Well you could take courses on US and World economics, read some financial economies books and/or know when and the fundamental news that affects price swings are reported. Stay clear during these volatile times because they can take out your stop in a heartbeat and a few beats later go back the other way. And remember that the news could already be mostly priced into the current price.
Link will answer many questions and answers you should know. I have 3 accounts (never put all your money/eggs in one account/basket). You can start with $500 when you can afford to open account. Since you are just starting you will lose money if you don't learn the basics, first. #1 best tip, don't trade your real money until you try trading demo account. When you can trade a demo for about 2-3months daily and make money then if you feel ready slowly start trading real money. So making and/or losing money depends on how well you can trade. For some it very profitable, for many it is not. So trading with the right tools and knowledge can become a very good income(s) for short and long term goals. And trade with the current trend.
I use Lightning Strikes Trading System for trading in any time frame and it works on forex, stocks, bonds, etf's, mutual funds, etc... They have 3 free training sessions a week and you don't have to buy the software to join in the live chat and text. They focus their training/trading on the Forex markets major currencies. You can even watch some recorded past live sessions. Here are some past charts that I used.
There are 7 indicators (2 short, 2 medium, and 3 long term) and if volume is reported another one is added (on balance volume). Plus whatever time-frame is used the 2 green horizontal lines are the support and resistance for that time frame. So when indicators are all touching the bottom price is at or very, very near support. At top is at or very, very near resistance. Which helps my entry/exits and risk/reward ratio.
If you can not view charts above or want to see other charts, I can email them. Or you can view more charts in this yahoo group. http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/lightninglive/
Start learning the basics of fundamentals and technical analysis so you will be more informed in your investments. You can find all the basic info you need to learn on websites for free.
This site should give you a good start.
Try what you learn on demo sites. They can be a very fun but educational way to learn from mistakes. If you pick 75% right with play money then you might be ready to start slowly investing.
Or just google for more.
Here are my favorite sites.
Join group to see and discuss LS charts.
Has basically all you need from fundamental to technical terms. Plus stock screens, charts, public chart lists, and much more useful info.
Has good learning resources.
In addition to yahoo finance.
For news and more.
For news and more.
For rating stock risk/reward ratio and reports.
For investing in more than stocks.
For more great learning tools.
For best software timing your entry/exits any time frame for day traders and long term investors.
Others worth exploring.