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3 Best Trading Sites to Go From Complete Beginner to Professional-Level Trader:

There are a number of great online trading sites for beginners to learn from. But instead of providing an exhaustive list of the best ones without explanation, I think the best approach is to show how a select few can take you from complete beginner to professional.

When it comes to trading, everyone starts at the same level – knowing absolutely nothing. So step one is to learn terminology and concepts, and start to acquire some foundational knowledge. From there, you can decide if you want to take it a step further.

Best Trading Sites - Beginners Guide to Active Trading

That next step is legitimate training and mentorship – the most difficult phase of all. Most traders skip this critical step and pay the price for it. Lousy training (or the lack of training altogether) typically ends up being quite expensive in terms of losses in the market.

The bottom line is that you either pay tuition upfront through a proper training program or you pay tuition to the market for being an untrained, oblivious trader. So if you’re serious about your trading success, then the training phase is no place to cut corners.

Once you’ve acquired the proper mental framework and trading skills for success – that’s when the fun begins. You can now utilize those skills to consistently pull profits out of the market. The great news is that you don’t even need to use your own capital to do so.

Below we’ll dive deeper into the 3 critical steps for going from a beginner to professional – including the best site for each step.

3 Steps and 3 High-Quality Trading Sites – Go From Zero Knowledge to Fully Funded Trader:

Before digging into the details of these three critical steps and resources, I want to point out that becoming a consistently profitable trader is not fast or easy. Following these steps can help streamline the process, but there’s no avoiding the hard work involved.

The practice and training phase alone can take six months or longer. This is a serious endeavor that requires legitimate skills.

STEP 1: Start Building a Foundation of Basic Trading Knowledge – Terminology and Concepts

#1 Recommended Site:

This first step is essentially a discovery phase to see what trading is all about and to start building a base level of knowledge. In this phase, you begin to learn the differences between trading and investing, what stocks/options/futures are, and much more.

One of the biggest mistakes that beginners make is falling in love with the idea of trading because of the potential rewards it can provide, but not having a true understanding of what it entails. Being focused on the money will actually repel it away from you.

Stock Market Terminology Definitions - Best Free Resources

Another huge mistake new traders make is thinking that the information gathered in this phase alone is enough to make them  successful traders. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Understanding terminology and concepts is merely a stepping stone.

Just imagine the process of learning how to play baseball. You start with terms and concepts like glove, bat, strike, ball, etc. But this knowledge alone doesn’t translate to you competing in the major leagues. That requires tons of practice and experience.

This leads us right into the next step. So once you’ve taken the time to learn various terms/concepts and decide that trading is something you want to seriously pursue, then you can move on to step 2 – the practice, training, and skill-building phase.

Helpful Posts/Pages For Additional Support:

STEP 2: Find a Strong Training and Mentorship Program in Order to Develop Legitimate Trading Skills

#1 Recommended Site:

At this point, it’s time to not only expand your knowledge, but most importantly – build actual skills. As previously mentioned, knowledge is great, but it’s not what produces successful traders. That knowledge needs to be practically applied and turned into skills.

As much as people want there to be some magical indicator or perfect mathematical equation for trading success – it simply doesn’t exist. Since the market is constantly evolving, you need to develop the framework and tools to be able to change along with it.

#1 Rated Trader Training Program For Developing Real Market Edge - Trade With Profile

There’s no simple pattern or structure that will work without end. Sometimes the market is trending up, sometimes it’s trending down, and sometimes it’s moving sideways. So certain setups and strategies can go in and out of favor depending on the market environment.

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To make things even more complicated, specific time frames can be showing conflicting trends – so how do you effectively handle that? For example, the daily chart can be showing an uptrend, the 1 hour chart moving sideways, and the 5 minute in a downtrend.

This is the sort of environment that traders need to appropriately navigate in order to be successful – and the ability to do so requires deep market understanding and legitimate edge (which are things that most market participants are woefully lacking).

Helpful Posts/Pages For Additional Support:

STEP 3: Use Your Skills to Become a Professional Trader – Earn a Five or Six-Figure Trading Account

#1 Recommended Site:

You always have the option to use your own money, but oftentimes people don’t have enough to realistically trade for a living. Or if not trade for a living, at least make it financially interesting as a supplemental income. A few thousand dollars just isn’t going to cut it.

This is where funded trader programs come into play – providing capital to individuals who can prove that they can effectively generate profits while managing risk. It’s an opportunity for individuals with limited financial means to pursue trading at a serious level.

Topstep Trader Review - What is Topstep Trader?

And even for individuals with the financial means, funded trader programs can still be attractive thanks to the coaching and structure they provide. Many people struggle with self-imposed rules, so the guidelines set by these programs tend to help with discipline.

The typical funded trader program starts with a tryout in a simulated account with specific profit targets and rules (maximum position sizes, maximum daily/weekly losses, etc.). If you follow the rules and hit the profit targets, you earn funding – simple as that.

The only “catch” is that the tryout costs a bit of money (usually around $200 per month) and there’s a profit-split once you get funded – meaning the funding firm keeps a portion of the profits you generate (usually 80% to you, 20% to the funding firm).

Helpful Posts/Pages For Additional Support:

All it Takes is 3 of the Best Trading Sites to Help Turn Beginners Into Professionals:

I don’t want to oversimplify the path to becoming a professional trader – because it’s a long and hard process – but the overall route is clear: it starts with foundational knowledge, then legitimate training and mentorship, then leveraging your skills in real markets.

As straightforward as this path is, most prospective traders fail to follow it. From what I’ve seen, the typical path is to acquire some basic knowledge and then jump straight into live markets with real money – which is essentially just gambling.

How Much Money Do Day Traders and Swing Traders Make

This kind of surface-level approach is common when it comes to trading and is undoubtedly a major reason why so many traders fail. Alternatively, those who become successful traders are the ones who dig much deeper and develop an uncommon level of depth.

This level of depth isn’t some natural talent or god-given gift. Instead, it’s developed through practice and experience. Nuances that new traders fail to understand are waiting to be discovered. You just have to be willing to devote time and effort to the process.

Overall, the training and mentorship phase is the most important part. And in all reality, the learning never ends. Markets are constantly changing so you have to be able to adapt. Perpetual self-improvement is what makes trading such a satisfying endeavor.

Please share your thoughts and experiences with whatever you consider the best trading sites in the comments section below.

Learn More in the Trading Success Framework Course

Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)

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Matt Thomas

Founder of, Creator of the Trading Success Framework Course & Trading Paradigm Skool Community, and Intraday Futures Trader Using Auction Market Theory & Profiling (Volume & Market Profile).


  • Dave from Ohio says:

    Hi Matt.  Great site and I enjoyed your perspective.  With regards to your average trade, can you provide some insight on how much research/work you typically put into one trade?  Also, how many trades are you performing on average per month?  Can you provide a win/loss ration on your trades?  I will be bookmarking your site.  Good content here.  Thanks.  Dave 

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Dave – great questions.

      I used to swing trade individual stocks years ago which required quite a bit more specific research outside of market hours (daily scans, reading news, checking financial statements, looking for catalysts, etc.). But then I transitioned almost exclusively to trading SPY options on an intraday basis – and now I’m focused almost exclusively on trading E-Mini S&P 500 futures.

      For the way I trade now, there’s a lot less fundamental research – I don’t really concern myself with jobs numbers, home sales, or any other economic news. I have an overall idea of what’s going on in markets, but my approach is to capture intraday moves based on price action and order flow at key technical levels. The main levels I use typically come from the daily and 4hr charts. It takes me about 20-30mins each morning to check various timeframes for trends and key levels, but there’s also work throughout the day monitoring how the market is behaving (is it directional or rotational? Is it respecting certain levels? etc.), tracking the details of my trades, and journaling my thoughts and emotions. I also use VWAP and DOM to support my decisions. Then I review all of that information at the end of the day and try to pinpoint how I can improve for tomorrow.

      I make anywhere from zero to five trades per day, but the average is about two per day. At the moment, I breakeven on about 30% of my trades and the rest are fairly evenly split between wins and losses (with the wins being anywhere from 1-4 times the average loss). My latest venture is working to get funded with a $150,000 Topstep Futures account because I think these sorts of programs are great opportunities for those who don’t want to risk their own money in the markets or wouldn’t otherwise have the capital to trade at a meaningful level. They also highly emphasize risk control and sustainability, which I think is critically important for developing traders.

  • Jannette says:

    I needed to find more information about trading as currently having very little experience with trading. It is nice to have programs as you have mentioned in your review for beginners to learn about trading and eventually become expert. I have booked mark your website and shared with my social media followers. 

  • Bojana says:

    I think that sites like this are very important for getting to know online trading better and for quicker learning. Especially for beginners like me. Indeed, I first read a lot about whether certain ones are fraud or not and how online trading works. These all seem like great recommendations from the text.

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Bojana – I appreciate the comment!

      I’ve personally used dozens of trading products and services in the past (courses, programs, platforms, alert services, chat rooms, newsletters, etc.) – and this beginners guide is essentially the steps I would’ve taken right from the start if I had known then what I know now. First, I would start by learning as much as I can about trading (basic terminology, concepts, etc.) through free resources like Investopedia. With this foundation, I would then pursue a legitimate training/mentorship program like Thomas Kralow’s in order to build proper habits and skills, gain experience, and develop my own individual approach using the trade data I track within a demo environment. And then I would leverage those habits and skills, along with my individual methodology that has been proven to work in demo – and look to get funded through a high-quality prop firm/funded trader program like Topstep.

      Taking this approach could’ve legitimately shortened my learning curve and path to consistent profitability by several years (and helped me save/not lose thousands of dollars trading impulsively and irrationally). Sadly, I wasted a lot of time on alert services, chat rooms, and trying to blindly mirror “gurus” – only to realize that this type of approach is dangerous and doesn’t work. The resources I specifically highlighted above (Investopedia, Thomas Kralow, and Topstep) are ones that I know extremely well, but they’re not the only resources available out there for each category. There are so many resources available out there, but this 3-step approach is exactly what I would follow if I were able to start all over again.

  • Daniel Tshiyole says:

    I actually want to ask, does trading actually work? Like can you make money from trading? I thought of trading once but I am too afraid to lose my money. I also use to think that it is a scam but clearly it is not. How would I start off with trading? Do you have any tips for me?

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Daniel – I appreciate your questions.

      I’m sure many other people have the same thoughts, so I’m glad you asked. But asking if trading actually works is kind of like asking if driving a car works. It certainly works if you know how to do it properly/safely, but it can be a complete disaster if you don’t.

      For anybody who wants to become a consistently profitable trader – and not just somebody who uses markets just for thrills and gambling, it requires the development of certain skills. Trading is tricky because sometimes wins and losses can seem random, but it’s the skilled traders who win out over the long term – not the individuals who trade impulsively. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people actually prepare themselves for operating effectively within markets and take the training process seriously. These days, it’s much “cooler” to “YOLO” or “ape” into trades and investments while disregarding risk/money management and other critical skills. But in the long-run, these reckless tactics most likely won’t work out too well.

      To start, I would recommend focusing on these FAQs and Free Resources in order to gain an understanding of what short-term trading is all about. If you decide you want to pursue things further, I highly recommend the training courses/programs by Thomas Kralow and Chris Capre. And while training, be sure to use a market simulator to build skills, test strategies, and track your results. Building skills, labeling setups, tracking trades, and analyzing results are things that many trading educators fail to teach, but they’re critical to your success. There’s no holy grail strategy out there that works right now and will continue to work forever, so you have to rely on your skills and the data you collect in order to effectively evolve over time.

      There’s no way to avoid some short-term losses, but with a statistical edge you can profit over time.

  • Bernard Breytenbach says:

    I want to learn and start trading. I have heard a person must not jump in the trading market without knowledge and experience. Thank you for the tips. However, some of the programs you mentioned, I heard from others are really expensive. I do not have much money. Is there a program for users that do not have much funds to spend on?

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Bernard – I’ll try to answer your question as best I can. “Not much money” is a relative term so it’s hard for me to know exactly what we’re talking about. And by no means do you have to share – that information is completely personal. In the end, it’s entirely up to you to decide how serious you are about trading and how to utilize your money. But what I can say right from the start is that it’s nearly impossible to do 100% free.

      There’s plenty of resources that offer basic trading terminology and concepts for free. But after that comes legitimate training and skill-building – and this is an area that shouldn’t be skimped on, in my opinion. This is the most important phase of becoming a consistently profitable trader because at the end of they day your preparation and implementation of skills are what generate profits over the long term. Most people penny-pinch on proper education and training because they want to save their funds to use in a trading account, but at least nine times out of ten these people end up losing that money in the markets – due to a lack of education and training. Unfortunately, this phenomenon happens every single day. So you either pay tuition upfront for proper training, or you pay an even higher tuition to the markets in terms of losses.

      Realistically, the closest someone can get to going from a complete beginner to a professional-level trader is around $2,000 – and will take at least six months to do so. This path would include a comprehensive learning program like Thomas Kralow’s Complete Program (Standard Package) for around $1,200 and then two or three months worth of a Topstep Combine for around $300 per month – as detailed above in this post. A trading simulator throughout the training phase is also a must in order to track and analyze your trades – because the feedback you receive from the market itself over a large number of trades is incredibly important for your long-term success. In the end, it might be possible to become a great trader without spending any money, but I hesitate to recommend a 100% free path because I’ve never seen it done. From my experience, it’s going to take at least a few thousand dollars (not to mention hours of hard work and dedication).

      With that being said, here are some links to helpful articles that focus on cost-friendly ways to learn:

      3 Great Ways to Learn From Thomas Kralow For Free
      5 Excellent Ways to Get Started With Topstep For Free
      How to Day Trade For a Living Starting With $5,000 or Less
      Stock Market Terminology Definitions – Best Free Resources

  • LineCowley says:

    Becoming a professional trader is not something that happens overnight. One does need training and a good mentor is essential. I would call myself an investor, rather than a trader, as I mainly invest in ETFs, for the long term returns. I often refer to Investopedia to get their opinion on certain funds and stocks, so great to see them on your list. A funded trader program sounds very interesting to me and I will be looking into it more. Thanks for sharing. 

    • Matt Thomas says:

      I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on active trading and your own personal approach!

      You’re exactly right about the training and mentorship necessary to become a professional-level trader. Many people treat day trading (and other forms of active trading) as just a hobby or an opportunity to gamble – and it almost always ends badly for them. Sure, some people get lucky in the beginning with some random/impulsive trades, but their bad habits eventually catch up to them. Jumping into the market untrained and unprepared would be like jumping into an NFL, MLB, or NBA game with limited skills and experience – it’s just not going to go very well.

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