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Research and analytical tools to boost your trades

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Trading is an exciting way to work towards financial security, but it is not as simple as buying a stock with a low price and hoping for the best. These tools can help traders understand what to buy when to buy, and why to buy it. 

Research websites

The first tools to discuss are research websites. Not every tool has to be software or mobile-based, and sometimes the best help comes from a well-designed website offering research tools from responsible providers. Note that just as the research itself takes many forms, these websites can vary quite a bit between qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Traders should pay attention to exactly what the provider offers before signing up or trusting the tool to influence their decisions. 

Traders should remember that not all tools are designed for a general audience. Some of them are built around a specific type of training and offer highly tailored information that might be of little use to anyone not trading in a particular industry. This Steel Trading guide, for example, is an excellent option for beginner traders interested in learning the intricacies of steel trading and comes from AskTraders, an excellent example of a trusted research tool. The website features a team of experts in the trading market who conduct detailed research on a variety of different investment tools and providers. 

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Charts

Using charts to understand trends in stock pricing, also known as ‘charting’, is another essential investment tool. The best options allow users to define the period of time analyzed, with options ranging from a day to years or decades. Do not settle for something that only offers a single time period either, as variety is important for data analysis. Sometimes, looking at the ‘big picture is misleading when the question is what a stock is likely to do tomorrow, for example, and traders should not limit their analysis and research. 

Trading tools

While all of the tools in this article are ‘trading tools’, this section refers to tools that actively enable people to trade. Margin loans, for example, are a useful tool that allows investors to borrow against the securities already in their portfolios. The resulting money is often used to finance additional purchases. 

Understanding, and using, advanced order types is another underrated tool for beginner and experienced investors alike. This kind of advanced order includes, among others:

  • Trailing stop orders
  • Short selling
  • Conditional orders

Not every trader will need to worry about these, but they are useful for investors with more specialized trading objectives and holding periods. 

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Trading simulators

Another tool to consider is a trading simulator. These allow investors to examine the impact that new investment decisions might have upon their portfolios before making the sale. Traders should note that these tools can be found as standalone services as well as included in certain broker firms. Sometimes, selecting a broker with included tools is the best value for money. 

Things to look for in tools

Because there are so many tools, including browser-based research options, on the market, it can be difficult to screen them all to ensure that they have good reviews and come from a great company. Sometimes, the sheer number of them can be too overwhelming to process that much information. Luckily, traders new and experienced alike can keep a few tips in mind to focus their energy and make their search for the perfect tool for their needs. 

Price

First and foremost, traders should pick a tool or website at an affordable price unless they are absolutely sure that the best option is an expensive provider. There are many options on the internet, and one of the worst things to do is spend a fortune on one of them only to find another option for much cheaper.

Do some research before spending a lot of money on something. It is often possible to find something with the same functionality for a better price. Use the expensive tools as a starting point to find a more reasonable option. 

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Transparent and accurate research

Before paying for a tool or website, take a look at the type of research it provides as well as from where the research is derived. The goal is to find something that offers information from trusted sources, such as stock analysis tools and real-time data, as well as information from respected institutions or people. Avoid options that offer little explanation or information about their research. 

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