This is very good news for traders of all levels. Trading communities are forming all over the internet, giving you the opportunity to ask quesitons, test theories, and learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences.
There are new social trading communities popping up all over the internet, but I thought I’d stick with some of the larger, more established sites at first, with more to come later.
The first sites to be reviewed are:
Why Should I Join a Social Trading Community
The benefits of social trading are numerous, so I think it best to focus on a couple of benefits I’ve seen in some of my friends trading careers.
From a psychological and physical point of view, full time trading can be very taxing. Many full time traders spend 12+ hours a day sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen sifting through endless amounts of news, charts, and other investing related information. Have you ever seen a day traders “station?”
The cumulative effects of a sedentary, stressful profession combined with extended periods of isolation take their toll. Professional traders and novice traders alike benefit from social trading simply because of the social interactions that take place, reducing stress, and providing a level of camaraderie.
I know what you’re thinking… These aren’t trading benefits! Ok, you’re right, but the previous point is always something to keep in mind.
Benefits for the Trader:
The single biggest benefit social provides for novice traders is the opportunity to slow down, and avoid making rat brained trading decisions (see my article: 13 Essential Benefits of a Stock Screening Strategy). The markets will tempt you; you will at some point throw your trading plan into the wind and make avoidable trading mistakes. Everyone does it at some point in their trading career.
Finally, social trading will help you diversify your trading strategies, develop your trading plan, and to become a better trader. You will meet people with similar interests, yet vastly different styles. You will find tips and tricks that make sense to you which you can integrate into your methods.
How To Best Use The Communities
I have found a great number of stock screening ideas just by reading the conversations between other traders on Clearstation.com, and have vastly simplified my technical analysis strategies by listening to people on the Ino.com Traders Blog (affiliate link).
I highly recommend you jump right in and begin studying prominent members of the communities. Don’t be afraid to create a profile for yourself, and then post / private message them. Most of these members are very active, and are happy to help a new member who is willing to learn.
Participate in the conversations, make trade recommendations, and ask the people who you converse with to critique your trading decisions and decision process. I also recommend virtual trading your picks and keeping a journal of your lessons.