Anyone interested in learning the ins and out of the stock market will find themselves immediately under a deluge of websites and at the mercy of technology they do not understand. However, being a beginner should not dissuade anyone from learning the technology necessary to become an active trader. In fact, there is a multitude of resources that are out there to help those who want to learn from the bottom up.
Following the Money
Of course, the reason most people are interested in entering the stock market is the chance to make their fortune. In that case, knowing what dividends are likely to be paid out by a particular company is beneficial information. One of the most useful tools in this would be an ex dividend calendar. Not only can you find out when the dividend of company stocks or other financial holdings is likely to be paid out, but also what the amount is projected to be.
Dividends are paid out to a company’s shareholders when the business turns a profit. Rather than reinvest the money into the company, the board of directors pays it out to the shareholders. The amount a shareholder receives depends on how much stock is owned. This is called dividend per share.
Learning the Ticker
Every company that is trading on the exchange has an identifier unique to that company. This is known as the Ticker symbol and it is a small piece of technology that while unique goes almost unnoticed until one is looking for it. For instance, before Standard and Poor restructured the system, it was possible for a company to have several identifiers across multiple exchanges. Therefore, Delta Airlines could easily be confused with Delta Dental or any other company with “Delta” in the name. The symbol is also an indicator of if it’s a call or pull, what kind of contract, whether it is a stock or mutual fund, etc. That is quite a bit of information technology wrapped up into no more than five characters.
Moreover, there is also a little trick that the SEC uses to encourage those behind in their reporting obligations to get caught up. One would not need to research, just look at the symbol itself.
Opening a brokerage account will help with understanding much of the basic technology used for stock trading. Having such an account is one of the most necessary steps in learning how to trade stocks. Many brokerage platforms will allow members to create mock portfolios allowing newcomers to learn without losing any money. Not to mention, they help alleviate the mistake of purchasing the wrong stock. Simply enter the companies name into a search box and accurately pick Macintosh over Macintosh Apples.
They also provide easy access to what is called the Stock Chart. This ingenuous piece of hard to learn data gives would-be learners a snapshot of a company’s finances, including the opening and closing price, the 52-week high and low, and other indicators of a company’s financial stability. It is a host of information all together to make the research a little easier.
There is no one piece of technology that has pushed the advances of the stock market harder or faster than the evolution of communication. From telegraphs to telephones, sharing the pertinent information about a stock or company in peril has never been faster. In years past it could take hours, and now you can be connected almost instantly to the company. Board of directors no longer have to fly across the globe to meet. Not when they can save time and money with a teleconference or video call.
Consequently, the ability to communicate online has made contact practically instantaneous. The development of the company portfolio shared on company websites helped bring the business of trading to the average person. Rather than writing letters, email has brought swift answers to panicked parties. The ability to communicate quickly and decisively has led to many of the other advances that have prompted answers to a need. An ex dividend calendar is just one such development.
It is hard to imagine anything in our lives that is not impacted by the advances of technology. From agriculture to trading on the stock market, technology touches every corner of our world.