fund the account several different ways such as wire transfer or even credit card depending on the broker.
Most brokers will provide several different account types. Usually there will be a mini account that you can open with as little as $250. The standard accounts will usually take an investment of $1000 or more. The actual margin rate will also vary by account, this is the amount of money you can control per each dollar of your money. Higher level accounts will provide you with greater leverage and allow you to control more money.
It is highly recommended that you perform paper trades for at least a month before you attempt any real trades. Paper trades are where you record the trade you want to do with out actually investing any money and then see how much money you would have made or loss accordingly. This allows you to learn how the system works without losing money to do so. I would recommend that you continue to paper trade until you can consistently show a profit doing it.
Most brokers will have demo system that you can use for free for at least 30 days. This allows you to practice your paper trades online just like a real trade except there will be no money gained or lost. This not only teaches you about the market but also allows you to learn the software system used for trading.
Each broker will have their own system for making trades and gathering information. Most brokers though will provide the following tools: real time quotes, news feed, technical analyses and charts and profit and loss analyses.
Almost all brokers have an online system that will you to make your trades online. You will need a pc with internet access to take advantage of this. You can also make trades over the phone with most brokers. There are no commission charges on the trades, the brokers make their money on the spread between the bid and ask price.
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