Having interviewed a few successful Singapore traders in our previous article, one of the common mistakes we found out is how often new traders embark on the journey to find the Holy Grail for trading.
This demand is the driver behind increasing amounts of advertisements we see on websites and social media promising us amazing returns in short period of time from trading.
These advertisements are often filled with testimonies from other “successful” participants meant to impress upon us that we too can be equally successful, as long as we are willing to part with a few thousand dollars upfront to learn the secret.
But is paying a few thousand dollars for a trading course really the best way to find success in the industry? Here are six other ways traders can significantly build their knowledge without spending a lot of money.
# 1 Read Articles Online
In the past, access to information was limited. Traders had to attend courses or buy textbooks to learn more about the art and strategies of trading.
Today, this information is just a mouse-click away. Websites like Investopedia and our website, DollarsAndSense.sg, can help to explain the basics of what traders need to know in easily digestible articles.
If you prefer more advanced content or those that cater to a more niche audience, there is again, no shortage – you can choose from websites such as Trading With Rayner or The Systematic Trader. Both of these websites provide in-depth and quality content to hone traders’ skills and knowledge base, depending on the financial instruments that you prefer trading.
You can also gain access to high quality content in the form of detailed trading guides from trading platform providers such as IG. These include introductory articles, trading guides, trading concepts and risk management strategies.
While these articles are not going to make you an expert overnight, they help lay the key groundwork of what you need to know, with the only cost being the time spent to understanding them for yourself, rather than for them to be taught to you.
# 2 Joining Forums To Engage In Two-Way Discussions
Learning should always be a two-way street. That’s why we have lectures and tutorials for university modules, and buddies we study with for exams.
The premise here is that we learn more when we are able to interact, teach and debate with one another.
You can easily find forums to post and discuss your questions with other like-minded individuals. Aside from getting others to critique your trading strategy, you can also pick up valuable tips from others based on their experiences. This allows you to become a better trader without having to go through the painful and costly experiences that others have already made in the past.
When you join a trading community, always remind yourself that learning is a two-way discussion. For this to work, you have to be open to the ideas of others, no matter how different they may be from yours, and be prepared to admit that your initial assumptions may be wrong. Only with an open mind can you improve your trading strategy, no matter how good you think you already are.
#3 Borrow A Book From The Library
This is similar to our very first point to read extensively. The more you read, the wider your perspective and deeper your insights would be.
It doesn’t take much effort beyond a simple Google Search to find out what are some good investing and trading books worth reading. From there, all you need to do is a second online search to check if you can borrow some of these books from the National Library.
As an added bonus, borrowing from the library requires you to finish the books within 3 weeks (you can do one renewal for an extra 3 weeks). This ensures that you complete reading them promptly.
If you are serious about being a trader, you should make some effort to start reading. For a start, you should aim to complete reading six quality books within half a year.
# 4 Attend Free Courses
Not all good trading courses require you to pay. Some courses, especially those organised by financial institutions, are meant for brand building purpose where the organisers hope to widen their brand visibility to more traders in the market.
Being free, such events are usually expensive to the institutions and as such they would want as many people as possible to attend the course. These financial institutions are pretty smart too, they know consumers would see through a course designed around a sales pitch.
Through their free courses, they are able to attract potential customers by differentiating themselves. They do this by educating the participants – ensuring they are providing high quality insights and delivering superior service.
At the end of the day, these financial institutions have the same goal as traders – to create better traders. This is because better traders become better clients. Clients that will be using their platforms to trade more frequently and for a longer period of time.
# 5 Try Out A Free Demo Account First
If you are serious about trading, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start out with a free demo account first.
A demo account is a good way to refine your trading strategies without taking any risk with actual money. It lets you know whether you have a winning strategy, or what you need to further improve on your existing strategy.
The most important part of a demo account is that it teaches you the importance of trading without emotions. Without any money at stake (yet), you are able to train yourself to make decisions based solely on what your strategy tells you to do.
# 6 Webinars
While going for talks are a good way to gain more knowledge, there are some limitations we may face.
Firstly, these talks have to fit your schedule. Sometimes, people are just too busy with other commitments to attend these talks.
Secondly, unless it’s by a speaker that you already know well, there is no way to ascertain the quality of these talks until you attend it. And we all have our bad experiences of being convinced to go for a talk by a friend, only to realise we have just signed up for a 3-hour long sales pitch.
Thanks to the internet, webinars provide a great alternative. You can watch them in the comfort of your home at whatever time suits you best. You have the flexibility of taking breaks in between if you need to, and to even re-watch certain parts that are more meaningful to you.
Best of all, you simply stop watching anytime you want without feeling like you are being rude to the speaker, or the friend who has invited you.
Even after you have started trading, webinars are an efficient way to continuously build more knowledge and hone on your own trading strategy. It is particularly useful if you want to stay in touch with key events that are happening so that you can make better informed decision.
IG has a whole series of webinar-on demand that you can watch. These webinars are about 30 minutes long on average which makes them a breeze to catch over dinner or even while you are travelling back from work each day.
How Else Can You Learn Trading Without Forking Out Thousands Of Dollars?
What are some other ways of learning trading without having to spend thousands of dollars on a trading course? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.