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Trading financial products on margin carries a high risk and is not suitable for all investors. Ensure you fully understand the risks and take appropriate care to manage your risk.

Trading financial products on margin carries a high degree of risk and is not suitable for all investors. Please ensure you fully understand the risks and take appropriate care to manage your risk.

Your capital is at risk.

CFD Trading

How to become a trader: steps

How to become a trader: Image showing a trader staring at trading charts

Becoming a trader could indeed be an exciting and potentially lucrative path, but it requires dedication, education, and careful planning. Whether you want to be  a forex, crypto or stock trader, here's a breakdown of steps you can take to become a trader:

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How to become a trader - Steps

1. Understand the commitment:

Recognize that trading is not a game; it requires serious dedication and effort.

2. Education and qualifications:

  • Academic route: Pursue a bachelor's degree, preferably in a relevant field such as finance, mathematics, statistics, or economics. After obtaining a scientific baccalaureate, consider enrolling in programs at reputable institutions such as engineering schools, business schools, or institutes specialising in finance like an IEP. Aim for a minimum of a master's degree (bac +5) for deeper knowledge and better career prospects.
  • Internships: Seek internships in financial institutions during your studies to gain practical experience and industry exposure. Choose a school that facilitates internships as part of its curriculum.
  • Specialised courses: Consider additional courses or certifications in market finance, financial engineering, financial computing, or related fields to enhance your skill set and marketability.
  • Language proficiency: Develop a strong command of English, as it is the primary language used in trading operations and communications in most trading rooms.

3. Alternative paths:

  • Self-education: While a formal education is beneficial, it's not a strict requirement to become a trader. With self-discipline and determination, you can learn trading independently through resources such as books, online courses, and trading communities.
  • Starting capital: If you choose to trade independently, be prepared to invest your own capital. Understand the risks involved, as losses could impact your financial stability. Avoid trading with money needed for immediate expenses.

4. Regulatory compliance:

Familiarise yourself with the regulatory requirements in your jurisdiction. If you intend to manage other people's money, you may need approval from regulatory bodies such as the Financial Markets Authority (AMF).

5. Continuous learning and practice:

  • Strategy development: Learn different trading strategies and techniques suitable for your trading style and risk tolerance. Experiment with various approaches to find what works best for you.
  • Risk management: Understand the importance of risk management in trading. Learn how to manage your capital effectively, including setting stop-loss orders and diversifying your investments to mitigate potential losses.
  • Simulation and paper trading: Practice trading in simulated environments or through paper trading to hone your skills without risking real money initially.

6. Stay informed and adapt:

Keep up with market trends, news, and developments. Markets are dynamic, so be prepared to adapt your strategies based on changing conditions.

7. Persistence and patience:

Success in trading doesn't happen overnight. Stay persistent, be patient, and learn from both successes and failures along the way.

What does one study to become a trader?

Studying to become a trader involves acquiring a comprehensive understanding of various subjects related to finance, economics, and investment management. Here's a breakdown of the key areas of study:

1. Finance Fundamentals:

  • Financial analysis: Learning to assess the financial health and performance of companies through analysing financial statements, ratios, and other metrics.
  • Corporate finance: Understanding the financial management of corporations, including capital structure, investment decisions, and financial planning.
  • Investment banking: Studying the functions and activities of investment banks, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance advisory, and underwriting securities.

2. Market knowledge:

  • Financial markets: Exploring the structure and functioning of financial markets, including equity markets, debt markets, and commodity markets.
  • Derivative products: Understanding derivative instruments such as options, futures, and swaps, and their role in risk management and speculation.
  • Currency markets: Learning about foreign exchange markets, currency trading strategies, and factors influencing exchange rate movements.
  • Interest rate markets: Understanding interest rate products, yield curves, and fixed income securities.

3. Risk management:

  • Financial risk management: Studying techniques and methodologies for identifying, assessing, and mitigating financial risks such as market risk, credit risk, and liquidity risk.
  • Portfolio management: Learning principles of portfolio construction, asset allocation, and portfolio optimization to achieve investment objectives while managing risk.
  • Alternative investments: Exploring non-traditional investment strategies and asset classes such as hedge funds, private equity, real estate, and commodities.

4. Regulatory environment:

Understanding regulatory frameworks governing financial markets and institutions, including securities regulations, banking laws, and compliance requirements.

5. Specialised topics:

  • Financial communication: Learning effective communication skills for conveying financial information to various stakeholders.
  • Structured financing: Studying complex financial structures and arrangements, including securitization, structured products, and project finance.
  • Arbitrage fund: Exploring arbitrage strategies and techniques for exploiting price inefficiencies in financial markets.

6. Economics and macro environment:

  • Economics: Understanding macroeconomic principles and theories, including factors influencing economic growth, inflation, and monetary policy.
  • Applied finance: Applying theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios through case studies, simulations, and practical exercises.
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Remember, becoming a successful trader takes time, effort, and continuous learning. Stay focused on your goals and remain disciplined in your approach to trading. 

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Past performance does not guarantee or predict future performance. This article is offered for general information and does not constitute investment advice. Please be informed that currently, Skilling is only offering CFDs.

Experience Skilling's award-winning platform
Try out any of Skilling’s trading platforms on the device of your choice across web, android or iOS.
Sign up
What's your Trading Style?
No matter the playing field, knowing your style is the first step to success.
Take the Quiz