So you wanna trade… Step 1

  • Overview
    • We will be recommending Webull broker and showing how to sign up
    • Review the platform a bit and how to get started watching UNG, UGAZ, DGAZ
    • Making your first trade, it’s almost scary how easy it is to lose money!

Where to begin? This has been haunting me for the last… well since I started this site the first time. I’ve decided on a starting point. The broker. Who to choose and how to sign up. Well you want to get your feet wet and I don’t want to be responsible for you losing money. So I’m only going to recommend you paper trade. Paper trading is almost identical to real live trading, except with an account that contains fake (paper) money. Let me make this clear again in a different way. No one posting to this website is a financial adviser, nor has any interest in becoming such. We are only really interested in showing what we do in order to give you an example, maybe of what not to do.

Let’s get on with it. There are tons of stock brokers out there. Now there is a fast growing list of commission free brokers. Of these commission free brokers, this is the breakdown of the ones I’m aware of.

  • Robinhood – no paper
  • Firstrade – I don’t think so, I can’t remember
  • Schwab – No paper – I use schwab for my 401k
  • Fidelity – I know nothing about them
  • JP Morgan – who cares
  • E-Trade – Yes – according to quora.com
  • Interactive Brokers – Yes – according to IB website
  • TD Ameritrade – Yes, (Mobile app and PC downloadable app) but it’s delayed and out of sync
  • Tradestation – Yes, yes, yes, oh yes -( Mobile and PC app, and browser app) but you gotta open an account
  • Webull – Oh yeah (mobile, pc and browser) and… you can with just an email! no real account required.

So Webull is my recommended broker for getting started with a paper account. You can right now! go to webull.com. You can actually click “TRADE” at the top to check out the browser app without signing up, but if you want to paper trade, go to login. Once login pops up, you can click “sign up”. Once on the signup screen, you can use an email address or phone number. I used the email. Type your email and chosen password and click “get code”. You’ll receive an email with the code to use, then click sign up. That’s it! You’re a paper trader. Good luck, have a nice life, you’re on you’re own now. Fine, scroll down to continue this boredom

I chose Webull because they are working hard to give the user some great live data and charts and paper trading to practice. About everything they’ve done so far has been done exceptionally well. It is limited so my second choice is torn between Tradestation then TD Ameritrade, I’ve used both desktop applications and mobile apps, there is a lot of useful youtube support on both of these platforms. There is a lot more out there, but that’s what I’m familiar with.

On with Webull. You may continue to sign up with Webull with real money if you choose. That has nothing to do with us and I’ve not signed up for real with Webull and know nothing of their customer service. To start paper trading click the TRADE tab at the top of the screen.

And you’re in… This is how it should look. Lets first set up the watch list with UNG, UGAZ and DGAZ.

Click on the “Watchlist” tab along the right side. Showing 4 ticker symbols, I’m going to right click and choose to delete all of these, then just below that click add symbol. Add each one and you can click and drag them in whatever order you like. There is a lot more on this page. I don’t care about, go to the next tab below the watchlist. It looks like a crooked arrow pointing up, Webull labels it “Stocks”.

In the image above you have the list that you have created and it shows a chart of whichever symbol you choose to view. To the far right is a tab labelled quotes, click that to make it go away. We don’t care so much about that yet. Now your chart is nice and big when you’re ready to analyze say UNG. Keep in mind you still need to learn NG, gas, natgas, natty. I will use NG and natgas a lot, get use to it. Maybe you don’t even know why you’re adding the following symbols to a broker platform you know nothing about, we’ll get there. Right now we just need to get setup, there will be plenty of time for failure in futures lessons.

Back to the tabs on the left, the last one in the list is Paper Trading! What you’ve been waiting for. Being that I”m on my laptop, I gotta click the dots, then paper trading. Also, since my screen is not so large, I plan to rearrange some things. For the most part, above it how it should look for first use. All these little windows can be resized and moved around to your liking. I’m going to delete the window with the list of times and prices that is around the top/middle to make room for the order window. The order window is where you click buy or sell and put in an order to buy or sell one of these symbols. Also there is a little number 1 in an orange box of each window. This keeps all the windows synchronized. If the watchlist has the orange with the 1 and the order window has orange with 1 and chart has orange with the 1, and you click on UNG then UNG will appear in all the other windows. You still don’t need to know what to do with all this, just know that we like to keep the orange with the 1 in each window that has the option.

In the image above you see I have deleted the one window and moved the order window up so I can see all of it. I have selected UNG, and the UNG symbol appears on the chart and in the order window because they are all linked. Awesome. Now then… to place an order! remember this is a paper account; you may mess it up as much as possible and you can just reset it if you choose. You’ll never owe anyone any money when trading in a paper account.

To reset the account click on paper account then reset.

For your first order, lets place an order to buy UNG.

In the order windows, click “buy”, then below the buy button keep “limit” as order type, for quantity I chose 100 shares, and for limit price 19.45. Time-in-force can remain as Day, and I chose “yes” for Extended Hours. Then click “Paper Trade”. Nothing changes in the order window, but in the bottom right of the screen, the order appears under the “working” tab.

So you’ve placed your first buy order! Awesome, but it actually hasn’t gone through yet, if and when it does, the order will disappear from the working tab and appear under the filled tab of that same window in the lower right. I’ve placed this order on a Sunday, so it will not “fill” until the market is open. There is a lot to take in just on this one screen, so I will try and review all of that in the next lesson.

As always, I’m not a financial adviser, nor will I ever be. I’ll be happy to show you how to lose all that paper money soon enough. Write me and let me know how boring this Lesson is.

Oldinvestor