You might think that investing in the stock market is only for people with a lot of money to spare or someone that has, unusually good luck. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just about anybody can learn how to invest in the stock market, so that most of their investments make money, instead of losing it.
Understand the risk involved in the stock market. If you are used to investing in mutual funds, understand that individual stock investing is a greater risk. If you aren’t the type of person who is prepared to take a risk, stick with companies that have a good financial standing, and that have shown excellent stock performance in the past.
Your investing plan should include a list of reasons for investing. Figuring out why you want to invest, and what you are going to do with the money you earn can help you formulate the rest of your investment plan. It will also help you stay motivated to contribute to your investments.
Familiarize yourself with past performance of each company that you contemplate investing in. Although past successes aren’t definite indicators, companies that do well often also do well in the future. Profitable businesses tend to expand, making profits more possible for both the owners of the business and the investors, like you!
It is important to understand what a PE ratio is when investing in common stocks. PE ratio is short for price to earnings ratio and is a reflection of what the price of stock is compared to how much money it earns. Using the PE ratio when valuing stocks helps to judge whether the stock is a bargain compared to the money it generates, or whether it is selling at a premium. It is not the only thing to consider, of course, but it one basic indicator of a stock’s relative worth.
The are two methods that can be used to buy stocks. The first way is to purchase stocks through Dividend Reinvestment Plans or Direct Investment Plans. Since not all companies offer a Dividend Reinvestment Plan or Direct Investment Plan, the other way to purchase stocks is by using a brokerage house. When it comes to brokerages, there are full service brokerages and discount brokerages. If money is not a consideration, full service brokerages offer more assistance than the discount brokerages.
Use rating systems cautiously in a bear market. These rating systems may be untrustworthy during this time, and you could wind up losing a lot of money if you rely solely on them. Instead of using them as a guide, use them a means of secondary information and factor the rating into your decisions with a grain of salt.
Invest at a time when the market is down. The saying “sell high, and buy low” is right on target. You can find bargains when you buy stocks during this time, since everyone has already sold off what they wanted. Buying at a time when the market is low sets the stage for long-term growth you can profit from.
Strong, long-term investments are a smarter choice than rapid-fire trading. With the rapid pace at which the market fluctuates, not to mention fees and taxes that are applied to short-term trades, it is almost always a better idea to hold onto a few good stocks. When you do the required research and select a company and stock that has a promising future, the small daily fluctuations in price will be negligible, in light of the long-term gains that you will see, if you hold onto your shares.
Practice makes perfect, and means you can start real trading with good habits free of errors. Find any service that offers a free practice platform or account. A simple starting method is setting stop-loss dollar amounts to weed out dropping stocks. This sample portfolio should only leave you the growing winners that are trending upwards.
Beginner traders should learn the importance of picking a brokerage firm to handle their trades. Don’t simply go with the first broker you come across but rather, do your research and make sure that whatever broker you decide to choose has a good reputation and track record so that your portfolio is safe.
Do not chase last year’s hot stocks. Frequently a stock or mutual fund will do well one year, only to do poorly or just average thereafter. Try to invest in stocks or mutual funds that perform consistently well in both up and down markets. This will allow you to steadily accumulate wealth.
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?
Don’t give up if you experience a crash. Yes, you lost some money. While that is a terrible feeling, it is not the time to throw in the towel. The most important thing to remember is what you learned from this. Apply it and keep trying. Eventually, the market will rise again and you will be rewarded.
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.
Be sensitive to the paradox of stock market history. History clearly demonstrates that those who buy good stocks and hold them, do better than those who trade frequently. However, individual stock histories are not absolutely sure to follow in the future, and while the market averages 10% annual returns, it does not do 10% every year.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to stock market investments than having good luck. Making money through stock market investments requires time, forethought and intelligent planning. The tips you just read, can help you get started investing. You should be equipped to choose your first stocks after finishing this article.