A stock trader, equity trader, or share trader, is an individual or firm involved in buying, holding, selling, trading or margin trading equity securities, such as stocks. Stock Traders can also be an investor, broker, margituary, hedge-fund manager, or trader. These equity trading at large publicly held companies can be through an equity market.
Traders are generally considered to be investors if they make money from buying and/or selling shares of stock that are traded on a regulated exchange. There are many kinds of traders including those who buy shares of stock and then sell them for profit and those who buy shares of stock and then trade shares of that stock on a futures exchange or other type of stock exchange for profit. Of course, everyone can make money in the stock market through either method; it all depends on your skill and knowledge.
When you trade in the stock markets you are investing, and therefore you are engaging in share trading. You are buying shares of ownership in the company at a price that will go above what you paid for them. The price will go up because of the demand for the particular share. You are in turn forced to pay for this. The person who buys and sells shares of stock at these exchanges will be called a speculator.
There are some stock exchanges where trades are made directly between brokers and the buyers and sellers. There are also exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ stock exchanges where trading and selling of shares take place through electronic communication. There are also futures exchanges which are futures contracts where you buy a commodity, such as oil, and you sell it for delivery after a specific period of time. The use of the futures exchanges to trade shares of ownership in companies has been around since the early 70s.
The stock market vs stocks are different in that there is no physical product involved. You are trading shares based on speculation and trends in an underlying asset. This makes it inherently risky and volatile, but also very lucrative. Those who make a living trading shares of ownership in companies usually are able to predict the direction of the value of the asset very well, thereby enabling them to realize profits.
Because there are no physical products involved, there is no risk to your actual funds. There is also a potential for large profits. Many people choose to trade shares of ownership in companies because there are both benefits to doing so and also potential downside risks if you are not careful. The best thing you can do is to educate yourself as much as possible about share markets and trading them, and then when you have a bit more experience, you can begin to practice on paper before putting your money at risk.