Jono's first comments were spot on, it all got out of hand after that but i thought id type out my experience.
When very young I bought some shares in Greggs (which I still hold) and RyanAir (which I sold).
In 2007/8 I had £3200 in an isa run by a Icelandic bank, which went bust. Her Majesties government, for reasons beyond economic reality, decided to bail savers in these banks. I got my £3200 and put it in the Natwest.
Natwest decided that 1.5% or so was a good return and I didn't. So I did some research (not on civiclife, haha) and decided that I should buy in Barclays and Lloyds banking group as they looked like they would pull through the financial crisis. I chose Hargreaves Lansdown as my broker for various reasons that i cba going into.
I chose my banking investments because I calculated(guesstimated) that I would outstrip the isa return over 3 years by thousands of percent.
After three weeks I was £800 (on paper) down and wasnt very happy. After 6 weeks I was up by a lot. So I sold and invested for days at a time in banking, mining and tech/healthcare. After 4 months I had £6000 in my hargreaves account and I went to Australia.
When in Australia I spent a lot of money and only had £1000 I could use to invest (see advice below) so i traded in CFD's (contracts for difference) NB spread betting is banned in Australia. Using CFD's was very high stress, the worst example was going out for dinner with an exposure of $45,000 AUD on the market. In the end I got a job that meant i couldnt watch my laptop screen during trading hours and working is easier money when trading with such little capital.
I did bog all trading for a long time until Royal Mail came by, I applied for £1k of shares because I thought it represented good value. I was interviewed on the radio regarding this and decided to make a sale of my holdings because of a tax bill. Again I made calculations of return on this.
My advice to anyone starting out:
If you are buying shares don't bother buying less than £1000's worth(of one/each company), the buy order will cost you £20 and the sell with cost you £20 so the share has to rise 4% before you even start to make money.
Buy good companies after bad times for long term investments
Look for peaks and troughs in your graphs, especially lines of resistance.
Spread betting is the way forward for short term trading because you can short (making money on the value of a share going down), use margin and have low to zero commission to pay. Plus they have apps and platforms that are top notch and free.
Very few fund managers can do their job, don't bother giving them your money.