Kya bhaav lagaya? - the front end of stock markets

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So, now that you’ve gathered a fair bit of theoretical knowledge about the financial markets in general and the stock market in particular, it’s time to move on to the practical side of investing and trading in the stock markets. As a trader venturing into the virtual markets for the first time, what are the portals available to you? And what are the resources that can help you trade through the front end of the stock markets?

These are some of the questions we’ll answer in this chapter. So, buckle up and get set for the ride!

What are the gateways through which investors like you can access the markets?

Let’s say you host a local photographers’ meet. Some of them may turn up with their phone cameras. Others may bring in low-end DSLRs. And the professional photographers will, of course, drop in with a high-end camera and perhaps even a couple of add-on lenses. You see, these people may have all turned up with different gadgets, but the one thing they have in common is that they’re all photographers.

And just like how you can use a variety of devices to take a picture, there are different avenues that you can use to access the financial markets. 

If you’re a beginner who is just getting started with trading in the stock markets, it can help to know the various trading terminals which you can access the markets from the front end, so you can execute your trades seamlessly. Broadly speaking, there are three kinds of portals you can make use of.

Mobile trading apps

All the major stockbrokers in India offer mobile trading applications that can be installed on your smartphone. Perfect for beginners, these smartphone apps give you real-time updates on the market trends and possess almost all the features of a traditional trading application. 

With these mobile trading apps, you can trade in the stock market from virtually anywhere in the world and place buy and sell orders for your favourite stocks in an instant. 

Here’s a quick look at some of the features that are typically available in such apps. 

  • Live market data - domestic and global 
  • Portfolio holdings and analysis
  • Stock advisory services
  • IPOs and Mutual Funds    

Web-based trading platforms

In addition to mobile trading applications, a lot of stockbrokers offer web-based trading platforms as well. You can access these trading terminals through a web browser from your desktop, laptop, or even your smartphone. 

Ideal for beginners and for traders with a fair bit of experience, these web platforms offer a host of benefits over and above the mobile trading applications. 

Let’s take a look at some of the additional features that these platforms offer. 

  • Integrated wealth management solutions
  • Access to market research reports
  • Charting tools 
  • Technical indicators
  • Ability to customise the trading platform      

Desktop applications

Some stockbrokers like Angel Broking even offer dedicated desktop trading applications that allow you to trade quickly and efficiently. Designed for expert traders, these applications generally offer a single-window trading platform for a swift and smoother trading experience. 

Since all the essential trading features are integrated right into the software itself, you don’t have to switch between multiple tabs or windows to access the relevant information. 

Some of the key features of desktop trading applications are as follows. 

  • Real-time update of market data
  • Option to invest in various securities, IPOs and mutual funds directly from the platform
  • Ability to map keyboard shortcuts for various trading activities
  • Integrated news flashes and trading and market research reports 
  • One-click portfolio details
  • Quick and easy installation and updation       

So, what happens on the front end of the stock markets when you place an order?

Here’s a brief overview of what you need to do and what goes on at the front end when you place an order through your trading app or your web-based trading platform.

When you place a buy order:

  • Ensure that there are adequate funds in your trading account.
  • Head to the trading platform of your choice and place a ‘buy’ order for the share you wish to purchase.  
  • The order is placed and the funds are deducted from your trading account.
  • Once the clearing and settlement process is complete, the share that you purchased is credited to your demat account.    

When you place a sell order:

  • Ensure that you have the share in your demat account that you wish to sell.
  • Head on over to your trading platform of your choice and place a ‘sell’ order for that share.
  • The order gets placed and the share that you sold is blocked in your demat account. 
  • Once the clearing and settlement process is complete, the funds from the sale are credited to your trading account and the share is debited from your demat account.    

What are the resources that can help you trade through the front end of the stock markets?

Without the right resources, it may not be possible for you to make informed decisions about investing and trading in the stock markets. Here are some resources that can help you buy or sell stocks through the trading terminals on the front end.   

Everyday news

A necessary and reliable source of information, everyday news can help you gauge the overall economic and political conditions in your country and in the rest of the world. It’s very important to be aware of what’s going on these two fronts, since developments in the micro and macro environments can influence the movement of the stock market considerably. 

Business and finance websites

Since the stock market is essentially a reflection of the overall financial situation, it makes sense to read through business and finance websites, doesn’t it? These websites offer a wealth of financial information about the various sectors, industries and companies in our country. In addition to domestic business and financial data, these websites allow you to keep a track of both the Indian and the global market movements as well.    

Company reports

Before investing in a company, it is of utmost importance to get to know the organisation. And what better way to do that than reading through the corporate literature and the various reports published by the company itself? These reports are published periodically and offer huge insight into the financials, the management and the vision and mission of a company. Reading through and deciphering these complex reports is an art by itself, which we will cover in detail in one of the forthcoming chapters.      

Analyst reports

Also known as research reports, these reports are compiled by third-party analysts who are not associated with the company. Analyst reports offer an objective outsider’s view on a company, its financials and the industry it operates in. You can use the information contained in these reports to make investment decisions regarding a company, a sector, or an industry.

Wrapping up

Alright then, that brings our chapter on the front end of the stock markets to a close. While trading terminals help you with trading in the stock markets from the front end, there’s also a lot that goes on behind the screen. Head to the next chapter to find out more about this.

A quick recap 

  • Perfect for beginners, mobile trading apps give you real-time updates on the market trends and possess almost all the features of a traditional trading application. With these apps, you can trade in the stock market from virtually anywhere in the world 
  • You can access web-based trading platforms through a web browser from your desktop, laptop, or even your smartphone. Ideal for beginners and for traders with a fair bit of experience, these web platforms offer a host of benefits over and above the mobile trading applications. 
  • Desktop applications are designed for expert traders. They generally offer a single-window trading platform for a swift and smoother trading experience. Since all the essential trading features are integrated right into the software itself, you don’t have to switch between multiple tabs or windows to access the relevant information. 
  • When you place a buy order, the funds are deducted from your trading account. And once the clearing and settlement process is complete, the share that you purchased is credited to your demat account.    
  • When you place a sell order, the share that you sold is blocked in your demat account. And once the clearing and settlement process is complete, the funds from the sale are credited to your trading account and the share is debited from your demat account. 
  • Resources like everyday news, finance websites, company reports and analyst reports can help you trade through the front end of the stock markets.
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