How Much Money Do You Need To Start Trading?

How Much Money Do You Need To Start Trading?

How Much Money Do You Need To Start Trading And How Do You Start Trading?


Stock trading is the act of selling and buying securities, whereby short-term strategies are utilised to maximise profits. Active traders take advantage of short-term fluctuations in volatility and price. Casual investing includes purchasing and holding securities, with the investor aiming at long-term strategies to maximise wealth. Before trading we wonder, how much money do you need to start trading?


Moving to active trading from casual investing is a big step. Therefore, it is vital to know the implications of making the switch, such as paying larger commissions that could wipe out your profits before you start as well as how much money you need to start trading.

Trading Expenses

Commissions are likely to be the biggest cost you will consider as an active trader. Other expenses, such as the internet, training costs, and software could also be high. However, they are dwarfed by the price of commissions.

A trader may make more than one hundred transactions per month, and the commissions will vary depending on the broker. Savvy investors research the most effective software package, execution speeds, and client service, along with favourable commission prices.

Brokerage Requirements

Although there are no hard and fast rules for how much you must have in your trading account to start trading, a number of brokerages set the amount for you. For instance, a brokerage may say that you require at least $3,000 to open a margin account; the kind of account you would need to form short sale trades or to buy or sell options. 

For a decent start, be certain to look out for account minimums at the brokerages you are investigating. This amount is usually fixed for a reason, as it is in the best interest of the brokerage to keep you trading for a longer duration to make sure that they continue to gather commissions. 

These minimums are mostly put into place to decrease the risk of you burning up your complete account in some trades, or even worse, receiving a margin call. In the latter case, you would have to add more funds into your account to keep your current position open.

Special Considerations

How much money do you need to start trading depends on the kind of securities you want to purchase.

Stocks normally trade in round lots, or orders above one hundred shares. To purchase a stock evaluated at $60 per share, you will require $6,000 in your account. A broker may lend you half of the amount; however, you are still required to produce the other $3,000. 

Futures and options trade by contract, which represents the number of units of the underlying security. In the options market, a single contract is good for a hundred shares of the stock. These contracts trade in round lots of hundred contracts per order as well.

You can purchase less than the regular round lot of stock, but you will possibly have to pay a large commission and receive a low execution of your order. Therefore, the returns on each trade are rather small, so you must ensure that you have sufficient funds for optimally trading your target asset.

Bonds do not trade on fractional amounts but on a per bond basis, and each bond has a $1,000 face value. Some trade for near to $1,000, depending on the difference between the interest rate and market rate. A number of dealers have a ‘least order’ of ten bonds, making the order for at least $10,000.

How To Start Trading Stocks

Whether you want to trade actively or for the long term in the trading market, you must know the following things before entering the trading market:

Acquaint Yourself With The Trading Market

Stocks are little pieces of a company. Share or stock price reflects the worth of the company and its outlook, as determined by traders and investors or the people trading them. Stocks do not have a fixed price; they continually change, each moment of each day. 

Although most of the stock trading occurs during the set hours, some trading takes place outside these hours and is called after-hours and pre-market trading. 

You will require the stock’s ticker sign to make a trade. Type the firm’s name into Google Finance or other such financial portals, and the ticker sign is provided. Tickers are codes up to five letters to trade the stock. 

You can purchase stocks and then sell them at a higher value to make a profit, or you can even choose to sell first and then buy back at a decreased price to make a profit. We call the latter process short selling, which is preferred by short-term traders. 

You must acquaint yourself with Bid/Ask Spread because this is how prices move. You must also learn the basics of reading stock quotes and stock charts. 

Fix Your Purpose For Trading

You should establish what you are seeking from your trading. Do you want to do it every day or is it going to be a ‘few times a week’ thing? You can consider researching at night in case you have a full-time job in the day. Or do you wish to purchase stocks and keep them for the long-term?

There is no right or wrong here. You can do one or all of them. Day trading is taking trades that last only a few minutes and not over the entire day. Swing trading refers to trading that lasts from one day to multiple weeks. Investing is taking trades that last several weeks to many months. You should consider your finances before deciding which one to choose.

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platforms, which let you view stock quotes, do research, see charts, and, above all, place orders. You should test multiple platforms offered by various brokers by opening demo accounts with them. 

Practise Before Depositing Money

As you shorten the list of brokers by testing their demo accounts, you should practise placing trades. Get used to the several order types available. Start formulating strategies and testing them on past price charts. 

You can also place fake money trades on the basis of those strategies and analyse the results with statistics to check if the strategy is lucrative. If you cannot make a profit from the fake money, the strategy is not worth your real money. 

You should also know that producing fake money returns does not imply that real money profits will come just as easily. Although demo trading gives an idea about real trading, it is not a true reflection. 


Trading stocks is exciting as it involves reward and risk. Going through the above-mentioned list gives you an idea about the basics of trading, but does not teach you how to trade. If you want to trade successfully, it is important to find a strategy that works for you, your goals, your finances, and your personal constraints. 

How much money do you need to start trading depends on the type of trading you want to perform as well as the kind of stock you want to trade in. 


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