Basics of Buying and Selling Securities

Trading 101: Understanding the Basics of Buying and Selling Securities

First things come first. Regarding that, we need to explain what are the securities, so every new trader can understand and start their journey. In simple words, we can describe them as everything that one person can trade in an open market, which makes them a financial instrument or asset available for trade. It might still seem a little confusing but do not worry, as we will describe each type of the securities further and make it much clearer to everyone who wants to learn more.

Four different types

We have already explained securities as various assets that can be traded on different open markets, but it is still not enough, so we will focus more on different types. There are four different types, and each of them differs from the others, so learning more about them will help you decide which is the best choice for your trading journey.


Stock Market

We all know what debt means, as it is the money someone borrowed and needs to repay in a certain amount of time, by certain conditions, such as maturity date and interest rate. In the trading world, debts are fixed-income securities that parties trade and they can be a certificate of deposit or various bonds. The interest rate can vary and be different for different people, as it depends on various factors. Calculating the interest rate is based on the track record, credit history, and ability of the person who wants to get a loan to repay it in the arranged amount of time. These securities are usually held by various non-profit organizations, governments, and institutional investors because the dollar value is much higher (speaking about daily trading volume) than stocks.


Shareholders in a company hold a certain amount of ownership interest, which is called equity, and represents stocks of an organization that some person can buy and trade. Equity is not related to fixed income like debts, as it is related to capital gains one can earn when one decides to sell certain stocks. The best thing about equity securities is that holder becomes one of the legal owners of the company or organization, and even if it faces bankruptcy, it does not necessarily needs to affect them negatively. Namely, if all the obligations and debts are paid, every co-owner will get a part of the profit shared in different parts, depending on the number of stocks in the company.


Derivatives Trading

Unlike debts and equities, derivatives’ value depends on different factors, and there are four main types that can be interesting for traders. People around the world use derivatives when they want to minimize risk, and they are one of the most important assets in international trading. The four most important types are:

  1. Futures – Two parties agree on purchasing and delivering assets for a certain price and in a certain amount of time by standardized contract. They are traded on the exchange.
  2. Forwards – Similar to the first type, with one important difference – they are not traded on an exchange, and instead of that, only on retailing. The terms, settlement process, and size must be determined in the contract, and even then, there is a huge risk for both parties if one of them faces bankruptcy.
  3. Options – Similar to futures, with a significant difference which is that the buyer has the option to give up the buying or selling action if they think it is in their best interest.
  4. Swaps – Exchanging one kind of cash flow, such as a variable interest rate, to another one, such as a fixed one.


Hence the name, the hybrid securities are the ones that have combined characteristics of debts and equities. They are pretty complex, and because of that, they are one of the preferred choices of various banks and organizations, which use them to borrow money from big investors. Hybrid securities are not recommended for beginners as sometimes experienced traders are not able to evaluate the risk properly because of their lack of understanding of it.

How to start trading?

Now that you know the difference between the four most common types of securities, it is time to learn where you can trade them, and once again, there are four ways to start trading.



The way of trading that most people choose is to hire a brokerage house that will help them trade their assets. The entire process is pretty easy, as it is enough to create an account, pay a deposit, and you are ready to trade. Brokers are dealing with paperwork, which is perfect for beginners who are still learning the basics. Of course, finding a reliable brokerage house is a must, and it is not easy because there are many of them on the market. Luckily, we got your back, and if you want to find the best one for you, visit

Speaking about full-time brokers, we need to mention that they have even more duties as they usually call their clients and give them recommendations based on their research.

In the end, we have discount brokers, which are the most popular choice of investors nowadays because of commission fees that decrease all the time. Although they offer a huge selection of low costs, the problem is that the investor needs to do most of the work on their own.

The issuing company

Some people prefer transacting with a company that issues brokers instead of dealing with brokers, but it is a much more complicated way, especially for beginners. It can be too much for them to deal with the entire process on their own, without professional help, which is why it is important to think well before the final decision.


Mutual Funds-Stocks

Another option is to choose a bank that will offer you mutual bonds and funds, but keep in mind that it is always limited, as the bank has a limited number of partners. However, it is an extremely easy way, and it is enough only to talk to bank employees and start trading.


The last way is trading the assets in person, which is the riskiest one because of many scams and fraudsters, as it is impossible to regulate it by law, especially when someone is not experienced enough.

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