Stock Trading is one of the most popular ways to invest for people around the world. Here in the US, stock trading is especially popular and millions of people trade stocks in all different ways. From low income single Americans who are just putting a few bucks into an inexpensive stock to multi-millionaires who make a full time and lucrative living off trading these instruments, the stock market is used to make more a return on what one already has.

Before risking one's hard-earned money in the stock market, it is important to use paper money or a practice account to trade first. This is a very critical component to becoming a successful investor because it gives you whatever amount of time you need to practice trading without risking your own hard earned money.

While trading a practice account, a prospective investor should treat it as if it was real money. One way to do this is to open a paper money account with the same amount that they plan to invest with when they begin trading real money. That way, they will only be buying stocks that they could also buy when they have the real account, and the amount of stock they choose to purchase will be in line with the amount that they purchase when they have the real account.

A practice investor should also take each trade very seriously so they know what it is like to make important decisions. They should study the potential companies they are thinking about in-depth to decide if they we a worthy investment. The should look at the history of the stock to see if the stock has a consistent pattern of growing year after year. They should also practice diversifying their stock investing with the practice account. Diversifying, even with practice stock trading account, is extremely important because one needs to learn that it is not wise to put their entire account into one stock. This way, when they open a real account and see an appealing stock trade, they are not tempted to risk all their money on just one stock.

Again, opening a practice stock trading account is a very critical step to becoming a profitable investor because it is what will set the standard for how you will trade when their is real money on the line. A trader just beginning their first practice account is likely to lose money and make mistakes, but that is exactly why practicing is so important. Many traders think about becoming a stock trader and immediately open a live account with a substantial amount of money in it. Before they learn anything about how to manage their risk or spread their investments, they end up losing their entire account and giving up on trading altogether. Then, before they ever have a chance to become a profitable investor, they already write it off as a way to increase their capital.

If these traders would practice stock trading effectively before risking their money, they would be far more likely to become a profitable trader. They would be able to take several losses without it affecting their real money and they would learn from them, and perhaps not give up on stock trading as a way to help themselves achieve their financial goals.

In conclusion, a practice stock trading account can take you through the process of a real trading experience without actually causing you to lose money and therefore is the best way to gain discipline and consistency as a trader before you decide to trade real money.