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Are you choosing the right day trading firm?

By Charles Hopkins Published 03/13/2006 | Finance

With the advent of the Internet and much improved communication technology many are opting to trade from their homes. While you get the luxury of being your own boss if you are trading form home there are a set of benefits if you choose to trade from the premises of a day trading firm and it makes sense at least initially to learn the tricks of the trade while working in a firm. You have access to the best available software platforms and the necessary hardware items. You get to almost any data feed that you might be need. On top of that and more crucially you get structured training programs and the opportunity to learn from other professional traders who can share their invaluable experience with you. 

But before you opt for one specific firm you will do well to remember that there are just too many firms offering you courses. Their training modules and fee structure differ from each other and you will have to pick the right course for you. The cheaper courses are not always the best ones to enroll in. With a bit more investment you can get much more value for your money. So before you settle down on one particular firm spend some time and do a thorough research.  

How to decide  

     Well, to know if a firm suits you, you can read up stuff on the internet, consult your friends, take advice from professionals. But these are hardly the right alternatives to a personal experience. Clarify with the firms if they will allow you to spend a day or two at their firm for you to understand better the work ethics and the environment of the firm. If you find it suits you then you can shortlist the firm for your final list.

     Get to know how much of an account size would you need to be a member. It can range anything between 25000 to 50000.

     Find out whether there is any screening process in place for a person to become a member. If there is none and you are allowed to walk-in just because you have enough capital, then it is best to avoid such firms. Chances are you wont be getting the best of training there.

     Ask about the duration of the course. If the firm tries to sell you a crash course lasting a week, stay away. Day trading is not all that simple and dont opt for courses which are do not run for at least a month. Be sure that they provide you with enough simulated training on trading so that at the end of your course you are ready to trade confidently in the real market.

     Obviously you got to find out what kind of an infrastructure the firm has in place and whether they will be providing you with the best software platforms and hardware tools available.

     Clarify if the firm is providing you with just a basic course on trading or they have course hours set aside for risk management strategies, and capital management basics. Such add-ons definitely help later in your career when you plan to trade all by yourself.

     Find out if a firm demands a percentage of the profit you make while trading. If they ask for it then stay away from that firm. Better firms will allow you to keep your entire profit with you.