Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Online Trading

Online trading has become very popular because it is a way of making money. Despite its popularity, there is still a lot that people don’t know about forex trading. Many would like to help you make wise decisions when it comes to matters of online trading. If you are a beginner and would like to learn more about online trading, read through the answers to these frequently asked questions.

What is online trading?

Online trading is a form of trading financial securities such as bonds and stocks, financial derivatives or foreign exchange electronically. Advancements in technology make it possible for people to buy and sell these securities through an electronic platform and network. There are numerous virtual markets where people trade online. They are commonly referred to as Electronic Communication Networks.

What is the difference between online trading and day trading?

A common misconception about online trading is that it is the same as day trading. The difference lies in the methods used. In online trading, an investor buys and sells securities via the internet while day training is about speaking with a broker by telephone. An individual makes transactions on the same day.

What are the advantages of online trading?

Online trading is the fastest method of trading. Since investors use computers to make transactions, it gets done so quickly. Information technology has given rise to high-speed internet connections and computers. It means that you can easily trade stocks, bonds, currencies, futures or options online.

Secondly, online trading has improved the speed at which transactions can be made and settled. Initially, people had to deal with a lot of paperwork. It took long for the documents to be copied. Now they can just be filed electronically.

How can I become an online trader?

It is so easy to begin trading. All you need is a computer and some money enough to open an account. It is one of the best methods of investing especially if you have a good financial history. However, this doesn’t mean that you must have a disposable trade or a personal broker to do it. The virtual markets have become more accessible. Despite this, there is a still a lot that an online trader has to consider. The first step is to choose a stockbroker.

Before you begin, educate yourself about the twelve different types of trade that can be placed. These include market orders, limit orders, All-or-none orders, day and GCT orders, extended hours trading, trailing stop orders, bracketed orders, selling short and buy to cover orders, and stop order and stop limit order. Familiarize yourself with all these types of orders so that you can understand how the market works. It is important because it will help you avoid making big and expensive mistakes.

Are there risks in online trading?

Any method of trading securities has some risks of potential losses. It doesn’t really matter if you are doing it online or not. If you are new to this business, take some time to understand the principles. What are your investment goals? Also, think about your own risk tolerance. Another factor that may affect your ability to execute transactions is high internet traffic. Try to avoid the temptation to ‘overtrade’ as it can have negative repercussions.

What is the meaning of “trade on margin”?

You will have to open a margin account if you wish to borrow some money from a firm. There is a certain amount of the purchase price that you will have to deposit in the account. It acts as your initial equity. Trading on a margin simply means that you can purchase more securities. However, you have to fully understand this concept since there are risks of incurring losses.

How do I open an account online?

There are many brokerage firms online that you can open an account with. To activate an account, you have to sign an application document. Some firms allow you to do this electronically while others demand a hand-written one. Ensure that you understand all the specific guidelines.

How long does it take for an order to be executed?

If you are doing it electronically, the process is fast. However, there may be delays especially if there are high trading volumes. A delay can cause a significant difference in the price. The speed at which an order gets executed also depends on the firm’s level of access. If their system is complicated, the process may be slow. Also, ensure that the speed of your internet connection is fast as this may impact on the speed of transaction.

 

Fixed vs. Variable: Which Mortgage Should You Get in 2016?

With home prices in Toronto and Vancouver seemingly going up thousands of dollars per month, many Canadian buyers are desperately seeking to buy houses, worried the market will zoom by and they’ll be stuck renting forever.

Meanwhile, millions of current home owners are faced with a dilemma. With mortgage rates at record lows, they’re tempted to lock in today’s enticing rates for the next five years. But variable rates are still cheaper than fixed, and interest rates don’t look like they’ll increase anytime soon, at least here in Canada.

So there are compelling arguments for homeowners to choose both fixed-rate or variable-rate mortgages. Here’s how these folks can figure out which is best for them.

Other factors to consider

The first thing mortgage holders should consider is their overall financial situation.

Choosing a variable rate will save money over the short-term, there’s no doubt about that. But those savings come with a healthy amount of uncertainty. What if rates shoot up and the payment goes higher?

Lenders have helped protect against that, introducing variable mortgages that keep the payment the same no matter what interest rates do over a five-year term. The kicker is this product is generally only available to people who can afford a hike in interest rates.

Increasingly, people are opting for variable rates because they barely qualify for a mortgage. They’ll gladly exchange the risk of higher rates in the future for lower payments today because a smaller payment is a very big deal to them right now.

These people probably shouldn’t be in variable rate loans to begin with. If you’re one of them, I’d suggest a fixed-rate mortgage. Yes, it’ll cost more day one, but at least there’s no risk of the payment going up. Or, better yet, these folks should be in a variable rate mortgage with payment protection.

What about folks who can afford whatever?

For most people, the fixed vs. variable debate comes down to one factor.

What is the insurance of having a steady rate worth to them?

These days, the spread between five-year fixed and variable rates is approximately 0.5% annually. Some mortgage brokers are offering lower fixed rates, but the 0.5% seems to be about the average.

Over the five year term of a mortgage worth $300,000, choosing the fixed option is worth about $7,500 more in interest compared to the variable option–assuming rates stay constant throughout. We’ve seen variable rates fall in Canada over the last two years. If the trend continues, the difference between the two types of loans gets even bigger over the span of the next five years.

In exchange for taking on this risk, folks get protection in case rates to start to creep higher. Although that might seem unlikely at this point, a lot can happen over the next handful of years. People who got a mortgage in 2004 renewed in 2009. The world had completely changed in those five years.

Ultimately, insurance costs money. If doesn’t matter if that insurance is for a house, vehicle, or on your life. Getting a fixed-rate mortgage is a form of insurance, and that always has a cost associated with it.

Remember, not all mortgages are five years

Not everybody should be in a five-year mortgage.

The big group that shouldn’t are those who are thinking of moving relatively soon. Payout penalties are highest for longer loans. If moving is something that’s crossed your mind, stick with terms of three years or less.

Shorter terms can also serve as a nice hybrid between fixed and variable rates. The cost of a three-year mortgage usually ends up about midway between the cost of a five-year variable and a five-year fixed rate. This can be a nice compromise between the two.

Ultimately, going with a pure variable mortgage will likely save you money, like it has for the last decade. But with rates at all-time lows, it’s easy to say locking in isn’t the worst idea in the world. Personally I’d go with variable over fixed, but still can’t really fault anyone who chooses to pay a little more for the insurance of a fixed rate.