Ok, so I know the first thing any of you will say is "stop, don't do it". I'll ignore those warnings. Over the past few years I've followed the stock market and specifically a few companies that I delve into a bit more. Through this, done for fun in my spare time, I started 'virtually' buying / selling stocks and tracking how I would have done had I actually bought in or sold, and discovered I was doing fairly well. Well, virtually, at least.
Timeframe for these trades were anywhere from a few days to a few months - nothing long-term.
So far, all my 'real' investing has been in long-term mutual funds and similar. That said, I'd like to try my hand in stocks. The current company I use for mutual funds has $7 trades, which isn't horrible - but if I'm only keeping stocks for a few days, that adds up. Certainly nothing expensive, but it does add up. I keep seeing references to "ECM" and trades based on a percentage of the value traded. These percentage trades seem cheaper in some cases, although on larger quantity (ok, 100-200 stocks isn't large quantity for most, but could be about average for me) flat-rate is probably better. ECM seems to be even cheaper but I can't find out anything about it, or if I would even be able to use such a tool if I'm not trading even small amounts in the grand scheme of things.
For what its worth, I have a sum of money I have set aside for this, and fully expect to lose it all, so if I do, so be it.
Anybody else do this on the side / for fun? And no, I'm not taking all my advice from here - just thought I'd ask here as well and see what I get back.