Making an investment in the stock market is something many people will do at some time in their lifetime. There are steps you can take to learn more about your choices, minimize your risk, create a diversified portfolio and generally, invest with more confidence. Here are some tips that will help you to intelligently navigate the world of the stock market.
Diversification is the main key to investing wisely in the stock market. Having many different types of investment can help you to reduce your risk of failure for having just one type of investment. Having just that one type could have a catastrophic effect on the value of your entire portfolio.
Create your own index fund. Choose an index you would like to track, like the NASDAQ or Dow Jones. Buy the individual stocks that are on that index on your own, and you can get the dividends and results of an index mutual fund without paying someone else to manage it. Just be sure to keep your stock list up to date to match the index you track.
It is generally better to invest in a limited number of positions that you are confident in, rather than to invest in many different companies. For example, if you like the way telecom companies have been performing, and if there are four companies that appeal to you, take the time to determine which stock is the best and most cost effective. Rather than invest in all four companies, you should invest only in the company that you believe is the best.
Make sure that you are properly educated before investing in the stock market. You need to have a basic knowledge of accounting, annual reports and the stock market history. There is no need to be an actual accountant, though the more understanding you have, the better off you will be.
It is not wise to invest large amounts of money in the company you work for. While it can fill you with pride to own the stock of your employer, it’s way too risky to depend on it alone. If something bad occurs to your business, your salary and your portfolio are at risk. On the other hand, if employees can purchase shares at a discounted price, buying them could be a good investment.
A general tip that all beginners should use is to avoid buying stocks that cost less than $15 per share. When starting out, you generally don’t want to invest in companies that aren’t leading their field and those companies that are, are most definitely going to cost much more than $15 a share.
Singles stocks do not comprise the entire stock market. Avoid that way of thinking. You don’t need to be fooled into thinking any single stock is safe or risky. Even a perfectly good stock can rise even during a downward market, while a poor stock can fall even when the market is on the rise.
You may want to think about investing in blue-chip stocks, which are known for their safety, good growth, and strong balance sheet. Because of its established reputation as a reliable stock, people tend to invest in them, and they usually see positive outcomes. Furthermore, they are easy to invest in.
If your employer offers any kind of match to your retirement contributions, such as 401k, invest up to that level of match. If they match dollar for dollar up to 5%, invest 5%. If they match one dollar for every two up to 3%, invest the needed 6%. Not doing so leaves free money on the table, which is among the worst mistakes you can make in investing.
Once you’ve purchased a stock, give it time to grow. Don’t trade it as soon as the price drops. The stock market fluctuates frequently, so patience is key if you want to make some real money. Your losses may very well outweigh your gains when you buy and sell frequently.
Be aware that no one knows what will happen in the stock market today, tomorrow, next week or even next year. The stock market is not something that is predictable and being aware of this information will prepare you for whatever happens with your investment, be it something positive or something negative.
You can sometimes save money on commissions by purchasing stocks and mutual funds directly from the company. Not all companies allow this, but if they do, it saves you from paying brokerage commissions. The downside is that you cannot specify a purchase price and date, and when the time comes to sell, you do not have control over the date and price of the stock sale.
For maximum profit in stock market investing, treat your time picking the companies for your stock portfolio as a business. Read financial newspapers and blogs as a regular part of your business day. Consider the time you spend reading company reports to be time well spent. If you take the time to be well informed about your investments, your choices will bring a greater return.
Set your investment goal based on how long you plan to remain in the stock market. If you are a person that has plans to remain in the stock market for a long period of time, say greater than 10 years, you can likely afford to invest more, and should, therefore, invest more. If you are a person that will need to start taking the money you invest out in less than five years, you should plan to invest less, because that will reduce your overall risk. Most stocks will take time to build in value, giving you bigger returns.
When investing the stock market, it is wise to reinvest your dividends. Two things can happen when you get a dividend–you can either reinvest it or take the cash. By reinvesting it rather then spending it, you are more likely to make a substantial amount of money in the long run.
These suggestions should help you to become a more savvy investor. While there’s no guarantee you’ll become the next stock market mogul, a better understanding of investment basics will go a long way in making smart money decisions. Here’s hoping all your future investment choices will result in a healthy return!