you must pass the Series 7, which is required to buy and sell securities in the United States. The Series 3 is required in order to register with the National Futures Association, to trade commodities or to trade futures contracts. The Series 26 is required for those wishing to act as the principal for investment companies and annuities activities. The Series 6 enables you to conduct business in both investment company and variable contract products.


Internships are a great way to get real-world, hands-on practice in the fast-paced world of stock investing. Internships can be paid or unpaid, but either way, you’ll be paying your dues. These gigs can lead to dream jobs, and first jobs after internships almost always pay more than similar grads could make without having been an intern. Shoot for between 200 and 400 hours of combined service, and display your internship prominently when it comes time to search for a “real” job in the world of investing in stocks.

There are many paths for talented people who want a career in the world of finance.

Careers are made every day by ambitious, talented people who want to turn their love of stock investing into a career. Investing in stocks for yourself, however, is a whole different ball game than going pro for a big-time investment bank, brokerage house or financial firm. But if you study hard, get an internship and stay focused, you could be on you way to living your big-money dreams.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance financial writer. He covers the stock market and financial careers.

3 Tools Every Beginning Investor Needs

August 6, 2014 in Advice

There are a few things you’ll have to do if you’re a novice in the world of beginner stock trading. First, you have to learn to trade. Then you’ll have to sign up with a brokerage firm to legally execute those trades on your behalf. But you also need to make some real-world investments – investments in technology that you’ll need to keep up in the real world.

Laptops, desktops and tablets all come with pros and cons.


The reality is, you need a computer to invest. When deciding which class of machine to purchase, you have three basic options:

  • Desktops: Often written off as archaic machines relegated to the world of office cubicles and grandparents, desktops are not always the first choice for modern investors. But don’t write them off just yet. Desktops are generally faster than their mobile counterparts, they’re often more powerful, come with more storage and are almost always cheaper.
  • Laptops: Laptops are the workhorse of the business world. They obviously go where you go, but they’re limited by the capacity of their batteries.
  • Tablets: Tablets (not counting hybrids) don’t have traditional keyboards or the storage capacity of their bigger brothers, but they are fast, small, mobile, sleek and fun.
  • Hotspots

    A mobile hotspot is an absolute must for investors on the go. Once you learn to trade, you’ll realize that timing is everything. You have to be able to access your laptop or mobile device at any given time, no matter what – and you can’t rely on the connection wherever you may happen to be. A mobile hotspot turns your seat on the park bench into an Internet cafe. One of the best is the AT&T Unite Mobile 4G WiFi Hotspot.


    Your computer can’t do the work for you. But you’ll get a huge boost in power when you choose the right software. MetaStock Stock Market Analytical Software is a great place to start. You don’t have to spend a fortune on technology, but the pros are using software that follows trends, identifies opportunities and issues warnings for their investments. If you want to keep up with the big boys, you’re going to want to invest in software to give you an edge.

    A good computer means nothing without the right inviting software.

    Investing in the stock market requires an investment in technology. Beginner stock trading is not easy, but once you learn to trade, you’ll need the digital power to back up your new knowledge. A good computer, good software and a hotspot to make sure they never go to waste is a good place to start.

    Andrew Lisa is a freelance financial writer. He covers business technology and personal finance.

    Investors! Why it’s Important to Regularly Back Up Your Data

    July 30, 2014 in Advice

    When stock market players back up their data, they’re making an investment in protecting their investments. A sudden loss of data is a major and traumatic setback for anyone. But for investors, the threat is greater than the risk of losing precious photos, sensitive personal data or work. When investors fail to safeguard against data loss, they risk losing access to accounts that were verified on their computer, the precious research they’ve conducted, as well as their all-important records.

    Data loss can be especially catastrophic for investors.

    The Realities of Data Loss

    One of the first rules of the stock market basics is to protect your investments. This can be done through hedging against uncertainty in the market, diversifying your portfolio, insuring bonds or – in this case – by actually protecting your investments from the very real threat of data loss. Data loss can be the result of hardware failure (your hard drive crashes, you spill coffee on your computer, etc.), theft, fire, flood, a digital security breach or several other scenarios that happen too frequently for savvy investors to ignore.

    The Options

    As discussed in “5 Best Practices for Network Configuration Backups,” it is vital to back up each machine associated with any network. But the reality for many private investors is that a single machine may be the backbone of the operation. In this case, there are generally two options for protecting your data: physical backups to an external source or cloud storage.

    Physical Storage

    Although disks or CDs were the backup of choice until fairly recently for those involved in stock investing, most physical data backup will now involve an external hard drive. It could be a small thumb drive or flash drive, or a multi-terabyte standing unit, but physical storage means exactly that – duplicating your data onto a second (or third) physical, external device. Unless you store your drive at another location, this does not help you in the case of fire, flood or theft.

    The Cloud

    Remote hosting – commonly called “cloud storage” – involves transferring your data digitally to a third-party whose servers are somewhere else – hopefully somewhere very secure. The benefits of cloud storage are that a professional company maintains your data in a facility that is fireproof, temperature controlled and secured both digitally and physically better than you ever could. Also, unlike physical backup, cloud storage can be set to back up your machine – and all your stock investing data – automatically.

    External hard drives don’t protect against flood, fire or theft.

    The stock market basics dictate a strategy based on prudence. But no matter how careful you are, losing data is a reality that can’t be totally prevented. Stock investing requires research, repetition and strategy, all three of which are locked in your data. If something happened, could you recover? Don’t wait to find out.

    Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers personal finance and business technology.

    5 Laws for Selecting the Best Computer for Trading Purposes

    June 24, 2014 in Investing

    The stock market works in real time, and luckily so can you. An investment in a computer is an essential purchase for people who are serious about trading. Although your current computer will probably suffice for a while, there are specific things to look for when it’s time to upgrade. If it’s covered at all, the type of computer you need is glossed over in most of the books about investing for dummies.

    Every serious trader needs a good computer.

    Look for the following traits when buying a computer for trading:

  • Speed: When trading, seconds count. You simply cannot have a slow, sluggish machine dragging you down. Your computer’s speed is determined by its processor. The first processor, the Intel 4004, was 740 kHz and processed 92,000 instructions per second. Today’s multi-core GHz processors can handle 100 billion instructions per second. If nothing else, get a machine with a fast processor.
  • Power and Memory: Your computer needs enough muscle and memory to run several large, active software programs simultaneously. If it’s not strong enough and doesn’t have enough storage, your computer will struggle and crash (always seemingly at the wrong time). Hint: Although they’re obviously not as portable, desktops are almost always more powerful and come with more storage.
  • Multiple-monitor Capability: Many traders who play the stock market use multiple monitors. You probably don’t need more than one monitor starting out, but you’re going to want the chance to upgrade in the future.
  • A Few Good Options

    Consider the following suggestions when shopping for computers. As described in this article about tablets for trading, investors on the go have different requirements. But for the purposes of this article, only traditional computers will be profiled.

  • ASUS Black 17.3 G750JM-DS71 Laptop PC: Fast, powerful and fully portable, this monster’s hard drive comes with a full TB of memory. Its quad-core processor redefines speed.
  • iBuypowerBB675R: With a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and a full TB of memory, this machine is robust enough for any trader – and it simply looks awesome.
  • The X500 Package from Orbital: This machine is designed specifically for traders. With four 21.5″ LED backlit monitors, this trading platform was designed to enhance your stock market experience without breaking the bank.

  • Laptops are obviously more portable, but they generally aren’t as powerful as desktops.

    Trading in the stock market requires a head for numbers, good timing, a well-thought strategy and a good computer. If you’re serious about trading, you don’t need a cliche book about investing for dummies; you need a machine that is powerful, fast, has plenty of storage and is customizable. A little luck never hurts when trading, but a great computer will go a long way to improving your prospects.

    Andrew Lisa is a freelance financial writer. He reviews trading technology and business machines.

    Business Lessons About Risk Management You Can Apply to Investing

    June 17, 2014 in Investing

    Stock investing is all about risk – and the mitigation of that risk through research, prudence and strategy. The business world is replete with cases of leaders doing a good job – or a not-so-good job – of managing risk. Many of those lessons, on both sides of the equation, can be applied to stock investment and avoiding the pitfalls encountered along the way.

    Risk management lessons in the corporate world can also be applied to the world of investing.

    Target: Vigilance is Key

    In “What Does the Ousting of Target’s CEO Teach Us about Risk Management?,” a few lessons come to light. When a data breach threatened the private information of one of the nation’s leading retailers, tens of millions of customers faced threats to their private information. With the ouster of the company’s CEO, one thing became certain: If it can happen to a corporate giant with cutting-edge technology and limitless resources, it can happen to you.

    When it comes to risk management, vigilance is key. No matter what the official reason was for the CEO’s ouster, the real reason he was fired was complacency.

    The Financial Collapse of 2008: If it Sounds Too Good…

    In the worst economic crises since the Great Depression, the lessons for investors came from mistakes made in the investment community. One of the biggest rules of both risk management and stock investing is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Investors ignored this rule as their portfolios and 401(k)s swelled from an artificial housing boom. Future victims of mass foreclosures ignored this rule as they signed mortgages for homes they should have never been able to afford. Both, it turns out, were duped by unscrupulous bankers who knowingly bought toxic mortgages, repackaged the debt and sold it as investments.

    The Bernie Madoff Fraud: Always Hedge Your Bets

    When convicted swindler Bernie Madoff saw the greatest Ponzi scheme in history come crashing down around him, countless investors lost it all after placing their trust – and fortunes – in a friend they’d known for years. They made a classic mistake of trusting a known entity – be it a blue-chip stock, a preferred mutual fund or an actual investor – so much that they put all their eggs in that one basket.

    Diversification is the key to stock investment. Hedging your bets is crucial in making sure that your fortunes aren’t hitched to one single ship, should that ship hit an iceberg. When it comes to risk, spreading it around is the key to success.

    When investing, hedge your bets, don’t fall for anything that promises too much and always stay vigilant.

    A risk management strategy is a lot like a field-goal kicker in football – you tend not to notice him until he messes up. Themes of risk management run concurrent through both the business world and the world of stock investing for one big reason: They both involve taking calculated chances to achieve a goal of growth. Watch what goes right in the business world, but also watch what goes wrong – and try not to make the same mistakes in your investment strategy.

    Andrew Lisa is a freelance financial writer. He covers stock investing and small-business management.

    Should You Take Some Finance Courses to Learn More About Investing?

    June 10, 2014 in Advice, Investing

    For beginners, one of the best ways to learn about stock investing is to take a course. Whether it’s through your local community college or a seminar, most courses can be taken online. You don’t need to pursue a degree, but just one or two classes can expand your knowledge and prepare you for your financial future, whether it’s investing in stocks or basic budgeting. Many courses can be found for free, and the ones that require a payment can pay for themselves in the long run if they prevent you from making crucial mistakes.

    Consider the following courses to build your financial knowledge.

    A few well-chosen classes can pay for themselves by making you a better investor.


    As discussed in “Six Degrees That Could Pay You Back,” a course in finance can help build a basic foundation of how money works. This can lead to a pursuit of stock investing or a career in helping people make better financial investments. Either way, a finance course will secure the basic framework on which your understanding of personal economics.


    Although not directly related to investing in stocks, the study of economics is the study of how limited resources are allocated across populations to balance wants and needs against the availability of money. The basic principles of the stock market – supply, demand and valuation – are the same as the basic principles of economics. The stock market, of course, is intertwined with the larger economy. To understand one is to understand the other.


    Accounting is the practice of recording, organizing, understanding and reporting financial transactions. When investing in stocks, having a clear, thorough overview of each dollar invested, where it came from and what it’s earning is crucial to success. Sloppy, disorganized investors are rarely successful investors.


    It seems counter-intuitive to take a “fluff” course like psychology in an effort to improve upon a specific, technical, mathematical endeavor such as stock investing, but the market is a living, breathing thing with a personality and wild mood swings. Behind each transaction is a person – and all of that person’s hopes, dreams and calculations. Investors who understand people are often investors who understand the market.

    Most classes that can help beginning investors can be taken online.

    The stock market holds the fortunes and failures of millions in its grasp every day. The cliche that knowledge is power has never been more true than it is when it comes to investing. The difference between success and failure is based on luck, willingness to take risk, timing and – most importantly – a true understanding of what you’re doing. Take a class, learn something, and come back a better investor.

    Andrew Lisa is a freelance financial writer. He covers investing and the stock market.

    7 Rules Every Beginning Stock Investor Should Keep in Mind

    June 2, 2014 in Investing

    The stock market lures investors with dreams of easy money – but so do casinos. Smart investors can make real money – but usually slowly, consistently and over time. There are, however, a few rules that never change no matter what, and without a thorough knowledge of the stock market basics, you’ll likely be helping to earn a fortune – for someone else.

    If you’re an investor, you’re a gambler. Make sure your gambles are backed by reason and logic.

    Be Prepared to Take a Risk

    Investing is gambling. Gambling is a risk. At its best, it’s an educated, calculated, mitigated risk – but the most basic premise of stock investing remains: There is no such thing as a sure thing. Even the most conservative investment comes with potential for disaster. For example, the closest thing to “risk-free” that an investment can get is municipal bonds. When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, people holding uninsured Louisiana municipal bonds found their risk-free investment to be nearly worthless.

    Know the Stock Market Basics

    “Stock” represents the ownership of a portion of a company. “Shares” of stock are purchased by investors. The company uses that money to function and expand. If the company does well, their stock goes up and the shares held by its investors become more valuable. This is how smart stock investing can create income without the shareholder doing work, providing a service or selling a product. As discussed in “How to Start Investing: Part 3,” investment must be built on a foundation of the basics.

    Understand Mutual Funds

    In an effort to pool resources and diversify holdings (spread money out among several different investments to hedge against loss), investors flock to mutual funds. Funds are managed by professionals who purchase and sell securities such as stocks and bonds based on their research, knowledge and insight. This provides fund holders with instant diversification and turns their money over to an “expert” without having to hire a private consultant. The drawbacks are that the experts are almost always anonymous – and they don’t work for free. Funds are easy and simple, but they come with fees. There are also usually rules regarding the withdrawal of funds, unlike stocks, which can be sold on a whim.

    Invest in ETFs

    Exchange-traded funds – or ETFs – combine the diversification of mutual funds (ETFs are funds, too) with the flexibility of traditional stock. These popular specialty funds also take the guesswork out of the process for casual investors, but they can be bought and sold in shares, whenever the exchanges are open. They are funds that are traded on the exchange – hence the name.

    Every investment, including wildly popular mutual funds, has benefits and drawbacks.

    It’s imperative to do some homework. Learning the stock market basics is your responsibility. The best investors are almost never the ones who heard a tip at the barber shop, but the ones who take it seriously, invest consistently and don’t risk what they can’t afford to lose. Fortunes have been made quickly on the stock market, but the reality is that – with very few exceptions – slow and steady wins the race.

    Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers investing and the stock market.

    Big Data and Investing: How Do the Two Interact?

    May 27, 2014 in Blog, Investing

    When you think about investing in stocks, big data probably doesn’t come to mind. But the stock market – and the millions who invest in it – is not oblivious to the impact big data is having on the world of business.

    Big data is a loosely defined blanket term for mountains of data – called sets – that are so large, they simply can’t be analyzed, or even stored, as a single entity. Database management tools and processing applications capable of handling the sheer volume were created and integrated into only the biggest and most well-resourced firms. These companies quickly reaffirmed the old adage that knowledge – or in this case, data – is power. Now, the world of investing is in on the secret as well.

    Big data has affected every aspect of business – and investing is no different.

    Big Data for Everything Else – Why Not Investing?

    Big data has been used by major institutions to improve marketing and advertising campaigns by analyzing masses of customer information. As described in “The Internet of Things: Big Data is About to Get Bigger,” it is central to connecting programs and devices in order to make your life easier.

    But the concept of harvesting big data has also been utilized by investment firms. Major Wall Street banks and hedge funds have collected massive amounts of data and had analysts boil off all but the parts that are useful in spotting investment trends and patterns. Some claim that without big data, the recovery from the financial crisis would have been even slower.

    Investing in Supplementary Technology

    Big data requires a lot of elements to work correctly. By investing in the industries and companies that make big data possible – mass storage, data harvesting, cloud services, analytics – a wise stock market investor can spread his bets out over a wide range of firms – and even sectors – all in the big data category. If you invest in secure servers, databanks, data-mining firms or cloud-storage facilities, you’re betting on big data.

    Investing in Big Data

    Finally, it’s not just possible for big firms to use big data to help with their investments. It is also possible for regular people to invest in big data itself. Big data firms have received nearly $5 billion in funding since 2008. Some of that funding comes from venture capitalists. Some comes from parent companies. But huge portions of it come from – you guessed it – private investors betting that big data can bring big profits down the line in the stock market.

    Big data is big business. A boon to marketers, advertisers and analysts for years, the stock market is now home to several companies that specialize in big data. But even average investors can get in on the action – especially if they invest in companies that support the big data industry. For savvy investors, big data can mean big bucks.

    Andrew Lisa is a freelance financial writer. He covers investing and the big data movement.

    Trading on the Go: Which Tablets Work Best?

    May 15, 2014 in Advice, Reviews

    A tablet can be an excellent tool for someone trying to learn to trade or engaging in beginner stock trading. No matter how small of a novice investor you think you are, waiting until you’re “ready” for a tablet to improve your portfolio can decrease the likelihood that you’ll ever actually be ready. As a new investor trying to play catch up, you’ll have to learn on the move. If you’re just starting out, the 24/7 crash course you’re taking can’t always wait until you’re home in front of your computer. Consider the following tablets.

    Tablets can be the only tool novice investors need to trade – and learn – on the go.

    iPad Air

    Powerful, portable and ultra light, the Apple iPad Air is a mobile stock trader’s dream. Weighing just one pound with a screen measuring nine inches, the iPad Air comes with all the power of the multitude of apps – from beginner stock trading programs to more advanced software for when you grow – that are available in the app store.

    Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

    With a huge 10.1″ screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is remarkably light and thin (7.3mm). The multi-window feature lets you view two screens at the same time – perfect for beginners who need to research as they trade. And Samsung’s e-Meeting feature lets you share your screen with collaborators, which can help less-experienced investors seeking advice or a little help from a trader, broker or friend.

    Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

    The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX has the fastest processor of any seven-inch tablet. But more importantly, users have access to 100,000 apps – many of which can be used to boost an investor’s knowledge, as well as to make money on the go. It comes in 16-, 32- and 64-gig options.

    Microsoft Surface 2

    Faster, thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the Microsoft Surface 2 is an amazing tool for mobile investors. Combining the best of both laptops and tablets, the Surface 2 brings the mobility and sleek design of a tablet and a keyboard that is familiar to laptop users. Without any need to clunk around on a touch-screen keyboard, investors can set up, make a trade and go.

    There are a wide range of tablets available to help novice investor.

    Tablets are great for games and surfing the Internet, but they are also perhaps the most underrated machines out there for new investors. While you’re trying to learn to trade, consider getting a tablet instead of spending that money on a beginner stock trading course. 2014 has brought a range of tablets that can go wherever the investor goes, helping your learn and improve while you’re on the go.

    Andrew Lisa is a freelance technology writer. He covers business technology and profiles mobile devices and smartphones.

    Free Brokers, Software, & Tools to Start.

    Start with Brokers that have free accounts and professional grade software. Software that's the same whether you're practicing with fake money or trading real money.

    Submit a Service

    Avatar Image

    TD Ameritrade Online Broker

    With free thinkorswim, Trade Architect, & mobile software. Practice with virtual money. Invest and trade in stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, futures, and forex. No minimum and no maintenance fees. $0 to start.

    ☆ Collect Launch

    Avatar Image

    tradeMONSTER Online Broker

    Free browser & mobile software. Easy to use technology including strategySeek and paperTRADE. Invest and trade in stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and options. No minimum and no maintenance fees. $0 to start.

    ☆ Collect Launch

    Avatar Image

    optionsXpress Online Broker

    optionsXpress offers an innovative suite of online brokerage services for investor education, strategy evaluation and trade execution. No minimum requirements.

    ☆ Collect Launch

    Learn The Business. Take A Course.

    What is the market and how it works
    Finding Opportunities (with Technical Analysis & Fundamental Analysis)
    Planning & Safety (with strategies to make smart decisions.)
    Plan Execution: Buying & Selling

    Submit a Service

    Learn Stocks

    Avatar Image

    Investools Investing Foundations Program

    Get trained in the foundations of the stock market and stock trading with two courses, a wealth of easy-to-use tools, and top-tier coaching support, in the program that helps you start managing your own portfolio. In the Investing Foundation Program, you’ll enjoy live and online workshops that can help you quickly overcome fears and learn [...]

    ☆ Collect Launch

    Learn Options

    Avatar Image

    OptionsAnimal Apprentice Options Education Program

    Description Build your knowledge from the ground up. Understand key concepts and learn the basic spread trades that will give you a foundation to trade successfully. Learn how to properly structure a trade using the Protective Put, Covered Call, Collar Trade as well as applying the Straddle/Strangle. Trade Adjustment Spread Trades OptionsAnimal Trader Professional Program [...]

    ☆ Collect Launch

    Learn Futures

    Avatar Image

    OpenTrader Professional Training Program

    The industry’s only training program built by professional full-time traders. You used to have to get hired by a professional trading firm to get world-class training. Not anymore. If you’ve been a losing trader, getting beaten down by the market again and again, low on confidence and full of doubt, things are about to change [...]

    ☆ Collect Launch

    On-The-Job Training. Earn While Learning.

    Follow Live Trades, Step By Step
    Detailed Trade and Market Analysis
    Explanations of Strategies and Tactics
    Questions Answered in Webcasts & Chatrooms
    Learn by Copying The Pros At Every Step

    Submit a Service

    Learn Stocks

    Avatar Image

    Mish’s Market Minute Premium Stock Picks Video Subscription

    Live-in-the-market instruction showing you how to trade in the afternoon the choice stock and ETF picks vetted by MarketGauge’s tools earlier in the day. Video up to 15 minutes: 4 times a week (M/T/W/Th) by 1:30PM ET $124.97/month Includes ETF Monitor & Nuggets List Private real-time Twitter Alerts 2 week FREE trial Learn as Mish: [...]

    ☆ Collect Launch

    Learn Options

    Avatar Image

    stockguy22 Live Trading & Education for Part Time Traders

    What You’ll Get Learn stocks and options trading at your own pace from a group of full time traders dedicated to teaching through live trading, education, and mentoring.  See how trading is done methodologically as an occupation on a daily basis, from beginning to end.  Start with the daily in-depth analysis of stocks, the overall [...]

    ☆ Collect Launch

    Learn Futures

    Avatar Image

    Emini Wizard Trading System & Live Trading Chat Room

    Thanks for considering The Emini Wizard System: This system is available for purchase for people who want to make a one time investment for the entire program. You get: Access to the Member’s website Spreadsheets Common plays Special plays Trade logic explained Chart patterns Chart settings we prefer Separate active chat area (30 days free [...]

    ☆ Collect Launch

    Some Partners We've Worked With

  • Download Our Free eBook

    25 Stock Market Indicators To Know

    And subscribe to our MarketHeist Guides newsletter!