Trading signals are indicators that tell you when to buy or sell a security. They are usually generated by computers using complex algorithms, and they can be very helpful in making informed investment decisions. However, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of using trading signals before you decide whether or not to use them. 

What are trading signals? 

Simply put, trading signals are alerts that notify traders when a good trading opportunity is available. They can be generated by humans or by computer algorithms. Generally, trading signals are used by short-term or day traders. This is because quick alerts can give them an edge in the market. 

Trading signals can be based on a variety of technical indicators, including moving averages, support and resistance levels, candlestick patterns, and many others. Some signals are also generated based on fundamental analysis, such as economic news releases. 

There are many different providers of trading signals. Some are paid services, while others are available for free. It is important to choose a reputable provider, as there are many scams in the market. 

A trading signal is simply a signal that tells you when to buy or sell a security. It is up to the trader to decide how to interpret the signal as these notifications are typically vague and don't have a thesis to go along with them. 

How trading signals work

Imagine receiving a text message on your phone every time a company's stock was about to go up or down. Sounds great right? Trading signals are similar in the sense that they provide you with information that can help you make informed investment decisions. 

This can help you make quick and profitable trades. However, it is important to understand how trading signals work before you use them. 

As mentioned earlier, although some trading signal providers are sent out by humans, the vast majority are now generated by computers. This is because computers can process large amounts of data much faster than humans, and they can also make decisions based on predetermined rules (i.e. algorithms). 

For example, a coded rule could be something like, "If ___ happens then send a buy signal to all subscribers." Of course, the technicality of coding is much more complicated than that. 

However, the point is that through a set of determined rules, a computer can generate trading signals. These signals are then sent out to subscribers in real-time. Service providers will oversee the systems to make sure that the signals are sent out in a timely and accurate manner. 

Trading signals typically work by taking into account a variety of factors, such as market trends, price movements, and volume. They will then provide you with a buy or sell recommendation for a particular security. 

There are several different ways to receive trading signals. Some providers will send them directly to your phone or email, while others will make them available on their website or through a mobile app. 

By receiving trading signals, you can be informed about potential investment opportunities as they arise. However, it is important to remember that trading signals are not guaranteed to be a successful trade. 

Many malicious actors have been known to provide false or misleading signals to take advantage of unsuspecting investors. It is important to be aware of this possibility before acting on any trading signals.

How do you use trading signals? 

To use trading signals, you will need to have a brokerage account set up so that you can place trades. Once you have an account, you can subscribe to a signal service and start receiving signals. There are a few different ways providers will recommend you use their signals. 

The most common way is through a subscription service where you will receive the trading signals directly to your phone or email inbox. After that, it is up to you when or if to act on the signal. 

You don't necessarily have to go through with every trade they recommend but since you are paying to receive the signals, it is in your best interest to at least consider them. Providers know this and the ones that are pump-and-dump schemers will take advantage of newbies by releasing fake signals that tout a stock that is about to explode. 

These schemes will push the price of the stock up artificially and then sell their shares, leaving you with worthless stock and no way to recoup your losses. Beware of any service that claims to have a success rate of 100%. 

No one can predict the future perfectly and even the best providers will lose some trades. Some providers also have an auto-trading service where they will automatically execute trades on your behalf based on the signals. 

This is a more hands-off approach but can also be riskier since you are not making the final decision on whether or not to enter a trade. 

Are trading signals legal?

Yes, they are legal. They don't make stock recommendations in the sense that they don't tell you what to buy or when to buy it. They simply create projections based on analysis. It walks a fine line but if the provider is cautious, they can run a successful trading signal business without any legal issues. 

They can however be illegal if the provider is purposely releasing misleading information or if they are part of a pump-and-dump scheme. These activities would be considered securities fraud and would be punishable by law.

Advantages of trading signals

The main advantage of trading signals is that it takes a lot of work out of your hands. Instead of having to do all the research yourself, or relying on your gut feeling, you can let someone else do the work for you. 

Another advantage is that it can help you stay disciplined. When you have a trading plan and signals to follow, it’s easier to stick to that plan and not get emotional about your trades.

By having a framework of direction rather than picking random stocks, you can increase your chances of success. 

Finally, trading signals can help you diversify your portfolio. If you’re only trading one or two stocks, you’re putting all your eggs in one basket. But if you’re following a signal service that gives you a few different trade ideas every day, you can quickly build up a diversified portfolio.

Disadvantages of trading signals

Of course, no system is perfect and there are some disadvantages to trading signals as well. One is that you have to pay for them, whether that’s through a subscription service or buying software. 

Along with commission fees, taxes, and other expenses you might have, the costs can quickly add up. If your profits are sufficient enough to cover this overhead, you could be losing money and wasting your time. 

Another disadvantage is that you have to trust the person or service providing the signals. If they’re giving you bad information, you could lose a lot of money following their advice. And even if they’re giving you good information, there’s no guarantee that they are providing information that is better than what you could find yourself. 

Finally, trading signals can lead to overtrading. If you’re constantly looking for new trade ideas, you might end up taking too many trades and not giving any of them enough room to succeed. This can lead to losses. Stress from overloading ideas could also lead you to make bad decisions


The bottom line is that trading signals can be a valuable tool for investors, but they are far from being the optimal solution for everyone. Each individual's trading strategy will differ, and that means that some people will find signals to be helpful while others will not. 

The key is to find a method that works for you and stick with it. There is no perfect solution, so don't get too caught up in your notifications. Instead, go through the learning process and find a trading method that you're comfortable with. 

I hope this article helped clear up some of the confusion surrounding trading signals. Feel free to read more articles published on this website so that you don't have to rely on someone else's interpretation of the market. Remember, it's your money - so you should be the one making the decisions.