Equity Trading: What It Is, How To Trade, Careers, and Salaries in 2023

stock equity trader

Imagine the thrill of buying and selling shares in the stock market, potentially profiting from short-term price fluctuations, or growing your wealth over time through long-term investing. Welcome to the world of equity trading! This guide will walk you through the basics of equity trading, various investment strategies, risk management techniques, and career opportunities in the field.

Key Takeaways

  • Equity trading is the buying and selling of stocks to capitalize on market fluctuations.

  • Different strategies such as day, swing, and long-term investing must be understood in order to make informed decisions.

  • Equity traders can pursue a rewarding career with competitive salaries and opportunities for advancement.

The Basics of Equity Trading

A stock exchange with traders buying and selling stocks

Equity trading, also known as stock trading, is the lifeblood of financial markets, allowing businesses to raise capital and investors to gain ownership in companies. Trading equities involves buying and selling shares of companies on a stock exchange, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or Nasdaq. Exchange traded funds are another popular investment option in these markets.

Different types of equity exist based on the size of the company, and their prices are influenced by various factors, such as economic conditions and company performance. Grasping the fundamentals of the equity market is a key step for aspiring equity traders, enabling them to devise potent trading strategies.

What Is Equity Trading?

At its core, equity trading meaning refers to the process of buying and selling shares of publicly listed companies. These shares represent ownership interests in the company, and investors can earn returns through capital growth and dividends.

The main objective of equity trading centers around seizing profit opportunities arising from market price fluctuations. This can be achieved through different trading strategies, such as day trading, swing trading, or long-term investing, depending on an individual’s goals and risk tolerance.

Types of Equities

Equities come in various forms, such as common and preferred stocks. Common stocks are the most frequently issued by companies and grant shareholders voting rights and potential dividends, while preferred stocks have a higher claim on a company’s assets and earnings, but usually lack voting rights.

The type of equity you choose to trade will depend on your investment goals and risk tolerance. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the features and risks tied to each equity type is vital for making informed investment decisions.

Related Article: Understanding Stocks Vs. Options

Entering the World of Equity Trading

A trader looking at a stock market chart

Embarking on your journey as an equity trader requires meeting eligibility requirements, opening a trading account, and selecting a suitable trading platform. These steps ensure that you have the proper documentation and tools to trade stocks successfully and make informed decisions while navigating the stock markets.

Eligibility and Documentation

To enter the world of equity trading, you must be at least 18 years old and possess the necessary Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation. This includes providing proof of identity, address, and other personal information required by the trading platform or brokerage firm you choose to work with.

Fulfilling these eligibility prerequisites is a fundamental step towards opening a trading account and embarking on your equity trading journey.

Opening an Equity Trading Account

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, the next step is to open an equity trading account with a brokerage firm or trading platform. This involves selecting a broker, providing your personal information, and funding the account.

Funding options may include bank transfers, debit/credit cards, and e-wallets. Choosing a reliable broker, who offers competitive fees, an intuitive platform, and outstanding customer service, is vital for a seamless trading experience.

Selecting a Trading Platform

Selecting an appropriate trading platform plays a pivotal role in your equity trading success. Factors to consider include fees, available tools, user-friendliness, and customer service.

Some popular trading platforms are:

  • Fidelity Investments

  • Interactive Brokers

  • Webull


  • TD Ameritrade

Be sure to assess each platform based on your specific needs and preferences to find the best fit for your trading style and goals.

Developing Your Investment Strategy

A trader looking at a stock market chart with a laptop

A sound investment strategy is the cornerstone of success in equity trading. Whether you’re a short-term day trader or a long-term investor, understanding various investment strategies and their associated risks will help you make informed decisions and maximize your returns.

Let’s explore three common investment strategies: day trading, swing trading, and long-term investing.

Day Trading

Day trading is a short-term trading strategy that involves:

  • Buying and selling shares within a single day

  • Capitalizing on small price movements when the market is particularly volatile

  • Relying on technical analysis to identify potential trading opportunities

  • Making quick decisions based on market trends

While day trading can offer attractive profit opportunities, it also carries a substantial amount of risk due to market volatility. It requires significant time and effort, as traders must vigilantly monitor the markets and make decisions in a timely manner. Successful day trading requires a keen market instinct, mental arithmetic skills, and a quick response to events and major happenings.

Related Article: The Best Book On Day Trading

Swing Trading

Swing trading is another short-term trading strategy that focuses on capturing gains over a few days to weeks by holding positions for a longer period than day trading. Unlike day traders, swing traders aim to profit from short-term price movements by either going long or short in the market.

Key features of swing trading include:

  • Holding positions for a few days to weeks

  • Utilizing technical analysis to recognize potential trading opportunities

  • Using fundamental analysis to identify suitable entry and exit points

By combining these strategies, swing traders can take advantage of short-term price fluctuations and potentially generate profits.

The benefits of swing trading include the ability to capitalize on short-term price fluctuations without having to maintain a long-term position. However, it can be challenging to pinpoint the optimal entry and exit points, and the strategy carries the risk of potential losses if not managed properly. To ensure success in swing trading, it’s essential to combine research, planning, risk management, and discipline.

Related Article: Uncovering The CNN Fear And Greed Index: What It Is And How To Use It

Long-Term Investing

Long-term investing focuses on:

  • Holding shares for an extended period, typically years, to benefit from potential growth and dividends

  • Achieving long-term financial objectives

  • Buying and holding investments for 5 years or more

  • Using fundamental analysis to evaluate a company’s financial health and performance and determine its intrinsic value

Long-term investing can offer investors the following benefits:

  • Possibility of growth and income through dividends

  • Benefit of compounding returns that can help to amplify their wealth in the long run

  • Lessen the risk of losses due to market fluctuations

However, when investing for the long-term, investors should be aware of the potential for losses due to market volatility, as well as the possibility of a decrease in the value of investments due to inflation or other economic factors.

Navigating Stock Markets and Exchanges

new york stock exchange hours

Knowledge of stock exchanges and their trading hours is critical for triumphant equity trading. The world’s major stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq, operate during normal business hours, and market closures occur on weekends and public holidays.

In this section, we’ll explore the basics of stock exchanges and the importance of knowing trading hours and market closures for equity traders.

Understanding Stock Exchanges

Stock exchanges are physical or virtual marketplaces where shares are bought and sold. Examples of well-known stock exchanges include the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq. These exchanges provide companies with access to capital by allowing them to list their stocks and facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers.

Comprehending the workings of stock exchanges is a key foundation for those venturing into the realm of equity trading.

Trading Hours and Market Closures

Trading hours vary by exchange, with most operating during standard business hours. For example, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq are open for trading from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on weekdays, while some traders may set their own trading hours.

Market closures occur on weekends and public holidays, during which trading is suspended. Awareness of trading hours and market closures is crucial for equity traders to plan their trades effectively and fend off potential losses arising from unforeseen market events, especially in volatile markets.

Related Article: How Many Trading Days In A Year?

Equity Trading Strategies and Techniques

Technical analysis bloomberg terminal

In addition to developing a solid investment strategy, successful equity trading requires the use of various strategies and techniques to make informed decisions. These strategies include technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and social trading.

The application of these techniques enables traders to refine their decision-making process and maximize their investment returns.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a method of studying historical price movements and patterns to predict future trends. This involves analyzing price charts and other market data to detect patterns and trends that can be leveraged to make profitable trades.

Technical analysis tools, such as:

  • Trend lines

  • Support and resistance levels

  • Moving averages

  • Oscillators

Help traders identify potential trading opportunities and make strategic decisions based on market trends with the assistance of professional market analysts.

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis focuses on evaluating a company’s financial health and performance to determine its intrinsic value. The process of fundamental analysis involves a detailed examination of a company’s financial documents, such as its income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. It also includes an evaluation of the company’s position in the competitive landscape.

By conducting fundamental analysis, traders can identify undervalued stocks, evaluate a company’s financial standing, and make informed decisions about when to buy and sell.

Related Article: A Comprehensive Guide To Topline Vs Bottomline

Social Trading

Social trading is an innovative trading technique that enables investors to:

  • Learn from and replicate the trades of experienced investors

  • Connect with a network of other traders

  • Share investment information, strategies, and insights

This method provides a valuable opportunity for investors to improve their trading skills and make more informed investment decisions.

Traders can then choose to replicate and implement the strategies of their peers or more experienced traders, learning from their decisions and profiting from their expertise. Social trading is particularly beneficial for beginners, as it allows them to gain insight from the strategies and decisions of more experienced traders and capitalize on the collective knowledge of the trading community.

Managing Risks in Equity Trading

Risk management in equity trading is of paramount importance for safeguarding your investments and optimizing your returns. By employing risk management strategies such as diversification, research and due diligence, and emotional control, traders can effectively manage their risk and optimize their investment returns.


Diversification is a risk management strategy that involves spreading your investments across various assets and sectors to reduce the impact of a single underperforming investment. By creating a well-diversified portfolio, you can minimize the risk of losses and increase the potential for gains.

Diversification can be achieved by investing in a variety of asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and commodities, as well as different sectors, such as technology, healthcare, and energy.

Research and Due Diligence

Before making any investment choices, conducting exhaustive research and due diligence is crucial to gain an extensive understanding of the company’s financial condition, industry trends, and market sentiment. This involves analyzing financial data, such as earnings, assets, and competitors, to make informed decisions about when to buy and sell equities.

By conducting research and due diligence, traders can minimize their risk and make more informed decisions.

Emotional Control

Maintaining emotional control is vital in making judicious decisions and eschewing impulsive actions that could result in losses. By managing emotions and maintaining a disciplined approach to trading, investors can avoid hasty decisions and better navigate market volatility.

Developing emotional control involves recognizing emotional triggers, understanding emotional reactions, and formulating strategies to regulate emotions during the trading process.

Careers in Equity Trading

Pursuing a career in equity trading presents a dynamic and gratifying trajectory for those passionate about the financial markets. With various roles available, competitive salaries, and opportunities for advancement, a career in equity trading can be both challenging and fulfilling.

In this section, we’ll explore the roles and responsibilities, salaries and compensation, and exit opportunities and career advancement in equity trading.

Equity Trader Roles and Responsibilities

Equity traders are responsible for executing trades, managing portfolios, and analyzing market trends at equity trading desks. They work closely with salespeople, who communicate with clients and present research division ideas.

Equity traders can work in various areas of the financial markets, including cash equities, equity swaps, and options trading. The roles and responsibilities of equity traders vary depending on the type of trading and the specific firm they work for.

Salaries and Compensation

Salaries in equity trading can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and firm size. On average, an equity trader in the United States earns approximately $92,526 annually.

Traders at larger firms or in major financial centers, such as New York, may earn higher salaries. Additionally, traders typically earn more than salespeople, with bonuses and other forms of compensation adding to their overall income.

Exit Opportunities and Career Advancement

Equity traders have various exit opportunities and career advancement options, such as transitioning to roles in hedge funds, asset management, or proprietary trading firms. Additionally, equity traders may choose to remain in trading and progress through the ranks, eventually taking on managerial roles and ceasing active trading.

With experience, networking, and a strong skill set, equity traders can continue to grow and develop in their careers.


In conclusion, equity trading offers a dynamic and potentially lucrative opportunity for those looking to invest in the financial markets. By understanding the basics of equity trading, developing effective investment strategies, managing risks, and learning from the experiences of others through social trading, traders can maximize their chances of success. Whether you’re interested in a career in equity trading or simply looking to diversify your investment portfolio, the world of equity trading awaits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by equity trading?

Equity trading is the buying and selling of company shares or stocks on the financial market. It typically involves buying and selling of public company shares through a stock exchange or as over-the-counter products, and can be an effective way to make profits.

Trading in equity can be done by individuals or by professional traders. Individuals can buy and sell stocks through a broker or online trading platform. Professional traders use sophisticated trading strategies and algorithms.

What is an example of equity trading?

Equity trading is the buying and selling of stocks with a bid-ask spread, such as buying at $99 and selling at $101.

Is equity trading hard?

Trading equity can be challenging, but traders can make it easier by researching legitimate companies before buying or selling.

What is the difference between common and preferred stocks?

Common stocks provide shareholders with voting rights and potential dividends, while preferred stocks have a higher claim on company assets and earnings but no voting rights.

What are the trading hours for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq?

The NYSE and Nasdaq trading hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.



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