Free Day Trading Training and Education Services
Check out the free offerings from the exchanges and self-regulatory organizations to help you get started in day trading. Through these sources, you can find webinars, online courses, and plenty of reading material that may give you all the information you need to get started.
After all, the financial industry wants people to trade — that’s how it makes money — and it wants them to be successful, because that keeps the market functioning. (Exchanges are businesses, like any other.) Going through such free material first can give you a great sense of how suitable you are for a given strategy and help you make better decisions about other types of training.
Chicago Board Options Exchange Learning Center
The Options Institute of the Chicago Board Options Exchange offers a series of great online tutorials, classes, and seminars that cover exchange-traded options in great depth. Many are free, although some of the more intensive programs that include live coaching carry tuition charges.
The CBOT also has a two-day seminar for experienced traders who want to come to Chicago (a great city, although the weather is something else). The site includes online toolboxes and calculators, not to mention a simulated trading game.
CME Group Education
The CME Group, a holding company for several different exchanges, offers extensive and detailed free education programs on just about every aspect of derivatives trading. Whether your interest is currency, grain, or options on futures, the CME Group has videos, online courses, and white papers covering basic vocabulary, advanced trading strategies, and current market commentary. It has a lot of information that you can use, whatever your strategy.
Most of the training programs offered by the IntercontinentalExchange are designed for employees of trading firms and take place at the exchange's London office. That's probably not what you want. However, the exchange has several online seminars that can help you learn more about different products and strategies. These seminars are aimed at traders with a little experience.
Institute for Financial Markets
The Institute for Financial Markets is a nonprofit organization that provides basic training programs for people working on the options and futures exchanges.
Many of its courses are inappropriate for day traders, who aren’t going to be licensed and who do not have mandatory continuing education requirements to maintain those licenses. But some of the course may be appropriate for you, so check them out after you see what the exchanges have to offer. Recent offerings include the basics of derivatives and trading strategies.
Okay, let’s be honest here: The stock exchanges want to promote investing more than trading, because they want companies to issue stock on their exchanges. The kind of high volatility that day traders love puts off some starchy corporate officers.
Hence, much of the information on NASDAQ’s site is about how to select stocks for the long term. Still, some information here may be useful to a prospective day trader, including data descriptions that can help you with your strategies.
National Futures Association Investor Learning Center
The National Futures Association is the self-regulatory organization for the agricultural and financial futures exchanges. This site includes tutorials on trading futures and foreign exchange. This organization doesn't have a lot of tutorials, but those it does have are free and comprehensive.
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange, like NASDAQ, wants to court investors rather than traders. Still, the exchange’s site has information on trading stocks, bonds, and exchange-traded funds that can make you smarter on those topics without spending a dime.