Here's What You Need To Know Before You Start Investing

Online brokers let you open an account and start trading in two hours!

Cover image via Bloomberg & NordWood Themes | Unsplash

This Spotlight is sponsored by Rakuten Trade.

Does the idea of investing freak you out? It shouldn't, because it's actually a lot like planning a holiday!

Image via Belinda Fewings

Just like how you need to research your holiday destination, compare hotels, and scout for cheap flight tickets, investing in stocks requires you to find the right fit!

Some people enjoy booking and planning their own budget backpack trips, while others prefer leaving it to travel agents to settle the itinerary and all the other details.

In the same way, you can choose how hands-on you want to be when investing in stocks

If you're looking to invest for the long-term, you may want to consider a full-service broker. Like a travel agent, they will recommend what's best for you and take care of everything, charging you a premium for their services.

Most young Malaysians nowadays, however, prefer to be more hands-on and involved in the trading process. This is when online brokers come in. They usually have online platforms that are easy to use, offer lower brokerage fees, and give users full control over how they want to trade.

Here are a few things you should ask when looking for a broker:

1. How much does this broker charge?

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Here are a few costs and fees to take into consideration before choosing a broker:

  • Brokerage fees - How much it costs each time you perform a trade
  • Minimums - Your minimum balance to set up your account
  • Withdrawal fees - What it costs to take out your money
Typically, online brokers have lower costs across the board, which is good for young Malaysians who are just starting out and aren't ready to invest in big sums. For instance, Rakuten Trade has the lowest brokerage fees in Malaysia from as low as RM7 to a maximum of RM100.

They also don’t require you to have a minimum cash amount in your account nor trade at a certain amount. You can go as low as you are comfortable provided there are other investors willing to meet your price.

2. What kind of trader do I want to be, and does this broker suit my style of trading?

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Typically, when it comes to the types of traders, you can:

  • Buy stocks to hold for a long period of time
  • Trade stocks daily on the stock market
  • Do a little of both
Traditional full-service brokers will recommend what you should invest in and help you execute any trades you decide on, but usually because time is limited they will focus on those who will make them the most money.

Online brokers, on the other hand, usually give you investment ideas, reports, and a stock screen for you to keep up with the market. These reports are the same ones distributed across their entire client base and not to select recipients. In fact for some reports, you don’t even have to be a client to get access to them.

3. Does this broker tailor his or her services to your needs?

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One thing you should remember is that many brokers design their services around corporate investors and not individuals. That's why you'll need to find a broker you're comfortable with and who will help you make the right decisions along the way.

For example at Rakuten Trade, their reports are simplified one-pagers minus the trading jargon so that the most important information can be delivered within a few minutes. Plus, if reading reports aren’t your thing, you can also follow them on social media for their latest investment ideas.

If you're new to investing, Rakuten Trade is the ideal online trading platform to get you started

Image via Rakuten Trade

You won't need to spend time looking for a broker, because you can sign up for your online account, get it approved, and start trading in two hours or less. Way faster than any other broker in Malaysia! Plus, you can manage and keep track of your stocks on the go with the mobile app.

In fact, you could be on your next vacation when you sign up with Rakuten Trade. For a limited time only, enjoy 800 AirAsia BIG Points for every account you open!

Plus, get rewarded each time you trade and earn 1 Rakuten Trade (RT) point for every RM2 spent on brokerage fees. You can also convert your RT points directly, point-to-point into affiliate partner points. This means that if you have 1,000 RT points, you can convert it directly to 1,000 points on AirAsia BIG, B Infinite, or BonusLink.

Ultimately, Rakuten Trade wants to make it easier for young Malaysians to get started

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What are you waiting for? Start investing on the go with Rakuten Trade today!

Download the app on Android here and on iOS here.

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