I know absolutely nothing about trading/stocks/etc. I have little idea of what they are talking about when the t.v. news gives the latest stock market reports... However, I feel confident that I'm not stupid enough to waste my time going to a "teach me to trade" free seminar in the big city... Obviously, it would be only a high priced bad experience... I'd rather learn from intelligent, meaningful people who are not trying to rip me off and who's only interest is to take all of my money. I realize that there are expenses in everything we do...but there are reasonable expectations here.... My really serious question is... How is trading done? Who or where do I buy stocks? Do I buy directly from a company or do give someone a pile of money and tell them to buy me something with it? I think it's more like I give money to someone, tell them I want to buy something, and they give it to some guy/gal who buys it for me? Then what happens? How do I know I have anything for my money? When I get it ... how do I get rid of it when I'm ready to sell? I understand the idea of indicators, leading and lagging markets and am pretty good with the principles of economics. I have a little money but not enough to do much with... maybe enough to get out of town but not enough to live on without working for a significant amount of time. I could go to Tunica, MS and gamble then I might win a few dollars or lose it all... that's basically what I've been told about the stock market.. but I think that if I keep my expenses in control then I won't lose in the stock market (or not lose it ALL).... so, guys/gals, where do I start? I'm kind of interested in looking at the history of agricultural futures and its relationship to weather patterns as well as other factors which can affect market prices... the same with minerals and a few other items.... any pointers on where to go to trade, how to make a trade, and good reading on what's going on and why it's going on... would greatly be appreciated!!!!!