My stock trading experience is not limited to the Philippine stock market. I can also trade and make money in the global stock exchanges, particularly the U.S. stock market where the stocks of the world’s biggest publicly-listed companies are traded.

Since we are living in the digital environment, Filipinos can buy or sell local stocks via the internet by opening an online account with any of the Accredited Online Trading Brokers in the Philippines. But if you’re interested to trade stocks of U.S. companies such as Apple, Facebook or Netflix, there are established international stock market online platforms.

I find these foreign online financial services companies appealing because I can expand my knowledge and sharpen my trading skills. Aside from stocks, I am able to trade exchange-traded funds (ETFs), perform options trading or do contract for difference (CFD) or derivative trading.

My versatility as a trader and earning opportunities are limitless. Thus, I am sharing tips about the U.S. stock market so you too can follow my lead.

Things you should know to trade in the U.S. stock market

My primary objective in opting to also trade in the U.S. stock exchange is to consider the time zone differential. The trading hours in New York begins just past the evening in Manila. You’ll have to conduct or monitor your trades late into the night. Anyway, there are three major points I would like to highlight if you‘re aspiring to earn more in U.S. stock trading.

1. Learn about the U.S. stock market in general

As an experienced stock trader, my transition to the U.S. stock market was not difficult. For starters, a certain amount of research work is necessary to be familiar with stock exchanges in America.

Wall Street in New York City is the main financial district where the more than 5,000 U.S. stocks belonging to various industry sectors are traded. The biggest stock exchanges are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the tech-heavy NASDAQ.

You can surf the internet and visit credible financial and business sites to gather information and monitor specific stocks. Some of the top resources are CNN Money, Market Watch, Reuters News, and CNBC.

I spent time studying and analyzing the U.S. market before deciding to finally venture into their stock market. But once I got the hang of it, the next step was to search for an international financial services company where I can gain direct access to the U.S. market and the various investment products.

2. Search for the ideal brokerage firm

When it comes to my personal investible funds, my priority is to protect my money. Hence, the choice of the ideal brokerage firm is the most critical. I am also aware that the internet is a breeding ground for scammers and hackers preying on unsuspecting clients.

The presence of international online brokers is growing. Each one claims to be the best platform but eventually turns out to be nothing but a rip-off. The safest way is to register and open an account with a legitimate and established brokerage firm.

Aside from a proven and time-honored reputation, below is my list of criteria in choosing a particular brokerage firm:

• Lowest commission rates

In my line of work, I pay special attention to pricing structure, broker’s fees, and commission rates. As much as possible, my goal is to maximize profits at the least expense.

Stock brokerage firms that offer low fixed-rate, transparent pricing schemes with no hidden charges are always the top choice for clients like me.

• Problem-free deposit and withdrawal of funds

Before signing on, it is important to know the details of the prospective brokerage firm’s fund settlement process. There shouldn’t be problems in the transfer or payout of funds. I would always carefully review their terms when depositing or withdrawing funds.

• Integrated account management set-up

I would always prefer to transact with a brokerage firm that has a tested account management system. By tested means a less-complicated operating and managing a single account for several investments.

• Learning tools

Apart from a user-friendly platform, the stock brokerage firm should be able to educate clients, especially the newbies. It would help clients to have as much learning tools to feel at ease.

• Reliable customer service

A stock brokerage firm might have a wide array of investment products or financial services and the best trading technology but wanting in customer service or tech support.

I value a brokerage firm that has a service staff or tech support team that quickly responds to inquiries or requests for assistance. Help should be just a click away.

• Online account opening

Opening an account can be done online with less hassle provided you can submit all required documents. Once you have narrowed your list of prospective stock brokerage firms, just visit the site and follow the “Open Account” instructions.

Review the forms thoroughly read the provisions contained. Forms may be different for foreigners or non-U.S. citizens. Familiarize yourself with the tax implications as well.

If you will ask me for suggestions, I would recommend Interactive Brokers. My experience with this 4-decades old firm has been enriching. At least from a professional trader’s point of view, their platform suits me well.

3. Minimum investment requirement

The final step to realizing your desire to trading in the U.S. stock market is the seed money. Every online stock brokerage firm requires a minimum amount of investment. If you think you’ve chosen a firm that could aid you to achieve your financial goals, find out as to how much you would need to invest in stocks or in other investment choices. Actually, it’s not cheap to invest in shares of U.S. conglomerates and even startups.

Save up to trade in the U.S. stock exchange

I am no longer surprised that a number of individual traders in the Philippines are venturing into the U.S. stock market. Once you’ve earned big in the local market, the tendency is to try your hand in a bigger market where the earning potential is greater.
The challenge is not in the learning curve. You need to save up before you can participate in the exciting financials market of America where there are limitless options.

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