If you’re a beginning investor, you, no doubt, have many questions about the way the stock market operates. There is much information available on the web today, but finding the right information can be difficult. However, you are in luck, because this article will give you the information that you need, to better understand the stock market and its intricacies.
Stocks are more than just pieces of paper made for buying and selling. Once you own a stock, you now have partial ownership of whatever company is behind that investment. This means you are entitled to both claims and earnings. In some instances, you may be able to vote on corporate leadership.
Do your research. Before buying any stocks, thoroughly research the company. Study its financial history and how the stocks have performed over the last ten years. Earnings and sales should have increased by 10% over the prior year, and the company’s debt should be less. If you have difficulty understanding the information, talk to a financial advisor or broker with a good track record in stock investing.
When the stock market takes a dip, do not distress. Instead, look at the fall as an opportunity to purchase stocks at bargain prices. Many smart investors have made fortunes this way, because the market will inevitably rise again. Being able to see past the doom and gloom can be very profitable.
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.
When considering a certain company, think about if you’d like to own the entire company. The businesses that have the best reputations and the most availability as far as purchasing their products or services are the most likely to do well in the stock market. Keep this in mind when selecting stocks.
Try to purchase stocks that will do better than average. Average is typically defined as 10% annually. To get an idea of what the return on an individual stock might be, find the dividend yield, as well as the stock’s projected earnings rate of growth and then add them together. Take for instance, a stock which has 12% earnings and 2% yield may give you around a 14% return.
Do not set price targets for your stocks. Instead, you should set a stop-loss limit. It is always wise to plan for the worst, while hoping for the best. Because of this, whenever you purchase a new stock, set a stop-loss value at about 15 percent below your purchase price. This is the point at which you should cut your losses and sell your stock, before it becomes completely worthless.
Stocks are only one part of an overall investment strategy. You should also keep liquid assets in an emergency fund that you can withdraw from easily whenever the need arises. It is also possible that your investments may not perform as well as expected. As your wealth grows, keep in mind that you will most likely need to also increase the amount held in your emergency fund.
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.
Ask yourself questions about each stock in your portfolio at the end of the year. Look at each holding and decide if that company is a stock you would buy if you did not hold it already, given what you know now about the company and sector. If your answer is no, then that is probably a good sign you need to dump the stock you currently have. Why own what you would not buy?
Remember that the stock market is always changing. If you think that things are going to stay the same for a while, you are wrong, and you will lose money with this frame of mind. You have to be able to deal with any change that takes place, and quickly decide your next move.
Do not start to sell all of your stock just because of an impending bear market. You may be trying to lighten potential losses, but this can be a huge mistake. Eventually, the market will rebound and most of the stocks will, too. Trying to cut your losses may actually cause them to be greater.
Always stay on top of financial news and trends. Not only is this helpful for any stocks you may be invested in already, but this is also helpful for you to choose which stocks to invest in the future. The Wall Street Journal and New York Stock Exchange websites are two great online tools.
Before you decide that how much you want to invest in the stock market, take some time to figure out what you want your investments to do for you. Are you looking forward to building a retirement fund? Alternatively, make some extra income? When you get this figured out, you will be able to decide how much you are willing to risk on the market.
Keep in mind that choosing the right portfolio is only half the battle. You have to invest on a regular basis, regardless of whether you do so weekly, monthly or quarterly. Set that part of your budget and then, let it go. Your portfolio is a garden that needs both regular seeds and watering, if it is to truly grow into your field of dreams.
Now that you’ve finished this article, you should have a better understanding of the way the stock market works and how you can use it to your financial advantage. Take heed of this practical advice, and you’ll be on your way to making wise investment decisions that will prove to be profitable.