Social trading is a relatively recent development and an excellent way to gain access to the fiscal markets. Before, traders were forced to rely on technical analysis and trade fundamentals to make decisions about their trades. Social trading allows you to trade better and in a group. It links traders from all over the world in a social trading network, allowing them to pool their skills, experience and even resources. The main function of social trading is to give them up-to-date information about global financial market, allowing them to make better informed and more secure decisions.

There are many platforms that offer services that make social trading easier. They usually offer statistics of their member traders, complete with analyses of their trading histories and mutual ranking. Some also offer direct copy trading, an excellent choice if you’re strapped for time and there is a trader whose reputation you trust. It allows you to simply allocate a portion of your trading capital to a trader you have selected and the platform will automatically make the same trades he or she does in proportion to the money allocated. Of course, it is often not a good idea to allocate all of your funds to a single trader, even the best can still make mistakes and there is no such thing as a 100% success rate.

What social trading essentially allows you to do, is to draw on collected wisdom of all members of the social platform. Signal to noise ratio will take some skill in deciphering, but once you get the hang of it, it will ease the way you trade significantly.

As with all social networks, social trading networks vary in their functionality and purpose, some are simply virtual meeting places to exchange information, while others offer full virtual market trading floor functionality.

Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.

Some platforms, such as, for example, eToro and ZuluTrade have a relatively low barrier to entry, are simple to use and require 50$ and 300$ for minimum investment respectively. For recently created TradeCrowd minimum investment varies by country. These three platforms are also much more open, they allow pretty much any trader to be copied from/followed in their basic functionality (ZuluTrade is slightly more exclusive and requires traders to be followed to execute 31 valid trades – not profitable, just valid). While that offers excellent amount of choice, if you’re looking for traders to follow you need quality, not quantity. It can be difficult to pick the right selection of traders to follow with so much going on.

On the other side you have Currensee, an exclusive network marketed to “serious investors”. The network itself requires 1000$ minimum investment while many other traders require much more, reaching and exceeding 10.000 $. Meaning you need to have in excess of 30.000$ if you wish to trade effectively. On the plus side, their Trade leaders are monitored and vetted constantly, only successful and reliable traders are allowed into the selection of about 20 Trade leaders.

Selection is large and ever increasing, with more and more people jumping on the trade network bandwagon. Picking out the one that suits you can be a challenge, but it is not a decision to be made lightly and you should definitely give it some thought. Whenever possible, go with the demo account first, try before you buy is a time honored practice.