How Do I Become a Financial Trader?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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A financial trader is a professional who buys and sells securities. These investors normally only keep individual securities for a short period of time and hope to generate returns from changes in value. For example, if a trader has reason to believe that a security might increase in value by several dollars in only a few hours, he or she might sell that security at just the right time so that he or she can can profit from the increase. These professionals can work for individual investors or investment firms or they can be self employed. To become a financial trader, it can be helpful to get an education in finance and trading then decide if you would like to work for a firm or to remain an independent trader.

In most cases, an individual who would like to become a financial trader does not need any particular certification or degree. As a matter of fact, aspiring traders who are interested in operating independently do not require any formal education at all. Aspiring traders who would like to work for firms and clients can benefit from degrees in finance or economics to show that they have the ability to operate as successful traders.


An individual who would like to become a financial trader, but who does not want to enroll in an academic program, can find a number of resources that they can study and learn from on their free time. These resources include books containing trading strategies and websites that offer lessons and tutorials. Educational software can be helpful for aspiring traders who want to get a better sense of what real trading is like.

It is common for a person who plans to become a financial trader who works independently to have trading software. These are programs that allow traders to communicate directly with brokers with whom a trader can buy and sell securities. This software can also include features that allow users to watch markets in real time so that they known when to buy or sell a stock. For those who are just beginning, it can be a good idea to purchase software that has a practice mode in which users can test various strategies before putting their finances at risk.

Traders who would like to work for firms normally must compose resumes that they distribute to potential employers. Resumes are documents that list a professional's educational and work experience. This document should also list relevant skills, publications, and awards that an individual has received.


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