One of the best ways to build wealth over time is with the help of investing. There are few ways to grow your wealth as efficiently as those offered by investments. (The flip side, of course, is that you have the potential for loss as well.)

Technology makes it possible to trade from almost anywhere. Online trading makes it easy for your to oversee your investment portfolio. It’s easy to get started, and almost anyone can do it. If you want to start building wealth for the future, online trading can help.

Choose Your Broker

Your first step is to choose a broker. There are a number of options, no matter where you are in the world. You can sell shares through Etrade, or companies like TradeMONSTER and Questrade are among the many other possibilities.

Before you choose a broker, take a few minutes to think about what you want to do with your account. Decide on your goals, and figure out what will best suit your needs.¬†Check into the cost of trading, as well as other commissions and fees might be charged. In many cases, it’s possible to find a broker that only charges between $4 and $7 per stock trade. Also, find out what sorts of low cost funds are offered. Many brokers offer ETFs and index funds that are inexpensive (or even free) to trade, and that have low expense ratios.

Make sure you understand the fine print items that come with a brokerage account. You might need to know about minimums, account fees, and customer service. Pay attention to these items and you can make the best decision for your portfolio.

Set Up Your Account

Once you know which broker is likely to provide you with the best place for your money, it’s time to set up your account. Most brokers have a fairly easy process, so you can get your account set up in 10 to 15 minutes. You will need certain personal information to open any financial account of this type, though. Here is what you typically need to open an online trading account:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number, or other identifying number
  • Email

You will also need to set up funding for your account. This means that you will need to share information about your bank account. You will need your account number, and the bank’s routing number. This way, the broker can transfer the money from your account to the investment account.

Many investors choose to set up an automatic investment plan. This allows the broker to automatically debit your banking account, and use the money to invest on your behalf. In these cases, it is often a wise idea to invest in a fund of some sort. You make regular investments in an index fund or ETF, and dollar cost averaging, and compound interest over time, contribute to the regular growth of your account.

If you are an active trader, though, you might want to arrange a large amount of money to be transferred to your brokerage account. Then you can use the money to make frequent trades in stocks, currencies, or options, depending on your preference.

For most people, online trading is fairly easy to start. You just need a little bit of information, and often as little as $25, and you can begin investing.

Tom Drake

Tom Drake

Tom Drake writes for Financial Highway and MapleMoney. Whenever he’s not working on his online endeavors, he’s either doing his “real job” as a financial analyst or spending time with his two boys.