Buying stocks can be both exciting and profitable. There are multiple methods for investing and the one you choose should depend on your investment goals and how much risk you want to take. Regardless of the investment method you choose, a fundamental understanding of the stock market is essential. The following are a few investing ideas able to help you do precisely that.
Don’t expect too much too soon from the stock market. If you think that you will make a mountain of money immediately, you are mistaken! The only way to make a significant return on your money is to take on a very risky stock. While there’s a chance you may be successful, more likely than not you will end up losing some or all of your money.
Be prepared to keep the stocks’ long term. If you only intend to hold on to the stocks for a short amount of time, be prepared for a lot of volatility. The market is extremely difficult to predict in the short term, and you may end up selling the stocks ay the wrong time. Holding on to them for the long-term is the best way to ensure a profit.
One fund to consider when investing in the stock market is an index fund. Index funds simply track a segment of the market, most popularly the S&P 500. It takes very little effort and it guarantees that you, at least, pace the market at large. Studies show that actively managed funds largely underperformed index funds. It is hard to beat the market.
If you own stock in an individual company, make it your business to know what is going on with your investment. Read the financial statements routinely, identify the strengths of the competition, and exercise your options to vote, when they occur. Know who is on the Board of Directors and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. Act like the owner that you are and monitor the health of your investment on a regular basis.
Never invest too much of your capital fund in one stock. This way if the stock does go into rapid decline at a later date, the amount of risk that you have been exposed gets greatly reduced.
Consider investing in index mutual funds. These funds buy and hold the stocks of the companies that comprise one of the major stock indices. These funds allow you the chance to capitalize on the returns of the overall stock market, without excessive fees or sector risk. These funds also require very little maintenance or attention.
If you are a new investor, it can be easy to spend too much time thinking about a specific trade that you should have made. There will definitely be times when you hold on to a stock for a long time, or when you miss an opportunity to make a huge profit. Thinking too much about these types of events can put an enormous dent in your confidence, and distract you from making good trades in the future. It is better to learn from the experience, and move on without letting it get to you emotionally.
You must lay out a detailed stock investing plan in writing. This should include when to buy or sell. You should also include a budget that defines the amount of your investments. This will allow you to make your choices with your head and not your emotions.
It is not wise to invest large amounts of money in the company you work for. Although buying stocks in your employer’s company may seem loyal, it does carry a significant risk. If your employer makes bad management decisions, both your investment and your paycheck will be in danger. The only time you should consider purchasing stock in the business you work for is when shares are being discounted for the employees because you might have a great bargain.
Avoid the temptation to trade in and out of stocks too often. While there are some people that day trade, most of those people actually lose money. It is difficult to outperform the market and human psychology often leads investors to sell at the bottom and buy at the top. This is the exact opposite of what an investor should do. Buy a stock at a good price and then hold, unless something has fundamentally changed about the stock’s worth.
Hold your stocks as long as you can, from a minimum of five years to maybe eternity. Do not sell when the markets have been rough for a day or even a year. Also do not sell if your stock has doubled or tripled. As long as your reasons for holding that stock are still good, then keep holding it. Reinvest any earnings you do not need in the next five years. Sell only if the stock goes so high that the business is just maxed out and not going to grow anymore.
It can be exciting and fun to get involved with the stock market, whatever way you choose to do that. Whatever type of stock investment you choose, from mutual funds to options, always stick to the fundamental ideas laid out here so that you can maximize your chances of making profitable trades.