What is Trading
Trading is the buying and selling of financial instruments in order to make a profit. These instruments range from a variety of assets that are assigned a financial value that can go up or down – and you can trade on the direction they’ll take. You may have heard about stocks, shares and funds
Financial trading is no different to any other form of trading: it’s about buying and selling assets with the aim of making a profit. Discover key concepts, participants and markets involved in financial trading.
You may have heard about stocks, shares and funds. But there are thousands of financial markets you can trade, and a variety of products you can use to trade them.


You can get exposure to markets as diverse as the S&P 500, the FTSE 100, global currencies like the US dollar or Japanese yen, or even commodities like lean hog or cattle.
To get started, you’d need to create an account on a platform that offers your preferred markets. Our online trading platform has a variety of financial markets that enable you to speculate whether the price of an asset will rise or fall. Plus, we’ve compiled a trading for beginner’s guide below to assist you in getting familiar with the different markets.What assets and markets can you trade? There are more than 17,000 financial assets and markets that you can trade with us.

  • These include:
  • Bonds
  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices
  • ETFs
  • IPOs
  • Interest rate
  • Commodity


It’s important to note that trading is inherently risky – and you could lose more than you expected if you don’t take the appropriate risk management steps.
Whatever instrument you trade, the ultimate intended outcome is always the same: to make a profit. If your speculation about the market’s movement is correct, you’ll make a profit. But, if the market moves against your position, you’ll make a loss.


Trading vs investing
The difference between trading and investing lies in the means of making a profit and whether you take ownership of the asset. Traders make profits from buying low and selling high (going long) or selling high and buying low (going short), usually over the short or medium term. Since the trader would only be speculating on the market price’s future movement, be it bullish or bearish, they wouldn’t gain ownership of the underlying asset.


Investors aim to buy the underlying outright at a favourable price. They make profits from owning the asset, and then selling it at a higher price. The hope is that the market price rises over the long term so that they can profit through difference in price. Investors could also earn income in the form of dividends (in the case of stocks) if the company grants them. Plus, they’ll have shareholder voting rights.


Who trades and who invests?

Traders, as opposed to investors, are those who’d prefer to make use of leverage and derivatives to go long or short on various markets.
Individuals (called retail traders), institutions and governments participate in financial markets by buying and selling assets with the aim of making a profit.
In 2021, retail traders accounted for 23% of all US equity trading, double the 2019 figure, buying more than $1.9 billion in stocks.1, 2 Coronavirus-related volatility, which saw stock prices fluctuating at an unprecedented rate, was followed by these soaring numbers.
Some financial traders stick to a particular instrument or asset class, while others have more diverse portfolios. Governments and institutions can adapt at a much faster pace, asthey often have departments that focus on trading different sectors and industries. Institutions remain the biggest participants in the market, with about 77% of trades attributed to them.
ue to leverage. Please ensure you understand how this product works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing money.

How does trading work?
When you trade, you profit if the market price moves in the same direction as your speculation; however, if it takes the opposite direction, you incur a loss.
The basic premise to remember is supply and demand. When there are more buyers than sellers in the market, demand is greater, and the price goes up. If there are more sellers than buyers in the market, demand is reduced, and the price goes down
Getting exposure to assets can only be carried out over the counter (OTC) or directly on an exchange.
Trading OTC involves two parties (trader and broker) reaching an agreement on the price to buy and sell an asset. Whereas a centralised exchange is a highly organised marketplace where you can trade a specific type of instrument directly.
Shares are more accessible when trading OTC using derivatives like CFDs (compared to directly on a centralised exchange).

How to start trading
CFDs are popular trading vehicles that enable traders to get exposure to underlying assets through leverage. Compared to trading directly on a centralised exchange, they offer increased accessibility to the underlying. With CFDs, you can also get exposure to various markets via listed futures and options.
Here are the steps you’ll take to start trading on our platform:

Choose your trading account
With us, you can create a live or demo trading account. It’s important to note, especially when trading CFDs with real funds, that you’ll only make a profit if your prediction is correct – if it isn’t, you’ll incur a loss. Additionally, the exact amount – be it a profit or a loss – is based on the difference between the opening and the closing price.


CREATE LIVE TRADING ACCOUNT
You can learn how CFD trading works by opening a demo account with us. . Your account will be credited with $20,000 in virtual funds that you can use to practise and build your confidence in a risk-free environment. No withdrawals can be made from this account, as the funds are for enactment purposes only.

Pick your asset and market
Choose a market that you’re familiar with, or an asset that you can trade based on your experience and risk appetite.
We offer over 13,000 CFD markets to trade like shares, forex, commodities, indices, bonds and more. Our platform features a search bar to help you find the market that interests you, or you can navigate through the most popular markets in the left pane.

About The Author